I’ve never had a lot of use for Lindsey Graham. In my view, he and other Vichy Republicans like John McCain are the primary reason that we even have a Donald Trump running. This campaign season has seen him follow the same path as Marco Rubio. He went from declaring Donald Trump unfit to be president to encouraging Republicans to rally behind Trump. At least yesterday, Graham was able to do something that Rubio has been unable to do: withdraw his endorsement. Via the New York Times:
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another former primary rival of Mr. Trump’s, urged Republicans who have backed Mr. Trump to rescind their endorsements, citing the remarks about Judge Curiel and Mr. Trump’s expression of doubt on Sunday that a Muslim judge could remain neutral in the same lawsuit, given Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim noncitizens entering the country.
“This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy,” Mr. Graham said. “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,” he added. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
Given that this is Graham’s third position on Donald Trump’s candidacy, there is still more than ample time for him to change his mind. But, as the old adage goes, a broken clock is right twice a day and Graham, who is about as broken as clocks get, has now been right twice. So maybe this is the end state.
On the other hand, I don’t think it will have much impact. I don’t suspect we’ll see any large scale defections from the Trump Train. The currency within the ranks of GOP officials is winning for the sake of winning; it has never been more obvious that policy, ethics, values, and governing philosophy were nothing more than window dressing used to fool we rubes who actually thought such things were precious.
But as Leon pointed out yesterday, if you support Donald Trump take a long hard look because you are going to be stuck defending his behavior for the rest of the time you are involved in politics in any way.