The ongoing debasement of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) under the Trump administration has been one of the most pathetic sagas of the past three years.
Once a harsh critic of Trump who in 2016 referred to the then-candidate as a “nutjob” and “loser,” Graham has transformed himself into one of his most obsequious lapdogs, contorting himself in bone-breaking fashion this way and that to praise whatever the president says and does even if it flies in the face of Graham’s past stated beliefs.
It’s a story of cynical opportunism that reveals there were never any real principles at the heart of the senator’s political outlook. Graham desires to remain relevant and wield power and in order to do that he is willing to cosign the worst degradations of the worst president in American history.
Comfortable inside his new MAGA persona, Graham has refused to condemn Trump for his Ukraine scandal, dispelling the myth that he ever truly cared about national security. Graham staunchly opposes impeachment despite the overwhelming evidence that Trump grossly abused his presidential powers to undermine Joe Biden’s 2020 chances. Today, his clownish efforts to shill for the president reached an absurd new low.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), one of the impeachment managers, played an old clip of Graham from the Bill Clinton impeachment. In it, Graham argued that presidents can be impeached for misdeeds beyond just violations of established law. He argued that “High Crimes” don’t even have to be technically crimes and that abusing the office of the president to “hurt” people is enough reason to remove a sitting president. This generally reasonable contention offers a sharp contrast to his full-throated defense of Trump and shows that his opinions on impeachment are completely tacked to partisanship and depend on who is currently occupying the Oval Office.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 23, 2020
Apparently, being subjected to his own hypocrisy was too much for the senator from South Carolina, as he got up and walked out of the impeachment chamber right before Nadler played the clip. After he fled, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) patted his empty chair.
So, not only is Graham a cynical hack, he’s also a coward.
Lindsey Graham walked out of the chamber moments before Nadler played a clip of him just now
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 23, 2020
Scene inside the Senate chamber as Dems played that clip of Graham from the Clinton impeachment…
– some astonished looks from Ds: Schatz shook his head and looked around at neighbors
– Graham wasn't even in the chamber. Barrasso, his neighbor, patted his empty chair
— Sam Brodey (@sambrodey) January 23, 2020
Oh, and unfortunately for Graham, he won’t find much refuge in his office…
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 23, 2020