Surprise, Lindsey Graham Only Cares About Obstruction When Bill Clinton's Dong Is Involved
It's been a little more than two decades since a Republican-controlled Congress impeached Bill Clinton for a range of blowjob related felonies, including obstruction of justice. Nothing Clinton did had any impact on national security or the economy. However, we were told that the presidency has high standards and we should hold Bubba to them. That was all bullshit. Most of the Republicans championing Clinton's impeachment and removal in 1998 are now shrugging off Donald Trump's Godfather cosplay, as documented in the Mueller Report.
Take for instance our home state shame Lindsey Graham. whose soul Trump keeps in a Mason jar on his desk. When Mueller's report was released last week, Graham declared the case officially closed. NO COLLUSION.
GRAHAM: It's over. It's over, for me. Unless there's something in the report that suggests Mueller did not say there was no collusion or ... if he says, you know, 'I can't decide on obstruction, you decide,' the decision by [Attorney General Bill Barr] is OK with me. If the report indicates no collusion found by Mueller, done, over, for me."
Looks like it's not "over," though, because Barr's lip-synched performance of the Mueller Report mangled quite a few lyrics. Barr skipped right over the verse where Mueller states he can't absolve Trump of wrongdoing (probably because he's the special counsel, not a bought-off priest).
Mueller's report can't indicate "no collusion" because "collusion" isn't a legal term. The report does indicate lots of shady interactions between Trump's campaign and Russia. That's probably worth investigating if we had a co-equal branch of government whose Constitutional duty demanded investigating this sort of thing. Oh, and Mueller also says the following:
"The conclusion that Congress may apply obstruction laws to the President's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law."
That is literally "I can't decide on obstruction, you decide." However, Graham, the Senate's ranking Trump sycophant, told McClatchy yesterday that he's not interested in hearing more from Mueller himself. He's certainly not going to "retry the case" that has not yet been tried.
Graham's "Anything Goes" approach to the executive branch is an obvious contrast to his position when Clinton was in office. Then Graham believed impeachment wasn't about punishing someone who committed an actual crime you could actually prove. It was about "cleansing the office." Does anyone believe the Trump's White House doesn't stink to high hell? There's a Kellyanne Conway roaming free.
Every reporter must now ask @LindseyGrahamSC if he still believes in the standard he set for removing a president i… https://t.co/0QotGyXHsp— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence O'Donnell) 1534908124.0
Barr grossly suggested Trump's light obstruction was an understandable result of his "anger and frustration." Trump was worried the Russia investigation would "undermine" his presidency by exposing its illegitimacy. Clinton probably rightly believed that Ken Starr and his blowjob enforcers were needlessly harassing him, but no Republican considered that a valid defense. They didn't even bother to mime playing a tiny violin for him.
Did Trump obstruct justice when he fired James Comey? Did he order his press secretary to knowingly lie? Hell, that was just "Phase One" in a Marvel movie series of obstruction. Trump advanced to "Phase Two" when he feared Mueller was investigating him personally.
"At that point, the president engaged in a second phase of conduct, involving public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts both in public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation," the report states.
Mueller lists ten possible acts of obstruction. Congress better get a move on, since 1998 Graham already said you don't need to wait for the president to utter certain "magic phrases" to prove obstruction.
"He doesn't have to say, 'Go lie for me,' to be a crime. You don't have to say, 'Let's obstruct justice' for it to… https://t.co/kiwrQtH3GR— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 (@Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸) 1555653265.0
Graham was one of the lead "prosecutors" of Clinton in the House. When he testified before the Senate, he said there was "no doubt" Clinton's orgasms were somehow "high crimes." But it wasn't just about the sex. It was the lying about the sex. The Republicans cry "no collusion!" while ignoring the standard their party set decades ago that a president lying to avoid embarrassment or to otherwise save his own skin is ultimately an impeachable offense.
GRAHAM: I have lost no sleep worrying about the fact that Bill Clinton might have to be removed from office because of his conduct. I have lost tons of slept thinking he may get away with what he did.
Graham is not a hypocrite so much as he is a partisan hack, whose only core belief is "Republicans Losing Power Bad/Republicans Gaining Power Good." This is probably why who Lindsey Graham sleeps with has never interested us that much. It's how he manages to sleep through the night that continues to baffle us.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."