In a Washington Post column Wednesday, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin calls out Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham for facilitating the worst excesses of the Trump White House.
Rubin writes that Graham “epitomizes the Republican Party’s descent into intellectual rot.” She notes that Graham denounced Donald Trump as “the most flawed nominee in the history of the Republican Party.”
Now, Rubin points out, he’s one of the most craven Trump apologists, going so far as to insist that Congress conduct an investigation into what appears to be a perfectly legal probe into Trump started by former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.
Graham’s most unforgivable capitulation, Rubin says, is on immigration. “Once a member of the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform, he now supports Trump’s fear-mongering on the border and even his unprecedented power grab, a declaration of a “national emergency,'” Rubin notes.
In an interview on Face the Nation, Graham argued that Kentucky schoolchildren would be better off having money go towards a wall than their education. “I would say it’s better for the middle-school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border. We’ll get them the school they need,” Graham claimed. He also cited the opioid crisis as a reason to divert billions to building a wall.
But there are major flaws in Graham’s argument.
“Thunk,” Rubin writes. “Graham knows the opioid problem doesn’t stem from a lax border; he should know however that test scores for kids in rural, red states like Kentucky are atrocious. And that there are problems other than illegal immigration problem (which has been declining) that most affect voters. (For starters if one cares about opioid addicts the last thing to do would be to cut Medicaid as Republicans proposed.)”
Graham’s dishonesty has a real impact on the political discourse and the lives of real people.
“Tragically, the dishonest political shenanigans of people like Graham widen inequality (by geography, class and race) and accentuates polarization.” In fact, Republican lies make the rise of political figures like Trump inevitable. They make constructive policy making nearly impossible, and play into the hands of demagogues,” she writes. ‘It’s then that authoritarians like Trump come along who insist “they alone” can fix problems and falsely place blame on outsiders rather than some of their own disastrous policy choices.”
While Graham and Republicans like him play games, real Americans suffer. “In the meantime the cynical, base-pleasing politics of Trump, Graham and others damage the lives of the most vulnerable Americans, batter our democracy and destroy a sense of national unity. What an awful legacy they will leave.”