[guest post by Dana]
As Patterico emphasized this morning, we truly have a petulant, thin-skinned man-child sitting in the Oval Office. While he has refused to praise an American military hero, he has shown he is more than willing to praise tyrannical thug-leaders.
It’s instructive to note the contrast between the president’s comments toward members of the military and their families and his presidential proclamation regarding the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush with the feeble tweet he sent after the passing of McCain.
To military families attending a 4th of July picnic at the White House:
President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised the U.S. military for keeping America “safe, strong, proud, mighty and free” and used the Independence Day holiday to thank them for being willing to put their lives on the line in defense of the nation.
“Two hundred and 42 years ago on July 4, 1776, America’s founders adopted the Declaration of independence and changed the course of human history,” said Trump, addressing hundreds of military families attending a White House picnic from a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House.
“But our freedom exists only because there are brave Americans willing to give their lives, to defend it and defend our great country,” added Trump, who was accompanied by his wife, Melania. “America’s liberty has been earned through the blood, sweat and sacrifice of American patriots.”
From the presidential proclamation regarding First Lady Barbara Bush:
On this solemn day, we mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, an outstanding and memorable woman of character. As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family. Mrs. Bush lived a life that reminds us always to cherish our relationships with friends, family, and all acquaintances. In the spirit of the memory of Mrs. Bush, may we always remember to be kind to one another and to put the care of others first.
As a mark of respect for the memory of Barbara Bush, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
Yet he was unable to muster any face of grace this weekend. It’s stunning, given that President Trump likes to wrap himself in the glory of the American flag and all things American. Whether it’s praising US troops, notable Americans, or by contrast, calling out NFL football players who “disrespect Flag & Country”, this president who loves all things American, refused to budge and praise a flawed individual, who by all accounts was no angel, yet rose to the occasion and exemplified the best of what America has to offer and became the quintessential American military hero. Even when directly (and awkwardly) confronted by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, the president stubbornly refused to budge:
However, while her father pointedly ignored Karl’s question, Ivanka Trump took time to school her father and honor McCain:
“I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Sen. John McCain, an American patriot who served our country with distinction for more than 6 decades. The nation is united in its grief, and the world mourns the loss of a true hero and a great statesman.”
Soon after this, the White House released an official proclamation lauding McCain’s service to country and ordering flags – including at the White House – be flown at half-staff:
As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Senator John Sidney McCain III, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half‑staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
While Vietnam began honoring Sen. McCain at word of his passing, it’s possible that President Trump might have done so sooner too, if only McCain hadn’t gone and gotten himself captured…
Here is President Trump’s statement that was released today:
Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.
I have asked Vice President Mike Pence to offer an address at the ceremony honoring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday.
At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized military transportation of Senator McCain’s remains from Arizona to Washington, D.C., military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport during the service at the United States Naval Academy.
Finally, I have asked General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)