When Trump and 18 others were indicted in Atlanta, I immediately wondered, “Where’s Lindsey Graham’s name?”
After all, remember all that fuss about him being subpoenaed to testify over there, and before that, his calls to Brad Raffensberger? I mean, after Trump himself, I sort of expected him to be the next guy on prosecutors’ list. Or maybe third, after Rudy.
ATLANTA — An Atlanta-area special grand jury that spent months investigating alleged 2020 election interference in Georgia by Donald Trump and his allies agreed that the former president should be indicted in the case and also recommended charging one of Trump’s closest associates, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), and 37 other people — a far larger group than a prosecutor ultimately charged.
The recommendations were contained in a 26-pagefinal report presented in January to Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) and made public by a judge Friday….
The document offered some rare insight into parts of an investigation typically marked by secrecy — not just on those who were indicted but also those who weren’t. But the report, which is not legally binding, does not include the evidence or reasoning behind the grand jury’s thinking, though testimony transcripts and evidence are likely to emerge as part of the criminal proceedings against those who were ultimately charged in the case….
I wonder why they didn’t press charges against Lindsey…
After I posted last night about the debt limit deal, the Senate did as I had hoped and passed it. So that’s done.
No thanks to Lindsey Graham or Tim Scott, who were among the 36 — all but five of them Republican — who voted instead for the United States to default on its debt, plunging the U.S. and world economies into turmoil.
Graham, for his part, offered an excuse that gave us a glimpse of his old self, the senator we knew before he lost his mind in 2016 — he said it was about national security. But that doesn’t wash. I’ve seen nothing on his vote since it happened, but hours before, he made a speech:
Graham made an impassioned speech Thursday on the Senate floor, saying small increases in fiscal year defense spending are not part of a “threat-based budget” but one that lacks safety and security for Americans. He later said that a supplemental defense budget for Ukraine and other spending must be agreed upon swiftly by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to make up for the House GOP’s below-inflation 3 percent military increase….
None of the amendments were adopted. But in an effort to alleviate concerns from defense hawks that the debt ceiling bill would restrict Pentagon spending too much, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a joint statement saying the “debt ceiling deal does nothing to limit the Senate’s ability to appropriate emergency supplemental funds to ensure our military capabilities are sufficient to deter China, Russia, and our other adversaries.”…
As for Tim Scott — I’ve found nothing about why he voted the way he did. Maybe I’ve looked in the wrong places, but I found nothing on his website, on social media or in any news reports. Which reminds us of why it’s weird that he’s running for president. He’s not a guy who tends to be out front on anything, making his views known in developing situations. He’s not making an effort to tell us, and if he said something on the floor of the Senate, no one covered it.
He’s just this nice guy who’s happy to be a U.S. senator — his bio line on Twitter says “Just a South Carolinian living his mama’s American Dream” — and who doesn’t get swept up in what’s actually happening. Look at that Twitter feed, by the way. There’s nothing there — at least, anywhere near the top — posted in real time in response to anything that was happening, or anything he was doing. It’s just a bunch of prewritten campaign stuff, going on about how awful Joe Biden is.
You know, the Joe Biden who threw his all into working with McCarthy to keep the nation from defaulting for the first time in history.
And then, Graham and Scott basically said Nah, let’s go ahead and crash into the mountain…
In September 2009, I attended a town hall meeting in the gymnasium of Francis Marion University featuring Lindsey Graham. It was about six weeks after the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Graham was the only Republican senator on the Judiciary Committee to vote for her and one of nine Republicans to vote in favor in the full Senate. When he took questions from the audience, an older man sitting behind me in the bleachers stood and grimly asked, “Why did you vote for that judge,” and here he paused to derisively enunciate each syllable, “SOH-TOH-MAAY-ORR”
Rather than try to placate his disappointed supporter, Graham forcefully rebutted him. “Elections have consequences,” he shot back. “If you don’t want liberal judges on the court, then elect a Republican president. I don’t agree with Justice Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, but my job as a senator is to determine whether she is qualified. She is qualified, so I voted for her.”
