Senate Republicans showed their courage and loyalty in defense of an old friend under attack by Donald Trump … which is to say, Senate Republicans showed that they don’t have much courage or loyalty in responding to Trump’s attacks on the late Sen. John McCain. Trump has been on a multi-day rant about how he didn’t like McCain and wasn’t properly thanked for allowing McCain’s funeral plans to go forward, prompting McCain’s former colleagues and friends to remind us what a bunch of tepid losers they are.
“I think the president’s comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had counted McCain as a good friend and close ally. “A lot of people are coming to John’s defense now. … I don’t like it when he says things about my friend John McCain.” Oh, boy, you don’t like it when he says things about your friend. There’s a stirring denunciation! And the old “hurts him more than it hurts his target” is a great excuse for giving a bully a pass. Sen. Mitt Romney took a similar approach, saying he “can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain.” Really, you can’t?
“John McCain is an American hero and I am thankful for his life of service and legacy to our country and Arizona,” tweeted Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, who is occupying McCain’s seat right now. “Everyone should give him and his family the respect, admiration, and peace they deserve.” Everyone should … but she’s sure not mentioning who exactly isn’t doing so. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the same path, praising McCain without mentioning Trump directly.
May all of these fine exemplars of moral courage get exactly what they deserve: to be disparaged in death by a narcissistic bully and barely defended by their own weak friends. (But may they not get it until they’re also soundly defeated electorally and Trump is shouting and insulting from back at Trump Tower. Or from prison.)