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Lindsey Graham both ups the name-calling and advises Trump to ‘knock it down a notch’

You hardly need one more Trump-disgusted/horrified liberal (that would be me) to weigh in on the current incumbent’s despicable racist-sexist-xenophobic and quintessentially Trumpian rant Monday in which he advised four young, lefty members of Congress, who just happen to be women and of color, to go back where they came from (three of them were born in the U.S.A.) if they don’t like everything about life here in the new, improved Trumpified United States.

Perhaps not enough attention has been called to the hilarious hypocrisy of it, coming from a crazed America-basher like himself, who ran for and (sort of) won the presidency by arguing that liberals and also-born-here-but-Trump-wouldn’t-acknowledge-it President Barack Obama had turned our nation into a failing hell-scape (but no one told Donald Trump that if he felt that way he should go back to Germany where the Drumpf family came from). So I won’t say any of that.

But I have to pass along the reaction of  Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who denounced Trump and didn’t even vote for him but now wants to be Trump’s most craven defender even after Trump pissed all over Graham’s dying best buddy, Sen. John McCain.

Graham decided to one-up the denouncer-in-chief by calling the four women what is probably, in Grahamland, the worst (and hilariously erroneous) thing you can call them. 


Seriously, “a bunch of communists” who “hate America.” Here’s footage of him saying exactly those things on Fox yesterday (and none of the Foxsters, by the way, asked him to back up any of those libels. Nor did he.

In case you just woke up from a long sleep, you know that calling liberal Democrats “socialists” is so common it’s almost passé. The National Republican Congressional Committee throws the S-word at several Democrats every day, including some who use the term to describe themselves and many who don’t. I see several NRCC press releases a month attaching the S-word as a hyperbolic adjective in front of some Democrat or other who has the temerity to run against a Republican.

I consider it a meaningless term unless you define what you mean by it. As I recently mentioned, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Aid to Families with Dependent Children and the progressive income tax could all be called elements of socialism within the fundamentally capitalist and democratic U.S. system of government and economy.

But Republicans are doing it because they hope and believe that you are stupid enough to lose your cool if they can introduce the S-word into enough foaming-mouth rants. It may work. I don’t know. I hope not. 

But the C-word is slightly more specific and much more evocative of Russia and China during the Cold War (you should know that Vladimir Putin no longer calls himself a communist or Russia a communist country). If the S-word is a rhetorical A-bomb, the C-word is an H-bomb, in terms of its intended damage, and a completely ludicrous term to refer to any current member of Congress.

Graham, Trump’s new best friend who in 2015 called Trump “”a race-baiting xenophobic bigot” but in 2018 said he had never heard Trump make racist remarks, did trot out the C-word to refer to the four “squad” members. And then, weirdly, Graham advised his new best friend to “knock it down a notch,” meaning, one gathers, cut down on the name-calling.

Yes, true. I’m not making this up. Graham, in the same Fox interview, advised Trump to cut down on the name-calling and called four young female members of Congress “communists,” “anti-semitic” and several other things.

If you didn’t click through eight paragraphs back to watch him do it, here’s another crack.

I’m sure a proper Trumper could “explain” how all this tracks. Or at least it would be fun to watch one try. The comment thread welcomes your elucidations.

Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/16/2019 - 09:31 am.

    It’s been awhile since Senator Graham has had any right to be taken seriously as anything other than a miserable lickspittle for President Trump.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, if the man’s nose were any browner, nervous suburbanites would be calling the police on him.

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 07/16/2019 - 12:28 pm.

      RB: You said it so well, and what you said is SO TRUE!!!!

      Isn’t it sickening to watch someone debase themselves so utterly and so completely just to get ahead in the polls? I heard someone announce on television that since Senator Graham had started supporting President Trump, his (Graham’s) approval rating had gone way up . . . Still . . . I just don’t understand those who support President Trump – I.JUST.DO.NOT.

      • Submitted by Laura Summers on 07/17/2019 - 05:44 am.

        Graham’s widely reported, initial upsurge in support in South Carolina’s polls surprised and worried me, too, but we–and Eric–can take some heart from Senator Tim Scott’s (R-So Carolina) clear and rapid denunciation of the President’s treats as “racially offensive”.

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/17/2019 - 08:41 am.

          So Scott didn’t call Don Trump’s comments racist?


          • Submitted by Laura Summers on 07/18/2019 - 03:48 pm.

            No, he didn’t, but as he might be the only black GOP Senator at present, his precise form of words was probably a more effective way of firmly advising the President to back off. Some of the tensions within the Democratic congressional caucus (over immigration policy and funding, “primarying”, relations with partner (or parallel) grassroots citizens’ organizations) also have ripple effects within the Black Congressional caucus. It seems likely to me that Graham’s initial attempts to stigmatize the squad for their allegedly “socialist” and communist commitments were diversionary and also an attempt to stifle a hostile reaction from the electorate. In any case, this is a complicated eruption into public view of several tensions that have been building for a few weeks now. The following investigative piece offers quite a few interesting details:


    • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 07/16/2019 - 06:52 pm.

