Lindsey Graham used to have a clear and unabashedly candid appraisal of Donald Trump, which he openly shared with any and all who would listen. In 2015 he called Trump a “race baiting xenophobic bigot” whom the GOP “should tell to go to hell.” He also cautioned this in 2016:

As everyone knows, that Lindsey Graham has vanished to the bewilderment of all. Pundits have quipped that Graham is the victim of everything from alien mind control to extortion, such is the profound one eighty reversal of his mind set. Last Sunday, in a classic display of both siderism, Graham smeared Biden and demanded an investigation of “Biden/Ukraine, just as there has been one of Trump/Russia.”

“They’ve [Democrats] done everything but turn the Trump world upside down. There are no rules. When it comes to this president there are no rules, including a phone call. There are no privileges. So what I’m asking for is to take a look at what the Ukraine did in the 2016 election, what role, if any, did the Bidens have anything to do with it, what it proper, was it not? I promise you the American media is not going to look at it. I’m hoping that the Department of Justice will do for the Biden/Ukraine connection what we did for the Trump/Russia connection.” Then of course, the Fox News host chimed in with how the “media is trying to take what was a Biden scandal and turn it into a Trump scandal.”

Graham went on to accuse Biden of malfeasance and malign the media, the top Trumpian talking points these days. Graham said, “Did the Ukraine dump information into the American political system, legal system, regarding Manafort and others…I sure as hell don”t trust the media to get to the bottom of it.” Here’s the Fox News clip.

Now, here is a clip from the History Channel in 2016. Graham starts out saying, “If you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person, you”ve got a problem — you got to do some self-evaluation….he came to my ceremony. He said some of the most incredibly heart felt things that anybody can say to me. He’s the nicest person I think I’ve ever met in politics.”

Then, with a catch in his throat and tearing up, Graham says, “He is as good a man as God ever created.” He continues, “His heart’s been ripped out, but he’s going to make sure that the other members of his family are taken care of and he started talking about his grand kids.”

What a testimonial about Joe Biden’s character. Even in the face of insurmountable loss, Biden’s first instinct was to take care of others. I cannot think of any quality that I would rather have in a leader, a president, certainly, and Graham says Biden has just that. Listen to this 1:33 tribute. This is moving.

I have to believe that this is the real Lindsey Graham, because it comports not only with what Graham said and thought in 2015, but also with Joe Biden’s relationship with John McCain, Graham’s dearest friend and mentor, and a dear friend to Biden as well. You may recall Joe Biden’s eulogy at McCain’s funeral, which said in part,

 I have had the dubious honor over the years of giving some eulogies for fine women and men that I’ve admired. But, Lindsey, this one’s hard.

Here is a link to a full transcript of Biden’s eulogy where he addresses “Lindsey” and talks about times when the three of them, Graham, McCain and Biden would be in some foreign venue together. To hear the eulogy, they were all dear friends. Biden spoke of McCain’s love of America and of his fine qualities.

He loved basic values, fairness, honesty, dignity, respect, giving hate no safe harbor,

and he said this:

Character is destiny. John had character. While others will miss his leadership, passion, even his stubbornness, you are going to miss that hand on your shoulder…The truth is, John’s code was ageless, is ageless. When you talked earlier, Grant, you talked about values. It wasn’t about politics with John. He could disagree on substance, but the underlying values that animated everything John did, everything he was, come to a different conclusion. He’d part company with you, if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself.

Take a look at that last sentence, given by a then-tearful Biden about his dear friend John McCain. “He’d part company with you, if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself.” When reading this, I seriously wondered, and not for the first time, by a long shot, what in the world John McCain would think of this new version of Lindsey Graham, the Trump-loving sycophant and shrieking Kavanaugh-defending version of Lindsey Graham? Would McCain part company with him?

I sincerely hope that when this video tape gets around the internet, as assuredly it will, that Graham has a chance to reflect and ruminate and ask himself, “What would John do?” — a question which, quite frankly, people have already been wondering why he hasn’t asked himself already.  I don’t think John McCain would put self-interest above his oath of office, as, I hate to say it, Graham seems to have done — but then maybe I’m just too much of a romantic. Graham has sold out and I don’t think McCain would have, or that McCain would approve of Graham doing it. But we don’t know the circumstances behind Graham’s acute chance of heart with respect to Trump.

This is certainly something for Graham to consider, in any event, and if nothing else, this video takes the wind out of Graham’s anti-Biden sails — and I see that as more of a blessing for Graham, than for Biden, truth be known. Adhering to the code of ethics of Graham’s dearest friend, McCain, respecting Joe Biden, by Graham’s description, “as good a man as God ever made,” has to be more important than whatever kompromat somebody is holding over Graham.

I agree with John McCain, and with the Greek tragedians, for that matter, who first articulated the concept: Character is destiny. I cannot fathom what would cause Graham, who once had Donald Trump’s number totally down, to turn on a man like Joe Biden to do the bidding of a mutt like Trump. This is a question that many have pondered for a few years now. I really hope we find out.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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