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The Morning Political Briefing: A Study in Contrasts

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 29, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 29, 2018 |


Whatever else you folks want to say about John McCain — and you have a lot to say, I have seen — I’ll give him this much: He’s excellent and delivering post-mortem f*ck yous. He insisted that Donald Trump not be invited to his funeral and then, to make everything abundantly clear, he asked George W. Bush and Barack Obama to deliver his eulogies.

CNN has the backstory on all of this, but here’s the thing: McCain was not particularly good friends with either Bush or Obama. He did not have a close relationship with Obama. Obama was not one of the many, many people who spent some time with John McCain at his Arizona home in the last months of his life. John McCain called up Obama — who defeated him in a fairly tough 2008 election — and asked him to deliver the eulogy because McCain is trying to send a message of unity, one that is diametrically opposed to Trump’s message of division.

“I think it is John McCain imparting a lesson in civility by asking the two men who defeated him to speak, as an example to America that differences in political views and contests shouldn’t be so important that we lose our common bonds and the civility that is, or used to be, a hallmark of American democracy,” Steve Duprey, a longtime McCain friend said.

Meanwhile, contrast that with Trump. NBC News and the New York Times obtained secretely recorded audio from a dinner with evangelical leaders on Monday, where Trump implored those evangelicals to whip up their churches to go out and vote for Trump Republicans in November. From WashPo:

“They will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently,” Trump told the assembled leaders at the White House dinner, according to reports Tuesday by NBC News and the New York Times. “There’s violence. When you look at antifa, and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people. “You’re one election away from losing everything that you’ve got,” he said.

So, while McCain is trying to bring the country together, Trump is trying to scare Christians into believing that, if they do not vote for him again in November, the left will inflict violence upon the country.

— Meanwhile, White House Counsel Don McGahn — who offered over 30 hours of testimony to the Mueller probe after he became fearful that Trump would throw him under the bus — is reportedly getting the hell out of Dodge, either after the Brett Kavanaugh hearings or the midterms. You can trust that McGahn will not be the only White House staffer to leave in the coming months.

— That Gillum/DeSantis race out in Florida is going to be a bruiser, and with both candidates coming from the end spectrums of their parties, it’s another one of those races — like in Georgia — where it could set the tone for 2020. If Democrats from the progressive wing of the party can win in those two states, we’re far more likey to get a progressive candidate in 2020, because if a progressive candidate can win in Florida and Georgia, a progressive candidate can win nationwide. Trust that Joe Biden will be eying those races, and if Gillum and/or Abrams wins, Biden is out.

— Meanwhile, Martha McSally — the more moderate of the Trump Republicans in Arizona — won the Republican primary. She’ll face Kyrsten Sinema, who cruised to victory on the Democratic side. That’s another tough race, although it is worth noting that Sinema has had a decent lead in most polls head to head against McSally before the primary.

(As there were no photos of John McCain standing with Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen will have to play the part of John McCain henceforth in our header photos.