Probably the two people in Washington who wonder the most about what happened to Lindsey Graham are Joe and Jill Biden. The Bidens and Graham were close friends for many years. Last night Graham put a knife in Biden’s back by making comments which enabled Vladimir Putin to take the stance that he is at war with the United States, rather than the architect of an unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

The strangeness of Graham’s attack, particularly the violent wording, took everyone aback. Here are the details from the Wall Street Journal.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Thursday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be assassinated by his own people, suggesting it would be the only way to end the crisis precipitated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Graham first made the assertion during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. He then repeated the comment on Twitter, referencing both the betrayer of Julius Caesar and the architect of an unsuccessful 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler.

“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” he asked. “The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.”

In a subsequent tweet he added: “The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do. Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness you need to step up to the plate.”

Both the United States and NATO are supporting Ukraine from outside. It has to be that way. If NATO and/or the U.S. directly oppose Putin’s army in Ukraine, that could conceivably lead to the Russian people getting behind Putin, which they are not at this time. This is Putin’s war, not Russia’s. But if NATO would declare itself at war with Russia, that could change the dynamic.

Same with the U.S. And yet there was Lindsey Graham last night, incredibly shooting off his mouth to the amazement of one and all.

Was he trying to support Putin in starting a war against NATO, which would engulf all of Europe? Heather Cox Richardson:

It was an astonishing moment… and also an interesting one. It undermines the position of the U.S. and our partners and allies, but in whose service? After initially opposing Trump’s reach for the presidency, Graham threw in his lot utterly with the former president, who has many possible reasons both to undermine Biden and to keep Putin in power. Perhaps Graham’s comment was intended to help Trump. Or perhaps Graham might have simply made a colossally stupid mistake. Whatever the case, the enormous implications of his statement make it one that would be a mistake to ignore.

Graham was not the only one to bolster Putin’s position today. Tucker Carlson tonight told his audience that indeed he was wrong in his earlier defense of the Russian president but then continued to stoke the same racist and sexist fires he has fed all along, blaming his misreading of the situation on Vice President Kamala Harris.

Today the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russian media outlets, as well as some of those involved with them, that worked to “spread Russian disinformation and influence perceptions as a part of their invasion of Ukraine.”

Closer to home, a federal court in the Southern District of New York charged John Hanick with violating U.S. sanctions and making false statements concerning his years of work for sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev. Malofeyev was key to destabilizing Ukraine in order to support a Russian takeover. Hanick worked for him from 2013 until at least 2017, establishing TV networks in Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece to spread destabilizing messages.

Hanick was one of the founding producers of the Fox News Channel. He became an admirer of Putin because of the Russian leader’s anti-LGBTQ stance and his belief that Putin was a devout Christian. Apparently, he turned that enthusiasm into an attempt to undermine democracy in favor of Putin’s authoritarianism.

Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a new interagency law enforcement task force, KleptoCapture, dedicated to enforcing sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures the U.S. and its allies and partners have imposed to respond to Russian aggression. In a statement, about the Hanick indictment, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damien Williams said, “The indictment unsealed today shows this office’s commitment to the enforcement of laws intended to hamstring those who would use their wealth to undermine fundamental democratic processes.”

I for one don’t think Graham made a colossally stupid mistake. I think it was a deliberately thought out comment to ensure the result that was achieved, which is giving Putin a propaganda coup.

It’s tragic, to say the least, that we have a member of the United States Senate who is doing the work of, if not actually on the payroll of, a dictator who is an enemy of both the United States and democracy.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not saying Miss Lindsay is wrong-putie’s people should rise up against him. Should such a thing happen I’m about 99% positive putie would not come out of it alive.

    That is not the only resolution to this. It seems like Ukraine is holding out much longer than anyone, most particularly the “genius” who attacked them, thought they would or could. It seems very similar to the miscalculation hitler made when he attacked russia: did not take into account the weather/road conditions. Add to it russia has equipment falling apart before or when it gets mired in the mud and it should certainly be taking the wind out putie’s sails.

    I guess stupidity of the trump-kind is very contagious because Graham used to know better.

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  2. What Graham said is something virtually anyone with half a brain believes because it’s true. Unless Putin goes Hitler in his bunker someone or some group is going to have to kill him to stop him.

    The problem is Graham saying out loud and in such a visible forum.

    It’s one thing for people like me and so many others to say it on some blog or social media, or even respected pundits saying it on news/opinion shows. However it’s quite different coming from a national elected/appointed and serving political figure! Especially Graham.

