You’ve surely all heard about the latest Trump administration controversy. There was a leak of a bad “joke” by a communications staffer, Kelly Sadler, who said that what John McCain thought about the Haspel nomination was irrelevant because “he’s dying anyway.” The national knickers immediately went into a twist because of this latest example of bad manners by Team Trump. Hence the post title.
Here’s the real question about the latest etiquette food fight: why is anyone surprised and why should anyone expect an apology from an administration headed by the vulgarian-in-chief? There’s a reason I call the president* the Insult Comedian: he spends most of his time saying and doing horrible things. It’s contagious and has spread down the chain of command like herpes. This isn’t the first time someone on Team Trump has violated the unwritten rules of human decency and it won’t be the last. But this isn’t even close to the worst thing they’ve said or, more importantly, done.
Let me make it clear: I don’t think it’s funny to mock a dying man. It’s beyond gauche, but it’s nothing compared to past things said on the record by Republicans about *another* war hero as these tweets from Athenae in response to Steve Schmidt made clear:
Why have no REPUBLICAN US SENATORS stepped forward and expressed their Absolute F’ing outrage about these attacks on AMERICAN HERO JOHN MCCAIN by a WH staffer? It is despicable and the cowardice is nauseating.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) May 11, 2018
I mean I'm sorry, but could you be a little less shocked that your party, the party that nominated George "John McCain has a secret black baby" Bush and honors Jerome "John Kerry was basically the VC" Corsi, only loves veterans when it's convenient for them?
— Allison Hantschel (@Athenae) May 13, 2018
This exchange pinpoints one of the problems with Never Trump Republicans such as Schmidt and the Mittbot. They spend most of their time complaining about Trump’s manners. I agree that they’re horrible. He reminds me of an unfixed male dog marking the national living room, culminating in an exuberant dump on the rug. BUT that’s not the worst thing about this administration, it’s their policies, stupid. Watch what they do, not what they say. They lie like a shit-stained rug, after all.
Everyone seems to have forgotten that the unfunny wisecrack was prompted by McCain’s opposition to Haspel’s nomination as CIA director because of TORTURE sanctioned by Team Bush-Cheney. By all accounts, George W. Bush has good manners but he lied his way into war, crashed the economy, vilified his opponents, and generally made a mess of things. The mere fact that he knows which fork to use is irrelevant. Watch what administrations do, not what they say.
In addition to advocating the return of torture, Team Trump wants to take health care away from millions of Americans, separate immigrant children from their parents, slash disability payments, privatize the VA, destroy the EPA, and on and on and on. It’s a parade of policy horribles that most Never Trump Republicans support. Remember: Trump does not give a shit about policy, that has been sub-contracted to the hard right-wing of the GOP. That’s why “nice and polite” Paul Ryan still supports Trump: he’s furthering Ryan’s Randian agenda.
Even if the Sadler-sack communications aide apologizes, it shouldn’t matter. The etiquette food fight will go on as long as the Insult Comedian’s rude misrule continues. He may end up being replaced by “polite” Mike Pence but the rude policies will endure. Watch what they do, not what they say.