Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Leave Bad Enough Alone.

Like any snowflake, Arizona senator Orrin Hatch will melt away, and he will retire after this year. Managing to do two stupid things in approximately 24 hours

Sen. Orrin Hatch apologized Tuesday for his comments criticizing Sen. John McCain's reported request that President Donald Trump not attend his eventual funeral.

"I felt badly. I had spoken out of turn," the Utah Republican told reporters in the Capitol. "I felt like I shouldn't have said what I said."

On Monday, Hatch said he thought it was "ridiculous" that his fellow Senate Republican, who is recovering from cancer treatment in his home state of Arizona, wanted to keep the President from his funeral.

"He's the President of the United States. He's a very good man. But it's up to John. I think John should have his wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends his funeral," Hatch told CNN.
Hatch also told reporters Tuesday that he sent a letter to McCain.

The Arizona senator's daughter, Meghan McCain, rebuked Hatch earlier in the day following comments the senator made about her father.

"I'd like everybody to take a collective breath and chill out on my dad for a second — especially Orrin Hatch," Meghan McCain said on ABC's "The View."

"Take many seats right now," Meghan McCain said in response to Hatch.

Hatch was wrong. Senator McCain's decision to suggest that Donald Trump not attend the Arizonan's funeral was the right one for several reasons.  Trump advocated often and fervently for building a wall to keep Mexican immigrants from the USA. John McCain was an early supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. Trump maintained that John McCain wasn't a hero simply because he was captured during the Vietnam War and as a prisoner of war refused release until and unless his fellow prisoners were released.

McCain was the victim of "enhanced interrogation" at the Hanoi Hilton and Donald Trump is an enthusiastic supporter of torture. The President attacked McCain for his vote against health care repeal and has expressed an isolationist approach toward foreign affairs in stark contrast to McCain's commitment to an interventionist policy to further American values.

Those are only a few of the differences which justify McCain's wish that Mr. Trump skip his funeral.

The President's supporters boast that Donald Trump is a "counter-puncher." A President offended at McCain's slap could retaliate by simply directing Vice President Pence also to bypass the funeral. 

But Orrin Hatch made the situation worse.  Though Hatch was wrong on the issue, he wasn't rude or offensive by stating his opinion, especially in the relatively respectful manner as he did.

It's not a crime to be wrong. Many people often are, and Senator Hatch has made a career out of it.  Rebuked by Senator McCain's daughter, he could have stated "I believe it's important for the sitting President of the United States, especially a Republican, to attend the funeral of a long-time senator who also was our party's nominee for President." It's a mere difference of opinion.

If Senator Hatch was persuaded that his judgement was wrong, he could have simply acknowledged that it was faulty. He had not "talked out of turn," had committed no capital offense, and did not have to apologize. He took his earlier remark too seriously, a stunning lack of perspective for someone who was partially responsible for a far more consequential and reprehensible act of injustice some 27 years ago.

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