      I agree RB. Actually what’s happened with Lindsay Graham is pretty disturbing and for me disheartening.

      I watched a video interview of him this morning filmed during the 2016 campaign, where he was thoughtfully, articulately but forcefully condemning Trump for his remarks about the middle east, called him a “racist xenophobe’, and ending the interview by saying “If Americans want to make America great again, they’ll tell Donald Trump to go to hell !!”.

      I felt like clapping at the end of it, it was so well thought-out, and he made so many intelligent and thoughtful observations.

      What happened to that guy? What happened to John McCain’s best friend (and as Eric said, shouldn’t he resent Trump bashing his good friend even after his death?), and what happened to the guy who often was a check on Trump as was McCain, and said if he fired Jeff Sessions, the senate would make it the end of his presidency?

      Now, as you’ve said, he’s perhaps Trump biggest sycophant, and seems to not only stand behind him no matter what (on topics he would have slammed him for previously), but he chimes in with wild, hate talk of his own.

      What happened to the guy??

      I guess it’s similar to Rudy Guilliani – just a sad and sickening and very, very disappointing thing to watch formerly good men totally lose all their dignity, self-respect and integrity so very rapidly and become what those two have become.

      Almost reminds me somehow of a perfectly good hobbit turning into ‘Gollum’, for those who know the Lord of the Rings story.

      Not a pretty picture at all.

      I think unfortunately, Lindsay’s fallen so far from the man he used to be, that he needs to be voted out of office nearly as much as Trump IMO.

      It would be nice if he came to his senses and went back to being his former self, but sadly he’s given no inclination so far to being likely to do so.

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 07/17/2019 - 08:01 am.

      Thank you, sir, for this humorous comment. I may borrow it. These are hard to come by on this well moderated MP site. In jest, there is truth.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/16/2019 - 10:05 am.

    Irony abounds. Among many possibilities, my favorite of the moment is a subhead on another web-based news site that points out this little bit of political awkwardness: Ilhan Omar has been a U.S. citizen longer than Melania Trump.

  3. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/16/2019 - 10:12 am.

    538 Members and not one is more desperate than Lindsey Graham to keep his job. No lie is too big, no humiliation too great.

    The Trump enablers will scatter like cockroaches in November 2020, waiting for their chance to re-emerge when they will have no recollection of 2016-2020.

  4. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 07/16/2019 - 11:21 am.

    I am really getting tired of having everyone who doesn’t agree with your political philosophy automatically get labeled a racist. Suggesting to someone who doesn’t like our capitalist system to move to another country that is more in line with their ideology has nothing whatsoever to do with race.

    This whole racist diatribe is just as absurd as labeling someone anti-semitic just because they disagree with the policies of the State of Israel (or even the existence of the State of Israel).

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/16/2019 - 11:34 am.

      Why is Trump not telling Bernie Sanders to “go back where he came from?”

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/16/2019 - 11:53 am.

        An absolutely insightful comment from RB and I am so looking forward to Mr. Schumann’s reply and the insight it will provide.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 07/16/2019 - 05:25 pm.

      Mr. Schumann must face the fact that Trump is attempting to vilify four women of color. He “others” them (makes them objects instead of people) by telling them to go back to their countries, when their country is the United States of America, in three of their cases, by birth. Remember, Trump “othered” Barack Obama, too; Trump is a fierce and unrepentant “birther” by trade, who simply doesn’t like any people of color.

      That’s racist, Mr Schumann. It’s not ideology; Trump isn’t ideological because he’s too ignorant to have an ideology (thus, his chaotic foreign policy).

      It saddens me that you either can’t see that, or won’t see that.

      But I also see, in this instance, Trump’s attempt to divert our attention from the Mueller report Mueller’s upcoming testimony before Congress, and the ongoing legal sagas of Trump’s 2016 campaign officials (and his inaugural committee and his fraudulent Foundation and his cheating Trump business empire, and the awful policy moves Trump’s administration is taking).

      Look st the other news, to see what’s important, the ask yourself why Trump is trying to force our attention to a side show instead.

    • Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 07/16/2019 - 05:57 pm.

      Trump’s tweets are racist because he only makes comments like this about people whose skin color is a darker hue than his shade of orange.

    • Submitted by Brent Stahl on 07/16/2019 - 08:04 pm.

      Trump’s history with racism goes back several decades, and has been documented. See “An Oral History of Trump’s Bigotry” in the June 2019 issue of The Atlantic. Search in Google for the article title and Or look up “Racial views of Donald Trump” in Wikipedia. There is much more on this subject online, his reference to “shithole countries” where immigrants come from. Trump’s “political philosophy”, such as it is, seems to be all about authoritarian relationships, promoting white racism, ignoring American traditions and knowledge bases in the Federal government, tax cuts for rich people, creating conflicts, opposing anything that Obama did, financial grifting wherever he can, and Tweeting incoherently in the early morning hours.

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 07/17/2019 - 08:13 am.

      This is an interesting line of reasoning- as the Constitution doesn’t explicitly guarantee capitalism. Should those holding a minority view on any subject be told to renounce their citizenship and move to another country? Is that what we’ve come to?

