With today's passing of a Senate health-care overhaul bill dampening right-wing morale, Republican activists are keeping up their spirits in hard times by focusing on the problems within their own party. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was ready to give a rallying speech to supporters in Greenville, South Carolina yesterday; instead, the senator faced heckling from a contingent of far-right protesters who believe he is too moderate for his own good.
Graham is known for having voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor's nomination back in July, against the recommendation of his own party. More recently, Graham has been 'testing out lines' in the GOP concerning global warming, presenting a willingness to compromise on clean energy legislation, according to Darren Samuelsohn of the New York Times. Decisions to cooperate and compromise across party lines have made Sen. Lindsey Graham into a target of the far-right 'Teabaggers.'
A truck outside Monday's rally had a toilet meant for 'RINOs'(Republican in Name Only). During the rally, protesters shouted things like "Ron Paul," "Sotomayor," and "You are a country-club Republican." When Graham listed off a few battleground states, activists responded with, "Move there!"
Graham wasn't completely without support; cheering and clapping came from some in the audience. Others questioned his loyalty to the party and even his Christianity. One detractor told him that he had "signed a pact with the devil" by working with the Democrats.
"We're not going to be the party of angry white guys," Graham responded, according to The State. "If you don't like it, you can leave." At this, protesters began to leave the auditorium.
This video is from Lindsey Graham's 'town hall' meeting in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 12th.