“Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you’re about to give this committee is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”, mumbled Lindsey Graham to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the commencement of Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The irony of these words coming from Graham, someone who has solidified himself as “Lying Lindsey” (aptly named by the political action committee MeidasTouch) in the weeks following the death of legendary Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, lands like a punch in the face to anyone who still cares about integrity and fairness in American government.
Once regarded as a straight-shooting moderate who was willing to compromise with Democrats on initiatives like immigration reform and climate legislation, Lindsey Graham denounced Donald Trump back in 2016 as a “kook” who was “unfit for office.” The South Carolina senior Senator and current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee also promised to oppose any Supreme Court nomination in an election year, even if an opening came in the final year of a Trump term. Now, Graham’s unwavering support for the president he once condemned (a pivot which Graham himself has attributed to political expediency) and his breakneck spearheading of Judge Barrett’s confirmation process when 14 million Americans have already cast their ballots are evidence of just how little his word is really worth. In the era of Trumpism, Lindsey Graham has proved himself to be nothing more than a fraud, eager to remain relevant and ride coattails to power — and it’s long past time he’s exiled from D.C.
With all that has transpired in the world this year leading up to November, it’s hard to focus on just one facet of a chaotic election cycle. But with the South Carolina Senate race between Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison heating up, the incumbent’s defeat no longer seems like a pipe dream and is now worth our attention. Until recently, Graham’s re-election would have seemed like a given in South Carolina, a state which Donald Trump won by nearly 14 points in 2016 and that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since Fritz Hollings won his final term in 1998. Early polls from the summer of 2019 showed Graham leading Harrison by as much as 23 points. Last week, a GBAO poll showed Harrison as a plus 1 leader. Harrison’s meteoric rise in a race now receiving national attention is largely thanks to growing frustration with Graham’s dishonesty and an unprecedented influx of Democratic donor money. In fact, Harrison’s team has raked in over $57 million in the past three months, marking the biggest fundraising quarter any Senate campaign has ever had and shattering the previous record by nearly $20 million.
Even Lying Lindsey can’t run from the numbers. “Help me,” pleaded Graham to Fox News viewers on Hannity a couple weeks back, “I’m being killed financially.” Graham didn't limit his complaining to cable television appearances: “I don’t know what’s going on out there, but I can tell you there’s a lot of money being raised in this campaign,” Graham nervously joked during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings Tuesday when referencing Citizens United v. FEC.
Lindsey Graham is clearly nervous, and he should be. The polls have tightened and Graham would be the first to admit that he can’t keep up with Harrison’s fundraising efforts. In addition to helping flip the Senate for the Democrats, defeating Graham, a senior Senator in a deep-red state, would send a powerful message to the president and all of his bootlicking cronies: even in the era of Trumpism, at a certain point, the American people will no longer accept being lied to.
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