Has the Trump era changed people? Or did Trump simply lift the veil of civility on American life, thus uncloaking who we really are? I am sure we will debate this question for a long time.
Perhaps no politician has changed more over the last four years than Lindsey Graham. As you may have heard, the recently re-elected senator spent the weekend in Florida playing golf with Trump in the hopes that the former president might help the MAGA wing of the GOP return to power in 2022.
Here is a taste of a recent Washington Post piece by political reporter Josh Dawsey:
Graham has disappointed those in South Carolina who preferred the more moderate Graham — the one who was closely allied with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who died in 2018, and at one point worked on a deal with President Barack Obama to cut carbon emissions that ultimately fell apart.
His critics say they remember a Graham who despised Trump and what Trump stood for — and was not so craven, in their view. One longtime McCain confidant said Graham is no longer in touch with many of his old friends.
Amanda Loveday, a former executive director of the South Carolina Democratic Party who helped run a Biden super PAC in 2020, said it was frustrating to watch Graham continue to prop up Trump.
“Like a lot of others, I have voted for him,” she said. “Everyone in South Carolina used to think he was the most reasonable man in Washington, and that has changed. Now people think he has tied himself to a horse that is unexplainable. There really is no explanation to it. He has the power to tell the Republican Party that they’re moving on.”
One Biden ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation, said Biden asked last fall “what had happened to Lindsey.” The longtime former senator from Delaware, who once regarded Graham as a friend, was “shocked” by some of Graham’s comments during the campaign.
Read the entire piece here.