Tag Archives: Lindsey Graham

Hey, Sen. Graham, GOP is already destroyed

(AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, John Locher, File)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Lindsey Graham, arguably Donald Trump’s most loyal U.S. Senate toadie, said impeaching Trump could “divide” the country even more and — I love this part! — could “destroy the Republican Party.”

I have news for the South Carolinian: The Republican Party already is badly damaged and well might be destroyed … thanks to the cult of personality planted and nurtured by Donald Trump.

Good ever-lovin’ almighty God in heaven! Graham himself has become suckered, snookered and snowed by Trump. Back when Graham was competing against Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, he called Trump everything but the spawn of Satan. He was “unfit” for public office, Graham said, and he was right!

Then the carnival barker got elected president and Graham climbed aboard the Trump clown car parade.

The Republican Party would be “destroyed” by impeaching Trump? is this clown serious?

The Senate will put Trump on trial a second time in due course. He’ll be out of office and gone for good from the White House. The very structure of the Grand Old Party, I hasten to add, is just one of the many collateral casualties felled by this individual’s toxic tenure as president.

A party that once stood for fiscal prudence, taking a hard line against dictators and offering itself as a “big tent” organization has been plowed asunder by the self-serving designs of Donald Trump.

Get a grip, Sen. Graham. The party you once knew — what we all knew — appears headed for the trash heap unless it finds a way to rebuild itself into a responsible political organization.

Lindsey Graham can thank only Donald Trump and those — such as Graham himself — who bought into this con man’s lie for the damage that has been done to the once-great political party.

What? POTUS goes after his Senate pal?

Donald J. “Whiner in Chief” Trump is so darn angry at the Supreme Court that he is now taking aim at one of his closest pals in the U.S. Senate.

Trump just can’t get past the notion that the high court said he isn’t above the law. He now wants Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham to go after the court, to stand up for the president.

Trump’s Twitter tirade has some folks wondering: Is the love affair between Trump and Graham over? I have no clue about that. I just am flabbergasted as usual by Trump’s tirade via Twitter over a court ruling that illustrates the value of the separation of powers between branches of government.

And once again Trump has decided to criticize his immediate predecessor, President Obama. He said in a tweet: “We have a totally corrupt previous Administration, including a President and Vice President who spied on my campaign, AND GOT CAUGHT…and nothing happens to them. This crime was taking place even before my election, everyone knows it, and yet all are frozen stiff with fear.” Then he adds: “No Republican Senate Judiciary response.”

Unbelievable.

Lindsey Graham to go after his ‘good friend’ Joe Biden

For as long as I can remember I have looked askance when I hear politicians refer to their adversaries across the partisan divide as their “good friends.”

The once-famous “friendship” between Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Democratic Sen. and Vice President Joseph Biden only reaffirms my skepticism about personal relationships among politicians.

I’ve seen that famous viral video of Sen. Graham tearing up as he describes Biden, saying that if you “can’t like Joe Biden as a person, you’ve got a problem.” He speaks of his enduring friendship with Biden, his politeness and his graciousness.

Well, these days Graham is singing a different tune about his one-time friend. He says now he intends to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, once the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump concludes.

Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and I guess he wants to find corruption involving the Biden men, about Hunter’s employment by the Ukraine energy company and Joe Biden’s involvement … whatever it entails.

The former VP has said he doesn’t understand what has gotten into his pal Graham. He says he thought their friendship was thick.

I guess not.

This so-called “friendship” is proving to be as flimsy and see-through as any policy pronouncement that flies out of the mouth of, say, Donald John Trump.

What has become of Sen. Graham?

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I am going to presume there will be a trial in the U.S. Senate over the impeachment of Donald John Trump.

So, assuming the start of such a trial, I am compelled to ask: What in the world has happened to Sen. Lindsey Graham? Who captured this man’s brain and his heart and what have they done with either part of the senator’s body?

You see, Sen. Graham once was a House of Representatives manager sent into the Senate to prosecute another president over obstruction of charges. The House impeached President Clinton in1998 for lying to a grand jury about an affair he was having with a White House intern. Graham was a young House whippersnapper who insisted at the time that there be witnesses called and evidence heard in the Senate.

Then the South Carolina Republican got elected to the Senate. He’s now on the other side of the great partisan divide. A Republican president stands accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Graham’s position on witnesses? He doesn’t want to hear anything. He don’t need no stinkin’ witnesses. Nor does he need to hear any other evidence. He’s made up his mind. Done deal. The impeachment is a “sham,” he said, a partisan fishing expedition led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Holy smokes, man! He was right two decades ago in calling for witnesses for Bill Clinton’s trial. He is wrong now in saying witnesses aren’t necessary for Donald Trump’s pending trial.

In the annals of political flip-flops, this one might rank as No. 1 of all time.

Graham exhibits remarkable duplicity once more

Lindsey Graham may run out of ways to pi** me off, although it’s looking like he has a bottomless supply of duplicitous positions he can exploit.

