One of the nation’s most troubled well-known people, the evangelist Franklin Graham, says he’s quitting the Republican party. Setting aside the rather strange reality that a so-called “man of God” would make his political party a public matter and feel obliged to make a big announcement about it (and that anyone would really give a darn when he did), it should be stated that this is a badge of honor for the GOP.
Graham’s stated reason for leaving — the recently adopted federal budget deal and the fact that it continued some funding for the health services provider Planned Parenthood — amounted to a compromise between Democrats and Republicans in Washington. And as anyone who’s been paying attention in recent years, such compromises have been in short supply for some time. By taking such a stand against a deal that fully satisfied neither side, Graham is endorsing a continuation of the dysfunction and gridlock that has harmed the country so grievously in recent years. Thank goodness a majority of members of Congress aren’t listening to this dim bulb. With any luck, Graham will make himself completely irrelevant to Republican politicians and then people like Gov. Pat McCrory won’t feel obliged to kiss his ring so often.
Of course, that should have happened long ago. The Republicans should have disavowed Graham years ago for his regular rants of hate against Muslims and LGBT people. Unfortunately, folks like North Carolina’s governor have ignored Graham’s venom for his fellow human beings in their quest to attract social conservative voters. Maybe now that will change, but it’s probably not time to hold your breath.
As a humorous aside, political commentator Steve Benen points out that this is not the first time Graham has thrown a tantrum and quit a major institution recently. Earlier this year, Graham took his fat wads of cash out of Wells Fargo Bank because the bank ran a commercial with a same-sex couple who had adopted a deaf child. The funny part: Graham’s new bank, BB&T, turns out among other things to be a sponsor of gay pride events. Let’s hope Graham’s latest hate and ignorance-based actions work out for him just as well.