The day after the election, the con man in the White House fired Jeff Sessions because of the only reasonable legal decision he made as Attorney General: to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. A lot of people are speculating that Senator Lindsey Graham will end up getting his job.
That probably explains why Graham supported the con man’s assertion last week that he could get rid of birthright citizenship with an executive order. It was a ridiculous thing for him to do so, because all lawyers know you can’t overturn the Constitution with a pronouncement by a president. Either Graham never paid attention in constitutional law class or he was sucking up for a job.
This followed the mantrum Graham threw during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for the misogynist they approved for the Supreme Court. He accused the Democrats of despicable behavior, even though it was he and his colleagues who were trying to ram through this nomination with too little investigation.
While thinking about his various outbursts, I had a horrible thought: Maybe I’m related to Lindsey Graham.
On my daddy’s side, going back a few generations, I’m a Graham. And while all the Grahams in the family I know anything about were in Texas — including my two great-great uncles who never bothered to surrender to the Yankees despite being on the losing side in the Civil War — I do know some of their family history.
They were Scots who came to the colonies before the American Revolution and settled in the Carolinas. (I will point out that Graham is a senator from South Carolina.) They ended up with some land for their service in the Revolution (the family was on the winning side in that war), moved on to Alabama, and eventually ended up in Texas.
It’s likely that they left behind some cousins in the Carolinas and Alabama. I don’t happen to know anything about Lindsey Graham’s family; maybe his branch of Grahams were johnny-come-latelies who ended up in the Carolinas long after my kinfolk had left. It’s not an uncommon name.
But I look at him and I look in the mirror, and I realize that we both have that basic flat face and pinkish-white skin that’s common among southern white people who can trace their ancestry back to some part of the British Isles. (One thing that happens to me when I’m in Texas, and, for that matter, in the rest of the south, is that I look around and realize how many of the white people look like me.) So if somebody told me we were kin, it wouldn’t surprise me.
It would, however, horrify me, especially after the spectacle he’s been making of himself. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Lots of people look up their genealogy in hopes of finding that they’re related to kings or nobles or a famous figure from history. Many of them find a few horse thieves, questionable marriages, and other disreputable facts that make for funny stories so long as they’re sufficiently far back.
But these days, DNA testing has made it much easier not only to find out more about where you came from, but to determine who your current blood relatives are.
So I think I’m going to pass on finding out any more about my family heritage than what was passed down through family stories.
I really don’t want to find out I’m kin to Lindsey Graham.