Lindsey Graham told us the reasons why we absolutely cannot let Republicans reclaim Congress. “I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House,” Graham told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, “because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened Pandora’s box here and I’m sad for the country.”
Prior to that Graham explained to Wallace that it was unconstitutional for the House to impeach Donald Trump because the impeachment, according to Graham, was unconstitutional since Trump was no longer president and “an affront to the rule of law … the trial was a complete joke. Hearsay upon hearsay.”
Let’s unpack what Graham is saying. Graham says the trial was unconstitutional. The vast majority of Constitutional lawyers (and Graham is not a Constitutional lawyer) vehemently disagree. And I don’t know what he means by “hearsay” since no witnesses were called. You need witnesses to give hearsay evidence before you can talk about hearsay evidence. A great deal of video was shown, including video of the president speaking his own words prior to the riot. Video is not hearsay.
Graham also called for the impeachment of Kamala Harris because sometime last year she posted a link to an organization that helps financially disadvantaged persons accused of crimes find ways to post bail so they don’t have to sit in jail while awaiting trial. Before we begin I hasten to point out that Harris posted this link before she was sworn into office. In fact, when she made the posting she wasn’t even on the Biden ticket as VP. Not to suggest there’s anything wrong with her posting the link in any case, but it kind of mitigates Graham’s point that politicians must never be impeached for anything they did outside of office.
In any case, Graham to the contrary Kamala Harris didn’t bail out rioters. She posted a link to a nonprofit group called the Minnesota Freedom Fund or MFF. It’s a nonprofit organization that, according to their website, “pays criminal bail and immigration bond[s] for those who cannot afford to[,] as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.”
As it stands, the bail system in most states is based on a person’s ability to pay and not on their behavior. This is a fundamental flaw in the system that the MFF was created specifically to ameliorate. Harris posted the link to help Black Lives Matter protesters who were arrested in the wake of the murder of George Floyd make bail.
Since the vast majority of BLM protestors were and are nonviolent, Republicans blame the tiny minority who are violent on the majority because, let’s face it, Republicans hate people of color. That is why they use every chance they can get to excoriate them. Lindsey Graham is no exception, so this is his chance to attack the Vice President, a woman of color, and any people of color she helped by posting a link to nonprofit site. And since Graham also hates women it was a positive trifecta of taint, a hat trick of hatred. Graham’s mawkish claim that he’s “sad for the country” is putrid hypocrisy.
But give the devil his due. Graham is right. The minute Republicans reclaim Congress there will be an orgy of investigations and reprisal impeachments the likes of which we have never seen before. Graham has demonstrated, if nothing else, that there seethes below the surface a Republican eagerness to go low and use any draconian pretext, no matter how absurd or petty, to exact their revenge. Republicans are furious that they are out of power, and they are licking their chops over the retribution that will be theirs should they ever seize power once more.
This is why we must never let them, brothers and sisters. Now that we own the Executive and the Legislative branches of government we must keep them long enough to show the American people that we are a force for their good and their prosperity. That may take at least 20 years. So be it.
What can you do? Call your Senators and your representatives in Congress. Write a letter to the editor. Speak to friends. Run for public office. Stay involved and don’t get complacent. And above all vote. In every election. This is the hard part of Democracy. If Democracy were easy, everybody would be doing it.
For my part I’m going to continue doing whatever I can. That will include posting on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, speaking out wherever the opportunity presents itself, making YouTube videos, speaking on podcasts and continuing to write for Palmer Report. I also have it in my mind to call every Senator and every member of Congress and leave them a detailed message of encouragement in the case of the good guys and condemnation in the case of the bad guys. I will keep you posted on all of it. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.