The South Carolina Republican U.S. senator once said that Donald Trump was unfit for the presidency, that he is a shameless liar and that he was everything this side of being the Son of Satan. Now he is one of the president’s — yep, the same Donald Trump — most ardent Senate boosters.

He also said in 2016 that Joe Biden is the “nicest man God ever created.” He said that if you can’t admire Biden that “you’ve got a problem.” Biden, he said, “is the nicest man I’ve ever met in politics.”

What’s he saying now about the former vice president, who might challenge Donald Trump in 2020? Graham wants the Senate Judiciary Committee that he now chairs to examine whether Biden committed any crimes in Ukraine, or whether his son, Hunter, broke any laws while being paid by a natural gas company in Ukraine.

So, Graham wants to find dirt on the “nicest man” in the known universe? Is that what I understand?

The Bidens — father and son — have become the chief diversionary targets of Republicans seeking to shift the attention away from the president’s soliciting political favors from Ukraine; Trump asked Ukraine to look into the Bidens in exchange for the release of weapons the Ukrainians purchased to help in their fight against rebels backed by Russia. Ukrainian prosecutors, incidentally, have said the Bidens have done nothing illegal.

Can you say “quid pro quo,” which is fancy term for, oh, bribery or extortion?

I am left now to wonder which Graham view of Biden is the truth. The version he talked about in 2016 or the one he is tossing out there in defense of the individual he once derided as unfit for office?

I’ll go with the latter view, which confirms what I suspect about Sen. Graham, which is that he is utterly lacking in principle.

Sen. Graham … let the House do its job and then do your own

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham keeps yammering out of both sides of his mouth.

The South Carolina Republican once declared that Donald Trump was unfit for the presidency, then he said if allegations about a quid pro quo with Ukraine were trouble that it would be “very troubling.” Now he says without knowing the identity of the whistleblower whose memo triggered the impeachment inquiry into Trump isn’t known, then an impeachment of Trump is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.

Sen. Graham needs to be made to understand that the whistleblower’s ID is protected under the whistleblower statute, even though some media outlets have reported the name of someone purported to be the individual who’s ratted out misbehavior in the White House.

House committees hearing the inquiry aren’t going to call the whistleblower to testify. The Democratic chair of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, says it would be redundant and unnecessary. He also worries that it would create a distraction and divert attention away from the subject of the inquiry, which happens to be Graham’s newest BFF, Donald Trump.

The issue is clear cut: Did the president demand a quid pro quo from Ukraine … political dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for weapons to use against Russia-backed rebels? The House has heard from plenty of witnesses who say that Trump did that very thing. The nation will get to hear them say it out loud and in public this week.

The House is doing its job legally.

Let the House proceed, Sen. Graham.

Trump to Sen. Graham: ‘I am the boss’

It took me a moment or two to digest the quote I read about what Donald Trump reportedly said to Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican U.S. senator who transformed himself from a severe Trump critic to one of the president’s most ardent sycophants.

Graham is angry over the president’s decision to pull troops out of Syria and his abandoning of our Kurdish allies who have fought with us in the war against the Islamic State.

The Associated Press said that Trump told Graham, “I am the boss.”

The boss? Of what? Of whom?

Trump is the “boss” of the executive branch of the federal government. He has no authority over the legislative branch, of which Graham is one of 535 House and Senate members. The Constitution grants Congress “co-equal” power with the executive branch.

Graham, despite his disappointing fealty to Trump, does recognize that South Carolina’s voters sent him to the Senate to do their bidding and to stand up for himself when the need arises. He doesn’t work for Trump. He doesn’t have to do a single thing the president might demand of him.

As an MSNBC blogger, Steve Benen, reported: “With all due respect for the president, I think I’m elected to have a say about our national security,” Graham said. “I will not be quiet. I will do everything I can to help the president get to a good spot, but if we do not leave some residual forces behind to partner with the Kurds, ISIS will come back, it will put our nation at risk, we will have been seen as dishonorable in the eyes of all future allies.”

So, there you have it. Sen. Graham is beginning to show a bit of the spine he exhibited while campaigning against Donald Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. I hope it continues to stiffen … although I am inclined to doubt that it will.

White House not believable … at any level!

MSN.com posted a question today as part of its ongoing rolling random online “polls” relating to issues of the day. This one dealt with the economy.

Do you tend to believe economic forecasts from the White House or outside experts?

Hmm. Let me ponder that one. Actually, this was one of the easier questions to answer.

I’ll start by saying that I do not trust the White House to tell me the truth about anything at all. Not a damn thing! Not as long as Donald Trump is the Man of the White House, the guy in charge of the executive branch of government.

Who do I believe? The outsiders.

The question, though, cuts to the heart of what I perceive to be the No. 1 issue facing this White House: its trustworthiness.

To state it briefly, I don’t trust the White House. I don’t trust the spokespeople, the senior aides, the Cabinet, the (acting) chief of staff, the vice president or the president himself.

