What Lindsey Graham wants to be 'on the table' during vote tallies

This is a time in which people in positions of authority tell us who they really are. We should listen to what Lindsey Graham is saying about his character
Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Amy Coney Barrett To Be Supreme Court Justice
Sen. Lindsey Graham listens as Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies on the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Oct. 13, 2020.Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool via Getty Images

In recent weeks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has made a striking number of Fox News appearances, pleading with the network's viewers to send him campaign contributions. Last night, the South Carolina Republican returned to the network to push an even more provocative line. As TPM noted:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday night backed President Trump's assault on democracy, telling Fox News' Sean Hannity that "everything should be on the table" — including an idea floated on Wednesday that GOP-controlled state legislatures should ignore the will of the people and toss their electoral votes to Trump.

The host specifically raised the prospect of Pennsylvania's Republican lawmakers "invalidating" the commonwealth's election results, and it was at that point that Graham said he believes "everything should be on the table." The senator added that the "allegations of wrongdoing" in Pennsylvania "are earth shattering."

Which allegations? Graham didn't say. Where's the evidence? It didn't come up.

There are a few elements to this that are worth appreciating. First, in context, what the conservative host referenced was an idea in which Pennsylvania's Republican-led state legislature would simply ignore the will of the voters and instead choose a pro-Trump slate of electors. That Graham didn't explicitly endorse such a gambit, his "everything should be on the table" phrasing suggested he saw this as a realistic option.

That's bonkers. Not only has the top GOP legislator in Pennsylvania ruled out such a tactic, but the Campaign Legal Center published a compelling analysis a couple of months ago, explaining why states do not have the legal authority to simply ignore their own citizens' vote count.

Second, it's also worth acknowledging that several notable Republican voices have stepped up to denounce Trump's attack on our democracy. South Carolina's senior senator, who won't have to worry about a re-election race until 2026, could do the honorable thing and join them. He apparently doesn't want to.

Third, on a related note, this is a time in which people in positions of authority tell us who they really are. There were some hopes that Lindsey Graham, after his re-election, once it appeared Trump's defeat was likely, would become more reasonable. It's time to retire those hopes and recognize what the senator is telling us.

Graham's scramble to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett -- breaking his word, setting fire to his credibility -- looked like the low point of his professional career. Last night, the Republican found a way to dig a hole in the bottom of the barrel and fall a little lower.