Of the many conversations I have heard and participated in with my elected representatives, this exchange stands out as one of the best. Graham had a chance to dodge or pander; instead he was truthful and forthright.
Back then Graham was keeping company with another maverick senator, John McCain, and although they are both more conservative than I, I admired their respect for their office and their roles as guardians of our democracy.
I was also heartened by Graham’s eviscerations of Donald Trump during his short-lived presidential campaign in 2015. Back when he was speaking his mind he said things like, “You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell,” and “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.” He also tweeted “I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.” That statement strikes me as remarkable for two reasons. First, for its eerie prescience in light of the January 6th attack. Second, for Graham’s complete abandonment of his own good advice: after Trump’s election, he became one of the president’s closest allies.
Many commentators have rightly criticized Graham for his lack of integrity. But, if you agree with the premise that we get the leaders we deserve, then Graham is not the only one at fault. Elections, as Graham once frequently reminded us, do have consequences. We could have elected Graham as president. A Graham-Clinton match-up in 2016 would have been an interesting and difficult choice for me. But our enthusiasms and our votes buoyed other candidates in the 2016 Republican primary. Graham never polled above 1% and dropped out in December 2015. I saw most of the remaining front-runners as they came through Florence in early 2016 including Kasich, Carson, Rubio, Cruz and Trump. Trump’s crowd almost filled Florence Center, holding as many supporters as all his rivals combined and more.
Graham got the message: he could no longer speak his mind about Trump and remain a senator. The Republican Party had moved far enough from him, especially from his conciliatory and bipartisan approach on immigration, that he risked a successful challenge by a conservative Trump supporter in the 2020 primary if he didn’t move with the party.
If you are a Democrat, you should take this as a lesson. In 2016, Democrats flirted with an extremely progressive candidate in Bernie Sanders, a man who described himself as a democratic socialist. The farther to the edge your standard bearers are, the harder it is for idiosyncratic politicians like Graham to remain true to themselves.
Do we want our parties to be cults of personality in which the thing that trumps (ironic that that’s the right word here) all is one’s allegiance to the party leader? How have we come to the place that acquiescing to Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 election is the current Republican litmus test?
The wholesale transformation of the Republican party is summed up in Graham’s suppression of his better instincts by voting against the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson. It’s worth noting that just last year, Graham voted to confirm Jackson as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit. That was an under-the-radar vote that he knew few of his base would notice. But with the voters watching, he renounced the principle that had guided him for more than two decades and voted against her.
If you are a Republican, understand how I offer this assessment. My hope is for both parties to be strong. My desire is that Republicans will right the ship and recognize their mistake in supporting a president who is actively threatening the fabric of our democracy (which, I fear, is more delicate than I learned in school).
Our country is more secure and more likely to thrive when the two parties allow representatives to vote their consciences. Demanding ideological purity creates parties for which compromise is impossible and intransigence is perversely celebrated. Since absolute victory is rare in policy debates, stymieing the opposition has become the accepted substitute for legislating. Democrats are not immune. Both parties have succumbed to such a rigid dichotomy on the issue of abortion that pro-life Democrats and pro-choice Republicans, once fairly common in Congress, are virtually extinct.
We cannot be party robots. Our future lies with men and women like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney who put country over party. The Graham of old demonstrated similar laudable conviction. His recent choice to elevate his party over country has indelibly stained his legacy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Something about this made me think of this old clip, from May 15, 2007. It’s John McCain at an event in the Vista, calling Lindsey “that little jerk,” which was the way he frequently referred to friends and allies. But it’s the question that made me think of it: Where, indeed, is that little jerk? What happened to him?
So many people were better people before 2016. Lindsey Graham is one of our country’s more dramatic and tragic examples.
Especially with regard to judicial confirmations. Before Donald Trump and his supports assumed total control of the Republican Party, our senior senator was one of the few senators of either party who could be relied upon to support qualified candidates nominated by presidents of the opposite party.
