A video clip of projected vice president-elect Kamala Harris fist-bumping Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has enraged both sides of the US political aisle, given that the pair are supposedly ideological opponents.
The two senators displayed the moment of bipartisan chumminess on Tuesday, as Senate legislators were congratulating Harris on her and Joe Biden’s projected win of the presidential election.
Footage from the Senate floor shows the California Democrat extending a fist to the South Carolina Republican, despite the fact that it’s currently more acceptable to bump (clothed) elbows during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Watch the fist bump between VP-elect Harris and Sen. Graham in action: pic.twitter.com/3Mtaaykjpl
— The Recount (@therecount) November 17, 2020
Nevertheless, the senators’ buddy-buddy moment appeared to enrage quite a few people on social media, not for ignoring the new pandemic decorum, but for seemingly tearing down the facade of their political rivalry.
Twitter commenters accused the elected officials of “lying” to the American people with their allegedly fake rivalry while actually being “on the same team.”
“All that podium pounding and finger shaking is an act,” tweeted one “livid” person. Others quoted the late comedian George Carlin’s famous line: “It’s a big club and we aren’t in it.”
I'm livid! Then the fist bump between Lady G & Kamala. Not even in office and they are lying to us. All that podium pounding and finger shaking is an act. Americans voted for a solution to him, not being polite.
— Shari Townsend (@sewsharit) November 18, 2020
Lindsey Graham is a neoconservative war hawk with the blood of millions on his hands
He strongly supported the wars on Iraq, Libya & Syria
He called for "pre-emptive" war on Iran
He wants to invade Venezuela
Of course neoliberal Kamala Harris likes him. Bipartisan imperialism https://t.co/x6NcIPptjC
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) November 17, 2020
'shes just being civil/respectful'
'they have to work together'
indeed. because they're on the same team
— Shaun (@shaun_vids) November 18, 2020
I find it hard to believe this isn’t all for show, especially after Kamala’s fist bump with Lindsey. “It’s a big club and we aren’t in it.”
— 🇨🇦 ELLE 🇺🇸 (@HappyChicadee_) November 18, 2020
US conservatives also had a bone to pick with the Republican senator, as Graham, a one-time nemesis of Donald Trump, was accused of betraying the president.
“That fist-bump said a lot, didn’t it?” sarcastically asked political commentator Wayne Dupree, adding, “You could almost feel the betrayal just oozing off the screen of your smart device as you watched it.”
That fist-bump said a lot, didn't it?
You could almost feel the betrayal just oozing off the screen of your smart device as you watched it.
We know who you are, Lindsey…https://t.co/155fJOCSoh
— Wayne Dupree Media, LLC (@WayneDupreeShow) November 18, 2020
#Hannity needs to ask Lindsey Graham some serious questions, why did he fist bump Kamala and pat her back?
I know he's playing both sides. He plays them pretty well. Learned from the best. McCain.
— ꧁𝔐𝔦𝔠𝔥𝔦𝔤𝔞𝔫 𝔅𝔬𝔴𝔥𝔲𝔫𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔰꧂🇺🇸 (@BowhuntressInMI) November 18, 2020
@LindseyGrahamSC Why on EARTH would you fist bump that horrid woman (using that term loosely) Kamala Harris?!?!?!
— Secretary of State-Elect Alex Minder (@AlexMinder4) November 18, 2020
The criticism, even coming from his own political base, forced Graham to explain himself for the cordial gesture. The Senator described the now-notorious fist bump as “Just saying hello,” adding that he simply hadn’t “seen in [Harris] in a while”.
Asked about his fist bump to Kamala Harris, Sen. Lindsey Graham told me this: “Just saying hello – I haven’t a seen in her in a while. If it works out and they make it, I told her I wish her well and try to work where we can. We will know here in a month or so or less.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 17, 2020
Some were particularly put off by the fist-bump, given that Graham was “trying to overturn the election” and thus stop Harris’ ascend to vice-presidency. The Republican Senator has recently been accused of pushing Georgia officials to throw out some of the state’s mail-in ballots. “What slime,” tweeted Democratic consultant Adam Parkhomenko, describing the South Carolinian.
Is there anything more Lindsey Graham than trying to have legal ballots thrown out and then turn around and fist-bumping Kamala? What slime.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 17, 2020
Did Lindsay Graham actually fist bump Kamala while trying to overturn the election…?
— uncle jess 🇺🇸 (@notyour_uncle) November 18, 2020
Yet, despite all the negativity, some were absolutely delighted to see such an act of political “civility” amid seemingly division-filled times.
Civility is the core of justice. Kamala allowing a fist bump or something equally benign does not mean that she is incapable of seeking meaningful justice by civil means ie. legal prosecution. That is why we have courts instead of vengeful mob justice.
— Maggie Cee (@cee_maggie) November 18, 2020
I don’t think I could’ve been as calm and gracious with a fist bump for Lindsey Graham as Vice President Kamala Harris was after knowing he tried to have legal ballots thrown out, my choices would’ve been to ignore him entirely or punch in the face for democracy. That’s just me.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) November 17, 2020
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