Stacey Abrams Schools Lindsey Graham During Senate Hearing

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It felt like a betrayal of an American hero, the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ). In mere life minutes, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) switched allegiance from the patriot over to one greed and power grubber. Maybe, McCain’s afterglow was all of the light in Graham’s life. Maybe, he gravitated to Donald Trump’s flashing neon casino lights with his power-sniffing nose for the same reason. So what is Graham up to these days?

Activist. political powerhouse, and vote whisperer Stacey Abrams of Georgia testified before the Judicial Committee. Graham fell from his position as chair when her state went blue. With its two Democratic legislators in office, all of the Republicans lost their powerful chair positions. Make no mistake, they want that power back.

Graham began his questioning of Abrams by asking her about her support for voter identification. She responded:

‘Yes. There are 35 states in the United States that have had voter identification laws. In fact, every state requires some form of identification. What I’ve objected to is restrictive voter identification laws that narrow the set of permissible materials.’

Senator Graham appeared to treat her with a certain amount of distancing that was almost condescension:

‘The answer is yes as a concept. Do you support the idea that voting should be limited to American citizens?’

Abrams followed the unspoken, unwritten universal law of answering only that which has been asked:

‘Yes.’

Then, the senator fired up his honeyed southern voice. At the same time, Graham began to turn the screws:

‘Do you support ballot harvesting?’

Abrams noted that ballot harvesting would be “appropriate” under some circumstances. An example of that would be when a voter could not otherwise have their vote counted:

‘[B]allot harvesting [is a] term of art that’s been propagated to describe a variety of efforts. To the extent that they help voters participate in a lawful manner, they should be permitted.’

Graham drilled down on Abrams regarding the new Georgia state Republican legislators’ laws:

‘Do you believe the Republicans in Georgia — House, Senate — when they are making the changes to your state voting laws, do you think they are motivated by trying to suppress the African-American vote?’

She responded:

‘I have seen it happen that sometimes they are. I have seen other bills that have been truly bipartisan in nature.’

The South Carolina senator drilled even more deeply:

‘But do you believe that’s the motivation behind these laws?’

Graham should have been more aware of Abrams’ tremendous skill and expertise, but he appeared blithely unaware. She responded:

‘I believe the motivation behind certain provisions in SB 202 are a direct result to the increased participation of communities of color in the 2020 and 2021 elections.’

Graham was reluctant to end his questioning but:

‘I’m out of time. Do you think the [Georgia] Speaker of the House Jan Jones is motivated by trying to limit the African-American voters in Georgia?’

The voter activist brought her argument home when she said “if the effect is deleterious to the ability of people of color to participate in elections then that is problematic and that is wrong:’

‘I believe there is racial animus that generated those bills. I would not assume that that racial animus is shared by every person.

‘But the result is that racial animus exists and if it eliminates access to the right to vote then regardless of a certain person’s heart, if the effect is deleterious to the ability of people of color to participate in elections then that is problematic and that is wrong.’

Then, the vote gatherer ended powerfully:

‘It should be rejected by all.’

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