PHONING IT IN…. Lindsey Graham has no idea what he’s talking about.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for returning to Washington to help the bailout negotiations, saying his presence was vital to the negotiations:

“John didn’t phone this one in…. You can’t phone something like this in. Thank God John came back.”

I can appreciate Graham’s sycophantic support for McCain. I can even appreciate Graham’s willingness to try to make it seem as if McCain has been some kind of “savior” in this bailout process.

But his remarks are completely detached from reality. “You can’t phone something like this in”? McCain spent yesterday in his campaign office, literally phoning it in.

For that matter, when McCain did show up on Thursday, it was a debacle, and any progress that had been made as part of the ongoing negotiations quickly evaporated after McCain got involved. It’s worth noting, of course, that McCain didn’t even have anything productive to add to the discussions anyway, remained silent at the White House discussion, and was largely unfamiliar with the competing proposals while attempting to “help.”

And last night, while policy makers were trying to work out the final details, the McCains and the Liebermans had a pleasant night out at a swanky D.C. restaurant.

“Thank God John came back”? There’s partisan hackery and then there’s this kind of partisan hackery.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.