Every so often, political candidates have a moment at which it’s clear that they either lost or won the election – sometimes one that happens before the ballots are even counted. For Walter Mondale when he ran for president, it was when his opponent, President Reagan made a snappy comeback about Mondale’s “youth and inexperience” after Reagan was pressed on the issue of his own age. For Mitt Romney, it was his infamous 47% remark that went viral, which his campaign was never quite able to live down. Now the moment may have come for Lindsey Graham who’s going to be on the ballot with Donald Trump for re-election in November.
Still determined to play the role of Trump’s most fearless defender, regardless of how ridiculous it makes him look by the day, Graham announced: “I really don’t want to turn the trial into a circus.” Graham was referring to his own refusal to call witnesses – despite the fact that potentially new evidence needs to be reviewed before Graham and the other senators vote. Of course, Graham is completely unaware of the irony in what he’s saying.
A trial without witnesses is a show trial – as is one where they refuse to admit evidence. The difference is that while at one time they thought they could make this go away without even hearing arguments, now Graham is trying to argue reasons for why the Senate needs to hurry up and vote, as the news gets uglier each day. If John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney are ultimately pressured to testify – something that 70% of the American people, even those who support Trump want to happen – it will be that much harder to declare Trump innocent.
Lindsey Graham is running out of excuses for not doing his job. This is a quote you can expect to hear played in the next few months as congressional races heat up and people ask why Graham and other senators running for re-election failed to serve their constituents.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making