More heated debate on the Hill, when Lindsey Graham got all clutch-pearls over an amendment offered by Obama:
It would undercut ”everybody over here who’s walked the plank and told our base, ‘You’re wrong,”’ Graham said. ”So when you’re out on the campaign trail, my friend, tell them about why we can’t come together. This is why.”
Obama briefly appeared stunned and demanded time to respond. The notion that his amendment would gut the bill ”is simply disingenuous” he said. ”It’s engaging in the sort of histrionics that is entirely inappropriate for this debate.”
Almost immediately, the two men continued the argument in a hall just outside the chamber. ”They were going at it,” said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla. ”We could hear them inside.”
In separate interviews later, Graham said, ”I wanted to go outside” to impress upon Obama the danger he was causing for a bill he supposedly supported. ”I said, ‘I’m very disappointed in you,”’ he said, adding: ”I like the fellow.”
I bet he does.
Jon Tester just got up to speak, and, swear to God, in his ill-fitting blazer and buzz cut, along with dime-store glasses, he looks pretty much like the high school wrestling coach who somehow got roped into teaching health.
UPDATE: Sorry for the lack of detail on the actual amendment. Obama’s proposal would have ended the “point-based” system that rewards immigrants for having highly employable skills after 5 years rather than, as in the bill now, 14. It’s one of the bill’s “anti-family” provisions that have Dems upset. Certain Republicans, including Graham, believe that it’s Democrats who will wind up killing the compromise — intentionally or not — with exactly these sorts of amendments, which would make it next to impossible for the moderate Rs to support. Was Obama intentionally trying to scuttle the bill? I doubt it.
As for Tester: I LOVE HIM. I LOVE WRESTLING COACHES! I think it’s FANTASTIC that the guy in the Senate. It’s supposed to be a representative body, darnit, so it should, you know, look like America and Tester certainly does.
UPDATE: Think Progress has video of what went down on the floor between the two. Graham does, uhm, seem… flustered is a good term. Hysterical, maybe. Passionate, perhaps. He waves his arms around, that’s for sure.