Has Mick Mulvaney Picked a Fight with Lindsey Graham?

During the campaign season before the 2010 elections, my dad (the administrator of a small private school) called me to say that a man running for Congress stopped in the office to talk with him for a few minutes. That man was Mick Mulvaney, who, as Dad noted, would be a substantial upgrade over long-time incumbent John Spratt.

I’ve kept an eye on Mulvaney the last couple of years since he joined Congress as part of the wave of new Republicans in the House. While I haven’t always agreed with Mulvaney, I have seen him take some stands I admired. He usually flies under the radar without stirring up too much controversy within the party.

The days of Mulvaney flying under the radar may be over soon, as he has been working to do what few Republicans dare to do: curb increases in defense spending.

Mulvaney was recently interviewed by The American Conservative about defense spending, specifically about his efforts with Barney Frank to freeze defense spending. Their amendment to the 2013 defense appropriations bill to freeze defense spending at 2012 levels passed the House and awaits action by the Senate.

When Rand Paul spoke at the Republican convention in August, he referred to the “sacred cows” that each party was going to have to kill in order to gain any ground on balancing the federal budget. The GOP’s sacred cow, without a doubt, is defense spending.

Mulvaney’s attempt to freeze spending isn’t exactly what we need, but it’s a good start to convince the warmongers within the party that we can, in fact, defend our country without exponentially inflating defense spending every year.

Says Mulvaney:

I think it is important that conservatives show a willingness to look at all spending with the same level of critical analysis. To think that the Defense Department is somehow immune from the same tendencies toward inefficiency and waste as we know all other areas of government to possess, is just absurd.

Indeed. Waste abounds. Just because it’s waste under the umbrella of defense doesn’t mean it should be tolerated.

He’ll undoubtedly face opposition from warmonger and fellow South Carolinian Lindsey Graham when this issue is brought up in the Senate. I’m not sure what will happen to this effort in the Senate, but I would expect Graham and his warmongering Senate buddies to be furious over the suggestion that we freeze defense spending.

I don’t know if Mulvaney has his eyes set on the Senate or not, but this is a good opportunity for him to dig in his heels on a common sense issue and make a name for himself in the Palmetto State.

It makes me wonder if maybe Mulvaney is picking a fight he knows Lindsey Graham won’t be able to resist. Graham is up for re-election soon, and I suspect that, with a little work on raising his profile, Mulvaney could give Graham a serious challenge.

If this really is just about defense spending, that’s fine with me. But if this is the beginning of a plan to get South Carolina’s biggest idiot out of the Senate, Mulvaney has my full support.


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