Call For The Smelling Salts

by digby

Huckleberry Graham's working himself into a full-on case of the vapors:

President Obama has been "AWOL" in negotiations over the economic stimulus package, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday in a scathing rebuke of the new president.

The South Carolina Republican told FOX News that Obama has not been providing leadership, and he criticized the president for giving TV interviews and writing an editorial touting the package, rather than addressing the complaints of lawmakers.

"This process stinks," Graham told FOX News, before repeating a lot of his criticisms on the Senate floor. "We're making this up as we go and it is a waste of money. It is a broken process, and the president, as far as I'm concerned, has been AWOL on providing leadership on something as important as this."

Republican senators and congressmen have been reluctant to direct any criticism at the president since his inauguration. They mostly have fired shots at Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, saying they have obstructed the bipartisan process Obama sought.

But Graham broke that practice after Obama granted a round of interviews defending his plan Tuesday and wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post Thursday in which he warned of disastrous consequences if Congress does not pass the stimulus bill.

"Scaring people is not leadership. Writing an editorial that if you don't pass this bad bill we're going to have disaster -- we've had enough presidents trying to scare people to make bad decisions," Graham said.

"I like President Obama, but he is not leading. Having lunch is not leading ... and doing TV interviews is not leading."

Graham just said on Hardball that the public hates this bill and he will not be intimidated by this president, the process is broken and he is very disappointed. And then he explained that he is the real bipartisan. (Oh my. Do we have a contender for 2012?)

He was whining and fulminating and pretty much working himself into a frenzy. Which means this is an orchestrated hissy fit.

Oddly, with all the media analysis about how Democrats blew it by putting contraceptives in the bill and how Obama screwed up the debate, nobody seems to think there's a thing wrong with the Republicans being willing to destroy the economy for political gain.

If you haven't called your Reps, you know what to do.

Update: Oh, looky here. Who'd of thunk?:

The leadership of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of conservative Democrats concerned about the federal deficit, sent an open letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) Thursday complaining about the size of the House bill and supporting a Senate effort to toss out much of the spending.

“We believe that’s a highly worthwhile goal, and that there are additional provisions that would be better left for consideration in regular order,” said the letter, signed by Blue Dog leader Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) and the rest of the Blue Dog leadership.

Eleven Democrats voted against the stimulus package in the House, most of them Blue Dogs from conservative districts bothered by the spending. The letter said that many others voted for it because they expected it to be trimmed back in the Senate or in the conference committee that will hammer out the final package.

The letter came as Obama, along with Pelosi, stressed the urgency of passing the package. In an appearance at Energy Department headquarters, Obama said, "The time for talk is over, the time for action is now."

Congressional leaders had hoped to send the package to Obama before the Presidents Day holiday weekend, a deadline that appears increasingly unlikely in the face of growing opposition.

Jesus, is Rahm at it again?

h/t to bill