Graham to any Republican who discounts Russian actions: “You are a political hack.”

Some excerpts from Lindsey Graham’s appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday:

All I’m asking [President-elect Trump] is to acknowledge that Russia interfered [in our election] and push back. It could be Iran next time, it could be China. It was Democrats today, it could be Republicans in the next election….

Our lives are built around the idea that we’re free people, that we go to the ballot box, that we have political contests outside of foreign interference. You can’t go on with your life as a democracy when a foreign entity is trying to compromise the election process. So Mr. President-elect, it is very important that you show leadership here….

We should all – Republicans and Democrats – condemn Russia for what they did. To my Republican friends who are gleeful: you’re making a huge mistake. When WikiLeaks released information during the Bush years about the Iraq War that was embarrassing to the administration, that put our troops at risk, most Democrats condemned it, some celebrated it. Most Republicans are condemning what Russia did, and to those who are gleeful about it, you’re a political hack. You’re not a Republican, you’re not a patriot. If this is not about us, then I’ll never know what will be about us. Because when one party is compromised, all of us are compromised….


25 thoughts on “Graham to any Republican who discounts Russian actions: “You are a political hack.”

  1. Claus

    Yeah, Graham is pretty brave in front of a camera. I’d be happier if we’d dig up ol’ Strom and put him in Washington over Lindsey “RINO” Graham. How is it that of all the Senators, if one is being interviewed odds are it’ll like be Graham’s mug on camera?

  2. Phillip

    A fairly minor point, but the WikiLeaks release of the documents on the Iraq War, the “Iraq War Logs,” to which Graham seems to be referring, actually took place in October of 2010, not “during the Bush years” as Graham stated.

  3. bud

    Graham’s view of the Republican party is dated. A REAL Republican is pretty much reflected by Trump and the “Freedom” caucus. The days of the reasonable Republican are pretty much gone. Graham and McCain represent a losing rear guard action against an insurgent ultra right wing, reactionary party. Ayn Rand would be quite at home in this version of the GOP with all the worship of money as the one, true god. Throw in a contempt for government and, as will soon become very apparent, the average working man and woman and the derangement of the party of Lincoln is complete.

    1. Bart

      Sorry to disagree bud but the Trump supporters are not REAL Republicans. REAL Republicans won’t go along with what has happened and is happening under the Republican banner, not for one second. What you are witnessing is a morphing of ideology and mistakenly the “morphers” believe they represent the REAL Republicans when in reality, they are the RINOs. However, with the frightening fact that Donald Trump ran under the Republican banner and as such, the media, Democrats, and liberals have chosen along with some former REAL Republicans to accept this man and the recent turn in the REAL Republican ideology, once the paint brush has been applied, it is difficult for REAL Republicans to identify with the actual RINOs.

      But as with everything under the sun, sooner or later, what once was is no longer what it was and this applies to the Republicans and Democrats alike. I truly fear for the future once Trump is sworn in and the real Trump comes out from behind the curtain. The disappointment will be felt like an earthquake registering a 10 on the Richter Scale.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Yeah, Bart, I keep trying to tell Bud this very thing…

        As I’ve said before, I’d pretty much be happy with both parties if they were as they were in about 1960. Or maybe 1965. After that, they started going off the rails. It happened to the Republicans as all the racist elements of the Democratic Party peeled off over the Civil Rights Act. With the Democrats, it was Vietnam and Roe v. Wade….

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Then later, of course, there was the rise within the GOP of an antisocial strain of libertarianism.

          But that, too, was related to race. A certain kind of Republican started to think of government as something that existed to take hard-earned money from thrifty, worthy white people and give it to the shiftless dregs of other races…

      2. Bill

        Yeah, there are a lot of Reps out there who refuse to take ownership for Trump and his supporters. But I’m sorry, they’re yours and nobody else’s. There are multiple strains in both main political parties and Trumpism is a one of the big ones in today’s GOP. When a party spends a couple of decades preaching the kind of anti-government/anti-politician/private-sector-knows-best sermon the GOP has, what you get is an anti-politician like Trump.

        Both parties are still pretty big tents. But the tent poles have shifted over the last quarter century – with the GOP’s center pole shifting much more to the right than the Dem’s has to the left. (Just take McCain, for example: he USED to be on the right-wing of the party – until the bulk of his party shifted further right.) On the whole, the Democratic Party is now the only centrist party there is left.

