Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Graham was asked if he thought that Beck was bad for America. He answered, “No, I’m not saying he’s bad for America. You got the freedom to watch him if you choose. He did a pretty good job on ACORN. What I am saying, he doesn’t represent the Republican Party. You can listen to him if you like. I choose not to because, quite frankly, I don’t — I don’t want to go down the road of thinking our best days are behind us. We need to act decisively.”
Then he got to gist of his problem with Beck, “People are genuinely upset with how much money we’re spending up here. But at the end of the day, when a person says he represents conservatism and that the country’s better off with Barack Obama than John McCain, that sort of ends the debate for me as to how much more I’m going to listen. So he has a right to say what he wants to say. In my view, it’s not the kind of political analysis that I buy into.”
Lindsey Graham is one of John McCain’s best friends, so it looks like what ticked him off about Beck was the comment that the country is better off with Obama as president, instead of John McCain. I also think that Graham’s issues with Beck run a little deeper. Lindsey Graham can be very partisan, but he has never been a big fan of slash and burn type of politics that Beck personifies.
More than anything, it is my hunch that Graham sees Beck as a showman for sale who is out to do what is best for Glenn Beck. He doesn’t think that Beck is a committed conservative, and he is right. Glenn Beck is not like Rush Limbaugh. He is not out to advance the Republican agenda. Beck has his own agenda, which appears to be based on advancing his own fame and career. Beck has built a one man cult of paranoia and fear, that appeals to Republicans but isn’t conservative.
The divide among the Republicans in the Senate on Beck is fascinating. On one hand you have Chuck Grassley, who went home to Iowa, waved Beck’s book around, and touted it as must read material for his constituents. Then there is Graham who sees Beck as someone that the GOP shouldn’t be following. A look at Beck’s political efforts like the tea parties and the 9/12 protest reveals that what he is selling won’t do Republicans much good.