Lindsey Graham

Senator Lindsey Graham’s impassioned, explosive defence of Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the hearing yesterday reminded me a moment of Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation that I watched long time ago on our black-and-white, family television:

They even called on the great sculptor of the Enlightenment, Houdon, to commemorate their victorious general. The resulting statue of Washington stands in the Capitol at Richmond, Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson on the model of Maison Carrée at Nîmes. This chapter began with Houdon’s statue of Voltaire, smiling the smile of reason; it could end with Houdon’s statue of Washington.

No more smiles.

Houdon saw his subject as the favourite Roman republican hero, the decent country gentleman, called away from his farm to defend his neighbour’s liberties; and, in moments of optimism, one may feel that, through all the vulgarity and corruption of American politics, some vestige of this first ideal has survived.

Page 266 of the book adaptation of Clark’s TV series.