The Corruption of Lindsey Graham
And how the GOP went along with Trump's authoritarianism.
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WILLIAM SALETAN: The Corruption of Lindsey Graham
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS IN BIG TROUBLE, and Lindsey Graham knew it. It was January 21, 2016, and the senator was taking questions at a press conference. A month earlier, he had abandoned his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Now two men he despised, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, were leading the race.
Graham thought either of them, if nominated, would lose the general election. Choosing between them, he told reporters, was “like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?”
Two months later, in March, Graham changed his mind. He endorsed Cruz and joked that it was better to be poisoned than shot. “Donald is like being shot in the head,” Graham told talk-show host Trevor Noah. “You might find an antidote to poisoning, I don’t know. But maybe there’s time.”
Graham was wrong. Trump wasn’t a shot to the head. He didn’t kill the GOP. In fact, he won the election.
Trump turned out to be poison. Over the next five years, he thoroughly corrupted Graham’s party. Republican leaders had time to counteract the poison, but they never did. One reason was that the poison moved slowly. Graham and other Republican politicians lost the ability to see what they were becoming. They rallied around an authoritarian, excused authoritarian acts, and embraced authoritarian ideas.
This is a story about how that happened.
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Trump found liable in Carroll Case… The jury found that the former President was liable for sexual assault and defamation. They awarded Carroll $5 million. Watch the bizarre courthouse steps interview with Trump attorney Joe Tacopina. Trump reacted as you’d expect, and his campaign echoed the nonsense.
Carroll said: “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.” If you haven’t read them, the E. Jean Carroll interviews are #mustread material.
Meanwhile, at CNN… Perhaps they thought the trial would last longer, but the timing for the Trump town hall… not great! Kind of looking like this.
…and in Texas… By a vote of 147-0, the TX House expelled Rep. Bryan Slaton for inappropriate sexual behavior.
There are 80+ members of the Texas Republican caucus in the TX House, which just expelled Rep. Slaton by a vote of 147-0.
QUESTION: Fast forward a year and what percentage of them are voting for Trump in the primary? What percentage in the general?1
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein! Who apparently is coming back to the Capitol, potentially putting to bed months of speculation about her political future.
Coming soon the “Free State of Florida™?”… Radioactive roads! Which, funnily enough, would give the EPA even more power over Florida.
Back in 2019 🗄️… Amanda Carpenter, pre-Bulwark, writing in Time, argued that Trump’s treatment of women was his original abuse of power.
What GOP voters have told Sarah Longwell… Since Trump’s indictment.
Tucker Carlson bringing his show… To Twitter. How this works, financially, is anybody’s guess. Does this mean Twitter is a “publisher” now? Are they a news organization? Will this impact their ability to operate as a global site, given how other countries regulate news? Also, can the hardcore audience of older cable-TV viewers convert to… Twitter video? Tucker, for his part, is pushing back on Fox after his ouster, accusing them of fraud and breach of contract.
Out of the blue, Mitch McConnell went out of his way to ding Carlson before the news broke.
Will AI… Become the new McKinsey?
The end of “Trump in heels?”… Failed gubernatorial candidate and Virginia Senator Amanda Chase has two challengers.
The Harvard women’s hockey investigation… Is coming to a close. Will justice be done?
And in George Santos news… The NY fabulist Rep. has been charged by the Justice Department, but details are scarce so far.
Remember Madison Cawthorn? The disgraced tree-beating Rep. pled guilty to firearms charges, but feels the need to weigh in on the topic of politicians and guns in the wake of a mass shooting.
And now, your moment of zen… How Taylor Swift brings joy.
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99% of them, because I am an optimist and didn’t go with 100%.