This past week, as the House took their final vote approving articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he was holding a rally in Michigan, where he delivered a now widely circulated, gross insinuation that the state’s late Democratic Congressman John Dingell was in hell. He made that remark while complaining that John’s wife Debbie, a current Congresswoman, was supporting impeachment. During an appearance on Fox this weekend, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short suggested that Trump’s attack was completely justified because — wait for it — the late Congressman once called Trump an “imbecile.” Talk about nauseatingly petty.
Following a discussion in which Short spouted off to host Chris Wallace about issues surrounding the president’s impeachment, Wallace aired a clip of Debbie Dingell explaining how the president’s attacks made her have more of a rough time than she’d already had during this holiday season, which is the first without her husband. Short did not care enough to call for any change in the president’s action. He said:
‘Chris, I’m sorry that she’s hurting, and I wish her the best as she deals with the circumstances. I think that our administration respects the service of John Dingell, in service, in uniform. We respect his service to our country in Congress, and we respect her service to our country following her husband in Congress.’
And yet, Short did not hesitate to defend the president publicly suggesting that her late husband could be in hell.
‘In light of where we were Wednesday night, I think the president is saying: John Dingell is not exactly a wallflower. John Dingell called the president an imbecile in his closing months. John Dingell himself as well had a lot of critical comments about the president. Yet he took time to call Debbie Dingell to express his personal condolences about the passing. He lowered flags to half mast. I think at the time – at the moment – the President’s feeling in the midst of an impeachment vote that that was something that came up in his rally speech.’
March Short responds to a bruising editorial by Christianity Today calling for the President's removal. Chris also asks Marc Short why the president won't apologize to Rep. Debbie Dingell for attacks on her late husband. #FNS #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/TUozl9bJ0e
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) December 22, 2019
Normal humans do not try and get some kind of repayment for carrying out the basic dignity associated with their position in life. That’s just not a thing. That’s not courtesy; that’s egomania. And yet, that’s exactly what the president did. During his rant in which he suggested that John Dingell could be in hell, he was complaining that Debbie Dingell was supporting impeachment even after he called for the flags to be lowered after her husband’s passing. Besides his military service, John had been the longest-serving member of Congress ever.
Trump’s attack on the Dingells mirrors his response to criticism from the now late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. When Trump was first making a splash in the Republican presidential candidate field, he publicly mocked the idea that McCain was a war “hero.”
After McCain passed away from cancer, he publicly complained that he’d never been thanked for signing off on basic state funeral arrangements — although presidents don’t even sign off on proceedings at the National Cathedral, where McCain’s actual D.C. funeral took place following him lying in state. Trump complained anyway.