On Wednesday, conservative columnist George Will told MSNBC's Ari Melber that he no longer feels that the GOP believes in the separation of powers — and fingered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as one of the most egregious examples.
"In your view, in the way you're stating it, is there any concern left for federalism in the congressional Republican Party as it exists?" Melber asked him.
"No. Precious little," said Will, but despite this, he notes, the general public is more skeptical of federal power than ever before. "In 1964, 70 percent of Americans said they trusted the federal government to do the right thing all the time or almost all the right thing. Today that number is below 20 percent."
"Which spawns cynicism," said Melber. "You've been around a lot of politics. I wonder if you've ever seen anything quite like this, which is the public shift from Sen. Graham on the president." He played a clip of Graham calling Trump a "race-baiting, xenophobic bigot" and "a kook ... unfit for office" prior to Trump's election, and then saying that the president is doing a "fabulous job" and is "absolutely not" a racist in 2018.
"Is this politics as usual, people move around, or is this something different?" asked Melber.
"This is different in degree to the point that it's different in kind, yes," said Will. "Remember, he was, Lindsey Graham was the Lindsey Graham people thought was funny and interesting as long as John McCain was around to keep him on the right leash. McCain is gone and the leash is gone, and this, I'm afraid, is the real Lindsey Graham."