Tom Stiglich has a cartoon that you can see this morning on Lucianne of a family looking at clouds: I see a horse. I see an angel. I see Donald Trump kicking a puppy.
The media and select members of Congress now want you to see President Trump calling the family of a soldier who has just died in an ambush in Niger just to insult them.
Rep. Fredericka Wilson is leading the charge on this matter. The grief-stricken family of the fallen soldier has also said that Trump was insensitive. The family, having given a son to the country, are owed honor and gratitude.
But shame on Wilson and other politicians for politicizing this and using the death of a young man who died for our country to churn up hatred over what appears to have been at most an awkwardness on the part of the president. It should also be noted that Rep. Wilson has consistently voted against bills to help military families.
The father of another soldier told CNN that he believes the family misinterpreted what the president said:
The father of a slain US serviceman told CNN he believes critics of President Donald Trump's reported comments to a soldier's widow mistook his intended meaning.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, said the President told the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed during an ambush in Niger, "He knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt."
Wilson, who said she heard the remarks via speakerphone, called them "insensitive." Trump has said Wilson "fabricated" the comments. The White House has declined to comment, calling the conversation private.
But Gold Star Father Craig Gross, whose son was Cpl. Frank Robert Gross, said Trump's "words are basically being taken and misconstrued."
"President Trump is doing a lot of good things as far as Gold Star families are concerned," Gross said. "I believe that if you interviewed him personally, one on one, you would find that he is very, very empathetic and very compassionate, not only toward Gold Star families but also in regards to our active duty."
"I think at the end of the day, what we have to look at is the idea of politicizing Gold Star families," Manion said. "What is important to Gold Star families is to make sure that their loved one's service and legacy is remembered."
So the president appears to have told a devastated family that soldiers sign up knowing their jobs are dangerous but it hurts when they are killed. No, Trump doesn't have George W. Bush's grace when it comes to identifying with military families, but this doesn't sound like an intended insult.
As is his wont, Trump brought this on himself and has made it worse. Trump's supporters like him in part because he fights back. He's not Mitt Romney or John McCain, those gentlemanly Republicans who didn't win. But this is one time President Trump really should hold back. Maybe he should say he only wanted to console family but must work at doing a better job? Alas, he lacks the grace to do something that simple. .
But this controversy over the president's possibly clumsy call to the family of a fallen soldier shows just how low things can go. It's sickening. But it is in line with what the increasingly disloyal opposition believes about Trump and, indeed, those who support him.
Pick up the latest issue of Vanity Fair. All issues of VF are saturated in Trump hatred, but the current one outdoes previous standards of venom. The artwork on James Wolcott's "The Tyrant Trap" feature s Trump as a rat and it is almost impossible to look at it.
Previously a highly readable magazine columnist, Wolcott hates not only the "Putin-picked autocrat" who wants to accomplish "heinous deeds" but his voters, whom the writer designates Loyal Trump Voters. Wolcott is even critical of journalists who journey out into the hinterland to understand these citizens:
It is time this romance with Ma and Pa Kettle was put out to pasture. Let journalists find other ways to pretend to be in touch with those left behind and clinging to their discredited articles of faith.
Never mind that it was Mr. Wolcott's articles of faith that were discredited in the last presidential election, this is real hatred. If this brand of venom is in wide circulation in our culture–and it is–next thing you know we'll be politicizing the deaths of our soldiers. Oh, wait . . .