South Carolina GOPers wish Sen. Graham would secede

Resolved: The senator's dalliance with climate change legislation is tarnishing the Republican brand. Shun him!

Published November 11, 2009 7:41PM (EST)

In hardcore GOP politics, there's one brand that just can't be beat -- South Carolina's.

South Carolina Republicans are sui generis: Whether it's Sen. Jim "healthcare will be Obama's Waterloo" DeMint or Rep. Joe "You Lie!" Wilson or Gov. Mark "no stimulus for me" Sanford, they rarely disappoint. One would expect no less from the first state to secede from the United States after Lincoln's election and the first state where shots were fired in the Civil War. Racist tweets and jokes about Michelle Obama and escaped gorillas? Also easily explainable: In 1860, there were three slaves for every free person in South Carolina -- only Mississippi could compare. It's a legacy that's apparently pretty hard to shake.

Any watering down of the brand must be resisted with unflinching fervor. In the eyes of some South Carolina Republicans, Sen. Lindsey Graham's pledge to help pass climate legislation is nothing less than foul betrayal. Thus the latest news, reported by the Associated Press: Graham has been officially censured for straying from the path of righteousness by  some of his fellow Republicans. (Found via Senatus.)

Republican leaders in a South Carolina county have censured their own U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham for working with Democrats on a climate bill and other legislation.

The Republican has often worked with Democrats in Congress, but Charleston County Chairwoman Lin Bennett says his work on climate legislation is the last straw.

The State adds:

County chairwoman Lin Bennett said the unanimous voice vote of 50 of 104 executive members "is an effort to get his attention. They (party leaders) are just fed up, and they want him to know they're fed up.

The resolution reads, in part:

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham -- in the name of bipartisanship -- continues to weaken the Republican brand and tarnish the ideals of freedom, rule of law, and fiscal conservatism.

Note well: The brand comes first, followed by freedom and the rule of law. Don't you forget it, Lindsey!

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Global Warming How The World Works Lindsey Graham