The Disappearance of the USS John McCain

President Donald Trump swears he had nothing to do with hiding the USS John McCain from view during his recent state visit to Japan, nor excluding its crew from a presidential address to most of the rest of Pacific fleet’s sailors at the port of Yokosuka on Memorial Day, but we don’t believe him. Trump’s fans admire his bluntness, so we’re sure they won’t mind if we come right out and say that he’s an habitual liar and exactly the sort of small and petty person who would do that.
By now everyone knows that Trump had a very personal feud with the late Arizona Sen. John McCain III, for whom the warship is named, along with his four-star admiral father John MCcain II and and four-star admiral grandfather John McCain, each one a bona fide war hero, and that Trump isn’t one to let a feud end at the grave. Trump dodged the draft during the Vietnam War with a phony baloney note from the podiatrist who rented office space from Trump’s multi-millionaire father — again we expect that the Trump fans will appreciate our bluntness — but he dismissed the five years of torture that McCain endured in the notoriously brutal “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp because the naval aviator declined an offer of early release made due to his family’s prestige rather than leave his comrades behind and hand the enemy a propaganda victory. “He’s only a war hero because he got captured,” Trump infamously said. “I hate to tell you, but I like a guy who didn’t get captured, okay?”
That slur against every brave American who ever endured being a prisoner of war should have ended Trump’s candidacy right then, but it didn’t, and when he somehow became President of the United States Trump continued his war of words with the former Republican nominee and bona fide war hero and longtime public servant who had the gall to question Trump’s fitness for the presidency. McCain wound up casting the decisive vote against Trump’s campaign promise to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” and after that Trump ramped up the taunting “tweets” even as McCain was dying of brain cancer. Although we don’t care much for the health care law and would like to see it repealed we have to admit that Trump didn’t have any sort of replacement on offer, so we can forgive McCain’s vote and acknowledge that he might even have been right, but Trump is not the forgiving sort and is never wiling to admit that he might be wrong.
The Pentagon and the Navy and the White House spent much of Thursday passing around blame about why the USS John McCain had covered its name with a tarp, then delayed its much-needed repairs by sailing outside of television camera range, and why its crew was one of the two in the area not invited to a presidential speech on a ship named for someone Trump has no beef with. They all initially blamed it on unnamed lower officials, but wound up admitting that there was a directive from the White House to keep the ship out of any press photos. Trump wound up claiming he couldn’t be held to account for whatever some unnamed lower level White House officials might do, but reiterated his dislike of McCain, and said that “Somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, okay? And they were well meaning.”
Both the war hero McCain and the draft dodger Trump prided themselves on blunt talk, and people 0n both sides seem to love it, so we’ll go ahead and say it again. The President of the United States is an habitual liar and a small and petty man.

— Bud Norman

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