The current incumbent in the Oval Office yesterday disgraced himself by attacking the late John McCain for among other things, not thanking Trump for letting him have the funeral he wanted.
I don’t know how much more self-obsessed you could be than that, but I suppose we’ll find out. Democrats are having a ball with this, while most Republicans are torn between expressing their outrage over Trump’s latest display of bad character, thin skin and self-obsession/self-pity, or remaining silent to avoid risking getting on the bad side of Trump or his minions. A few have chosen the former, most the latter.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is the arm of the party in charge of U.S. House races. Naturally, their propaganda arm tries to make Republican House incumbents look bad. Who can blame them? The tactics in pursuit of that objective are often not subtle and sometimes so unsubtle they cross the line into funny. Here’s a small case study.
Because I am on their mailing list, I got an email at 10:54 this a.m. from the DCCC headlined:
“As Trump spits on the grave of deceased war hero John McCain, Congressman Hagedorn remains silent. If this doesn’t warrant a statement from Hagedorn denouncing Trump’s behavior, what would?”
Hagedorn is U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Republican of Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District who, for obvious reasons, has chosen not to criticize President Trump over his tasteless and ludicrous attack on McCain and his grieving family.
(McCain is dead, so presumably it’s the McCain family whom Trump — ridiculously, especially considering the full body of Trump’s comments about McCain — blames for not thanking him enough for whatever small accommodation he may have granted in connection with the McCain funeral, to which he was notably not invited.)
The DCCC press release, with glee disguised as horror, issued a press release “singling out” Hagedorn for not repudiating Trump’s latest snitfit, thus:
On Wednesday, President Trump took his feud with Senator McCain to a new low, going on a five-minute rant where he complained about not being thanked enough for McCain’s funeral. Trump also claimed McCain “didn’t get the job done” for veterans and griped that he “never liked him much.” This is the same President Trump who previously said McCain was “not a war hero” and later ordered flags to full-mast shortly after McCain’s death (and later caved to the immense outrage of the public to again lower the flags to half-mast).
Trump’s behavior is so shameful that even GOP Senators like Johnny Isakson spoke out against it – but not Congressman Hagedorn, whose silence is allowing the Republican Party to sink to new lows.
Senator John McCain was a decorated war hero and a man who people on both sides of the aisle respected deeply, regardless of whether they agreed with all of his policy positions,” said DCCC Executive Director and Iraq War Veteran Allison Jaslow. “At this point, it’s unsurprising that President Trump is spitting on Senator McCain’s grave, but it is mind blowing that Washington Republicans like Jim Hagedorn are staying silent and allowing this conduct unbecoming of a Commander in Chief to go on unchecked. Congressman Hagedorn’s refusal to categorically and forcefully reject this offensive and unpatriotic behavior from his President, demonstrates he is complicit in sinking the Republican Party to this new low.
Personally, I had already been through the full don’t-know-whether-to-laugh-cry-or-vomit cycle over the astonishing-but-no-longer-surprising depth of Trump’s capacity for self-obsession and self-pity as reflected in his whining about McCain’s posthumous ingratitude.
The DCCC press release was, to me, an obvious-bordering-on-laughable effort to twist the knife in the discomfort of Republicans trying to navigate life under Trump. My only thought on reading it was: Why are they picking on Hagedorn? Minnesota has three Republican congressmen, and none of them are particularly interested in satisfying the Democratic demand that they repudiate and denounce all the offensive things coming out the White House.
But, of course, no sooner did I have time to wonder that than, with a time stamp three minutes later than the one of the Hagedorn press release, I received another headlined:
As Trump spits on the grave of deceased war hero John McCain, NRCC Chairman Emmer remains silent. If this doesn’t warrant a statement from Emmer denouncing Trump’s behavior, what would?
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, as you know, is also a Republican congressman from Minnesota, although he also has the honor of currently chairing the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the arm of that party in charge of U.S. House races.
I won’t waste any time wondering why the DCCC chose to target Hagedorn three minutes earlier than Emmer.
Please excuse the snotty tone of this post. Of course both parties do it, constantly, and it’s the world in which we live. But I occasionally dream of one in which the bushwa is a little more subtle.