Although he let his country down, bigtime, in failing to fight his leadership over Merrick Garland, the fact is that he stood out among senators in supporting the Democratic nominees he did support.
For years — including before Trumpism — Graham has walked a tightrope as a Republican from South Carolina. He took brave stands on court nominations and immigration, while at the same time trying to signal that he could be as big a yahoo as anybody. Sometimes, the attacks on “Grahamnesty” caused him to back down, but he was known for the times he stood his ground as one of the Gang of 14.
That fell apart when he decided that his political path forward involved developing a national reputation as Trump’s best buddy and most loyal toady. But he would still occasionally take a stand against the insanity, such as when Trump betrayed our allies in Syria.
So when he did something like trying to be the biggest, loudest clown in the room in giving Ketanji Brown Jackson a hard time during the recent hearings, I would wonder how much of it was just an act to give himself cover before quietly acting like Lindsey Graham and voting for her — since there was no legitimate reason not to.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that he will oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, marking the first time the GOP senator will vote against a nominee for the high court since joining the Senate.
“I will oppose her and I will vote no,” Graham said from the Senate floor.
So the madness that has gripped our country just took another step deeper into the abyss…
This may be a stupid question (actually, I know it’s a stupid question), but why is Lindsey Graham questioning the Supreme Court nominee AGAIN, just now? I just grabbed the less-than-ideal image above from the live feed on The Washington Post site.
I’ve done my best to ignore these hearings for quite a few years, because I find them to be such torture (I don’t think I’ve followed one closely since Clarence Thomas). That’s the only excuse I have for not understanding how they work.
But I’m aware that Lindsey had some time with her Monday. And again on Tuesday. I mean, near as I could tell from the info that slipped through as I was trying to ignore it. So… why is he on again?
These hearings do so little that is of any value, and do so much harm to our country — both in terms of fueling destructive partisanship and undermining confidence in our courts — that it really, truly seems they should be streamlined. Each member gets some time with the nominee (and they’ve each met with her privately before the hearings, right? what is this but a show for strutting before the base?), and we’re done. One day, tops.
You’ll say, that will never happen. But I know of one way to change that. Bar TV cameras from the hearing room. That would guarantee that the hearings would resume to simply conducting business, as required by the Constitution.
But of course, that will never happen either, will it?
Probably one of the funniest — certainly stupidest — things I saw during the Trump years. And as we all know, there was a lot of competition.
Speaking of competition, though, Lindsey Graham has made a brave effort to conjure an image every bit as dumb and ludicrous:
Here, for instance, is Senator Lindsey Graham speaking, this past Sunday, on Fox News: “I own an AR-15. If there’s a natural disaster in South Carolina where the cops can’t protect my neighborhood, my house will be the last one that the gang will come to, because I can defend myself.”
A source sends this video of a group of Trump supporters today harassing Sen. Lindsey Graham at Reagan airport and loudly calling him a “traitor” after he publicly broke with Trump earlier this week. pic.twitter.com/XBF8K6DIUD
Just got this text from Lindsey Graham’s campaign on my phone a few minutes ago.
I look forward to the day when he realizes that the support of those of us here on the blog — and millions of others who are just as disgusted by him for taking pride in attaching himself to Donald J. Trump — was what really mattered all along.
I was sure that, in his extravagant demonstrations of sycophancy toward You-Know-Who, our senior senator had thoroughly plumbed the depths.
Lindsey Graham, I thought, could sink no lower.
Well, I was certainly wrong. He said this in response to Trump’s assertion that he was being subjected to a “lynching”:
“I think it’s pretty well accurate—this is a shame, this is a joke,” Graham told a gaggle of reporters on Monday morning. “This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.”
Later, he added that it was “literally a political lynching.” Yes, “literally.”
There’s a hierarchy, or perhaps I should say, a “lowerarchy,” to these lynching comments.
To begin with, on the most basic level, unless you’re talking about a mob taking a person out and murdering him, without any sort of legal due process, then you are engaging in gross hyperbole, and it is objectionable.
