In the midst of severe flooding, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has become a convert, who now believes in federal aid for natural disaster victims. At least if those victims are his constituents, Graham has had an epiphany in favor of federal aid. The South Carolina Senator infamously voted against disaster aid when the Northeastern United States was battered by super storm Sandy in 2013, but now the South Carolina Senator is singing a different tune.
In defending his new found love for federal aid, Senator Graham told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:
Let’s just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs.
When pressed about his opposition to the 51 billion dollar relief package for Sandy victims in 2013, Graham lapsed into a convenient case of amnesia, arguing:
I’m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don’t really remember me voting that way…Anyway, I don’t really recall that, but I’d be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no, if I did.
Graham was one of 36 Republican Senators to vote against the super storm Sandy relief measure on January 28, 2013. He can look it up himself on the Senate roll call from that day.
While Senator Graham is right to demand relief aid for his flood-ravaged constituents in South Carolina he was wrong to oppose the same type of relief for fellow Americans who suffered from flooding outside the boundaries of his state in 2013.
Graham’s self serving position on disaster relief underscores much of what it deficient in conservative ideology. Conservatives, like Graham only recognize a national problem if it affects them personally. If another part of the country is ravaged by a storm, he lacks empathy and says “sorry, you’re on your own.” However, when the flooding is in his own backyard, he is the first to scream and holler for help, because the problem is too big to be handled locally.
Maybe this will be a learning experience for the Senator, and he will start to acknowledge that federal disaster aid has a role in helping flood victims everywhere. Or maybe the next time another part of the country is under water, he will go back to doing what Republican Senators do best. He will deny funding, because his own house is high and dry, and for a conservative Senator, apparently that is all that matters.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.