Out of all of the Republican candidates, I probably dislike Lindsey Graham the least. Graham doesn’t have much of a chance of winning and his campaign currently can’t crack more than a single percentage point in the GOP primary polls. A good reason for that is while Graham is very conservative, he has refused to engage in the hate-mongering that other contenders like Donald Trump have made a central part of the campaigns.
It would make sense then that since Lindsey Graham probably won’t even win the primary in his home state of South Carolina, he would be the GOP’s next crusader against the Trump juggernaut. He appeared on CNN this morning and blasted Donald Trump:
“You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell,” Graham said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday, picking up on the GOP front-runner’s famous slogan, “make America great again.”
The South Carolina Republican was responding to Trump’s statement released Monday calling for the U.S. to ban all Muslims from entering the country.
“He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” Graham told Alisyn Camerota. “He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represents the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for. … He’s the ISIL man of the year.” (Source)
The establishment backlash against Donald Trump is coming, and any candidate who wants to win the nomination must slay the Trump dragon. For Lindsey Graham, he has very little to lose. If his attack on the Republican front-runner fails, he really can’t sink any lower than where he’s already at in the polls. If he somehow succeeds in leading a backlash against Trump, or even hobbles him a bit, Graham becomes a hero of the GOP establishment which has struggled to get any traction for Jeb Bush. He also doesn’t risk losing his Senate seat in South Carolina, as he easily beat off six primary challengers last year before going on to win another term in office.
Graham’s condemnation of Ted Cruz for trying to stay in Trump’s good graces by not challenging the front-runner’s absurd remarks on religion and immigration was also a refreshing part of the interview. Cruz is perfectly happy to ride just behind Trump in the polls and position himself for whenever the eventual collapse comes. He has no intention of saying anything that will potentially alienate current supporters of Donald Trump, hoping for Trump’s endorsement if and when he bows out of the race.
Graham represents the Republican Party of just a few years ago, before fascists, grifters and the religious right completely took the GOP over. He’s a lawmaker who knows how to get things done and work with the other party, the opposite of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.
Like him or not, Lindsey Graham is telling the unvarnished truth about the current state of the Republican Party. If the GOP does not unite as a force against Donald Trump and attempt to move the political dialogue away from the lunatic fringe, they are risking extinction at the national level. Whether they listen to Lindsey Graham or not remains to be seen, but either way, things are about to get even uglier.
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