The idea that a man who was just becoming the next leader in American history was convicted of impeachment being the "liveliest member" of the GOP is a breathtaking admission indeed – Graham just doesn't know. Graham is right to panic. In essence, Republicans can't win without Trump, but trying to win with him will weigh the party down like a bag of bricks.
Graham waved a recent move by Republican Nikki Haley as "wrong" to try (again!) To distance herself from Trump as she focuses on the 2024 strike against Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, for he Attacked Trump in a cynical attempt to appease corporate donors who pissed him off.
But Graham made a remark that certainly applies to McConnell's oratorical chastisement of Trump, though he ultimately surrendered to an acquittal vote. ""You'll see that speech in campaigns in 2022, ”Graham predicted. Truth. Any right-wing trumper who emerges victorious after a bloody GOP primary is sure to hear the echo of McConnell's words as he slams his general election campaign.
McConnell knew this before he gave the speech, and it also shows you how desperate he is to keep these corporate donations going. He's tried to split the baby by acquitting Trump in one breath and impaling the next, but that will inevitably also cause GOP collateral damage that will last until 2022.
To really drive home how far the GOP star has fallen, Graham explained none other than Lara Trump, the highly uninspired beneficiary of Trump's nepotism, and Ivanka wannabe, the future of the Republican Party. Literally – not kidding.
"The biggest winner I think of this whole impeachment process is Lara Trump," said Graham. "If she runs, I will surely stand with her because I think she represents the future of the Republican Party."
Lara led Trump's "Women for Trump" initiative against the suburbs, which you may remember was not the quick ballot the campaign was hoping for.
On the other side of Graham's sycophantic appeals and McConnell's M.Achiavellian Maneuvering was Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who appeared genuinely outraged by Trump's murderous turmoil and apparent lack of remorse as the trial progressed. After Cassidy voted for the condemnation, he issued an extremely simple and apologetic statement: "Our Constitution and our country are more important than any other person. I voted to condemn President Trump because he is guilty."
On ABC Sunday that week, Cassidy predicted that Trump's influence on the party had peaked and was on its way down. "I think his strength is waning," said Cassidy.
What's so intriguing is that both Graham and Cassidy are likely speaking shades of truth. Trump remains the most prominent Republican in the country, and while he will certainly continue to harness the intensity of the GOP's nativist wing, his ability to command a broad enough coalition to win national and statewide elections is sure to be an equally success had. In essence, Trump is a short-term association for a gash within the Republican Party. The Lindsey Grahams of the world cling to Trump for their dear life, but his epic toxicity guarantees the sore won't deepen for months and years to come.