By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: A political feud spills over grave

A political feudspills over grave

It now is clear: Donald Trump does not like John McCain.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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All week, on Twitter and in public speeches, the president has attacked the former war hero and U.S. senator from Arizona. McCain gave no response, him being dead and all. But a few people stepped into that void.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson called the president's diatribes "a lack of respect for (McCain's) service." The Georgia Republican, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, continued in a scathing interview on Georgia Public Broadcasting:

"It's deplorable what he said … There aren't Democratic causalities and Republican casualties on the battlefield, there are American casualties. And we should never reduce the service that people give to this country, including the offering of their own lives, to any political fodder in Washington, DC, or anywhere else for that matter."

That extends to our tiny corner of Northwest Oregon. We may not have much impact on the national political psyche, but occasionally we should comment about that moral morass. As comment, it's difficult to improve on some remarks by others.

Stuart Stevens, political consultant and former chief strategist for the 2012 Mitt Romney presidential campaign, spoke passionately in a television interview:

“This is really not an attack on John McCain; it is an attack on America. When you’re the president of the United States who attacks a dead war hero who represents the best of America, it really hurts the American soul. It drags us all down. I don’t understand where the line is if Republicans don’t stand and say, ‘Enough, do not do this.’ I mean, we’re constantly in the Joe McCarthy moment – ‘Have you no decency, sir?’ – And the answer continues to be, ‘No.’”

Another TV interview engaged Paul Rieckhoff, founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. From a military perspective, he spoke about the president’s "lack of discipline," his failure to provide an appropriate leadership example, his “new low.”

“People need to condemn this kind of rhetoric,” said Rieckhoff. “Our children are watching, our allies are watching, our enemies are watching. And when they hear our commander in chief continue to attack people in our own military and veterans community, that’s something that our enemies celebrate.”

Trump apologists filled the airways with a defense that bodes even more ill. Their common theme was that Trump simply is being Trump, which is his appeal to the base that put him into office.


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