Donald Trump Wrings The Last Drop Of Dignity From Lindsey Graham’s Tortured Soul

INSIDE: Maura Healey ... Laura Ingraham ... Jack Smith
Former US President Donald Trump gestures as US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) addresses the crowd during a 2024 election campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 28, 2023. - Trump hits the campaign trai... Former US President Donald Trump gestures as US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) addresses the crowd during a 2024 election campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 28, 2023. - Trump hits the campaign trail Saturday for the first time in a third bid for the US presidency overshadowed by intensifying criminal investigations and a firestorm of political controversy. The twice-impeached Republican, whose party lost the White House and both chambers of Congress during his term, makes his case for another four years with appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo by LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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The Honorable Lickspittle From South Carolina

For the rest of his natural life, any mention of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) should begin and end with this all-timer:

The subsequent eight years have not been kind to Graham, deservedly. No amount of obsequiousness can satisfy Trump. Each lick of Trump’s boot costs Graham a part of his soul, which Trump happily pockets and uses to demean Graham again further the next time. Graham’s descent into his own personal Trump hell has been epic to watch, like a Greek tragedy or a fabled character of lore, done in by his own shamelessness and weakness of spirit.

And so it was that Graham found himself Monday reprising his role as a Trump punching bag. After Trump’s principle-free declaration that he supports “states rights” on abortion, a baldfaced political move to try to win re-election, Graham “respectfully” disagreed. (We’ll leave the irony of a South Carolinian opposing the “states-rights” position for another day.)

In response, Trump unleashed an afternoon-long tirade against Graham on social media, best captured by this gutting line: “I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Graham, it seems, can’t help himself. He’s stuck in a cycle of asserting his independence of thought and action then getting smacked down by Trump for such insolence, at which point Graham submits, only to reinitiate the cycle again on his own the next time. It’s a perpetual smackdown machine.

Graham has abandoned his principles, compromised what he held out as his true beliefs, and sacrificed the good people of Ukraine on the altar of Trump. In return for what? He still has his Senate seat, but little else.

A Daylong Backlash Against Trump On Abortion

Trump’s dual play of claiming credit for overturning Roe while abandoning for the moment his abortion-foe allies, fooled a few journalists (not all), but most people saw it clearly for what it was.

Trump will try to low-key his anti-abortion position until he’s re-elected, then of course all bets are off on what new draconian measures he will support in order to pay back the supporters he temporarily sidelined.

Don’t read that to mean that it should work politically. He’s an easy target now. His “low-key” states-rights position necessarily means he is in favor of every hardline law that’s been passed at the state level so far and will be passed in the future. And of course it’s fair game to assume that he would sign a national abortion ban, forcing blue states into the post-Dobbs regime. He’s really fooling no one:

  • TPM’s Kate Riga: Trump Bets That Voters Will Buy His Feigned Moderation On Abortion
  • TPM’s Nicole Lafond: Trump Couched His Non-Answer On Abortion In IVF Messaging Cleanup
  • NYT: On Abortion, Trump Chose Politics Over Principles
  • Aaron Blake: Trump’s cynical punt on abortion

Democrats Weren’t Fooled By Trump’s Gambit Either

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey:

The Politics Of Abortion Has Indeed Changed … Dramatically

Here’s a microcosm of the tectonic shift in abortion politics in the personage of Laura Ingraham, via @Acyn:

April 8, 2024:

Aug. 9, 2023:

Dec. 20, 2022:

Good Read

TPM’s Josh Kovensky: What Exactly Do The Christian Nationalists Want? 


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Trump In Desperation Mode With First Criminal Trial Looming

Trump is about to face criminal justice for the first time, and his legal team had saved up a batch of last-minute Hail Marys to try to fend it off. With the hush-money trial beginning Monday, here’s the latest:

  • Appeal court judge rejected Trump’s last ditch effort to move the trial to a different venue and thus delay it.
  • Trump’s team signaled that it would sue the trial judge to try to get his gag order overturned.
  • All of this is on top of an existing motion to recuse the judge over bogus conflict of interest claims with his daughter’s work.

None of this is likely to succeed in delaying the trial, but we’ll be watching.

Jack Smith Files His Immunity Brief With SCOTUS

Trump’s immunity case before the Supreme Court slumbers along, with Special Counsel Jack Smith filing his well-argued brief.

Keep An Eye On This

The Daily Beast: Trump’s $175 Million Bond Is Even Shadier Than It Looks

Ukraine’s Fate Will Be Determined By Fools Like This

Newly installed RNC co-chair Michael Whatley grouped Ukraine with China and Iran as “aggressive” U.S. adversaries:

This Makes Me So Happy

CLEVELAND, OHIO – APRIL 07: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes works to shoot over Bree Hall #23 of the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half during the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament National Championship at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 07, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The NCAA women’s basketball championship game Sunday was the most-watched basketball game at any level in five years. Here’s how it stacks up against other major sporting events, according to Richard Deitsch:

To put the South Carolina-Iowa viewership in perspective, the game topped:

  • Every World Series game since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series
  • Every NBA Finals game since Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals
  • Every Daytona 500 since 2006
  • Every Masters final round viewership since 2001
  • All but four college football games in 2023

Another amazing factoid: The three most-watched women’s basketball games ever were Iowa’s last three games in the tourney, in descending order:

  • Iowa’s championship game loss to South Carolina: 18.7 million viewers
  • Iowa’s Final Four win over UConn: 14.2 million viewers
  • Iowa’s Elite Eight win over LSU: 12.3 million viewers

The previous most-watched women’s basketball game was Iowa’s loss to LSU in last year’s championship game: a mere 9.9 million viewers.

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