Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was supposed to participate in a debate with his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, on Friday evening, but the debate was canceled at the last minute. Why? Because Graham flat-out refused to take a coronavirus test.
According to The Post and Courier:
“Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison will no longer debate Friday night after Harrison declined to participate unless Graham took a coronavirus test in advance and Graham denied the request. Instead of an hour-long debate, the two candidates will each participate in separate 30-minute interviews hosted by television station WSPA in Spartanburg.”
Graham is tied with Harrison in the latest polls and losing badly in to his opponent when it comes to fundraising. Why in the world would a man on the verge of losing his Senate seat refuse to take a COVID test?
Many political analysts think Graham’s behavior is tied to the upcoming confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which are set to begin on Monday, October 12. Graham is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold those hearings.
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight remarked:
“Repeating myself and others here, but the reason Lindsey Graham won’t get tested despite having been exposed to many COVID+ people is because if he reveals a positive test and has to quarantine the Amy Coney Barrett nomination could get scuttled. There is no other logical reason.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed with Silver:
“Why won’t Lindsey Graham take a COVID test? Maybe he is worried he wouldn’t be able to lead an already illegitimate Supreme Court hearing. It’s the same reckless behavior as Donald Trump.”
Think about just how reckless Graham’s actions are. He’s willing to infect every person at the confirmation hearing just so he can make sure Barrett’s nomination is accomplished before the election. Health be damned; we have to fill that court vacancy!
But there’s one silver lining to this story: Even if Graham does manage to get Barrett on the high court, it may well cost him his Senate seat and any shred of respect he had left.