    There has been much speculation and many a wisecrack about Graham having super-glued his lips to Trump’s butt once Trump took over the GOP. And for all the talk about the notoriously anti-gay Putin having “dirt” on Graham I for one have never bought into the line of reasoning that Putin has evidence that Graham is gay and will “out” him for not being Trump’s lap dog. I don’t know if Graham is gay or not and I don’t care. Never have. What’s more important is that voters in SC who put and keep him in that Senate seat feel the same way I do. They might wonder, but even those who do lean towards the “he’s gay” viewpoint don’t really care much and never have. If Putin does have some kind of dirt on Graham it’s something else.

    For a glorious but oh so brief time Graham broke with Trump due to the attack on the Capitol. Getting accosted in airports and a flood of angry MAGAts from SC and around the country drove him back to Trump’s butt with a fresh bottle of super glue in almost no time at all. Still, even with Graham firmly back on Team Trump (and by extension Putin) Putin I’m sure remembers something else about Graham that I think too many people have forgotten, or think no longer matters. Before Trump, Graham was for a much longer time hitched to the late John McCain, and therefore McCain’s closest pals which included the guy who is now our President. McCain considered Putin a mortal enemy and was critical of any President including Bush 43 who didn’t view and deal with Putin as such. McCain loathed Putin and the feeling was mutual.

    Even if Graham abandoned all McCain stood for and taught him he has to still have some residual effects from all that time hanging out with McCain and others including Biden. And THAT is why Graham’s outburst was so stupid and damaging. No one should think even for a second that Putin didn’t sit straight up in his chair over those comments! Putin is surely troubled by them, but also sees an opportunity to use them to rally his own people. Civilians and military of course, but also the population of Russia in general. It was a shot of adrenaline at a time when Putin really needed it.

    Graham has been hanging out with Trump so long that it seems like others where his brain used to be there’s nothing but toxic Trump fart fumes.

  3. I’m going to let the brainlessness of Graham’s remark stand on its own. Suffice to say, it’s a stupid-as-hell thing for any elected official to say right now, especially when you contrast it with the Ukrainian president who has apparently survived three assassination attempts in the last week and picks his words far more carefully.

    But here’s an angle no one’s mentioned yet…I’m on record saying how equally brainless the Weimar Republic comparisons were to the USA. Has anyone yet figured out that minus some serious TLC, we may be heading for just such a Weimar Republic moment with Russia? Putin is about to suffer one of the largest defeats since the fall of Kaiser Wilhelm II in WWI’s aftermath (a question of when now, not if). Add in hyperinflation, sanctions that sink WAY deep and talk of “reparations” from Zelinskyy (which, let me be clear, he is more than justified in wanting) and…surely you see where this is going, right?

    • History is filled with sad, even tragic examples of the fact that winning the peace is as difficult as if not more difficult than winning a war. That old saying about “To the victor goes the spoils” is rooted in reality that as I just said causes all manner of problems. The desire for restitution and more in the form of payback/retribution is a natural one for those who have borne the cost of winning a war they didn’t want to have to fight. But giving in to it, or trying to extract every freaking bit of punishment that can be inflicted carries costs too. Germany was ground down and crushed after WWI and despite their help Japan was rather impolitely shut out of divving up the spoils. Look at what that led to.

      George Marshall recommended a different approach in the aftermath of WWII and even McCarthur wholly bought in. We rebuilt what had been destroyed including the countries that had initiated the conflicts in the first place. Russia not so much however as they insisted on the more traditional approach of grabbing ever spoil they could and making it clear our help wasn’t welcome. So we wound up with the Cold War but with our efforts the rebuilding of Japan and Germany (and others who supported them) we established ourselves as the leader of the free world and the costs to us were quickly made up in spades.

      We and other countries would do well to try and be like Marshall when the fighting is done. Rebuild Ukraine, and help rebuild Russia while using that effort to reshape it into an upstanding member of the world community with a stable government that allow true representative government.

      • I don’t really see how Japan’s being “shut out of divvying up the spoils” after WW1 led to Japan’s increased militarism in the lead up to WW2.

        Japan, simply by virtue of its geography, didn’t stand much to gain in the aftermath of WW1. It had already taken Germany’s North Pacific territories (the modern countries of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and the Northern Mariana Islands) and I really don’t think Japan had the capability (at that point) to handle Germany’s South Pacific territories (New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa).

