Former Republican commentator Rick Wilson thinks that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is trying to buy favor from President Donald Trump. The only problem is that it hasn't worked out that well for others when Trump feels slighted.
The conversation was couched in a panel discussion about the recent appearance by George Conway in a podcast where he said, "I just thought, in terms of his ignorance of issues, I thought he'd learn more over time. And in terms of his popping off in saying things that were inappropriate, it would get better over time, and you'd wince every so often at something he'd do or say, but it would be manageable."
Conway was let down by the assumption.
"I don't know when exactly it was in 2015, but I coined the phrase or used the phrase, 'there is no better Trump,'" Wilson recalled. "There's no better iteration of Trump. He can't be trained. He can't be managed. He can't be fixed. It's okay. A guy like George, who I think is incredibly bold getting out there and putting this in public record at great expense to himself, personally, obviously, is in a situation like a lot of Republicans. They wanted to work."
Wilson said that many Republicans thought they could help "manage" Trump or help him "adjust" and "learn." The reality has obviously been something entirely different.
"Well, all of the adults are gone. Dead, thrown off the cliff," Wilson continued. "There's no one in the White House, helping Donald Trump or shaping Donald Trump's behavior. He's a giant ball of ego and giant ball of need. And it was apparent to a lot of us early in the process."
He went on to say that there are a lot of Republicans who have come out against Trump, but in the case of Conway, "he's seen this up close." Because of his experience, Americans know that none of Trump's irrational speeches or Twitter meltdowns are some kind of "game" he's playing to mess with Democrats.
The latest example is Graham, who has long been a Warhawk, particularly in the Middle East. He, like many Republicans, support the alliance between the U.S. and the Kurdish people that are now being bombed by Turkey, thanks to Trump.
As Charlie Sykes wrote, Graham "traded his honor to be 'relevant' as a Trump adviser. But on Syria, Trump didn’t bother to ask what he thought."
Wilson said that it was clear Graham "sacrificed his integrity" a long time ago.
"Look, Lindsey is the tragic figure of this whole thing. He sacrificed his integrity, his reputation, his dignity, and his political future to Donald Trump because he was trying to buy influence with Trump by being obsequious," said Wilson. "Of course, it doesn't work. Trump always does this to everyone. He's a serial betrayer in his life, in his business, his politics. And George's analysis that they can't be president because he has a mental deficiency of being able to step outside his own set of needs, whether it's his ego, his wallet or whatever, is completely on point."
All of the Republicans "pretending" that everything is normal "they're out of their minds. They're going to be held responsible for what Trump has done in their name because they are silent on it. I think it's a slow-motion tragedy."