MotherJones has put together a superb video collecting “All of Lindsey Graham’s Flagrantly Self-Serving Flip-Flops on Trump” into “A 5-Act Play.” Alternate title: “Graham hated Trump. Then loved him. Then spread his lies. Then abandoned him. Then got screamed at.”
It dovetails perfectly with the piece below on Graham’s wildly oscillating moral compass, described by MotherJones — with respect to Trump — as “an impressive amount of flagrant, self-serving flip-flopping,” adding, “And perhaps President Obama said it best in his memoir, released at the end of last year: ‘Lindsey’s the guy who double-crosses everyone to save his own skin.’”
View the video below.
Final Update – Jan. 13:
And here is the “Sixth Act” of Senator Lindsey Graham’s erratic moral compass flips as reported by the New York Times:
Sen. Lindsey Graham is leading the charge against President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal in the Senate, even as the White House remains largely uninvolved and as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is leaving open the possibility of voting to convict the president.
Graham, who just last week said he had had “enough” of Trump’s bid to overturn the election results after he incited a deadly riot at the Capitol, has been calling around to Republican senators urging them to oppose convicting the president in the Senate’s expected impeachment trial, according to three people familiar with the effort.
Originally this was going to be a very short piece. Just six words: “Senator Graham does not have one” – a moral compass, that is.
But that would not be correct for we have all been given a moral compass to keep us on course through life.
So please indulge my more than six words to explain.
During my navigator training as a young Air Force officer – before the days of GPS – I soon learned that, when everything else fails (even celestial navigation) a good map and a good compass will take you home.
A good moral compass will always point to one’s “True North” and, along with an honest road map, will take one safely to one’s destination in life.
However, just like with a magnetic compass, a person’s moral compass can encounter outside forces or factors that can cause it to become erratic, lose direction or wildly spin as can, for example, a magnetic compass at one of the poles.
Graham’s early service in he U.S. Air Force’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) and subsequent service in the South Carolina Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, including a recall to active duty during the 1990-91 Gulf War and short stints of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of 33 years, certainly was honorable and meritorious as evidenced by a Bronze Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal.
For the first two decades, when Graham represented South Carolina both in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, Graham’s compass was relatively steady and reliable. It helped Graham pursue a clear and aggressive conservative course, while still able to work in a bipartisan way and even while criticizing the Tea Party. But soon his compass needle started oscillating aimlessly, eventually totally flipping. It ceased to be a moral compass and became a political crutch, solely used to navigate the treacherous Trump waters for Graham’s own personal and political advantage.
During the 2015-2016 presidential campaign, Graham briefly entered the presidential fray only to suspend his campaign in December 2015, but not before calling Trump a “jackass” because Trump had claimed that Graham’s mentor and inseparable friend, John McCain, was “not a war hero.”
Graham also called Trump “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” and urged Republicans to tell Trump “to go to hell.” In 2016 Graham warned Republicans not to vote for Trump because “we will get destroyed…and we will deserve it.”
But once Trump was elected, Graham’s compass needle completely flipped.
Trump and Graham quickly became golfing buddies, “an alliance of the oddest imaginable bedfellows was born” and soon any bygones between them were bygones. Even old, sacred friendships were sacrificed by Graham at the altar of “staying relevant.”
Later, when Graham was criticized for not standing up against Trump for the disgraceful comments Trump continued to make about McCain — even after the Senator’s death — McCain’s best buddy responded: “To all those people who bring up this narrative, you just hate Trump…You’re not offended about me and McCain; you’re trying to use me to get to Trump…I’m not into this idea that the only way to honor John McCain is to trash out Trump.”
No matter how unconstitutional, lawless, outrageous or repugnant Trump’s words and actions became during the next four years, Graham would be there at his side.
Preparing to be Trump’s “impeachment bulldog” in the Senate, Graham called the Constitutional process “…a lynching in every sense…un-American.”
“This thing,” Graham promised, “will come to the Senate, and it will die quickly, and I will do everything I can to make it die quickly…I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”
Even before this revelation, Charles Sykes, editor-in-chief of the Bulwark, had Graham pegged. In October 2019 he wrote:
For the past several years, Graham has transformed himself from one of Trump’s fiercest critics, into one of his most reflexive defenders. Even by the cynical and shape-shifting standards of Washington, Graham’s metamorphosis has been a thing of wonder. The senator once known as John McCain’s best friend in the Senate, transformed himself into Trump’s shinebox, willing to ingratiate himself with rationalizations and praise even as Trump became increasingly erratic.
Graham’s compass needle would go completely haywire during and after the 2020 presidential election when Graham bought into the conspiracy that the election had been stolen from Trump and that the election results must be overturned lock, stock, and barrel.
Then came January 6, another day that will live in infamy.
After having supported the overturn of the election, Graham’s compass needle suddenly flipped wildly again when he saw the results of Trump’s encouragement of “insurrection and attack on [the Capitol] and on democracy.” Early the next morning, on the floor of the very sanctum that had been desecrated by his own supporters, Trump’s lapdog turned against his “Master’s Voice.”
Clutching his pearls, Graham exclaimed, “Count me out. Enough is enough,” and went on to debunk many of the lies he and his Master have told about the election and to condemn “the mob” that attacked the Capitol.
Suddenly, the president-elect was Graham’s buddy again: “Joe Biden. I’ve traveled the world with Joe. I hoped he lost. I prayed he would lose. He won. He’s the legitimate President of the United States.” Graham groveled and once again he crowed, “Enough’s enough. We’ve got to end it.”
Suddenly, the Senator’s compass seemed to point to True North again.
Suddenly and ironically, his supporters’ compass needles also made a 180 turn.
As Graham walked through Ronald Reagan National Airport on Thursday, he was accosted and harangued by former supporters calling him a “traitor” and a “liar.”
“Get out of here,” one woman shouted at Graham. Another cried “You don’t represent America.”
“Poetic Justice” and “The deceitful have no friends” seem appropriate adages here.
Some will say, “Better late than never.” Sure, as long as the Senator’s moral compass does not do a complete 180 again.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.