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Lindsey Graham Was So Close — Then He Tried To ‘Both-Sides’ The Insurrection

Lindsey Graham Was So Close — Then He Tried To ‘Both-Sides’ The Insurrection

On the anniversary of the attempted coup by Donald Trump’s supporters, elected officials are speaking out about the attack, and what it means for America going forward. Of course, these statements — in content, tone, and medium — vary as much as the legislators making them, which means they go all the way from a Member of Congress using his podcast to call for a ‘takeover’ of the January 6th Committee for the purpose of refocusing on conspiracy theories, to a stately presidential address.

[Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images]

In between, there is a South Carolina Senator who, to all appearances, holds a great passion for waffles — the verb, not the noun. Lindsey Graham has spent the time since the election much the way he spent Trump’s term in office: vacillating between soft-spoken condemnation of certain behaviors, and full-throated support.

His January 6th statement, released in a series of texts, is no different. It starts out with a firm assertion that this should never have happened, and a warning about how deadly this could have been if terrorists had attached themselves to the movement (skirting any actual labeling of the attack as terroristic itself), and affirms that those involved should face legal consequences.

Then there’s a quick about-face to both-sides the issue, trying to soften his position by also pointing a finger at riots that rose in response to racial injustice. It’s a pretty clear “Look! Over there!” move.

Then he is ready to bring the conversation to culpability of political leaders — but wait! Not those who may have had any role in or knowledge of the advance planning of the attack! No, Graham uses a diversion that has been popular on the right in addressing the attempted coup, and blame it on some unspecified person (should we give him credit for not directly blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as so many of his confederates have done, falsely claiming she was responsible for security?) who failed at security, before he credits Trump for speaking and bringing the attack to s stop, without mentioning the hours and pleading that were necessary to get him to do so.

A quick nod to Capitol Police, and another round of blame for some unidentified entity for not protecting them, again without a mention of what brought their attackers to the Capitol to begin with, then it’s off to attack the current administration.

He scolds President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for politicizing the violent attack that was carried out with the political motive of overthrowing a legitimately-elected government.

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In fact, he spends more tweets on scolding them than he uses on any other main topic — Trump’s role, criminal consequences for those involved, or Capitol security going forward.

So to recap, Graham did exactly what Graham could be expected to do: he started out with a statement condemning the violence, then quickly twisted it to defend Trump and Trumpism, and somehow form the events of last January into an attack on Joe Biden, who had at that time won the election but not yet taken office, and who quite clearly did not invite an angry mob to D.C. to keep an ousted president in office.

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