A politician bases his decisions on expediency; a statesman, on principle.
Most elected officials today are politicians with a vision as far ahead as the next election. Take U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for example. His TV ads describe him as a conservative. Yet, he is the same Lindsey Graham who voted to confirm ultra-liberal Supreme Court nominees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. And the same Lindsey Graham who is nicknamed “Senator Grahamnesty” because of his support of amnesty for undocumented aliens.
He has voted for No Child Left Behind; the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, a.k.a. TARP; increasing the federal minimum wage; the fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes on 77 percent of Americans; cap-and-trade; and raising the debt ceiling six times.
Not conservative enough? He also staffs seven congressional offices, while former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint needed only four.
Finally, Graham has so much conservative support that six Republican challengers were aligned against him.