As one of the high-profile House prosecutors in the impeachment trial of President Clinton, soft-spoken U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is becoming a target for left-wing special interest groups.
The first evidence of that is the criticism leveled at a Graham fund-raising letter sent to his supporters this month in which he pointed out the obvious: "As visibility increases for many Republicans due to the impeachment process," reads the letter, "the likelihood for opposition in the next election rises."
Graham, who faced no opponent last November, is simply being a realist. As national polls indicate, Republicans' pursuit of impeachment has not been a big hit with the public, so GOP incumbents who had an easy route to re-election last year must be prepared for a fight in 2000.
Yet, according to the leftist Center for Responsive Politics, the congressman is playing dirty pool. While acknowledging that Graham's fund-raiser is legal and above-board, CRP executive director Larry Makinson takes him to task anyway.
"Most people look upon (impeachment) as a national trauma," Makinson told the Associated Press. "Apparently some members of Congress look upon this as a fund-raising opportunity."
How phony can you get? Makinson knows that fund-raising letters often center on the controversy of the moment. The same "trauma" charge could be leveled at Graham if his letter focused on crime, Social Security, Iraqi bombing raids, or any number of other hot-button issues.
What CRP really objects to is the congressman asking for any funds at all. But to fully grasp the depth of Makinson's hypocrisy, consider this: His group finds more to condemn in Graham's innocent fund-raising letter than in President Clinton lying under oath and obstructing justice!