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 07/18/2019 - 03:36 pm.

      For starters, how often is a Caucasian person told to ‘go back from where you came from?’ And for that matter, under Obama, despite Trump’s comments, he was never told to ‘go back to where you came from.’ That phrase is often yelled at immigrants. I have a friend the other day, a citizen of this country, where an older Caucasian man told her that. I agree some people throw out the racist label without much to go on; but in this case the phrase and in its context was racist. Now about those southerners who hold on to confederate flags–can’t they just ‘go back from where they come from?’

  5. Submitted by Arthur Swenson on 07/16/2019 - 11:26 am.

    A small point, but the “Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC)” was replaced in the 1990’s by a Republican Congress with the help of Bill Clinton. its replacement (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)” is complete with work requirements, a maximum of`two years of benefits, and a myriad of hoops for recipients to jump through. In Minnesota, it is called the “Minnesota Family Investment program (MFIP)”.

  6. Submitted by Stephen Phillips on 07/16/2019 - 12:31 pm.

    Brian Williams put it succinctly last night: The RepubliCON party is comprised of “supplicants and sycophants”

    Not a single one has the courage, moral conscience, intestinal fortitude, spinal capacity, nor personal values and integrity to stand up, speak out, and finally state “but… this Emperor has no clothes!”

  7. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 07/16/2019 - 12:46 pm.

    Perfect time for:
    “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Looks like Trump and his Nazi-fascist brigade of republicans are trying to up the roll out of the take over of the country, coming for the immigrants, coming for the non-compliant (be bare foot and pregnant in the kitchen) women, coming for the congresswomen they disagree with, Poll numbers must be looking worse by the day, need to be the big dictator to cancel the 2020 elections! Another presidential edict/executive order from Commodus. At least in those days the senate preferred a republic to emperor, today apparently Mitch and gang prefer unbridled emperor!

  8. Submitted by Charles Thompson on 07/16/2019 - 01:49 pm.

    Communists? Who voted for this clown?

  9. Submitted by Nathan Bowe on 07/16/2019 - 03:08 pm.

    The 2020 election is going to be incredibly ugly — I’m afraid in a year from now we’ll look back and miss the good old days of civil discourse in 2019…

  10. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 07/16/2019 - 04:42 pm.

    This is all strategy for dividing Democrats and making them looking divided and weak. And they are taking the bait. The whole racism trope is his way of playing grievance politics for his followers and taking no personal responsibilities for the gutter level ethics and morals of Republicans.

    Trump is a despicable human being and so is his family. Many of his followers swallow the victim hood line to deflect attention from their own beliefs. Personally would not be surprised that this is a misdirect and he has a personal liability in the sordid Epstein affair. When the news is bad, change the focus.

  11. Submitted by Michael Ofjord on 07/16/2019 - 06:08 pm.

    If you google “Donald Trump’s long history of racism…..” and see a link to vox, you see his history pretty loud and clear.

    If only the Republicans have the courage to choose a presidential candidate with wisdom, moderation, and that elusive trait that Trump won’t ever have, adult maturity, then America can breathe again.

    Even though he pardoned Nixon, which may have been the best thing to do for America, the last Republican with true integrity in my book was Gerald Ford.

  12. Submitted by Roy Everson on 07/17/2019 - 03:50 am.

    “The National Republican Congressional Committee throws the S-word at several Democrats every day”

    Isn’t that a reference to Minnesota’s own Tom Emmer? Perhaps he could clarify in some future knee-slapping Minnroast skit? Of course if Minnpost really needs him that badly it may offend him to call him out now.

    “Our mandate was (is) to make the 2020 election a choice between socialism and freedom” — Emmer writing for Fox noise

  13. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 07/17/2019 - 08:21 am.

    LG is a Cold War war profiteer who has grown very wealthy in the era of eternal war. The four women in question are of the very few who dare anymore to question that which can not be questioned, the privatized, self-reinforcing, self justifying, backed by total surveillance war hydra (one of the reasons even Pelosi and her gang of neoliberals repeatedly tear them down.)

    That and the elite of both parties are terrified that these “communists” will rise up and tear down this bloody gravy train, interrupting the project of total global domination that is American Plutocratic Corporatism that has been so very lucrative for a few, and so very destructive to so much and so many.

    LG as a mouthpiece of eternal war is more predictable than the weather.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/17/2019 - 09:10 am.

    I don’t know what everyone’s so upset about. Biden says he knows these guy’s and has been friends with them for years if not decades. He promises he can work with them all once Trump is out of office. No worries.

    Calm down everyone, we can live with Fascists in our government.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/18/2019 - 08:52 am.

      “He promises he can work with them all once Trump is out of office”

      Spoken in true Trumpian fashion. Bend and stretch facts as needed to accommodate your views.

      For only 18 months in the last 50 years has there been a single party 60 vote Senate and a majority in the house and the Presidency; but hey, we don’t need to even try and find some common ground with the other side: Let’s just howl at the moon.

      Don’t take my word for it, see what Tom Friedman had to say:

      ‘Trump’s Going to Get Re-elected, Isn’t He?’

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