Lindsey Graham has spent almost a quarter century on Capitol Hill–four terms in the House, three terms in the Senate. In that time, particularly after switching chambers, he’s tried to portray himself as a guy who can vote conservative most of the time without sounding like a total idjit. But with just a few tweets on Monday, Graham managed to leave that image in tatters.
Many of us rolled our eyes in disgust on Sunday, when Graham told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that nothing on the record so far is enough to make him vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. He indicated that he is willing to listen to the story of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them while they were both in high school three decades ago. However, Graham gave a pretty loud hint that his mind is largely made up.
Um, Lindsey? You know that Blasey Ford wants an FBI investigation into this affair. You’re a lawyer, and a former JAG. Wouldn’t you think that a woman who actually wants an investigation into such serious accusations isn’t out to “ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this”?
It may have seemed that Graham’s priorities were several miles out of whack. However, he at least seemed to be willing to change his mind if “something more” came to light, so you had to give him a little credit–albeit, not much.
But Graham put any question of where he stood to rest on Monday morning.
Graham once called Donald Trump a “kook” who was manifestly “unfit for office.” But this tweetstorm would have done Trump proud. Especially the second, in which Graham wailed about “the total collapse of the traditional confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee.”
With all due respect, Lindsey, you have a very short memory. After all, just two years ago, you and the other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to even give Merrick Garland the courtesy of a hearing when then-President Obama nominated him for Antonin Scalia’s old seat. You went out of your way to praise Garland when you met with him, and yet you didn’t have the guts to tell Chuck Grassley and your other Republican buddies to at least give him a fair shot.
By any reasonable standard, refusing to even grant a Supreme Court nominee a hearing for no reason other than pure politics amounts to a “total collapse of the confirmation process.” And now you want us to believe that insisting on a credible investigation of very serious charges raised by an accuser who actually wants a third-party investigation amounts to a “total collapse.” Come off it, Lindsey. All you’re doing is beclowning yourself.
No doubt Graham is worried about guarding his right flank in the event he runs for a fourth term in 2020. Admittedly, the thought of saying “Senator Joe Wilson,” “Senator Jeff Duncan,” or “Senator Trey Gowdy”–to name a few possible challengers in a 2020 Republican primary–is not very palatable. But even if you allow for that, this bit of alternative facting is downright embarrassing. If it hasn’t happened already, there’s no doubt now–Lindsey the Maverick is officially dead.
This should serve as a wake-up call to South Carolina’s Democrats. Granted, any challenger is going to face a pretty steep climb. South Carolina isn’t quite as red as it once was, but it’s still undeniably red.
But after this, it would be gross malpractice if someone didn’t step up to at least keep Graham tied down in 2020. Two of my driends in South Carolina tell me that Graham is going to have a challenger. But if the Democrats are going to put up someone who is going to have enough in the tank to make things interesting, they’d better be about it.
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