        • Japan is a country where “face” is hugely important and loss of it brings great shame and disgrace. Also, many including many of its leaders considered (and more than you’d think still do) themselves to a a superior race. They went to great lengths for most of their history to insulate themselves from the outside world, in part for this very reason – they didn’t want their culture “infected.” Still, their leaders saw a certain virtue and even need to modernize if only to ensure control of outside influences on their country and that included forming alliances in a world where others (Russia for example) were deveoping weapons that could render them subjects of a foreign power. We can debate their contributions to WWI but the point is that as the allied winners were deciding on the fate of countries in the aftermath the Japanese delegation was pretty much told to STFU and stay out of the way. Even if done in flowery diplomatic language (and while not downright rude it wasn’t couched in the politest of diplomatic terms) they were told Japan and it’s thoughts weren’t worthy of consideration. So hell yes they were insulted and on a national level. The realization that they were considered minor players and in fact inferiors (a perception many would hold up until the attack on Pearl Harbor and a host of other attacks around the Pacific at almost the same time or right aftewards) were actually thought of as inferiors both in war technology and in other ways. And in the time between WWI and WWII they set about changing that. Had they been given even modest respect at the end of WWI they might have become an ally instead of an enemy.

  4. I was appalled to hear about this. Still, i think the Biden administration can put out this fire by explaining just who Lindsay Graham is, that he is no friend or representative of the present administration, that he speaks for himself but certainly not for Biden or American foreign policy in any way shape or form, and that he is a Trump toady and has been since the day Trump was elected.

  5. Could this have been planned? Putin wants to be at war with us and he has had Lindsay in his back pocket during 45’s tenure. Lindsay saying this opens a HUGE door for Putin to distract. Just saying.

    • Kindly direct your attention to the numerous carjacked tanks in Ukraine and the week-long gap response in the Russian propaganda machinery to Ukraine before presuming such higher thought was ever in play.

      • There’s an old saying that amateurs talk strategy but professionals talk logistics. Credible reporting indicates Putin drew up this plan. I can just see him blowing off his military advisors who wanted to talk details about expending the resources to not only ensure all those tanks and other vehicles were properly serviced AND had adequate teams of personnel and needed part right there to deal with breakdowns – which are inevitable with a force that size even when everything is ship-shape going in. I can easily see him deriding his generals (just as Trump would) with talk like “They’ve been sitting there for years not being used? Why do they need this intensive servicing you claim is needed? We will do exercises before the actual invasion and have plenty of time to replace stuff. Which I’m sure won’t be necessary.”

        Of course, those same exercises used up what serviceability a lot of that stuff had, and when most needed it broke down just like Putin was warned would happen. In numbers that blew the hell out of his timetable. Add that in to a force made up of a substantial number of troops that, upon being told they hadn’t been sent to the border for a show of force but would actually invade had a “WTF? Oh hell NO!” reaction and started looking for ways to avoid getting into a direct fight with Ukrainians. Their leader Putin and his cronies might have deluded themselves into ignoring recent history and believing Russia would be welcomed but a lot of these regular folks that are conscript biding their time until their enlistments are up knew better. At the regular folks level there’s a lot of back and forth between Ukrainians and Russians.

        I also find it intriguing that it’s the forces that came down from Belarus that seem to have stalled out and either abandoned or abandoned AND sabotaged stuff. It makes me wonder what they were exposed to in Belarus which is essentially akin to a Soviet friendly satellite country in the old USSR. Maybe they caught on and started scheming ahead of time in case an actual order to invade was given? Well, that’s speculation to be sure but what I’m sure of is that convoy is stuck and can’t make much of a move on Kyiv even if fueled with everything in good working order. The ground around the highway is too soft, and Ukrainians have had plenty of time to dig in and blow the hell out of anything that tries to make progress down that road and without air supremecy or even clear superiority overcoming that will use up more time and resources than Putin has.

        I would love to be there right now prepping for Russia to give it a try (my M.O.S. in the Corps was infantry but I had a weapons specialization in anti-tank/assault – that latter part is amateur combat engineer that is trained to use explosives which comes in handy in various ways in anti-tank warfare) but my age and health problems got me a thanks but no thanks. Not that I want to die in my sixties, but if I was there I’d have already used indelible magic marker to write “FUCK PUTIN & FUCK RUSSIA” on my forehead, upper and lower arms, hands, chest stomach, upper and lower back and front and back of my thighs and calves as well as the top and bottom of both feet. I wouldn’t want ANY Russian or news person from anywhere to miss out on my feelings even if my body was blown into multiple parts.

  6. Awe we have Lindsey trying to insinuate that he has some intelligence by speaking of Brutus taking out Julius. Ain’t gonna work. Lindsey sealed it by running to maralego every time he pisses someone off. What we need is for John McCain to visit Lindsey. With Easter coming up, we have the perfect opportunity.

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