Not that most politicians ever have a backbone about anything, but the complete and utter collapse of Lindsey Graham has been a disturbing and almost Greek Tragedy-level event unfolding before our eyes these past four years.
The dude was one of the most prominent politicians in Washington, a moderate in his party who advocated for the progress of the United States from a conservative standpoint. Along with John McCain and Joe Lieberman, he was one of the primary voices of compromise and accomplishment throughout the 00s and early 10s–for better or worse.
Many viewed Graham as one of the symbols of the D.C. swamp of centrism and incrementalism, and his war hawk stances put him off many. I never particularly liked his policies, myself. But for everything, he had a self-aware charm about him that made him really interesting to follow.
The dude was one sassy son of a bitch. On the campaign trail in 2016, a race he only entered so he could influence the other candidates to be tougher on Syria and Russia, he had constant zingers, an unstoppable level of snark, and was aware from the start that he had no chance of ever going anywhere beyond that. It was really fun to follow him, even if his policies weren’t what I liked.
In fact, the stories my friend Kenny and I wrote for Home Clipart Animal Deer about the 2016 election prominently featured Lindsey Graham as a side character; he was sort of our mascot, getting far more stories than his 1-2% polling support deserved.
Graham was one of the extremely few people on the debate stages who would ever advocate for the Republican Party moving away from social conservativism and building a more diverse coalition. Along with Jeb Bush, George Pataki, and sometimes Chris Christie, it seemed like there was a good balancing factor between mainstream Republicans and the far-right demagogues and evangelical theocracy types.
And then the far-right demagouges and evangelical theocracy types actually won.
John McCain, Lindsey Graham’s closest friend, did not relent. Neither voted for Trump in the 2016 election, casting their votes for write-in candidates, but only McCain refused to tow the Trumpian line like a poliitcal coward. Graham instead became the exact sort of far-right demagouge he campaigned to fight against just a year earlier.
I’m not here to extol the virtues of politicians I don’t even support, but it was a big deal when John McCain passed away, and then Lindsey Graham basically said nothing special about it.
I thought for a while that Graham was so bent up, so upset about one of his closest friends had died, that he was going off the deep end. Turns out that he’s just a complete prick who has become a Trump supporter because he wants to win reelection in 2020 and has absolutely no backbone. He’ll defame the name of McCain just to score points with the President. It’s absolutely insane.
He’s reversed himself on socially conservative issues. He’s softened his stance on military issues. He’s stopped bringing up solving the climate crisis, and has vigorously defended the President on impeachment. He’s become a completely different person, to the point that even the media has written extensively about it. Even HILLARY CLINTON has talked about it.
My strange sense of respect for Lindsey Graham was unfounded and stupid. This man is a sycophant with not a single moral backbone, not a single backbone to begin with. He is the image in the encylopedia entry for political corruption, and I think I dislike him even more than the President.