Conservative columnist George Will wrote a scathing condemnation of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) this week slamming him for being President Donald Trump’s lackey after spending months criticizing Trump for endangering the nation.
Graham has frequently flip-flopped over the last year to side with Trump on the issues, becoming ever more hostile towards Democrats, our institutions and the rule of law. In fact, just about the only reason Graham has criticized Trump recently is because of his decision to withdraw troops from Syria and falsely declare ISIS defeated.
Beyond that, Graham has sided with Trump on his wall demands despite once opposing it, has viciously supported Trump judicial nominations no matter how bad they are, and has called for Trump to declare a national emergency even though no emergency exists.
“Back in the day, small rural airports had textile windsocks, simple and empty things that indicated which way the wind was blowing,” Will wrote for the Washington Post. “The ubiquitous Sen. Lindsey O. Graham has become a political windsock, and as such, he — more than the sturdy, substantial elephant — is emblematic of his party today.”
“In 2015, he said Donald Trump was a ‘jackass,’” Will continued. “In February 2016, he said: ‘I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump, because I don’t think there’s a whole lot of space there. I think he’s a kook, I think he’s crazy, I think he’s unfit for office.’ Today, Graham, paladin of conservatism and scourge of opportunism, says building the border wall is an existential matter for the GOP: ‘If we undercut the president, that’s the end of his presidency and the end of our party.’ Well.”
He then ripped Graham for urging Trump to seize power through declaring an imaginary national emergency, a move that would throw the nation in turmoil.
“Stay focused on this: Anyone — in Graham-speak, ANYONE — who at any time favors declaring an emergency, or who does not denounce the mere suggestion thereof, thereby abandons constitutional government,” Will wrote before taking Graham to the woodshed.
“Why do they come to Congress, these people such as Graham? These people who, affirmatively or by their complicity of silence, trifle with our constitutional architecture, and exhort the president to eclipse the legislative branch, to which they have no loyalty comparable to their party allegiance? Seven times, Graham has taken the oath of congressional office, ‘solemnly’ swearing to ‘support and defend the Constitution’ and to ‘bear true faith and allegiance’ to it, ‘without any mental reservation.’ Graham, who is just 1 percent of one-half of one of the three branches of one of the nation’s many governments, is, however, significant as a symptom.”
Indeed, Congress is supposed to be an equal branch of government that provides a check on presidential power, but Graham is actively cheering for Trump to overthrow the Constitution. If he were to declare a national emergency, Trump could seize control of the media, put an end to any and all investigations against him and his associates, declare martial law, arrest his political opponents and critics and go around Congress and act like a dictator. That’s what Graham wants. And Will is not impressed.
“When the Trump presidency is just a fragrant memory, the political landscape will still be cluttered with some of this president’s simple and empty epigones, the make-believe legislators who did not loudly and articulately recoil from the mere suggestion of using a declared emergency to set aside the separation of powers,” Will concluded.
This is why it’s not enough to oust Trump in 2020, Americans must oust Republicans like Graham who enables Trump’s worst inclinations. And that’s if we still have the right to vote in 2020 since calling a national emergency would also give Trump the power to cancel elections. Perhaps that’s why he so desperately wants Trump to do it. Because as Will said, Graham knows which way the wind is blowing.
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