Kamikaze Controversy

Outspoken South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham compared pro-health-reform Democrats to kamikaze pilots yesterday, and Rep. Mike Honda isn't laughing.

Graham said, during an interview on WVOC radio in Columbia that "Nancy Pelosi, I think, has got them all liquored up on sake and you know, they're making a suicide run here."

Honda, a California Democrat who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, posted a response at The Huffington Post, writing that he was "personally disheartened" by the comments:

As a Japanese American who was interned along with my family during World War II, I am personally disheartened that Senator Graham chose to use racially tinged rhetoric to express his opposition to health care reform. There is a way to engage in healthy debate without ostracizing the 16.2 million AAPIs in this country, who are an important part of this democracy and health care reform. Many face barriers to quality health care, such as the high cost of health care, racial and ethnic health disparities, cultural isolation, and language barriers, to name a few.

It appears Graham is standing by the analogy.

"Based upon what we're hearing from House Democrats about how they plan to pass health care without ever voting on it, it appears they're hitting the moonshine, too," spokesman Kevin Bishop told Roll Call. "Sen. Graham's basic point is what House Democrats are doing makes no sense to a sober person."