Somehow the Republican Party still thinks it can convince voters that GOP officials support the U.S. military unequivocally despite the fact that the party’s leader is a draft-dodging loudmouth who attacks Gold Star families and mocks POWs.
Trump’s habitual disrespect for the armed forces—from his repeated smears of the intelligence community to the barrage of insults he’s unloaded on the generals who have gently critiqued his administration—has become a defining part of his presidency. Never again can the Republican Party claim with a straight face to be the party of national security.
Earlier today, Trump engaged in some distasteful Twitter behavior that is already stoking angry backlash. The commander-in-chief shared an edited image of himself placing a medal around the neck of the (admittedly heroic) military dog who suffered an injury during the raid in Syria which ended in the death of the brutal ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As The New York Times points out though, the original image was of Trump awarding to the Medal of Honor to retired Army medic James C. McCloughan, who was given the prestigious award for saving numerous lives during the Vietnam War.
Niraj Chokshi and Karen Zraick write in the Times:
“Mr. McCloughan was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor in combat, in July 2017. He is credited with saving the lives of company members during a battle on Nui Yon Hill in 1969 near the city of Tam Kỳ, Vietnam. He was struck by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire, but repeatedly ran onto the battlefield to rescue his comrades.”
While such an edited image might be considered harmless if shared by a random Twitter user, it’s unacceptable behavior for the President of the United States. He should not be making light of McCloughan’s service and sacrifice, even in an oblique way such as this. The Medal of Honor is a sacred military decoration steeped in history and the spilled blood of patriots and the president should at all times treat it with the somber respect it deserves.
Donald Trump has no sense of propriety and no real sense of appreciation for how much the men and women in our military give psychologically, emotionally, and physically to safeguard our Republic. In the grand scheme of his presidency, this is one of the minor offenses to be sure, but should still be called out as such. This kind of thing should be beneath the dignity of the Oval Office, but as Trump has shown time and time again, he doesn’t believe in dignity at all.
AMERICAN HERO! pic.twitter.com/XCCa2sGfsZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
Twitter responses ranged from disgust to mockery, but the consensus is clearly that Trump stepped over a line with his tweet.
We have the original image of dog used by Trump
To contrast the sick joke that our Criminal-in-chief indulged in by posting a Photoshopped pic of him with a hero dog…
I'm posting an actual photograph of a dog being given a medal from his MASTER pic.twitter.com/gsvxjc5s9y
— Tomi … Ahonen (@tomiahonen) October 30, 2019
How could they possibly screw up a lovely story about a brave dog helping to capture the world's most wanted terrorist? By photoshopping said dog into a picture with Trump to remind us this president would never, ever, ever touch a dog in real life. https://t.co/OaEbFhbQ6P
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) October 30, 2019
embarrassed by how much effort i put into this pic.twitter.com/2NRnYCjswo
— evan jacorpse (@esjesjesj) October 30, 2019
— Blue Lantern (@BlueLanternUSA) October 30, 2019
Forcing us to see headlines like this should be impeachable alone. https://t.co/X0V5VtzrPL
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) October 30, 2019
Somewhere out there, Donald Trump Jr. is photoshopping his face over the dog’s face. https://t.co/VXHigYnIq6
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) October 30, 2019
imagine thinking trump would get that close to a dog
— darth™ (@darth) October 30, 2019
Fine, just the president of the United States disseminating a doctored image created by a right-wing propaganda site. pic.twitter.com/Ky26zdDaXe
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 30, 2019
The dog is trained to sniff out dirt bags. Trump couldn't get within 100 feet of this dog, hence the photoshopped image. https://t.co/hNiKP0G9OZ
— Steve Redmond (@sjredmond) October 30, 2019