This applies to when Joe Biden said it back in day — specifically, back in the day when Lindsey Graham was all for impeachment, and saw it as his constitutional duty to pursue that course. He said the Clinton impeachment could be seen by some as a “political lynching.” Specifically, he said in 1998:
Even if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense.
He shouldn’t have said that. That metaphor was completely wrong to use. It was, as I said, gross hyperbole, and Biden was right to apologize for it, or as the BBC reported, apologise for it.
That was bad. Of course, what Trump did was considerably worse, a fact that all the Republicans who so gleefully cited the old Biden quote last night conveniently ignored.
Here’s his Tweet on the subject:
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!
In case the reasons why it was worse escape you as well, let’s consider some of the reasons:
Donald Trump is president of the United States. Yes, I know we no longer expect dignity in that office, but I thought I’d mention it.
He was talking about himself, not speaking in defense of another. In other words, engaging in self-pity, because as you know, in Trump’s world, there’s only one person who matters.
He was saying the impeachment process actually is a “lynching,” leaving no doubt. Biden wasn’t directly saying that’s what the Clinton impeachment was; he was just warning that someone in the future might choose to see it that way. (A more subtle difference than the others, but a difference.)
Trump’s point is that impeachment is somehow extralegal, rather than what it is — the House performing its constitutional duty with full due process, just as Graham did in the Clinton instance. Biden simply questioned whether the “high bar” set by the Framers was being met.
And this is the biggie: Biden apologized. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Trump to do that.
So yeah: What Trump did, what he continues to do since he has not withdrawn the remark, was and is quite a bit worse.
But not the worst. That distinction is reserved for Lindsey Graham. The senator has no excuse, because he is not an ignorant, babbling idiot. He is an attorney, and given his personal experience something of an expert on impeachment. HE KNOWS BETTER.
And yet he didn’t merely say, “Oh, give Trump a break; he’s in a fragile emotional state and, as I pointed out several years back, he’s a jackass.”
No, he went beyond Trump. He said, “This is a lynching in every sense.”
“Every” sense, of course, includes the literal sense. And in case you think our senator misspoke and did not mean that, he later said it was “literally a political lynching.”
I responded that I’m not inclined to justify this behavior in any way, but I suspect that if he (Graham) were offering excuses, and being totally honest, he’d say he’d do anything to have some national security influence over this grossly clueless, unstable president…
That’s what Lindsey always cares about. He and McCain reached out to try to work with Obama after McCain lost the 2008 election, hoping to bring about policy continuity. And such continuity was maintained throughout the Obama years, even though, after a showy start right after the election, McCain and Graham seemed to have little hand in.
The tragedy here is that Graham is now abasing himself to a disgusting degree while foreign policy continuity — by which I mean the wise policies followed internationally by presidents of both parties ever since 1945, the maintenance of the global order America helped create and has led my entire life — is not only NOT achieved, but is ignored, blown apart, defecated upon by the ignoramus in the White House.
Our allies are slapped in the face, repeatedly and with increasing vehemence. And the worse the foreign strongman, the more passionately Trump embraces him.
So what is it that Lindsey Graham thinks he is achieving? He’s trading away his self-respect, and getting what, exactly? Does he think things would be worse if he weren’t playing golf with this guy and lavishing childishly transparent praise upon him?…
The fact that the important thing about Macron’s speech was the way it refuted Trump and all he stands for presented our senior senator with a conundrum:
Practically everything the French president said had to be music to foreign policy wonk Graham’s ears. Yet… he’s trying so hard these days to play nice with Trump, even though he knows (and he knows we know he knows) the current U.S. president is wrong about very nearly everything.
So he applauded Macron without a word about how Trump’s policies had been slammed:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on President of France Emmanuel Macron’s address before a joint meeting of Congress.
“President Macron delivered an eloquent and inspiring address to Congress. He described the unique relationship between France and the United States which is based on common values that have stood the test of time.
“President Macron has been a great partner to President Trump in confronting the challenges of terrorism and globalization.
