On November 17th, Kamala Harris returned to the Senate floor for the first time since the election elevated her to the position of Vice President-Elect. There, an interaction took place between her and a fellow lawmaker that — I’m ashamed to admit — genuinely surprised me, even for her. On Twitter, The Recount posted video footage of Vice President-Elect Harris extending her fist out, waiting for the “bump” to come from whoever it was that she was hoping to share the friendly interaction with.
As the video goes on to show us, the person, interestingly enough, happened to be GOP Senator and top Trump ally, Lindsay Graham.
The very same Lindsay Graham who has publicly been more than willing to do his part in order to help President Trump undermine the legitimacy of the election that made Harris Vice President-Elect. The very same Lindsay Graham who is currently facing calls to resign because it was disclosed that he was attempting to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to throw out votes for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Stephanie Saul with The New York Times writes:
“…Mr. Graham, who has transformed during that time to become one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal allies, now seems determined to reverse the election’s outcome on the president’s behalf. On Friday, he phoned Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state of Georgia and a fellow Republican, wondering about the possibility of a slight tinkering with the state’s elections outcome.
What if, Mr. Graham suggested on the call, according to Mr. Raffensperger, he had the power to toss out all of the mail-in votes from counties with high rates of questionable signatures on ballots?
In an interview with The Washington Post, Mr. Raffensperger said he was stunned that Mr. Graham had appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots.
“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Mr. Raffensperger said of the call from Mr. Graham, the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Obviously, this is about far more than a friendly “fist-bump” between two colleagues. Rather, it feels as if its an all too perfect representation of everything that has brought us to this moment, and why I and countless others currently have such little faith that the current Democratic party is capable of helping us to recover.
For years, all we have heard about is the threat that Donald Trump poses to the democratic process of the United States. Many have rightly observed — in an effort to implore people to vote for Joe Biden — that the man would burn the country down for the sake of his own ego. Since before he even took office we have been expecting this incredibly volatile moment in which the President would refuse to acknowledge his defeat. Well if the President poses such a distinct threat, then why are the very people whose legitimacy he is threatening extending friendship to the very same people who are actively doing everything they can to rip what’s left of our semblance of democracy away from the American people?
Aside from Donald Trump and Rudy Guiliani, there is arguably no prominent Republican working harder to attempt to steal this election from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris than Lindsay Graham. But I should not have been as surprised as I was to see Kamala Harris extending a gesture of friendship to a man who — when push comes to shove — actually agrees with her on a number of the core issues. There might be some disagreements around the edges, but on key policy matters of substance such as Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, and Silicon Valley, the two seem to find common ground in resisting any meaningful change that would be beneficial to the people.
As I watched the video of Harris and Graham, I couldn’t help thinking that we have arrived in this moment because of that sort of behavior and what it represents. We are at this pivotal era, with a full-blown fascist closer than ever before to achieving their autocratic breakthrough in the United States, because Democrats like Kamala Harris continue prioritize a sense of decency and friendship with their Republican colleagues over the stability of the country.
Meanwhile, Republicans rightfully take the Democrats’ kindness for weakness, and will pat them on the back at the very same time they try to undermine their right to govern.
It’s hard not to look at the two of them, and feel as though this all really is nothing more than a game. With each passing election, it seems as though the nation gets closer and closer to the point of no return, and the incredibly cynical part of me can’t help wondering if we’re already there. If Kamala Harris’ friendship with Lindsay Graham is enough to allow her to overlook the dangers of what he’s doing to the legitimacy of opposition to the GOP’s power even as it applies to her personally, then what protections do we have four years down the line as she still pretends he has a sense of decency and honor to appeal to? What protections do we have four years down the line after the GOP was able to use the 2020 election as a test-run for overtly overthrowing not just the popular vote, but the electoral college in order to cling to power while they still can?