    2. Bryan Caskey

      Yet somehow the Democratic party is the one that imploded in the last eight years, losing statehouses, governorships, both majorities in the House and Senate, and now the Executive branch. Meanwhile, Graham and the GOP are still there, rolling along.

      You know, if W hadn’t kept his head down after his eight years killed the GOP’s power, I’d be sort of annoyed at him. I don’t really see that with the Democrats and Obama. I just can’t see Obama fading away and keeping a low profile.

      1. bud

        The Democrats do an extremely poor job of marketing. And they’re not ruthless. Democrats believe in certain traditions and decorum. The Republicans care about none of that. They have somehow convinced thousands of working class people that a billionaire that doesn’t pay his taxes is their financial savior.

        I suspect that the rise of the current version of the GOP, in all its plutocrat glory, had it’s origins in the fall of the televangelists about 30 years ago. Brother Limbaugh and his wannabes filled that void and attracted a gullible following who found it comforting to believe a black man could only become president if he was somehow a disciple of the devil. Hence the birther movement lingered on for years. This ultimately paved the way for the rise of Trump and the “Freedom” caucus and their takeover of the once reasonable Republican party. Make no mistake the current version of the GOP replete with stonewalling on judicial picks and government shutdowns is the new norm for this party. We’ll soon see efforts to repeal Medicare and Social Security. For the foreseeable future we’re unlikely to see folks like Mitt Romney, George H.W. Bush or heaven forbid Jacob Javits or Nelson Rockefeller with any real voice in the GOP. Instead we’ll continue to gravitate further and further to the right until we reach a point where even Mitch McConnell is viewed as a liberal among the new mainstream Republicans. Democrats will long for the day of his “statesmanship”.

        Thus we come to the Russian hacking. It’s noble on some level that Graham and McCain are attempting to bring a teeny measure of reason back to their party. Sadly that ship has sailed. The GOP is lock stock and barrel the party of Trump now with little chance of a significant number of Republicans behaving as patriots rather than partisans. It’s not in their political interest to do so. And the future of the nation is very dark. Heaven help us.

        1. Lynn Teague

          McConnell has shown blatant disregard for our political norms, a willingness to apply radically different standards to Democratic and Republican administrations with respect to ethics filings by nominees, the Supreme Court, and virtually everything else. To put it gently, this is not in the best interest of the republic. I don’t expect that any amount of distance will leave him a statesman in our memories.

        2. Bryan Caskey

          “The Democrats do an extremely poor job of marketing.”

          Why is that? Is it all the celebrity endorsements? Is their failure to have media give them coverage? Is it their failure to have almost all of academia supporting them? Why do Democrats fail at “marketing”? Why are their super-awesome ideas flops? I guess we’re all too stupid to know what’s good for us, right?

          “And they’re not ruthless. Democrats believe in certain traditions and decorum.”

          Oh please…

          Who passed the ACA with reconciliation to get around the tradition of the filibuster?
          Who triggered the nuclear option, overturning decades of precedent to allow POTUS to put people on the federal bench. Reid said he didn’t fear any retaliation.
          Who pushed the whole “faithless elector” thing?
          Which party ran the ad of Paul Ryan analog literally pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff?
          Which party staged a bird-brained sit-in of the House of Representatives?

          Now…don’t argue that these things needed to happen anyway, or that they were good because the ends justified the means. That’s irrelevant to the argument of “Democrats believe in certain traditions and decorum”.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        “Yet somehow the Democratic party is the one that imploded in the last eight years, losing statehouses, governorships, both majorities in the House and Senate…”

        Well, now, a great deal of that was a matter of Republican success in commandeering the reapportionment process. In South Carolina, that started after the 1990 census. The GOP minority managed to persuade the Black Caucus to go along with them against Bob Sheheen and the other white Democrats. The promise was that they’d get more majority black districts.

        And you know what happens when you create a super-black district? That’s right — you create several artificially white districts around it. So basically, in the aggregate, you get a few districts that are safe for black Democrats, and a LOT of districts that are safe for white Republicans.

        Consequently, the GOP took over the House in 1994, and the Senate a few years later.

        Republicans have used that play across the country since then.

