Lindsey Graham recently suggested that he won’t support Mitch McConnell as majority leader if Republicans retake the Senate in the upcoming midterm election because the Kentucky senator is insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump.
Graham made the comment during an interview with
FOX News Trump Pravda host Sean Hannity (via Newsmax):
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has long warned Republicans that former President Donald Trump is the face of the party, but now he is even firing a warning shot at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Leading the Senate GOP requires following Trump, or McConnell should get out of the way, Graham effectively told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday night.
“Elections are about the future,” Graham said. “If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump.”
“[Trump is] the most consequential Republican since Ronald Reagan. It’s his nomination if he wants it, and I think he’ll get reelected in 2024.”
“I’m not going to vote for anybody for leader of the Senate as a Republican unless they can prove to me that they can advocate an ‘American First’ agenda and have a working relationship with President Trump, because if you can’t do that, you will fail,” Graham concluded. (emphasis mine)
To call Lindsey Graham a sycophant is an understatement, but his “threat” against Mitch McConnell shows us how deep his sycophancy goes, and it proves that Donald Trump owns the Republican Party lock, stock, and barrel.
Those who know my work know that I wrote in July 2020 about how Trump and Trumpism is here to stay regardless of how the election turned out. And immediately following the 2020 presidential election, Republicans up and down the line, including Lindsey Graham, proved this to be true when they took turns to see who could be the most Trumpist by giving their early endorsements for a Trump 2024 campaign:
“If he were to run in 2024, I think he would be the nominee. And I would support him doing that. He’d have a lot of support out in the country.” ~ Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)
“It’d be great if he ran. He’s done a good job. I think he ought to run if he wants to run. Who knows what’s going to happen in ‘24?” ~ Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)
“[He] should run and would have the support of the party.” ~ Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
“The president is very popular in the Republican Party, and he would be very tough to beat.” Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), chairman of the “conservative” Republican Study Committee.
“I would encourage him to keep that option open. I would personally support him if he did. Most Republicans believe he’s done a very good job and that his presidency from a conservative’s point of view has been very consequential.” ~ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
“If President Trump runs in ‘24, I support it. That will be his decision, he’s come off a tough election.” ~ Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
“The country benefited tremendously from the first four years of President Trump, and it would benefit tremendously by a second four-year term from President Trump. People in Tennessee are very enthusiastic about a second Trump term.” ~ Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Of course, I’m no fan of Mitch McConnell (see archives). Mickey was enshrined in my Gutless On Principles Hall of Shame in 2013 — Graham was also enshrined that year — and he’s been the driving force behind the Republican Party’s goal of “crushing” the conservative base since 2014. He should have been booted from leadership years ago.
Conservative frauds like Mitch McConnell are responsible for the Republican Party’s demise, not Trump; he’s just the end result of the destruction because the party was responsible for Trump becoming president in the first place.
Trump’s Republican Party has adopted the far-left’s socialist ideology and replaced conservatism with Trumpism and nationalism. This rebranded version of “conservatism” has become the identity of the Republican Party because, as he once proclaimed, it’s Trump’s identity.
An example I often refer to is Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a rising leader in the Republican Party who is considered presidential material by many in 2024 (if Trump doesn’t run) or 2028. Hawley has based his political future on Trumpism, nationalism, and the constitutional ignorance of the cult.
However, when it comes to Donald Trump running for president in 2024, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, and a boatload of Republicans are more than willing to put their personal political ambitions on hold because they’re unwilling to abandon Trumpism at the moment.
Even if Trump should decide not to run in 2024 — or he’s unable to because he’s in prison — an army of nationalist Republicans stand ready to run on a Trump 2.0 platform, providing all of the Trumpism without the baggage that comes from being Trump.
In the end, Lindsey Graham has shown us that regardless of who runs on the Republican ticket in 2024, Donald Trump owns the Republican Party, and that means that the destruction of conservatism and the embrace of Trumpism will live on as the party that used to stand for conservative values continues to fade away into obscurity.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.