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Opinion: Sen. Lindsey Graham Can't Stop Warmongering, Vowing to Block Debt Deal to Get Ukraine More Money

(Saul Loeb/Pool Image via AP)

I was going to write this piece as an objective news hit, but the thoughts that were flowing just wouldn’t allow it, so let’s get it rollin’. Apparently, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) has become something like Ukraine’s biggest DC lobbyist. And, that guy just doesn’t know when to shut up. 

In the last week, he has managed to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and have an edited video published that showed clips of him saying, “Russians are dying,” and “It’s the best money we’ve ever spent,” in back-to-back frames causing backlash with the Kremlin and resulting in Russia issuing a warrant for his arrest. In light of that, Graham took to Twitter (which is what you do when a country known for imprisoning Americans as political pawns, and tossing them into harsh labor colonies is out for you) to beat his old-man chest and call the warrant “a badge of honor” while suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ire was a source of “joy.” 

By comparison, most Americans used the long holiday weekend to… barbeque.

Read More:

Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Senator Lindsey Graham, Who Claims It Brings Him ‘Joy’

Glad-handing away American tax dollars and taunting the Kremlin isn’t enough entertainment for the 20-years-in-office Senator Graham, so he took things further. On Monday, Graham hit the socials again, calling the debt ceiling deal a “disaster” for American defense… and by “American defense,” he undoubtedly means some nation on another continent’s defense, mostly.

On Monday morning, Graham wrote: 

How far the Party of Ronald Reagan has fallen. The Biden defense budget has been ridiculed by Republicans for over a year.

Republicans and Democrats both have been screaming about the rise and growing threat of China. The Biden budget in ‘24 and ‘25 sets in motion the reduction of Navy ships. This is welcome news to China.

As to the share of GDP spent on defense, the Biden budget matches and eventually dips below the lowest level in modern history.

Nothing in this bill provides weapons or technology to help Ukraine defeat Putin and make the world more stable. To Biden, McConnell, and McCarthy, what are we going to do about our own national defense as well as our support of Ukraine? We need to know.

In another tweet, Graham wrote:

I will use all powers available to me in the Senate to have amendment votes to undo this catastrophe for defense. I support raising the debt limit for 90 days to give us a chance to correct this disaster for defense. 

Have total disgust for political leaders’ decision to make it remotely possible to gut our national security apparatus at a time of great peril. Take this absurd idea off the table.

And, more tweeting:

To my Republican House colleagues: please stop saying the Biden defense budget fully funds our defense needs. Such statements are a betrayal to the Party of Ronald Reagan, and inconsistent with past criticism of the Biden budget. Stop playing games with our defense needs.

 

Those aren’t Graham’s only tweets du jour about the defense budget, there are plenty more to check out if you’re somehow still interested. There was another interesting tweet, though. On Graham’s Russian-issued arrest warrant, he posted, (jokingly?) that he had found a lawyer. And, the lawyer is apparently a “staunch supporter of Ukraine,” of course. Graham also announced the lawyer is willing to work for free, which is welcome news because Graham’s just a multi-millionaire tryin’ to get by, like the rest of us in this awesome economy.

Who is this ultra-charitable lawyer? Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D). Because in the name of diplomacy and peace-seeking, what we should do is pull more American political figures into international personality conflicts…er, more accurately something called, “war.” It’s the second-best thing to having an Ambassador, pretty sure. 

Oh wait, we do have a Russian Embassy in the U.S. which might be important in the path to peace. Let’s check in on them… Oh, man. They are re-tweeting stuff from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, calling the military aid Graham said was killing Russians akin to funding Nazis. No peace treaty today, then. 

Increased funding for the war in Ukraine isn’t a popular idea among Republicans. In January, only 17 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents answered that the U.S. wasn’t providing enough support to Ukraine, while a combined 83 percent answered that it was either about the right amount or too much support. The longer the war goes on, the more the public sentiment shifts toward an unfavorable view of U.S. aid for Ukraine, as the polling shows. 

While noting unfavorable sentiments of the party, it’s worth saying that I don’t appreciate the multiple jabs from Graham about the GOP being an affront to President Ronald Reagan’s legacy. I don’t think Graham is the torch-bearer of Reagan’s legacy, and those aren’t coat-tails he should be attempting to ride on. That’s just… ridiculous. 

Plus, calling for more war on Memorial Day is the most daft thing I’ve ever heard. As we sit with the massive loss of lives that wars have caused, generation after generation, Graham has other ideas. Ideas like stirring global tensions via ego-laden tweets and implying regime change, i.e., “defeat Putin and make the world more stable.” But, let’s not stop there, he also called the debt ceiling deal “welcome news to China” in a military sense, citing naval fleets. 

I’m not your national defense spending expert. I can’t tell you what the right number is to provide domestic security. But, I don’t think the guy taunting the Russians and telling the world about how great it is that they are dying is the right “accountant” for the task, either. Further, if Graham would stop talking long enough to read a bit: Republicans aren’t criticizing the debt ceiling deal for not spending enough. So if you’re unhappy with the debt deal, just know that Graham is twisting that sentiment while adding his own flair: that you probably aren’t pleased because there isn’t enough of your money going to Ukraine. Oh, brother. 

When the Senate meets on Wednesday, apparently Republicans will be acting out some version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: complaining that some porridge is too hot, and some of it is too cold, while Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) insists it’s just right. If you’re going to complain that the deal doesn’t satisfy, just remember to not tell Republican voters it’s because Ukraine doesn’t get more war-stuffs.

BTW, how much does brokering a peace treaty cost U.S. taxpayers? Just wondering. 

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