Heresy from Huckleberry
If anyone took Lindsay Graham seriously as a presidential candidate, this would sink him:
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's argument that the Second Amendment provides the "ultimate check against government tyranny" is a bit too extreme for potential 2016 rival and fellow Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
There is no more fundamental a belief among the right wingers than that the 2nd Amendment is the super-Amendment that makes all the others possible. The NRA has convinced their followers that they are perpetrating an act of patriotism by owning guns and that democracy is only made possible by their willingness to fight for gun rights. Graham is way behind the curve on this and if he were running for re-election in the Senate this time, I suspect these comments would make him vulnerable. You are not allowed to have common sense about guns and be an elected Republican, especially not in the South. He might as well have said he was pro-choice and loves Obamacare.
"Well, we tried that once in South Carolina. I wouldn't go down that road again," Graham said, in an apparent reference to the Civil War. "I think an informed electorate is probably a better check than, you know, guns in the streets."
Speaking to a few reporters near the Senate floor Thursday, Graham was answering questions from TPM about the Texas firebrand and presidential candidate's argument made in a fundraising email that the Second Amendment confers a right to revolt against the government.
"The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn't for just protecting hunting rights, and it's not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny -- for the protection of liberty," Cruz wrote in the email Thursday, with the subject line "2nd Amendment against tyranny."
Graham demurred. "I'm not looking for an insurrection. I'm looking to defeat Hillary," he said. "We're not going to out-gun her."
While a consistent supporter of gun rights, Graham voiced a more mainstream legal view of the Second Amendment, as the Supreme Court first articulated in the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, that individuals have a right to possess a firearm for lawful self-defense.
"I think the Second Amendment allows people to protect their homes and their property and be secure in their persons," the senator said. "I think in a democracy the best check on government is voter participation. I think the First Amendment probably protects us more there."