Depending on your point of view, you might characterize Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as a principled conservative or a reasonable villain. He’s always been corrupt on behalf of the wealthy, along with every other Republican in Congress. But he’s also shown himself to be pragmatic on social and economic issues, while eagerly calling out his own party’s most unreasonable antics. He has a line, and he’s spent a career never crossing it – until now, when he’s aggressively stomped all over the line as if it didn’t exist.
When Graham ran for president, he stuck to his comparatively moderate conservative views, even once he saw that they were going to cause him to lose. Since that time he’s stood up for immigrants and taken other stands that have placed him sharply at odds with Donald Trump and other leaders of the Republican Party. Then suddenly last month, as if a light switch had been flipped, Graham threw away everything he’d ever stood for and began cartoonishly acting as a Trump surrogate. So let’s talk about Graham’s hacked emails, who has them, and who’s using them against him.
More than a year ago, in an underreported story during the Republican primary race, Lindsey Graham publicly confirmed that his emails had been hacked (link). Those emails never surfaced, which means that someone has been sitting on them all along. Considering that the Russians hacked or tried to hack everyone in the election who wasn’t named Trump, it’s likely that the Russians hacked Graham and have been holding onto his most embarrassing secrets. One way or the other, someone has Graham’s emails, and it’s the only plausible explanation for his sudden change in behavior.
Whether you like Lindsey Graham or not, keep two things in mind. He’s always stuck to his principles, even if the left hasn’t viewed those principles as being overly principled. And his transformation from stubborn old-school conservative into sudden cartoonish Trump cheerleader hasn’t been a gradual transformation; it literally happened with the span of one round of golf. Graham has even made a point of going from previously calling Trump a “kook” to now accusing others of trying to falsely paint Trump as a “kook.” It’s almost as if he purposely inverted his words to try to signal to the rest of us that he doesn’t really mean any of it. At this point we all know the Senator is being blackmailed. It’s time for him to revisit his principles and come clean about it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report