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Why Lindsey Graham’s defense of Herschel Walker is so odd

To argue that voters should ignore claims about Herschel Walker, because of unrelated accusations against a Supreme Court justice in 2018, is bizarre.


The fact that Sen. Lindsey Graham is rushing to defend Herschel Walker is not surprising. The South Carolina Republican tends to put partisan interests above any other consideration, and since the GOP candidate in Georgia is at the center of multiple scandals, it stands to reason that Graham would rally to Walker’s aid.

The problem, however, is with the defense that Graham has concocted. The Hill reported:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday blamed the media for circulating recent allegations that Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid a former girlfriend to get an abortion, comparing the claims to the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“If you’re waiting on the media to tell you about what’s going on in Georgia ... you’re going wait a hell of a long time,” Graham said on Fox News. “Remember Kavanaugh?”

As a matter of fact, I do remember Kavanaugh. I remember the future justice assuring senators he had no intention of overturning Roe v. Wade. I remember in early September 2018, when Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont stated unequivocally that he believed Kavanaugh had given “untruthful testimony, under oath and on the record.”

I remember Kavanaugh being credibly accused of sexual misconduct. I remember public opinion polls showing broad opposition to his nomination. I remember the controversy being so serious that one GOP senator — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — had the courage to oppose his nomination when it reached the floor for a confirmation vote.

But even if we remember all of these details from the recent past, what’s less clear is what Kavanaugh has to do with Walker.

As Graham sees it, nefarious liberals smeared Kavanaugh, which is somehow supposed to serve as proof that nefarious liberals are also smearing the Senate candidate in Georgia.

That’s an odd argument, not only because of the faulty logic — by the South Carolinian’s reasoning, every accusation against every Republican should be rejected as part of some kind of rascally plot — but because of the relevant details in Walker’s mess.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but many of the key allegations against Walker are coming from his own family, which was not at all the case with Kavanaugh.

One of several women Walker reportedly impregnated has accused him of paying for an abortion, and she has substantiated her claim with documentary evidence, including a canceled check and a hand-signed card. Meanwhile, one of Walker’s children — a conservative media figure — has said the candidate, among other things, “threatened to kill” members of his family, forcing them to flee his “violence.”

If Graham wants to make the case for Walker’s candidacy anyway, fine. He’s welcome to give it a try. But to argue that voters should disregard claims from people close to Walker, because of unrelated accusations against a Supreme Court justice four years ago, is evidence of a party that can’t quite figure out what to say about its Senate candidate in Georgia.