In another ugly twist, everything turned political again at a high-profile funeral.
On Saturday, a memorial service was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to remember Sen. John McCain, who passed away last week at age 81. The service was lovely and appropriate for a war hero turned legislator who devoted much of his life to public service.
But there were inappropriate moments, as well. Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Arizona Republican, took to the podium and ripped President Trump — without naming him, of course. Trump and McCain had clashed many times so she thought him fair game, even at a funeral.
“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,” she said.
Then, her voice rising in anger, she said, “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” The audience applauded.
Former President Barack Obama, invited by McCain to speak at his funeral, also hit Trump — or Trump’s politics, anyway. “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 in fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.”
Former President George W. Bush also appeared to take a veiled swipe at Trump, who did not attend the memorial.
“John was above all a man with a code. He led by a set of public virtues that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. He was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors and inspired his countrymen,” Bush said. “He was honorable, always recognizing that his opponents were still patriots and human beings. He loved freedom with the passion of a man who knew its absence. 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,” Bush added. “There was something deep inside him that made him stand up for the little guy. To speak for forgotten people in forgotten places.”
Trump, meanwhile, was playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Loudoun County, VA. On his drive back to the White House, the president tweeted a four word message aimed at his critics.
“MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”