Saturday, March 23, 2019

No Time For Neutrality

On Thursday, Joy Behar asked her fellow panelists (co-hosts? conversationalists?) on The View

... and his claim about having to "approve" the McCain funeral is a flat-out lie. I'm glad the crowd stayed pretty silent. You'll notice they weren't screaming and giving him support like they usually do.But why are so many Republicans silent about this, too?why are these cowards siding with a draft dodger over a war hero?

It's a good question, though largely a rhetorical one because we know why GOP politicians are silent about this, as they are about virtually every Trump evil: the President's endorsement is gold in a Repub primary, his opposition a lump of coal. They are intimidated by him, and most of them will consistently choose personal ambition over country.

As expected, each individual (Navarro, Hostin, Huntsman, and  Behar) on ABC's program criticized Trump's attacks against the McCain family, with Meghan McCain stating "there's a lot of power on this show" (actually, influence, but whatever).

Even a church, albeit the renowned Washington National Cathedral,stepped up:

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. clapped back at President Donald Trump Thursday, with a spokesman clarifying that no funerals held there, including the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ), require the approval of a President.

“Washington National Cathedral was honored to host the funeral service for Senator John McCain. All funerals and memorial services at the Cathedral are organized by the family of the deceased; only a state funeral for a former President involves consultation with government officials,” said Chief Communications Officer Kevin Eckstrom in a statement. “No funeral at the Cathedral requires the approval of the President or any other government official.”

 Trump took credit for giving McCain the “funeral he wanted” during a speech on Wednesday, proceeding to complain that he wasn’t thanked for the ceremony.

There is, however, one major institution which so far has punted on the controversy. That would be the United States Congress- and not only its Republicans.

When Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) recently let her anti-Semitic flag show, House Democrats responded, albeit with a resolution which condemned hatred across-the-board rather than by addressing the sentiment which forced their hand. When Representative Steve King (R-IA) endorsed white nationalism, he was taken off House committees by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

But President Trump has remained completely unscathed, as he usually does, in this latest display of the Trump signature combination of anger, self-congratulation and dishonesty.

This should not stand. There is little the United States Congress can do, yet there is a little. The Senate, controlled by the GOP, will do as it invariably has. It will do nothing, and only one individual Republican senator has denounced Trump's remarks.

It is, therefore, up to the House of Representatives to take action, if only symbolic. A motion of disapproval can be placed on the House floor, presumably by a Democratic Representative.  It is wise politically, in part because it paints Republicans in a corner. They would be faced with a Hobson's Choice, either to vote in favor, thereby antagonizing the President- or vote in opposition, thereby laying bare their preference for party over country.

However, it's also simply the right thing to do.  Defending John McCain does not require a positive assessment of everything he did, nor even concluding that the good outweighed the bad. Donald Trump understands. He attacked McCain for his service record, standing for principle in opposing repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and for handing the Steele dossier (as any loyal American would have) over to the FBI.

Saving health care for a few million Americans, demonstrating exceptional courage in wartime, and informing law enforcement of a security threat to the nation are reasons to defend John McCain, especially in death. If the National Cathedral and the women of The View can slap back at President Trump, so, too, can Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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