        No, that doesn’t explain it all, but it does explain a good bit of it…

        1. Bryan Caskey

          “No, that doesn’t explain it all, but it does explain a good bit of it…”

          Objection. You’re going back too far to facts that are already in evidence. I’m talking about from January 2009 to January 2017. You know, the period of time over which Obama presided over the destruction of the Democratic party.

          Following the 2008 Senate elections, the Senate was 58/41, with the Democratic Party holding the majority. Arlen Specter defected and Franken won his recount, getting the Democrats to a supermajority of 60.

          In January 2009 the House was 255/178 Democratic Party. Pelosi was speaker. This was the Congress that passed everything Obama wanted, including the ACA with zero GOP votes, and using the reconciliation process in the Senate to avoid the filibuster after Scott Brown was elected in MA in the platform of opposing the ACA. Remember all that? Good times.

          In the 2010 midterms, the GOP took control of the House. Gee, I wonder why that might have happened. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

          In 2014 the GOP took the Senate. (Can’t blame districts on that one.)

          In 2016, Hillary lost to Trump.

          Looking at the Governor’s houses, in 2007 the Democratic party had 28 and the GOP had 22. Now, the Democratic party has 16, while the GOP has 33, with Alaska being independent. (Can’t blame districts on that one, either.)

          1. Doug Ross

            Stop using facts, Bryan. It ruins the narrative. If I ever need a good laugh, I will go back on this blog and re-read some of the comments from January to November about how the Republican party was finished, in disarray, doomed.

            You also left out the fact that Trump will likely shift the balance of the Supreme Court during his tenure. That’s UUUUUGE.

            What I’ve noticed is that the Republican Party is far more organized. They appear ready to go with all sorts of legislation on day one after Trump is inaugurated. They have structured the cabinet confirmation hearings to make it unlikely a single hearing will be able to dominate the news. I think the difference is that (like it or not) because the Republicans represent a very narrow demographic with a smaller set of core principles, it is easier for them to focus on tasks and objectives. Democrats, on the other hand, represent a collection of all sorts of “groups” who have to somehow be herded into a coalition — makes it much harder to prioritize goals when you’re trying to appease various ethnicities, gender / sexual orientation groups, economic classes, single issue factions (environment, guns, healthcare, welfare, immigration, abortion, minimum wage). The Democrats are a rudderless ship being rowed in 10 different directions. Obama hasn’t done a good job of providing disciplined leadership at the top and now there isn’t ANYBODY available to fill the void at the top. NOBODY.

            1. bud

              The GOP also represents “groups” th KKK, the NRA, big oil, big pharma, skinheads, neo nazis, billionaires, the military industrial complex, global warming deniers, fake news groups, the golden parachute crowd, creation “science” zealots, Russia, Ayn Rand disciples, and above all the vast right wing media machine. A coalition made in hell. But a very, very effective one.

              1. Bryan Caskey

                Yeah, but we’re all much better at manning the ship, being old shipmates together on long voyages.

                We have the NRA folks man the great guns, as they excel at running them in and out three times for every of enemy’s two. The golden parachute crowd works in the tops, and they never have any injuries if they suddenly lose hold of a line or sheet and fall. We keep the KKK and the Neo Nazis mostly in charge of holystoning and swabbing the decks. Nazis are very good about tidiness. We let the creation zealots rig for church on Sundays. Naturally this occurs after the military industrial complex reads the Articles of War.

                The rest of the groups are interspersed throughout the ship.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Trouble is, the Klansmen will never make seamen. They’ll never learn to pull on the right rope with a bosun’s mate standing over them, much less hand, reef and steer…

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    Yes, they’re the worst of the lot. Their robes and hoods impede them in almost every duty. Mostly, they’re good for lining up along the weather-rail to stiffen the ship.

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Also, I’m not sure you realize what an unhappy ship you have. I think you must never have spent any time before the mast, if you think this is a unified crew. Don’t you hear the shot-rolling at night?

                  Sure, you have some fine seamen who’ve served with you in past commissions, and you can rely on them. But then you had to take on all those malcontents from the mutinous HMS Tea Party. Then there were all those lunatics the port admiral foisted on you back in Gibraltar. And finally you’ve got trouble-making sea lawyers like that fo’c’s’leman Ted Cruz, stirring up discontent…

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Oh, and I don’t mean to cast aspersions, but the presence of the gunner’s wife, Melania, isn’t doing anything to keep the ship harmonious. You should keep a eye on that Jonah, Hollom…

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