“In President Macron’s speech about preserving the post-World War II world order and rejecting the false promises of isolationism, I heard the voice of John McCain – an ally and kindred spirit for the thoughts expressed by President Macron.
“As to the Iran Nuclear Deal, it must be made better or we must withdraw. The Iran Nuclear Deal in its current form ensures a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. President Trump is right to withdraw if the deal is not made substantially better. I hope President Macron can convince the world community to bring about the much-needed changes.”
Senator, it would be great if you wouldn’t add to overuse of that term, which seems to mean whatever Trumpistas want it to mean. It is not “fake news” that the Russian military made that absurd claim. They did. And the AP is truthfully and accurately reporting that they did….
Yeah, I know what he meant: That the Russians were saying something untrue. Which of course should be obvious even to a child.
A responsible news source…
But things that should be obvious to children are not always obvious to Trump supporters, and when you attach that #FakeNews label to a link to an actual story from a responsible news outlet, you are adding to their delusion that actual news, from trustworthy sources, is what is “fake.”
And I think the senator was willing for them to take it that way, because he was in his “try to look like a friend of Trump” mode when he sent that out.
And that is unhelpful.
More than ever, responsible people should be helping their neighbors, and themselves, distinguish fact from fiction. And Lindsey Graham knows better…
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on reports of negotiations between North and South Korea in an effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
“If there is an agreement reached between the United States, North Korea and the rest of the world regarding the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the lion’s share of credit will go to President Trump for his strong stand.
“President Trump has been steadfast in his commitment to deny the North Korean regime the ability to strike the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.
“I hope the strong and unequivocal position by the President will lead to a major breakthrough that would be beneficial to the world at large.”
It’s like one of those daisy things: He loves him; he loves him not. He loves him; he loves him not….
You know, you’d think a guy like Graham, with his experience in foreign affairs, having been around a foreign policy establishment that has worked, soberly and diligently, to contain North Korea and its nukes over the past decade, would know better than to give all the credit to the guy who pumps out stuff like this:
I learned about it from this release today from Lindsey Graham:
Graham, Scott Introduce Bill to Better Represent S.C. Peanut Farmers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) introduced the South Carolina Peanut Parity Act, which would put an individual from South Carolina on the Peanut Standards Board at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Companion legislation was introduced by U.S. Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) and passed the House of Representatives in October 2017.
Graham and Scott noted that even though South Carolina has the fourth largest peanut industry in the country, the state is not represented the Peanut Standards Board. The board, created by the 2002 farm bill, advises USDA on proper standards for peanut quality and handling.
“As growers of our state’s official snack, South Carolina peanut farmers deserve a say in matters that affect their livelihood. I’m proud to work with my colleague, Senator Scott, on this important bill to ensure South Carolina’s peanut farmers get adequate representation at USDA,” said Graham.
“Ensuring South Carolina peanut farmers have a seat at the table is incredibly important,” Scott said. “I want to thank Senator Graham for working together on this important bill, and I look forward to sharing some South Carolina boiled peanuts with our colleagues when it passes.”
I didn’t know we had an official snack. I didn’t know anyone had an official snack. And I quite naturally wonder whether we need an official snack.
But as long as we’re going to have one, I can’t think of a better one than boiled peanuts. Can you?
And in fact, now that I know it, I find myself growing quite indignant at the knowledge that heretofore, we were unrepresented on the Peanut Standards Board!
In light of that, I’d like to propose a new Official Battle Cry for the state of South Carolina:
I don’t know what LIndsey Graham thought he was doing the last few months, building his new reputation as the “Trump Whisperer.” Did he think he could manage the grossly unfit POTUS, guiding him gently toward wise policy on immigration and making him think it was his idea?
Now, he seems to have decided to concentrate his attention on actual grownups, people with whom he can have intelligent conversations and not feel the need to delouse afterward. He sent out this release yesterday:
Momentum Growing for Immigration Reform Proposal
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today welcomed the support of Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) for a path forward on DACA and immigration reform.
They will join Republicans Graham, Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) in backing this measure and working to protect Dreamers.
