Saturday, September 1, 2018

Small and mean and petty

Like many of you, I listened to or watched much of John McCain's memorial services this week. Today I watched the funeral held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. 

I've been pondering this all week as I've watched, and Charlie Pierce had a good piece in Esquire that made me think that I wasn't the only one thinking that Senator McCain might have been giving the current "president" a big old eff you as he planned his own funeral.

As I watched the eulogies today, I wondered if I was over-thinking what some of the speakers were saying. Was I searching for meaning where there wasn't any? Was I projecting? Was I hoping that some of these family members and statesmen were issuing rebukes? 

Well, Meghan McCain was pretty obviously rebuking the "president," and I suspect that her death stare was directed at Ivanka and Jared on more than one occasion. But what about Presidents Bush and Obama? Was I reading too much into their words? 

Nope. I wasn't the only one who saw and heard what was happening. It wasn't just me and my friends; it was reporters covering it. They saw it, too. 

Whether it was President Bush talking about Sen. McCain detesting the abuse of power or bigots and swaggering, or President Obama saying that "our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that," they were issuing a stinging rebuke to the politics that the current "president" has foisted upon our country. 

I was struck this week by just how "small and mean and petty" this person in the Oval Office seems in comparison to Senator McCain. Believe me, I am not suddenly a person who thinks that McCain walked on water. I disagreed with him on so much and I'll never forget that he issued in this current "know-nothing" movement by his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. 

But I never once doubted that he had done his best to serve his country, that he was an honorable person, and that he loved his country. I have many doubts of the current "president" about all of these things. From "I like people who weren't captured" to this:

"It’s amazing, I can’t even believe it. I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world, it is a dangerous world out there. It’s like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” Trump said in the interview when Howard Stern asked how he handled making sure he wasn’t contracting STDs from the women he was sleeping with." (People magazine.)

Well, here's some straight talk, you miserable excuse for a human being. You were neither a great nor a very brave soldier. You were just some asshole spending his daddy's money and screwing his way through Manhattan. You don't get a Purple Heart for that, you jerk. Any dumbass can screw around. All you need is a dick. No courage is involved.

My heart goes out to the entire McCain family. I spoke at my own Dad's funeral eight and a half years ago and I know how tough it is to say goodbye and to speak during that time. Meghan, you did great and your Dad would be proud. 

Apparently, the "president" headed out to play golf after Meghan's eulogy. He also spent the morning tweeting rather than showing an ounce of respect to McCain and his family by keeping his yap shut. How shocking. Everything the "president" has done this week has highlighted how his character pales in comparison to so many others. 

Did John McCain plan this to remind us all of how politics can and should be in our country? I suspect that he did. I know that my Mom has been watching and I hope that other family and friends who support the "president" take this service and the words of the speakers to heart, as well as the decades of service that John McCain gave to his country. 

The rhetoric of the "president" is antithetical to who we are as a country, to our values, and to our Constitution. As his misdeeds begin to come back to haunt him, and as Robert Mueller closes in on him, he becomes increasingly isolated and more dangerous. Perhaps Senator McCain's death and funeral will serve to remind us all of who we are and who we want to be. 

We can hope. And we can act. Patriotism demands it.