With Friends Like These...
So, now, as his defenses of Trump keep dwindling in the face of House Manager arguments during the Senate trial, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is down to arguing that Trump "did nothing wrong in his mind."
Putting aside for the moment that analyzing what's in Trump's mind is a risky defense, most-especially since there is virtually no evidence of him ever saying he was wrong and appears to believe that everything he does is OK, including his "perfect" phone call extorting the president of Ukraine which helped get him impeached -- this "defense" by Lindsey Graham shows how empty the GOP is now.
Note that Graham now does not say that Trump did nothing wrong. Merely that it wasn't wrong "in his mind."
Fun Fact: if you rob a bank but in your mind you did nothing wrong since banks allow money to be withdrawn, you will be convicted of robbery.
If you kill someone but in your mind you did nothing wrong since people with different political views than you hurt America, you will be convicted of murder.
If you punch your little brother but in your mind you did nothing wrong you're older, you will will sent to your room, not get dessert and lose your allowance.
So, great, we can all rest easy and get on with our lives -- Trump did nothing wrong "in his mind." Cool. It turns out that if ignorance is bliss, Trump has apparently reached nirvana.
But Lindsey Graham said even more that was from the ozone. For starters, when speaking of the charges by Trump that Joe Biden did something corrupt in Ukraine because his son got a job on the board a oil company for which he wasn't qualified, Graham said, “I love Joe Biden but I can tell you if the name was Trump, there would be a lot of questions asked."
For starters, there were investigations about all this. Two of them, actually, one in Ukraine and one by the British, and in both it was determined that Joe Biden did absolutely nothing wrong, nor did his son. But going further, I think he's right.that if this was Trump there would be even more questions asked -- that's because Joe Biden has a many-decades history of honesty and decency (which, I have to assume, is why Lindsey Graham "loves Joe Biden"), and Trump has a long history of being sued and settling, including by the federal government over racial bias in his property and for fraud with his Trump University, not to mention just having had his "charitable foundation" shut down by the courts! So, yes,,people would indeed look at Trump differently from Joe Biden over the issue of corruption.
Is this unfair "profiling" of Trump? No, rather it's what lawyers call "pattern and practice." And it's another really terrible defense of Trump by pointing out that people see Trump as generally having a history of being corrupt.
Mr. Graham had two particularly bizarre but wonderful (in a bizarre way) quotes. The first about Trump was -- "if he thought he was doing something wrong, he would probably shut up about it.”
I'm doing my best to figure out what divining rod Lindsey Graham used to come up with that one. Forgetting for the moment, as I noted, that I'm not sure if Trump has ever thought he was doing something wrong, more to the point is that I don't think Trump would shut up about most anything, even if he was asleep. We've seen he has a need to talk, a need to tweet, a need to be front-and-center, a need to be the focus of attention. And what we've also seen is that when it's clear he's losing a battle over some reprehensible comment, he often doubles down.
The other quote was --
"The president believes that the Ukraine interfered in our election. I can tell you without any doubt it was the Russians who hacked into the DNC. It was not the Ukrainians. I cannot say that there was nobody in the Ukraine that had worked with [Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort] that did a number on him. I don’t know.”
The only reason Trump believes that Ukraine interfered in our election is because...Vladimir Putin told him! This isn't a guess, Trump said so. And Graham knows this, yet still thinks it's a great thing to repeat. And not only does he think it's a great thing to repeat...he thinks it's even better to let everyone know that he himself, Lindsey Graham, not only believes but knows and even more, he knows "without any doubt." And not only that he know without any doubt that it was the Russians -- but that it was "not the Ukranians."
And this is from Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's greatest maniacal defenders. And for reasons unknown to him and his God, he thinks this is all a really swell defense of Trump.
In the words of the great opera comic Anna Russell after taking 20 minutes to explain the utterly-convoluted and near-insane plot of Wagner's 20-hour Ring Cycle -- I'm not making this up, you know! (You can read it all here.)
Let's recap because this is too weird and can get lost. Trump's leading defender Lindsey Graham tells us --
People would be more suspicious of Trump doing something corrupt than of Joe Biden.
He, Lindsey Graham, loves Joe Biden..
Trump would apparently shut up if he did something wrong.
He, Lindsey Graham, knows without a doubt that Russia interfered with the United States election.
He, Lindsey Graham, also knows without a doubt that Ukraine did not interfere with the United States election.
Trump, however, does believe that Ukraine interfered in our election -- which we know Putin told him.
And in the end, although Graham can't state explicitly that Trump did nothing wrong, what he can insist -- indeed, the best defense he can offer -- that Trump didn't do anything wrong "in his mind."
The defense rests.
Sometimes, you wish the defense would keep going.
1/24/2020 04:33:25 pm
I think the good senator has spent so many years tightly clutching his pearls over everything, he must have accidentally and repeatedly deprived his brain of oxygen and caused himself brain damage.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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