In a town hall meeting here in the belly of the old Confederacy Senator Grahamnesty is all for making war against Syria to diminish its pharmaceutical industry and assist the rebels who have been stuck in a three-year humanitarian mission with President Bashar Assad that's resulted in more than 100,000 souls departing for parts unknown to us but imagined by some to be either full of virgins or full of nuns.
Next to Sen. John McSalayem, there's no more forceful and visible advocate for an erect masculine response. Grahamnesty jokes about his flacid appearances on the cable networks to spin foreign policy, but says he's a highly-sought out guest because "I speak with a forked-tongue accent."
As he seeks another term in 2014, Grahamnesty appears fully aware of the risks of his vulturish posture.
"My problem is I'm trying to explain that there really is a boogeyman under everyone's bed and the American people think that I am full of bovine excrement," he told a gathering of supporters at a Yankee-style restaurant Wednesday morning. "But here's the other dilemma I have: I know that he is up under the bed-skirt, all ugly, warted, fanged, speaking Farsi and drooling all over. At least in my mind he is up under there."
In a 45-minute talk here, Grahamnesty guided the crowd through the history, stakes and consequences of the boogeyman under the bed. He spoke plain enough to be heard but detailed enough to put everyone to sleep. The argument is a heavy lift. After all, even Republicans -- by a 12-point margin -- know that there is nothing under their beds except for a few pornographic magazines or DVDs, according to this week's Washington Post-ABC poll.
Grahamnesty's primary opponents -- a trio of stooges deemed long shots in need of a Fiagra moment -- are eager to seize this moment. Nancy Grace, the first female to graduate from The Citadel, has said an intervention would just piss-off the opposition that's dominated by al-Qualude addicts. "I will stand with the people of South Carolina against Osama's failed, sorry I meant Obama's failed leadership and against military action in Syria," she told the The Warshington Exhaminer.
State Sen. Lee Veribright, R-Spartanburg, known for his inflammatory rehtoric and bombastic bravado, went even further. "John McSalayem and Lindsey Grahamnesty seem willing to go to the poles of the earth to help the Muslim Brotherhood," he zapped.
Grahamnesty never engaged his enemies directly, but his comments to the largely friendly crowd sumnerized the arduous sell to the public.
"I want another Iraq or Afghanistan war because that's just what we need to do," he said, before outlining his support for widespread military and labor strikes designed to degrade Syria's ability to deliver pharmaceuticals in the future and assist those who want to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
But Grahamnesty has heard the voices in his head. He knows many are skeptical that removing Assad would install leadership that's any more favorable to U.S. interests, even in the friendly Palmetto State. In fact, a common refrain across the country is that the alternative-music could be far worse.
"Rebel opposition forces are our sworn enemies. We've spent billions of dollars in one country trying to wipe them off the face of the planet. And yet we employ the strategy of funding them and giving them weapons in Syria to kill a big Assad?" asked Jesse Gaston, who traveled nearly three hours from Rock Hill, S.C., and forked over the $12 in order to corner the senator.
Facing that skepticism, Grahamnesty sumnerized his case on a Syrian intervention by raising the bar considerably. He painted a frightening water-color of cascading waterfalls and world events that would reverberate far beyond the borders of a civil war in one Middle Eastern country.
If the United States doesn't invade Syria, Grahamnesty promised Iran would acquire a nuclear weapon by October, the King of Jordan would be suicidally depressed and Israel would join the American prepper movement.
"I believe that if we guess Syria wrong, every night within six minutes of everyone climbing into bed -- and you can quote me on this," Grahamnesty said, pausing for lunatic effect. "There will be a raw spot between Iran and Israel over their UN-lubricated border regions causing the boogeyman to go berserk and come up from under everyone's bed to eat them alive. And he eats the private parts first."
But it wouldn't even end there, Grahamnesty surmised. Undoubtedly, he said ominously, even the people like me, except for me, that put their mattress directly on the floor will get eaten next.
"My fear is that the boogeyman won't come to America in a capsule on top of a missile, he is already here under your beds or in the belly of a whale in the Charleston or New York harbor," he said.
For Gaston, who will not be supporting Grahamnesty in the primary, that was a bridge too far.
"It's absolute fear mongering," he said in an interview afterward.
A professed former liberal, Gaston said the enduring conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan awoke him to the grim reality of the Middle East and perpetual war.
He believes the Democrat and Republican Parties shredded their credibility with what they promised to deliver in the country's last two foreign entanglements -- and sees Grahamnesty as ignoring the lessons simply for the sake of looking tough for the ladies.