It isn’t unusual for politicians to tweak their language or style, to soften or toughen rhetoric as one’s audience pleases. Still, there’s something almost comical about Graham’s toughening stances and head-snapping reversals. It’s as though his body has been occupied by someone else, his inner Terminator liberated at last — in part, perhaps, because he’s no longer John McCain’s wingman. He’s Maverick now.
.. Whatever else he intends, Graham has always known how to play the media and keep himself in the headlines. This may explain his and Trump’s recent comity, which can be traced to a lunch in March 2017 when the two found common ground in, among other things, an affection for playing golf. They are also both showmen and may share some mutual respect. Both love to be center stage, and both seem to have a similar knack for giving people what they want. The president and the apprentice.
.. He is also very funny, as debate viewers will recall from his 2015 performances. His best lines from those debates were spontaneous, quick-witted and true. We delighted in his unfiltered answers to questions, such as: “You know how to make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.” Or, if Trump were to win, the Islamic State “would be dancing in the streets; they just don’t believe in dancing.”
.. No longer is Trump a “kook.” In 2017, Graham repeated the word but that time in taking issue with the media for “this endless attempt to label the guy as some kind of kook not fit to be president.”
.. But then Monday happened. The president turned on Maximus, rejecting Graham’s suggestion to temporarily reopen the government while the wall debate continues. The mind meld lost its connection. Do we sense a split after all Graham has done, not least his fiery attack against Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Brett M. Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, which Graham called an “unethical sham”?
Instantly, Graham became a meme sensation on the right. On the left, you’d have thought he had called Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, “bat—- crazy,” a term he previously had used to describe the GOP for its support of Trump.
As we enter 2019, the Grahamster is full of brio and bluster, ready to rush Texas with his own posthole digger. His speechwriter must surely be busy preparing text for the senator’s remarks upon the groundbreaking, perchance to include: “President Trump, build this wall!” In the meantime, as Judiciary Committee chairman, Graham has vowed that the next Supreme Court justice will be a conservative, as though anyone doubted it.
there are glimpses of the seemingly reasonable guy beloved by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who one day says he’ll “take all the heat” on immigration, who wants to sign a “bill of love.” Do not be fooled. He is a chimera. Two days later he will have vanished, leaving you feeling slimed and gaslighted. Graham was right the first time: Trump is a “kook” who is “unfit for office.”
.. The biggest lie ever told by a candidate to the American people came from Trump, repeatedly, during the campaign: “At the right time, I will be so presidential, you will be so bored.” Now we know: He is characterologically incapable of fulfilling this vow...It is little comfort to conclude that our best hope lies in the rationality of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un and the steadying influence of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis... The longer-term and greater danger is that Trump
- does not believe in American ideals and institutions. He
- does not believe in a free press or free speech;
- unconstrained, he would crack down on both.
- He does not believe in the rule of law, a Justice Department free of political interference,
- the separation of powers or an independent judiciary. He
- does not believe in the United States as a beacon and example to the world.