barack obama

George Bush, Barack Obama and More Condemn Trumpism at John McCain’s Funeral

Which is probably what the Senator would have wanted.

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Donald Trump was not invited to Senator John McCain’s funeral services at Washington National Cathedral today, which featured eulogies from former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But while Trump was excluded from the event his disastrous presidency was indirectly touched on throughout the service by several speakers.

The speeches included not-so-veiled references to Trump’s draft dodging, his hateful rhetoric, his ignorance, and his catchphrases. Meghan McCain took a swipe at MAGA by saying, “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing. Not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”

Bush also sang the praises of McCain while taking digs at Trump’s wall and his bullying nature, saying “He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators. Perhaps above all John detested the abuse of power, could not abide bigots and swaggering. He spoke up for the little guy, forgotten people in forgotten places.”

Barack Obama then delivered a powerfully moving eulogy and a commentary on the nastiness and cruelty of the Trump administration. “So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty. Trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact, is born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.”

One can only wonder what was going through the minds of Trump surrogates Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and John Kelly as they saw in the pews, listening to the lowkey roasting of their boss. After receiving criticism for his mean-spirited bungling of mourning traditions, the sitting president spent the morning, as he often does, ranting on Twitter about everything from the news media to the Steele dossier to NAFTA to, of course, the “rigged witch hunt”.

What’s even more remarkable was that, watching Obama and yes, even Bush speak, was the tone and eloquence of their speeches. I never thought that I’d long for the days of George W. Bush, but we are living in rare times. The former presidents language was considered, thoughtful, and respectful, a marked contrast to the offensive and incoherent ramblings of Trump. They were, for lack of a better word, presidential in their eulogies, reminding us all what world leaders could and should sound like.

(via CNN, image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.