The Friday night debate scheduled between Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison was given a quick makeover after Graham—who was potentially exposed to COVID-19 at a White House event—refused to take a COVID-19 test. But just because the debate continued as a pair of forums with the candidates in different locations, fielding questions sequentially, that didn’t keep Graham from spreading something vile to every viewer in South Carolina.
Asked what should be done about systemic racism in South Carolina and specifically about racial violence by police, Graham denied that the problem exists. “Do I believe that our cops are systemically racist?” said Graham. “No.”
Then he explained that “if you are a young African-American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative not liberal.”
Graham’s answer followed that of his young African-American opponent. “Just as slavery was ended,” said Harrison, “we can end the epidemic of police brutality in this country and root out the systemic racism that oppresses communities of color across South Carolina and our entire country.”
Graham would be the same candidate who in 2016 described Donald Trump as a “race-bating xenophobic bigot.” But since then Graham has had a revelation—one that makes it clear he can only be returned to the Senate if he captures 100% support from the deeply racist Trump base. And since Graham has never been about anything other than Graham, in racist season Graham … has moved ever deeply more racist.
It’s not clear at this point if Graham is accidentally saying “the quiet parts out loud,” or if he’s just knowingly signaling that he’s all in with the white sheet crowd. The effect is pretty much the same.
Graham did explain how Blacks would display their official “not uppity” status to gain free passage around South Carolina by showing they were agreeable participants in their own repression. Maybe it would be a card. Maybe MAGA hats. Or maybe there would be checkpoints to root out the liberals among them.
Graham, whose presence in Washington is necessary for Republicans to continue their rush to confirm the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, has insisted he doesn’t need to be tested. He’s even gone so far as getting a doctor to write him a “why little Lindsey doesn’t need to be tested today” note, an effort that’s considerably greater than that required for Graham to take a quick test.
Graham is refusing to take a test, even though there’s a good reason to believe he is potentially infected, because if he’s found to be positive, he would have to isolate and Barrett—whose Rose Garden intro has turned out to be a super spreader event—might not be installed fast enough to please Trump and Mitch McConnell. It’s a threat to the health of everyone involved, blatant disregard for CDC guidelines, and a slap in the face to common sense and decency. It’s … the Republican Party in 2020.
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