Sen. Graham (R-SC) cares this much. (photo: Michael Wuertenberg WEF)

I noticed with alarm that some of my friends on the left evinced a certain amount of sympathy for Lindsey Graham. They said that he worked really, really hard on an energy bill, was committed to the policy, only to have immigration cut the line for political purposes. I wonder how they’ll react to his vow to filibuster the bill he’s reportedly so invested in unless Harry Reid drops the OTHER bill he’s leading the charge on entirely.

Earlier today, Reid appeared to reverse course, saying climate/energy would be the next logical issue to address, followed only afterward by immigration reform. So everything’s groovy, right?

Far from it. Tonight, Graham told me that he will filibuster his own climate change bill, unless Reid drops all plans to turn to immigration this Congress […]

Graham has said for days that he’s dropped out of climate/energy talks, but pressed tonight, he said that he will filibuster his own bill if Reid tries to bring it up without tabling immigration altogether.

“If they can do this without me, go ahead…. I am not going to be part of an energy-climate process that has no hope of success,” Graham said. “I am not going to let that happen with my vote.”

Aside from this development showing just how unserious Graham is about moving these policies forward, consider that, as a power broker on energy, immigration, or closing Guantanamo, Graham was a miserable failure. He did not move one member of his own party to his side at all, including himself, apparently. Furthermore, on the climate and energy bill he created a Frankenstein’s monster that only an oil company could support. Why am I supposed to shed a tear that his feelings are hurt?

The LA Times surveys the record and finds that Graham is primarily concerned with being a big macker inside Washington without having to actually vote out of lockstep with his party (94% of the time with the majority of Republicans in this Congress). It works because “liberal” dupes inside Washington give him the benefit of the doubt. Waiting on them to recognize their error would waste a good decade or two, so I won’t.

David Dayen

David Dayen