It’s time to Break It Down!
Lindsey Graham has had a checkered relationship with Donald Trump. In 2015, Trump’s broadside attack on Senator John McCain elicited a pointed pushback from Senator Graham. Speaking of McCain early in his Presidential bid, Trump reiterated a long-held position:
“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Trump’s sentiment was ludicrously paradoxical. Mr. “Only I can fix it,” who would eventually boast of knowing more about the military than the generals, received four student deferments from military service between 1964 and 1968. He told reporters of another medical deferment he received after graduating was for a bone spur in his foot. When asked which foot, Trump told reporters to look up the records.
In response, Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend of McCain’s, tweeted, “If there was ever any doubt that @realDonaldTrump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt. At the heart of @realDonaldTrump’s statement is a lack of respect for those who have served – a disqualifying characteristic to be president.”
Trump also made a speech, calling Graham an “idiot,” after Graham called him a jackass in an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan. Trump traveled to South Carolina for a rally and proceeded to give out Graham’s cell phone number to attendees, and said, “Give it a shot,” urging people to call the state’s senior senator.
Fast forward to Trump’s Presidency. And over time, Graham became an ally and golfing buddy to Trump. In that key role, Graham opted to oppose Trump’s impeachment, not just once, but twice. Just in case you forgot the “why” behind each of those impeachments, let me remind you:
1. Trump urged the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign — strongly implying he was owed that for all the good things he had done for Ukraine
2. Trump helped gather the crowd at the January “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington and, in a speech to the gathering, incited them using the Big Lie — the baseless notion that the 2020 election was somehow stolen from him. A chunk of that crowd composed of the rioters who stormed the US Capitol, leaving more than 100 police officers injured and 5 dead.
Despite the compelling evidence, including Graham’s evolving position on Trump and the January 6th incident, he voted twice not to convict Trump. Here we are, new President, new position on impeachment.
Without a doubt, the withdrawal of American troops and Afghans from Kabul has been at once a tragic display, and a heroic adventure. After twenty years, and America’s longest war, Joe Biden has declared enough. The President said he would not pass on the decision of whether to leave Afghanistan to another president. Most Americans, and most politicians on both sides of the aisle agree with that decision in principle. The details, the execution is where issues have arisen. The chaotic withdrawal has given rise to an array of political (both partisan and bipartisan) hyperbole. Enter Lindsey Graham, who recently said:
“If we leave any Americans behind, if we leave thousands of those Afghans who fought along our side behind bravely, Joe Biden deserves to be impeached for a high crime and misdemeanor of dereliction of duty. If we leave one American behind, if we don’t get all the Afghans who stepped up to the plate to help us out, then Joe Biden in my view has committed a high crime and misdemeanor under the Constitution and should be impeached.”
I believe it’s time to bring home our troops, American citizens and the Afghan citizens who served as interpreters. I also believe, since President Biden largely bought into Mr. Trump’s pre-existing commitment to leave, the exit should have been better executed. None of that, in my opinion qualifies as a legitimate catalyst for impeaching Biden. But hey, in the final analysis, this is not my story. It’s “The Tale of Lindsey’s About Face: He Finally Wants To Impeach The President!”
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