A D.C. Christmas Carol

Lindsay Graham is visited by the ghosts of Christmas in this DC Christmas Carol.

This reporter found a visibly shaken Lindsay Graham sitting in a corner booth at a Denny’s in Washington, D.C. last night, dressed in an overcoat covering what appeared to be flannel pajamas. When I approached and asked if he were all right, he entreated me to sit across from him and listen to his story — some kind of strange, modern Christmas Carol — if I promised not to think he was crazy or hallucinating. The interview follows.

christmas carolSen. Graham: “It started three nights ago, about the time I go into the bathroom for my 3 a.m. pee. I was washing my hands and looked in the mirror, and my face was gone. All of a sudden, there was Nixon’s face staring back at me, his face twisted in a terrible scowl.”

Reporter: “Did he say anything to you?”

Sen. Graham: “Yes, he said he was the voice of Christmas Past. Then he started yelling, ”How could you crucify me and defend him; you know he’s a much bigger crook than I ever was. I never sold my country out to the Russians, and I got elected without their help. And what about his nepotism? We all know that my daughter Julie is a hell of a lot smarter than his Ivanka, but I never gave her a position in the White House. And yet you stood on the Senate floor and shamed me!’ As his face began to fade, I could hear his voice echoing, over and over, ‘Hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite.’”

Reporter: “Are you sure this wasn’t just a nightmare?”

Sen. Graham: “At first I thought that might have happened, because I ate an egg salad sandwich out of a vending machine for lunch which was kind of iffy, but I can still see his jowls flapping back and forth as he was yelling. And when I opened my sock drawer, there was an old newspaper clipping I’d never seen before of Erlichman and Haldeman.”

Reporter: “That’s pretty spooky. But that was three nights ago. Why are you here now?”

Sen. Graham: “My story’s not done. The next night about 2 am, I woke up because my stomach was still upset from the egg salad sandwich. I went downstairs to the kitchen to get a bicarbonate of soda when I saw him. There he was, clear as day.”

Reporter: “Nixon again?”

Sen. Graham: “No, my old buddy, John McCain, dressed in a Santa cap wearing a t-shirt that said, The Ghost of Christmas Present, as if I were stuck in some strange new Christmas Carol. I almost lost the egg salad sandwich right there, and must have turned pretty pale, ‘cuz John told me not to be such a wimp.”

Reporter: “Then what happened?”

Sen. Graham: “Then he said, ‘I may be a ghost, but I’ve been watching the man I knew disappear more and more each day until there’s just a soulless shell in front of me. I didn’t understand what was happening at first, and then I figured it out. When I died, I didn’t intend to, but I took your conscience with me. I’ve come here tonight to give it back to you.’”

Reporter: (My eyes wide with anticipation) “So did you take it back?”

Sen. Graham: “I couldn’t and survive in Washington as a Republican.”

Reporter: “But that still doesn’t explain why you’re here tonight.”

Sen. Graham: “I had to get out of my house; it was filled with them. I just threw on my coat, jumped in my car and drove here.”

Reporter: “Who was in your house?”

Sen. Graham: “A mob of future generations, all chanting together, ‘Sell-out, Sell-out, Sell-out.’ And then someone yelled ‘traitor,’ and they all began to throw and pelt me with these huge tomes, which I think were history books. If they were ghosts, the books weren’t; look at the huge knot on my forehead.”

(I looked closely, but saw no bump on the senator’s forehead.)

Reporter: “What are you planning to do?”

Sen. Graham: “I’m waiting here for my contact who assured me that it’s all a Democratic plot to scare me into voting to remove the President, that they hooked up with the Hollywood liberals to create all these special effects. Look, there he is. Hey, Rudy, I’m over here.”

Diane de Anda