the 2016 campaign, our 45th President once promised that he would be
“so Presidential that it will be boring.” If only.
Instead, he has managed to irk even his Republican allies by
wallowing in the muck of name-calling, yet again, belittling a woman
for her looks. Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, 45 tweeted, was
still “bleeding from her facelift” when he saw her during
the New Year’s holiday. He also disparaged Brzezinski’s
intelligence and poked fun at her co-host Joe Scarborough. Dozens of
Republicans, including leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI),
have scolded the President on his language in the June 29 tweets.
Some have used terms like “civility” and “decency”
to distance themselves from his comments.
is easy to scold this president on the indecent ways he speaks to,
and of, women. It is easy to shake one’s head at his juvenile
tweets. Certainly, our President has the temperament of an unruly 8
year old (and that is unkind to 8 year olds). But we can spend so
much time wondering about this President’s temperament that we
can forget about his abhorrent policy initiatives that are far more
dangerous than his mindless tweets.
the same time that 45 is attacking cable news hosts, the Senate is
supposed to be considering a health care plan that “repeals”
the Affordable Care Act. There is no civility or decency in
advocating for a health care plan that would leave more than 22
million people uninsured. There is nothing civil or decent in the
President suggesting that Obamacare be repealed, even if there is no
replacement for it. So while many hours of television time will be
spent excoriating 45 for his silly tweets about the Morning Joe team,
far more should be spent dealing with health care, with employment
creation, and with prison reform.
eyes are on the president and his poison pen. I’m not so sure
that’s a good thing. We should be equally concerned about
other policy actions that are happening even as 45 is clowning on the
public stage. He wakes up in the morning to send out mindless
tweets, but his minions, who are neither tweeting nor clowning, are
working to roll back our civil and voting rights.
decent Republicans an endangered species? Certainly, some
Republicans will step up when 45 crosses the line on civility with
his unhinged tweets. Too many others, though, are silent, not only
in the face of misogynistic tweets, but also in the face of inhumane
public policy. Because they have placed partisanship over common
humanity, they have been silent in the face of draconian public
policy, especially around health care. Those who have stood up, such
as Nevada Senator Dean Heller, have attracted the ire of the
big-money alt-Trump regime, those deep-pocketed PAC funders who have
attempted to bully Heller into supporting Trumpcare. Indeed, those
Republicans who have bucked the 45 machine have found themselves
unfairly attacked. Attacks on Republicans like Heller and Collins
are ways to intimidate others into silence.
45 is tweeting insanity, immigrants who are honorably discharged
veterans are being deported. The joined the Armed Services, and
served our country, both because they are patriots, but also because
they were promised citizenship in return for their service. Is there
no decency? While 45 is doing his best imitation of a schoolyard
bully, school administrators from both red and blue states are
looking at the ways Trumpcare would affect poor children and pushing
back on the horrible legislation. Both Democratic and Republican
governors are appalled at the ways Medicaid cuts will hurt their
constituents, but 45 is too busy tweeting on posturing to deal with
his natural allies in the states.
tweets are simply the tip of the iceberg. They illustrate a lack of
decency that is worse than the incivility of name-calling. The
indecency and incivility in this administration is as much about
flawed and inhumane public policy as juvenile name-calling. In
criticizing 45’s decency, let’s keep our eyes on the
prize. Our President is not just a clueless buffoon; he is a
dangerous and clueless buffoon. We should focus on the danger more
than the cluelessness.