While McCain fights terminal brain cancer, Trump can't stop ridiculing him

The Republicans in the  U.S. Senate claim they wanted to honor Sen. John McCain, who is battling terminal brain cancer.

They named the National Defense Authorization Act the "John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act."

 “He has an unwavering love for his country and has been an example for people of all ages of courage, tenacity and grit," Sen. Dan Sullivan said in a press release. "I had the honor of visiting Sen. McCain this weekend and he was very much looking forward to the passage of this bill.”

If Sullivan and others in the GOP-controlled Senate really wanted to show their respect for McCain, they would do more than slap his name on a bill.

They would start by demanding that the leader of their party stop ridiculing the Arizona senator. It would be the decent thing to do, and it would be more than a hollow gesture. But it would take a little courage, tenacity and grit.

It doesn't matter to Trump that McCain is dying. The president has made it a standard part of his stand-up act to ridicule McCain for his vote a year ago on the Obamacare repeal vote, complete with the thumbs-down gesture.

In late May, at a rally in Tennessee, Trump said: "We had it done folks, it was done, and then early in the morning somebody turned their hand in the wrong direction," Trump said. "The person that voted that way only talked repeal and replace. He campaigned on it."

At a GOP rally in Nevada Saturday, Trump said: "Nobody talked to him. Nobody needed to, and then he walked in: thumbs-down. It's alright, because we've essentially gutted it anyway." 

At a Minnesota rally last week, he said, "Everybody said we have his vote, we have everybody's vote, we are going into a routine repeal and replace, and he went thumbs down. Not nice."

At a South Carolina rally Monday, he said, "We had all the votes and one gentleman early in the morning, like 2 a.m., he went no. Well, he campaigned on repeal and replace. We had the votes. Perhaps he was grandstanding."

Part of this senseless behavior is probably due to the accurate comments McCain made about Trump in his latest book, "The Restless Wave."

"I'm not sure what to make of President Trump's convictions," McCain writes. "His lack of empathy for refugees, innocent, persecuted, desperate men, women, and children, is disturbing. The way he speaks about them is appalling, as if welfare or terrorism were the only purposes they could have in coming to our country.

"He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones. The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values. The world expects us to be concerned with the condition of humanity. We should be proud of that reputation. I’m not sure the president understands that."

Dermot Cole4 Comments