EVEN LINDSEY GRAHAM DOESN’T DESERVE THIS…. I’m not generally in the habit of defending Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), but some of the abuse he’s been receiving from the right is ridiculous.

Over the weekend, an even-crazier-than-usual Tea Party event was held in Greenville, South Carolina, and it was, by one account, “probably the craziest, most violence-strewn Tea Party event so far.”

Put it this way: former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) was the keynote speaker, and he called on Americans to send President Obama “back” to Kenya. He was preceded by a Baptist preacher who said he’s prepared to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what [the military] trained me to do.”

But it was William Gheen, the head of a right-wing, anti-immigrant effort called Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, whose remarks were especially ugly. Lindsey Graham wasn’t on hand for the event, but Gheen addressed the senator directly: “I’m a tolerant person. I don’t care about your private life, Lindsey, but as our U.S. Senator I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen, and I need to make sure you being gay isn’t it.”

Today, Gheen’s outfit doubled down.

The national border security organization known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) is officially calling for US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security…

“US Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington DC know that, the general public and Graham’s constituents do not,” said William Gheen President of ALIPAC. “I personally do not care about Graham’s private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.”

The “manipulated” line is especially inane — as the group sees it, if Graham is trying to work constructively with Democrats on a handful of issues, it may be because Dems are blackmailing him.

For the record, I neither know nor care about Graham’s private life. His sexual orientation is irrelevant — and the attacks are pathetic in either case.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.