Issac Bailey

Donald Trump vs. Lindsey Graham: Stupid is as stupid does

Lindsey Graham is South Carolina’s senior U.S. senator.
Lindsey Graham is South Carolina’s senior U.S. senator.

Donald Trump is the personification of the Fox News Channel.

Lindsey Graham is the one-time statesman who forfeited that title to not alienate Fox News devotees.

They deserve each other.

That’s why it’s so delicious to watch them go at each other like 3-year-olds fighting over a mud-soiled lollipop.

This is what the Republican Party spawned when it decided in 2009 to focus more on getting back into power — by any means necessary — than helping President Obama keep the country out of a depression and deal with two full-blown ground wars.

But, let’s face it. The showdown between “The Hair” and Jon Stewart’s war-mongering “Southern Belle” is the only real reason to pay attention to the 2016 presidential race right now unless you live in Iowa. At this stage, it’s mostly noise and jockeying and irrelevant polls and hoping you don’t do something so stupid you are eliminated before the race really begins. That is unless you are Trump and Graham, when childish stupidity seems to be the only way you can generate headlines, even to the detriment of serious GOP candidates.

On the day Trump was giving out Graham’s phone number on TV and Graham was insulting jackasses by referring to Trump as one, Ohio Gov. John Kasich was giving a riveting, substantive announcement speech.

He talked about the need for sensible criminal justice reform — addicts need to be treated, the mentally ill shouldn’t be in prison — and that the working class needs to be given more opportunities.

He’s the man who, while in the House of Representatives during the Clinton era, helped usher in the nation’s first balanced budgets in seemingly forever, and while governor, bucked his party to bring health care to poor people.

In other words, he’s a man with impeccable political and leadership credentials who has earned a right to be considered for the White House.

But Kasich is being drowned out by a fight between a man best known for having 78 ex-wives (or something like that) and another who will have 78 rotating First Ladies (or something like that) if he’s elected president.

Quick question. Which is greater: The number of Trump bankruptcies or the number of new wars a President Graham would start on Day 2?

“Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts lost money every single year that Trump ran it as a public company,” financial columnist Brett Arends reminds us. “In total, from 1995 through 2004, the company booked total losses of $647 million.”

Trump’s creditors were losing billions of dollars while investors in like companies were experiencing a doubling and even 400 percent return on their money.

Graham, meanwhile, sold us an Iraq war that has cost the U.S. trillions of dollars, strengthened Iran’s hand in the Middle East, cost the lives of more than 100,000 Iraqis, and more than 4,500 U.S. soldiers, with another 50,000 sustaining serious injuries and countless others left with emotional and mental health scars that might not ever heal.

I’ll be honest, though. The coverage of Trump’s back-and-forth with Graham’s BFF Sen. John McCain has been unfair to Trump.

There has been all this talk of McCain being tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years and how he bravely turned down an early release, not wanting to use favoritism to skip to the head of the line in front of POWs who had been imprisoned longer.

Yeah, that’s admirable and all heroic and stuff, but that’s nothing compared to the suffering Trump has had to endure.

He’s been forced to live with himself for almost seven decades. Can you imagine anything more awful?

I can:

“Breaking news: President Donald Trump nominates South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham as Secretary of Defense.”