Lindsey Graham Would Also Like You To Know Jaime Harrison Is Black, Has Jewish Friend

2020 Congressional Elections

Georgia Sen. David Perdue's campaign released an ad that gave Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff a Dustin Hoffman makeover. The campaign claimed the altered image was an accident and pulled the ad, after reminding Georgia voters that Ossoff is of the Jewish persuasion. The incident reminded me of courtroom scenes on “Law & Order" when McCoy would say something inflammatory, the defense would object, and he'd quickly reply, “Withdrawn!" The statement about how the defendant's a scumbag is already out there, right?

Over in South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham's campaign has pulled something similar. My home state isn't always on top of everything, but most voters probably already know Graham's opponent, Jaime Harrison, is Black. It's not like his family was forced to change their name from Blackenstein. But Graham's campaign digitally altered his image for a Facebook ad so that there's no question the brother's Black.

From CNN:

"Hollywood continues to bankroll my opponent, raising tens of thousands in campaign cash to attack me — but they fail to understand this simple fact: South Carolinians won't stand for Radical Leftists telling them how to think and how to vote," the Facebook post states. "Are you with me?"

I know Kathy Griffin. Kathy Griffin has made me chuckle a few times. Kathy Griffin isn't “Hollywood." Her agent had to hustle to get my girl a prime spot on the "Hollywood Squares." Griffin isn’t Jewish like Ossoff, but she’s played Jews on TV, so Graham can hit Harrison as funded by “New York" money from “Hollywood" perverts. This is a Senate race in America, Mr. Harrison. New York and Hollywood have no business interfering. After all, Lindsey Graham has only voted to confirm Supreme Court justices who only rule on cases exclusive to South Carolina.

I'm not a graphic design expert but I think you'd want to lighten Harrison's skin tone if the background is also very dark. I can only clearly make out Griffin, as if this is an ad for a Lifetime movie where she plays a bored housewife up for some secret jungle fever. Griffin misspelled Graham's first name in her original tweet, and that also seems like something you'd want to correct. There are issues with this image.

The Graham campaign, of course, denied any racist intent. This was just your standard “guilt by association" ad.

"It's sad that detractors are making up fake accusations about this graphic — intended to highlight Jaime Harrison's support from Kathy Griffin, a liberal actress who once posed with a fake severed head of Donald Trump," T.W. Arrighi, communications director for Graham's campaign, told CNN in a statement Tuesday.

Republicans are still carrying that cross over Griffin's controversial “severed head" photo. Griffin suffered more consequences for the photo than Trump has for ... anything, including light treason. She lost her job on CNN's New Year's Eve show and had tour dates cancelled. She was a clear victim of “mob" "cancel culture," but because it wasn't a “woke" one, conservatives won't whine about the “thought police."

Isn't it weird, though, that Graham's communications director, T.W. Arrighi, felt it necessary to clarify that Griffin posed with a fake severed head of Donald Trump? It just reinforces how much of a non-issue this was. Griffin's photo was perhaps distasteful — like all images featuring Trump's face — but it's not like she actually decapitated the guy. There are laws against that sort of thing.

Besides, a fake severed head of Donald Trump probably has higher approval ratings right now than the real Trump's entire body.

State Rep. JA Moore, a Harrison surrogate, said he was "disgusted" by the ad, which is "the kind of dog-whistle politics that the Republican Party has been practicing for a number of years now."

MOORE: We don't recognize Lindsey Graham. He's not the person that was originally elected over 20 years ago to the federal office, and I think this is just another example of a bought-and-paid-for politician who is so focused on his own personal gain and less focused on the people of South Carolina.

Harrison continued this theme in an email to supporters.

HARRISON: Our state is hurting right now, and we must keep our eye on the ball and fight for the people of the Palmetto State. Lindsey Graham might have darkened my face — but it's Lindsey who the people of South Carolina can't recognize.

I like that the Harrison campaign remains scrupulously on message. It's that discipline that could help Harrison pull out a miracle. However, I'm not running for Senate, so I can safely and unequivocally state that I do recognize Graham and he's always been garbage.


Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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