“It’s imperative that Congress act quickly so that young people who were brought to the United States as children, through no decision of their own, can stop living in fear of deportation. I have talked with Dreamers living in Maine who have grown up in our State and have known no other country as their home,” said Senator Collins. “This issue transcends political divisions, with members of both parties expressing sympathy for the Dreamers and support for a legislative solution. I am proud to join this growing bipartisan group of leaders in advancing this important effort that will fairly address the needs of the DACA population, strengthen border security, and help improve our immigration system.”
“President Trump and the bipartisan members of Congress who met at the White House ought to be able to agree on a proposal that both secures our borders and provides a solution for DACA recipients,” said Senator Alexander. “I intend to support such an agreement which is why I’m cosponsoring the Graham proposal as a starting point for reaching consensus and will support other responsible proposals.”
“I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan solution for the Dreamers,” said Senator Murkowski. “We should not punish children for the actions of their parents. Those who were brought to this country by their parents, were raised here, educated here, lived here, and dreamed here, should be welcomed to stay here. They should have the right to work and a path to citizenship. Fulfilling that dream renews our American Dream. I have consistently cosponsored legislation to provide just that, and I am heartened to see so many diverse voices supporting a legislative solution for the Dreamers.”
“I thank Senator Graham and others for their commitment to strengthening border security and fixing our broken immigration system,” said Senator Rounds. “The current proposal is an important first step in more immigration reform that secures our borders and transitions to a merit-based system. Legal immigration is a proud part of our nation’s history, and today it plays an important role in our economy – including South Dakota’s own workforce which depends on temporary, H2B visa workers to fill jobs during the busy tourism and construction seasons. While this bill is not perfect, I will continue to work on a product that includes appropriate e-verify provisions, a stronger border security system and lays the framework for more reform, including work visas. These are the provisions required for me to support the bill in final form so we can get to the next phase, in which permanently increasing the cap of H2B visas will be a top priority for me.”
“I’m very pleased that our bipartisan proposal continues to gain support among my Republican colleagues,” said SenatorGraham. “Our hope is to bring forward a proposal that leads to a solution the President can embrace. The goal is to begin fixing a broken immigration system by fairly dealing with the DACA population, securing our border, and moving toward a merit-based immigration system. This proposal would receive wide support and is a good solution for Phase I as we move to Phase II, comprehensive immigration reform. As we debate how to fix a broken immigration system and who to allow to become an American, we must not change what it means to be an American. As I’ve always said, America is an idea defined by its ideals – not by its people. The idea of self-determination and freedom to speak one’s mind, to worship God as you see fit, and to be served by the government – not the other way around. I believe there is bipartisan support for that concept.”
Highlights of the bipartisan proposal include:
At Least Ten Years Before a Dreamer Can Become an American Citizen: It would be at least ten years before a Dreamer can become an American citizen. The legislation calls for a 12-year waiting period, but select Dreamers who registered for DACA could earn up to two years credit for time. Dreamers – who do not receive any federal assistance or welfare today – will likely continue to be ineligible for welfare and federal assistance for the first five years they have legal status.
The current Diversity Visa Lottery will be abolished, and a new merit-based immigration system instituted in its place. Half of the Diversity Lottery visas would be allocated to a new system for ‘priority countries’ who are currently underrepresented in visa allocation. A new merit-based system would ensure those visas are awarded to those most ready to succeed in the United States. The other half of the visas would be allocated to recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). After the TPS backlog is cleared, all of the former Diversity Lottery visas will be allocated to nationals of priority countries under the new, merit-based system.
Additional Border Security Measures: The proposal contains $2.7 billion in border security improvements, including the planning, design, and construction of a border wall and additional surveillance and technology along the border. There will also be several provisions from border security pieces of legislation related to border infrastructure and Customs and Border Protection operations and oversight.
Down Payment on Chain Migration: Parents of Dreamers would be eligible for 3-year renewable work permits. There are no new pathways for them to obtain American citizenship. If they brought a child who becomes a beneficiary of the Dream Act into the country, they would be ineligible to be sponsored for lawful permanent residence or citizenship by any of their children. Additionally, lawful permanent residents would only be able to sponsor their nuclear family members, their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.
