This is another of those -- "It's not about Trump, we know who he is, this is about the elected officials of the Republican Party who enable him" thing.
As much as I'm pretty much inured to Republican cowardice and complicity, I am nonetheless sickened by their chicken-tripe, total gutless near-silence over Trump repeatedly slamming former-senator, John McCain.
Now, to be clear, I wasn't a big admirer of Mr. McCain. I disagreed with his politics, and I thought his making Sarah Palin his vice-presidential running mate -- potentially a heartbeat from the Oval Office -- disgraceful. But I didn't dislike all his politics, and I admired that he was occasionally willing to buck convention and speak his mind, and was in awe of his heroism not just flying in Vietnam, knowing he could be shot out of the air, but refusing to leave his men after having been captured and tortured and being given the opportunity to be sent home for medical treatment. And even when I criticized him, I never even came close to saying (let alone thinking that "I never liked him and never will," as Trump did.
Meanwhile, the Republican members of Congress served with John McCain, many for decades. He was at one point the leader of their party as presidential nominee. For the most part, they did all agree with his politics almost all the time. And they knew, as well, that he was a war hero who had been tortured.
And most of them are totally silent. And the few who have defended him have only said how much they admired him, not criticized Trump for trashing the man, who is dead and can't answer back. It's pathetic, bordering on reprehensible -- but then, "pathetic, bordering on reprehensible" is pretty much the foundation of today's GOP in Congress. There's so much worse they've done, perhaps starting with enabling the taking of children from their parents and putting babies in cages. But what makes this with McCain so contemptible is that it's so monumentally easy to say something critical, so pathetically easy.to do what's so obviously right -- criticizing someone who keeps smearing a dead war hero.
Most craven of all, of course, is Lindsey Graham (R-SC), apparently best friends with John McCain, and the most he could muster is to say how wonderful his best friend was and pretty much enable Trump for trashing his dead best friend repeatedly, saying it's his job to work with the president and so he didn't say a word of criticism.
How easy is it? Yes, I know that all these powerful men and women are afraid of their shadows and of the Trump base hating them for defending a dead war hero who had lead their party and risking a primary challenge. But even if you don't want to dare offend them at risk of your holy spirit, all you need say is, "I think Donald Trump is a great president, one of the finest this country has ever had, making America great and glorious and noble, and his policies are as strong as God Bless America could ever wish for. But John McCain was a war hero who for a time lead the Republican Party, and if he was occasionally a maverick, I can understand why he might sometimes rub some people the wrong way, but I think Our Great President, as noble as he is, went a step too far in saying he 'never' liked him.because -- for all the challenges John McCain could present -- there was too much good for even a critic to never like anything about him. And for those who were close to him, there was much to love."
There, that's about as suck-up easy a way to criticize someone you're whiny terrified of who keeps smearing a war hero who served his country for decades, whatever his faults and strength.
Mind you, they should have said more. They should have said how sick and pathological and disgraceful it was of Trump at any time, but especially as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to keep demeaning a dead war hero. But to say pretty much nothing shows once again --
This is not about Trump, we know who he is, this is about the elected officials of the Republican Party who enable him.
Make that "the craven elected officials of the Republican Party."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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