Once upon a time, there was a moral concept that taught if you had a problem with somebody, you went to that person directly and spoke of that matter in private — you didn’t throw darts at public walls.
Then came Sen. John McCain. And in speedy order, then came George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The trio just can’t seem to get enough of trash-talking President Donald Trump in public. But they do it in a way that’s sneaky and cowardly.
They do it without even naming the president. As if we don’t know. As if that makes it fit for polite society.
This, from The Washington Post: “George W. Bush comes out of retirement to deliver a veiled rebuke of Trump.”
Enough of the “veiled” already. Just say it, say Trump’s name.
“Without Saying ‘Trump,’ Bush and Obama Deliver Implicit Rebukes,” a New York Times headline blasted.
The story went on to quote Bush as saying, in a recent public address, “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. … We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.”
He also spoke of a “fading confidence” in free markets and foreign trade.
Obama, meanwhile, offered up this at a campaign rally in Newark, as The New York Times noted: “What we can’t have is the same old politics of division that we have seen so many times before that dates back centuries. Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That’s folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century. Come on!”
Obama, at a later visit in Richmond, Virginia, seemed to hit at Trump for his treatment of veterans and military members — a message that furthered the whole media cycle painting the president as uncaring of those killed in action.
Then, of course, there was McCain who days ago slammed what he characterized as America’s abandonment of core ideals and refusal of “the obligation of international leadership” “for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”
The common denominator of all three public speeches?
They were jabs at Trump — without naming Trump.
They were sly, sneaky, not-so-subtle attacks on the president and his White House, absent the courtesy of speaking clearly and naming the perceived at-fault party.
Worse than discourteous, it’s cowardly.
It’s the little girl way of fighting — the high school teenage girl who talks smack behind someone’s back, but then acts friendly in that person’s presence. This, from two past presidents and a sitting senator.
Note to Trump haters: If you’ve got a problem with the guy, name him — blame him openly. Stand tall and defend your view. Enough of the cowardly hacking. It’s wussy and weak, and so are those who engage in such style of politicking.