He may have been part of the Gang of Eight, but Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) transformation under the Trump White House has been…tremendous. He’s a fighter for the Trump agenda. He’s bashing Democrats harder than ever before. Does anyone remember when he torched the Left for trying to clip Judge Brett Kavanaugh? And rightfully so, Democrats tried to peddle sexual misconduct claims based on bogus evidence to derail a Supreme Court nomination.
Great job sticking to your guns on border security, Mr. President!— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 11, 2018
You are right to want more border security funding including Wall money.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 11, 2018
They are WRONG to say no.
Put DACA on the table and make them say NO to the Wall and DACA. #DigIn— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 11, 2018
White House official tells me: “POTUS said that he wants $5 billion. It’s crystal clear, and we’re executing to it. It’s a red line. He’s willing to shut it down. He’s willing to own it.”— Elaina Plott (@elainaplott) December 11, 2018
Senate GOP official tells me: “Trump will sign whatever McConnell and Ryan send him.”
Now, with a government shut down looming over the president’s border wall funding request, Graham is rallying around Trump, hoping he digs in on his immigration enforcement agenda. John Sexton at Hot Air has more, and he suggests the tough stance Graham cracker is taking has an ulterior motive:
Can’t fault Graham for looking ahead to some sort of face-saving compromise after the two parties deadlock and the government shuts down, though. One way out of that would be to agree on a middle-ground number for funding the wall. Trump wants $5 billion, Democrats have offered $1.6 billion for general “border security.” Maybe we end up with $3 billion or thereabouts for the wall — but Democratic voters won’t like that, even though it’ll mean Trump was forced to come down off his initial number. They just won the House despite immigration becoming a prominent issue in the final weeks due to the caravan, and the wall is Trump’s baby. They don’t want to give in on this and don’t think they should have to, especially if he’s playing shutdown hardball to achieve it. If they end up giving him anything for the wall Pelosi and Schumer will have to get something meaningful in return. Graham’s already laying the groundwork for it: DREAM amnesty for wall funding.
Yeah, it’s the ghosts of the Gang of Eight’s past, I guess. Is amnesty for the wall unpalatable to the base? If it’s only DACA recipients, blowback might not be as bad, of course. The Trump White House already floated this earlier this year—and the Democrats rejected it. Expect the same results this go-around, but with a more feisty Democratic Party.