From Trump Foe to Ally: How Lindsey Graham Redeemed Himself during Kavanaugh Confirmation Process

For years, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican – South Carolina, hasn’t been popular in conservative circles. Often referred to as “Lindsey Grahamnesty” due to supporting bi-partisan “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation a few years ago, the senior Senator from South Carolina was an early antagonist of President Donald J. Trump.

While opposing Trump in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, Graham called him a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” according to the Washington Post. Since Trump’s ascension to the White House, Graham has both criticized and praised the President at various intervals.

However, recently, Graham has appeared to be more of a Trump ally than foe. This was especially the case throughout the contentious process to confirm Judge Brett Kavanagh to the United States Supreme Court. Graham steadfastly communicated his unabashed support for Trump’s nominee to the highest court in the land.

Perhaps, most notably, Graham blasted his Democratic colleagues on September 27, 2018 during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Graham contended the Democrats’ handling of the Ford situation had everything to do with politics. According to Fox News, the senior Senator from South Carolina said, “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.” He went on to add, “Boy, y’all want power and I hope you don’t get it.”

Clearly angry, Graham personally apologized to Kavanaugh for the questioning surrounding his alcohol drinking habits and his high school yearbook comments. Addressing Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, the Senator said, “If you’re looking for a fair process, you came to the wrong town at the wrong time.”

Speaking to Republican senators who may have been debating whether or not to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, Graham remarked, “To my Republican colleagues. If you vote no, you are legitimizing the most despicable thing I’ve ever seen in my time in politics.”

The Senator’s passionate speech at the hearing garnered him praise from many conservatives who were understandably upset about the last ditch effort made by the Democrats to keep Kavanaugh off the United States Supreme Court. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted, “@LindseyGrahamSC has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.”

When MSNBC aired an interview with Julie Swetnick, another of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Graham was livid. According to Fox News Insider, reporter Kate Snow admitted NBC News couldn’t “independently verify” Swetnick’s accusation that Kavanaugh “pawed” at females during high school parties. After the uncorroborated interview, the senior Senator from South Carolina labeled NBC News a “co-conspirator in the destruction of Kavanaugh.” Due to the biased coverage, Graham said the network had “destroyed their journalistic integrity.” He aptly asked, “Do you think NBC would have done that if it had been a male, Democratic nominee?”

On a recent episode of Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle, host Laura Ingraham asked Graham what strategy Democrats might utilize next to thwart a pick for the United States Supreme Court. In his typically tactful way, the senior Senator from South Carolina answered, “Think of the dumbest idea and they’ll do it. If they ever write a book about overplaying their hand in politics, this is the first chapter.” Speaking directly to Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat – New York, Graham stated, “I’ve never been more disappointed in you and your party.”

Undoubtedly, the last few days have done a lot to redeem Graham in the eyes of some conservatives. Pressley Stutts, a Tea Party activist from Greenville, South Carolina made some telling remarks about Graham. The Post and Courier reported that Stutts said, “Conservatives have had our disagreements with Sen. Graham in the past. But my hope is he’s coming to see the light. I think this has gone a long way in rehabilitating his reputation.”

A former rival of Graham, former South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright, referred to his speech at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing as “definitely a step in the right direction.”

However, some people remain skeptical of Graham’s seeming about-face. When referring to the hearing, Gerri McDaniel, a South Carolina field organizer for Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign and a Tea Party advocate from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina stated, “Yesterday was a great day for Lindsey Graham but it’s going to take more than one great day to change the minds of many folks who are out there.”