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Donald Trump doesn't believe in political, factual, or legal correctness, so why would anyone expect him to bow down to the liberal fascism of merely following normal protocol when a political opponent dies after a long illness? So it's not the least bit surprising to learn from the Washington Post that Trump didn't just neglect to issue a formal White House statement on John McCain's death -- Trump went a level lower and killed a statement written by the comms team that praised McCain's military service and his time in the Senate, and which used the verboten word "hero," a word that should be reserved for the brave people who take children away from their families at the border.

The statement had been drafted Saturday, before McCain died, and then polished by Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others before it was shown to Trump. The Great Man then rejected it in favor of sending out this masterpiece of solemnity which didn't even say anything about McCain's life:


Truly, Donald Trump has the best words. He even managed not to insult the dead guy, so that's actually pretty impressive, huh? Never mind that the norm for presidents, on the passing of a significant person, is to issue at least a paragraph or two praising their service to the nation, even if the dead person belonged to the other political party. The Obamas said far nicer things about Nancy Reagan than Yr Wonkette did, for instance, because they're classy like that (and we too had a reputation to uphold). Hell, Obama probably never liked Antonin Scalia one bit, but when the man died, Barry did what a president does and praised Scalia's public service, even lauding him as a "larger-than-life presence on the bench -- a brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, incisive wit, and colorful opinions."

Because that's just part of the job -- the ceremonial stuff that moves along the national machinery. Was calling one of the most awful, petty judicial opponents of progress "brilliant" and dedicated to the "rule of law" hypocrisy? Not especially -- it's just what you do at a funeral before plunging back into the serious work of trying to get someone less awful onto the bench. Trump's petulant response certainly isn't "refreshingly honest," that's for damn sure.

Trump's Twitter account on Sunday was otherwise just the usual shitheaded garbage about the fake news media, social media companies oppressing conservatives, and nobody giving Trump credit for the incredible economic success of his riding Obama's economic recovery, at least until early evening, when it became clear Trump had tired of all the attention to some guy who wasn't even president, ever:

Over 90% approval rating for your all time favorite (I hope) President within the Republican Party and 52% overall. This despite all of the made up stories by the Fake News Media trying endlessly to make me look as bad and evil as possible. Look at the real villains please!

Trump was, of course, lying about poll results -- he's just under 90 percent approval among Republicans in some recent polls, but no, that's not even close to the highest ever even among Republicans -- every R president except Gerald Ford has had higher peak approval. As for the 52 percent overall approval thing, not even the friendliest polls have Trump doing anywhere that well, the best guess is that Trump saw his disapproval rating in a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll and said "Hooray for Trump! 52 percent is a majority of people who love me! I have big best brain!"

Oh, yes, and then there's that flag thing. While flags at the White House were flown at half-staff briefly after McCain's death, in accordance with the Flag Code (which says when a member of Congress dies, the flag should be lowered "on the day of death and the following day), they were back to full staff as of Monday morning. Trump hasn't issued an order for flags to be lowered nationwide any longer than that. (Obama ordered the flag to half-staff more than any other president, incidentally.) Flags remained at half-staff at the Capitol and, strikingly, at the Washington Monument:

By 9:15 Monday morning, the flags at the monument had been raised again, and of course there will be no order for them to stay at half-staff longer, because Donald Trump knows the personal is political. And of necessity, it's petty as fuck.

McCain's funeral will be held Saturday at DC's National Cathedral; his family invited George W. Bush and Barack Obama to deliver eulogies; we expect Donald Trump to either go golfing or, more likely, to schedule a campaign rally at the exact same time.

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[WaPo / Reuters / The Week / WaPo]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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