Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung fu skills were the stuff of legend.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham will participate in a debate with his Republican rivals on June 7, just three days before the GOP primary. Det Bowers, S.C. Sen. Lee Bright, Richard Cash, Bill Connor, Benjamin Dunn and Nancy Mace have been stumping the state for weeks hammering on Graham who, so far, has been absent from the occasional “debate.” Bless their hearts, the challengers wanted a public dialogue with Graham about his record and now they have one.
At this writing, just over 24 hours after Graham agreed to the debate, none of his opponents have publicly said they will participate, but surely they will. One would think, given the ferocity of their distaste for the senator’s record, that they would have immediately issued statements “welcoming the opportunity.” It’s understandable, however, if they are a little reluctant since they will more than likely get their collective butts whupped.
What comes to mind is one of those classic martial arts movie fight scenes in which one guy faces a gang which he dispatches with relative ease. Of course, it helps that the minions he’s fighting attack one at a time while the others hover and wait their turn.
Senator Graham is a very smart man. He’s also a practiced politician and extremely adept in interviews, commentary and other forms of public conversation. His opponents are either political neophytes, mass communication rookies, policy virgins and/or all of the above.
Graham isn’t going into the debate either unprepared or without confidence. His challengers have quite a menu of issues from which to choose their attacks and they will likely go after each one. But Graham will deflect, counter, block and leg sweep all of them and, in doing so, will be the last man standing.
Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said. “They wanted to force him into a debate, and they have. If this were an absolute slam dunk and he wasn’t concerned about this race at all, then there would be no reason to agree to a debate.”
It is more likely that the challengers will suffer more than the incumbent in the debate. On a state-wide stage, their attempts to gang tackle Graham will look ham-handed and amateurish. Graham will come across as a seasoned and reasonable statesman – a master.
The Senator will deftly defend his positions by using the Constitution, turning his opponents’ “strengths” against them in classic martial arts style. And all they will be able to do is stand there, dazed and bleeding from the nose.
Truly, Lindsey Graham has a lot of ‘splaining to do. His record is not favorable to a good part of the South Carolina electorate. But ‘splain he will do whereas his opponents, when confronted with their own weaknesses, will have less effective defenses.
When the debate is over, Lindsey Graham will look like a kung fu master and the challengers will be a mass of forgettable bodies.