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Sometimes You Don’t Have to Say the Name

September 6, 2018

By Michael Goldman

Here’s a quick pop quiz of current events:

1) At the recent funeral of the late U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ.), one name was never spoken, not even a single time, by the dozens of bipartisan speakers who attended and addressed the throng. What was that name?

2) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was Meghan McCain really referring when she said at the funeral of her late father: “We don’t have to make America great again. We have always been great”?

3) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Republican President George W. Bush really referring when he said at the funeral of Senator McCain, his presidential primary opponent in 2000, that McCain “hated bullies”?

4) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Democrat President Barak Obama really referring when he said at the funeral of Senator McCain, his presidential opponent in 2008, that McCain “understood that our right to be in America was not based on how recently we arrived or the last names of our parents and grandparents”?

5) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was Meghan McCain really referring when she said, “We gather here to mourn the passing of real American greatness, not the opportunistic who never served”?

6) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Republican President George W. Bush really referring when he said that McCain “detested the abuse of power”?

7) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Democrat President Barak Obama really referring when he said that McCain “believed in honest argument and hearing other views”?

8) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was Meghan McCain really referring when she said, “We mourn real sacrifice, not the fake service of those who have lived lives of comfort and privilege”?

9) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Republican President George W. Bush really referring when he said that McCain “could not abide bigots”?

10) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Democrat President Barak Obama really referring when he said that McCain “believed in hearing the views of others”?

11) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was Meghan McCain really referring when she said “my father hated cheap rhetoric”?

12) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Republican President George W. Bush really referring when he said that McCain “detested swaggering despots”?

13) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Democrat President Barak Obama really referring when he said that McCain “loved the ideals of America and opposed those who trafficked in bombast, insult, and phony outrage”?

14) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was Meghan McCain really referring when she said, ”(unlike others), my father suffered and served”?

15) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Republican President George W. Bush really referring when he said that McCain understood that as a Senator, “he was not a subordinate to anyone”?

16) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was former Democrat President Barak Obama really referring when he said that ”(McCain) hated mean and petty politics as well as those who were ‘small’”?

Here’s one more for extra credit:

17) Without ever mentioning his name, to whom was Republican U.S. Senator Ben Sasse really referring when he said regarding a recent tweet urging the Attorney General, the Justice Department, and the FBI make their criminal justice decisions based not on the facts or the rule of law, but based on party and politics, “We are not some Banana Republic”?

Sadly, the answer to all of the above questions is President Donald J. Trump.

But you knew that already, didn’t you?

And what about the target of those comments?

Continuing to display the callousness that has been his hallmark during his time in office, President Trump chose to tweet and golf, rather than reflect or reach out while many of us celebrated the life and legacy of John McCain.

Michael Goldman is a political consultant to Democrat candidates and a weekly contributor to this newspaper.

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