- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Mayor Pete Muldoon of Jackson, Wyoming, ordered the official portraits of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to be removed from his city’s town hall, suggesting the White House leaders were too dictatorial to display.

“When the Town of Jackson decides to honor such a divisive person,” Muldoon said in a statement, of the Trump portrait, “it is taking sides against some of its residents.”

Really. ‘Cause it seems more like simply hanging a picture of the president — no big deal.

And that’s kind of the tone and spirit the town has maintained in previous years. Plenty of other presidents’ portraits have hung in the town hall without problem — including that of Barack Obama, whose portrait was reportedly hung for years, despite the fact he was a highly divisive politico whose progressive policies put him squarely at odds with Wyoming’s large conservative base.

And lookie here: Trump did win 69 percent of the state.

But Muldoon went on: “We aren’t required to display signs of respect. Our respect is earned, not demanded. Dictators like Joseph Stalin required their portraits to be displayed everywhere. Luckily, we do not live in a dictatorship,” the Huffington Post noted.

Yes, that is a not-so-subtle jab at Trump as akin to Stalin. And it doesn’t even make sense, since neither Trump nor Pence demanded their portraits be hung in the town hall.

Teton County Commissioner Paul Vogelheim, who heads up the local Republican Party, called out Muldoon’s actions as “totally disrespectful,” saying the town hall has displayed the portraits of U.S. presidents since the 1980s and that Trump shouldn’t have been treated any differently.

Democrats don’t agree, however.

“We should be able to show up to a town meeting to work on town business without having to see the snarling mug of Donald Trump,” Councilman Jim Stanford told the Huffington Post, adding that he’s always felt leery at the “supreme leader” aspect of the presidential portraits.

Yet Obama’s face was OK, along with Joe Biden’s — and apparently, so were George W. Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s.

The portrait that replaced Trump and Pence is of Chief Washakie, the local Shoshone Tribe leader in the 1800s.

But here’s a thought: Why not hang all the portraits?

Surely, there’s enough wall space to display Washakie, along with Trump and Pence. Unless, of course, the real reason for removing Trump and Pence is simply bias on the part of the mayor and Democrats.

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