They may not succeed, but at least he’s now working with people highly unlikely to disrupt a bipartisan meeting with an obscene racist rant…
You were there, Senator. So what did the president say, and how did he say it?
Since some Republicans, after a day or two of thinking about it, started claiming Trump didn’t really say “s___hole” (hilariously, one of the lines of defense has been to claim he really said “s___house“) it’s refreshing that Lindsey Graham has stuck to his original version of the story, as Andy Shain reports:
Trouble is, his original story remains vague and indirect. He seems to want to have his cake and eat it, too — to call the president out for his racist assertions without quite, you know, calling him out.
We know from colleague Tim Scott that Graham told him the media reports of what Trump said were “basically correct.”
When Trump made the incendiary remark, Graham spoke up, telling the president that “America is an idea, not a race.”
“I tried to make it very clear to the president that when you say ‘I’m an American,’ what does that mean?” Graham said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re black or white, rich or poor. It means that you buy into an ideal of self-representation, compassion, tolerance, the ability to practice one’s religion without interference and the acceptance of those who are different.
“So at the end of the day, an American is a person who believes in ideals that have stood the test of time,” Graham added. “It’s not where you come from that matters, it’s what you’re willing to do once you get here.”…
Agreed, senator. But since people are standing up and saying Trump didn’t say what he said, it would be helpful if you’d be the truthteller and give us a precise account of what you heard.
As the late Howard Baker might have said, What did the president say, and how did he say it?
Who is this man, and what has he done with Lindsey Graham?
I’ve called Lindsey Graham a stand-up guy here before, and I’d really like to have reason to do so again. After all, we’re talking about the Republican most likely to speak truth about the madness during the long nightmare of the 2016 election.
But it has come to this:
Lindsey Graham on CNN:“U know what concerns me abt the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy as some kind of KOOK NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT”
Graham labeling Trump on Fox on 2/17/16: “I think he’s a KOOK. I think he’s crazy ..He’s NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT”
I don’t understand it. I really don’t. Yeah, I know a lot of GOP pols have concluded that they can’t be themselves and get their party’s nomination in this environment. But he doesn’t face re-election for another three years! By that time, will the Republican Party even exist anymore? Not at the rate it’s going…
Back in the late ’80s, when The State had money for such things, my duties as governmental affairs editor included supervising the South Carolina Poll (at least, I think that’s what we called it — it’s been a long time).
Cindi Scoppe was the reporter I had working on it, because she had studied polling at UNC-Chapel Hill and was keenly interested in the process. She also had the kind of incisive mind, even as a very young reporter, that meant for a very critical eye when we were drafting the questions (which is why I later brought her up to editorial).
She and I and Emerson Smith, who used to bridle when I called him our “pollster” in print (political polling was more of a sideline for him, but he proved to be very good at it), would work hard at making sure that every question was as neutral as possible, and would give us the cleanest possible read on what the public really thought. This, of course, is how journalists spend a great deal of their time and energy — even though Trump supporters and that O’Keefe idiot think journalists do the precise opposite, bending the news to their supposed biases. (They think this because they know zero, zip, nada about journalists and what motivates them. And because they have the kinds of brains that assume if someone isn’t reinforcing their biases, that someone is biased. Especially now that there are plenty of information sources that will humor them.)
I think we did a pretty good job. I can’t confirm that with evidence on the issue questions, but Emerson’s polls were remarkably accurate on the kinds of things that can be confirmed — such as predicting election results.
Anyway, stepping outside of what you think in order to pose a neutral question takes practice, I guess, and politicians don’t get much of that kind of practice.
So it was that when Lindsey Graham tried to poll his constituents about the tax plan he and his GOP colleagues are determined to rush through Congress before anyone has a chance to stop them, I think he really tried to at least look like he was posing the question fairly.
But he fell short. Way short.
