If Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was actually a man of his word — if he wasn’t a Republican politician, in other words — then he would consider the plethora of investigations that Democrats in the House of Representatives have launched into the president and the many other easily identified targets within the Trump administration as fair game.
After all, he’s a leading member of a party that never encountered an aspect of Hillary Clinton’s life that they didn’t feel was worthy of spending many years and millions of taxpayer dollars fruitlessly investigating.
Graham was also the one who channeled Miley Cyrus during the 2016 election campaign by calling Trump “a wrecking ball” who was destroying the Republican party’s chances of ever attracting votes from Latinx-Americans with his immigration policies.
Of course, that was before Graham had the political epiphany that led him to become a born-again Trump buttock-smoocher. Now, the Democrats in the House are the targets of Graham’s demolition-themed proclamations as the senator relayed the heartbreaking emotional toll that those mean Democratic committee chairpeople were causing for Trump with their voluminous document requests.
“He believes they are taking a wrecking ball to his life. Clinton said that about us. They’re going nuts,” Graham said. “‘It seems like nobody wants to solve any problems.’ He said that a couple times. He said he’s surprised. He thought it would be in everybody’s interest [to do] infrastructure and stuff like that.”
The wrecking ball descriptor seems to be a favorite of the South Carolina senator who has also used the term to describe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the aftermath of the murder of his critic journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Graham revealed what is perhaps the primary motivation for his reversal in his attitude toward President Trump with a warning to fellow Republican Senators who are considering opposing the president’s national emergency declaration in a bill recently passed by the House.
He forwarded a message from the president to GOP senators considering voting to condemn Trump’s executive overreach and the subversion of congressional financial authority inherent in his use of an emergency declaration to evade the will of the legislators to fund his useless border wall.
“He says he thinks Republicans are playing with fire here because most Republicans, anyway, most people I hope, will see that the border is in a state of crisis,” Graham said, adding that Trump believes GOP senators that defy him are likely to face a political backlash. “That’s his observation, but he’s not out there calling people out or anything.”
The fear of political retribution from the vindictive president — who most certainly is “out there calling people out” if Senator Graham says he isn’t — demonstrates how Graham reached his sudden 180º turn in his regard to his attitude towards Trump.
Which leads us to another colorful idiom that the Senator should consider adding to his repertoire of linguistic descriptions of self-destructive political behavior: “chicken-shit.” Graham will certainly have multiple opportunities to utilize this word as the Trump administration continues to try to bully its way to get what it wants rather than embracing the principles of representative democracy.
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Original reporting by Burgess Everett at Politico.