They all take their cue from the man who won the election in 2016. Donald Trump is fundamentally a liar. He cannot tell the truth even when it suits his interests to do so. He lies when he has no reason to lie. Remember when he said his father was “born in Germany”? He wasn’t. Fred Trump was born in New York City. Why does the president lie? He cannot help himself! He cannot stop lying.

Some of Trump’s closer political allies once called him out on his lying. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who ran against Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, once called him an “amoral” individual who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. He also threw in “sniveling coward” for good measure. Well, he’s changed his tune, as has U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another former Trump foe in 2016. I am not in public life, so I am free to stay the course.

Trump is a lying, conniving, self-serving con man who has set the tone for the White House he runs.

How in the world can anyone believe anything from this administration, given its record of lying.

Someone once said “The fish rots from the head down.” So do presidential administrations.

Then and now: Clinton and Trump

First, I’ll stipulate that I agree with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to proceed with impeaching Donald J. Trump, at least for the time being.

She knows the political consequences can be difficult to overcome if such an event were to occur. The divisions would be deep. An acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate could be devastating for the country.

Republicans are standing behind the president. They aren’t listening to the evidence that keeps mounting that Trump committed crimes while running for president and while serving as president.

Which brings me to the key point: How is it that Republicans today are so reluctant to proceed with their constitutional duties when two decades ago they were hellbent on impeaching a previous president for a whole lot less than the charges that are piling up against the current one?

In 1998, the GOP-led House impeached President Clinton. The reason was twofold: He lied to a grand jury that asked him about a relationship he had with a White House intern. Clinton took an oath to tell the truth; he reneged on the oath. The GOP said we cannot have a president who is “above the law.” Republicans threw in an obstruction of justice charge for good measure.

The House “manager” of the impeachment proceeding against Clinton was none other than a fresh-faced South Carolinian named Lindsey Graham, who said in effect that the House could impeach the president for damn near any reason it saw fit.

Today, that same Lindsey Graham is now a U.S. senator and he’s saying something dramatically different about Donald Trump. Despite what the special counsel, Robert Mueller III, said that he didn’t “exonerate” the president after his lengthy investigation into collusion with Russian election hackers, Graham keeps insisting that Mueller “cleared” Trump of obstruction of justice.

No. He did nothing of the sort.

Mueller only concluded that he couldn’t indict a sitting president, citing Justice Department policy; he also said such an indictment would be “unconstitutional,” although that terminology baffles me.

There is a huge mountain of evidence that suggests that Trump sought to obstruct justice by getting a former White House counsel to fire Mueller. That he canned FBI director James Comey to stop the FBI”s probe into the “Russia thing.” That he ordered the payment of hush money to a porn actress to keep her quiet about a fling she and Trump had in 2006, even though Trump denies it ever occurred.

I understand Pelosi’s predicament. I agree with her. However, for the life of me I cannot accept the Republicans’ refusal to budge on this president’s conduct when they were so anxious to pull the impeachment trigger on another president.

Oh, wait. Clinton is a Democrat; Trump is a Republican.

Gosh, do you think Republicans are putting their party over what’s good for the nation?

Trump has cast a weird spell over the GOP

I will be mystified likely forever, as in for the rest of my life on Earth, at how Donald Trump has managed to hijack the Republican Party.

It manifests itself in the amazing 180-degree turnaround of at least two former prominent foes of the president.

I want to highlight briefly the amazing about-face performed by two U.S. senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas. To be fair, not all Republicans have swilled the Kool-Aid from Trump’s dispenser. Freshman U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is one who remains (more or less) faithful to his 2016 declaration that Trump is a “phony” and a “fraud.”

Graham and Cruz? That’s another matter.

I have attached a link from CNN.com that illustrates what Sen. Cruz said in 2016 about his Republican Party primary opponent, Donald John Trump. Read it here.

Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar.” He blistered Trump then over that hideous allegation that Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s murder and of course the ghastly tweet involving Heidi Cruz, the wife of the senator.

These days Cruz sings from an entirely different political hymnal. He’s one of the president’s closest allies in the Senate. He follows Trump step for step into whatever the next adventure brings.

It’s not nearly as dramatic a reversal as the one Sen. Graham has performed.

During the 2016 primary campaign, in which Graham was another Trump foe, he called the eventual GOP nominee everything short of being the Son of Satan. Unfit for office. A liar. Amoral. Architect of party ruination. You name it, Graham said Trump fit the bill. It was all bad, man.

Now that Trump is POTUS, Graham has become arguably the Senate’s most vocal Trump apologist. It’s as if, as Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will has said, he became “an invertebrate.” He lost his spine, not to mention body parts common among males … if you get my drift and I’m sure you do.

There’s also this: Graham led the impeachment effort against President Clinton in 1998 while serving in the House, which then impeached Clinton on charges that are far less egregious than the allegations that have been leveled against Donald Trump.

Go … figure!

All this leads me to wonder out loud: How in the world did this carnival barker, con man, charlatan, fraudulent liar cast such a lasting spell over politicians who make up the guts of what used to be a great American political party?

I do not get it.