Here’s what he sent out:
TAX REFORM IN THE SENATE
The United States Senate will begin debating tax reform tonight and I want to hear from you on this important issue facing our nation.
Supporters of Tax Reform:
President Trump supports tax reform and has pushed the Senate to pass this important piece of his agenda for America. In fact, he came to the Senate yesterday to push Senators to support this plan. His pitch was simple hard working Americans should be allowed to keep more of what they earn. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, in South Carolina the average family would be allowed to keep $2,391 more in their pocket. The legislation also will benefit business by creating more than 13,000 jobs in our state.
Opponents of Tax Reform:
Opponents of tax reform have said they believe it is unnecessary and the Senate should defeat it when it comes up for a vote. They have expressed concerns that tax reform could benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower income Americans. They have not offered an alternative proposal and feel our current tax system is working as intended.
Regardless of whether you support or oppose tax reform, hearing from you allows me to better represent your interests in the United States Senate.
I appreciate you taking this opportunity to make your voice heard before this important vote.
Lindsey O. Graham
United States Senator
It looks nice, and sounds nice if you read it aloud in a calm voice and don’t engage in critical thinking. Of course, I’m talking about where he tries to make the case against the legislation.
But come on. What would be the first thing you would want to mention as an argument against it, assuming you were a fair-minded person. What’s the thing that even a person who thought this package of cuts was wonderful might have qualms about?
Why, the deficit of course. That’s why Bob Corker has demanded, as the price of his support, a trigger that will automatically raise taxes if this “reform” increases the deficit the way it certainly will.
But there’s no mention of that. So right away, this attempt at “fairness” fails. Then, of course, it gets worse: “They have not offered an alternative proposal and feel our current tax system is working as intended.” To which the average recipient on his mailing list responds, They haven’t even offered an alternative (you know, like Republicans on health care)? Then screw ’em! And in what universe is there an idiot big enough to believe “our current tax system is working”?
Of course, I’m only analyzing the way he presents the “con” side.
His representation of the “pro” side is shilling of a shameful order. If I were to parody an attempt to condescend to the prejudices of the kind of people who voted for Trump (something the senator is doing a lot these days), I would probably think I’d gone overboard if I wrote something this embarrassing: “President Trump supports tax reform…” “this important piece”… “hard working Americans should be allowed to keep more of what they earn”… “in South Carolina the average family would be allowed to keep $2,391 more in their pocket” (translation: We will pay you $2,391 to support this bill!)… creating more than 13,000 jobs in our state.”
Gimme a break.
No, wait! I take that back — you might take that as “Yes, I want my tax break!” But I don’t, because I haven’t heard anything about this bill that persuades me it’s a good idea. And this laughably transparent bid for my support didn’t help your case…
Last night, I saw a clip of John McCain just after he was captured in North Vietnam. I, and others watching the Vietnam series, saw him at one of the lowest moments in his life. (The narrator told us that after the interview, the North Vietnamese beat him for failing to sound sufficiently grateful to them for having treated his severe injuries.)
And now, in spite of once again being laid low, he ascends to the heights:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced Friday that he does not support the latest Republican effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, dealing a major and potentially decisive blow to the last-ditch attempt to fulfill a seven-year GOP promise.
McCain’s comments came on the same day that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who like McCain, voted against a GOP repeal bill in July, said she was likely to oppose the proposal, leaving the legislation on the brink of failure….
In a lengthy written statement, McCain said he “cannot in good conscience” vote for the bill authored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), which GOP leaders have been aiming to bring to the Senate floor next week. As he has done all week, he railed against the hurried process Senate GOP leaders used to move ahead.
“I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Senators Graham and Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case,” McCain said. He blamed a looming Sept. 30 deadline that GOP leaders were racing to meet to take advantage of a procedural rule allowing them to pass their bill with just 51 votes….
I doubt this will shame Sen. Graham into backing off his abominable proposal. But if anyone could, it would be McCain.
And we’re not out of the woods yet. This could still, conceivably, be crammed down the country’s throat.