If you want to know what happens when, as Dan McLaughin calls it, “rooting for laundry“, that is, supporting someone for no larger reason than they are on the “same team”, beats Principle to a bloody pulp, look no further than South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Let’s go back to December 8 of last year and Lindsey Graham’s interview on Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day”
Graham announced, “I want to talk to the Trump supporters for a minute. I don’t know who you are. And I don’t know what you like about this guy. I think what you like about him [is] he appears to be strong when the rest of us are weak. He’s a very successful businessman, and he is going to make everything great. He’s going to take all the problems of the world and put them in a box and make your life better. That’s what he’s selling.”
“Here’s what you are buying,” Graham explained. “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party; he doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for. I’ve been in the Air Force for 33 years, and I retired this June. He’s the ISIL man of the year, by the way.”
Graham, by the way, was complete correct about Trump and went on to endorse Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Well, that was then and this is now.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Donald Trump’s fiercest critics, is now calling on Republicans to support their presumptive nominee.
Graham urged GOP donors at a private fundraiser Saturday in Florida to unite behind Trump’s campaign and stressed the importance of keeping likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from the White House. The fundraiser was hosted by former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman who also co-chaired Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid.
“He did say that we need to get behind him,” Teresa Dailey, a prominent Florida Republican fundraiser who attended the private event, told CNN on Sunday.
People change slowly, if at all. So what happened to a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” that makes Graham suddenly think that such a man is an acceptable candidate.
Graham has been among Trump’s most vocal and fiercest critics but has warmed to the New York real estate mogul since the two spoke over the phone earlier this month.
Graham described the call as a “cordial, pleasant phone conversation” and said the two discussed national security threats, including ISIS.
“My criticism has been wide and it’s been deep, but we did have a good conversation. He asked good questions,” Graham said Friday on CNN, though he declined to offer a formal endorsement of Trump over Clinton.
Graham said at the fundraiser Saturday that he has now spoken with Trump several times to discuss foreign policy, Dailey said.
What Graham is doing is simply jettisoning any moral objections he has to Trump because Trump is more likely than not going to be the GOP nominee and, to Graham, the character of that nominee doesn’t mean anything because they are all on the same team.