Earlier this year, the late Senator John McCain made it clear that he didn’t want Donald Trump at his funeral, and then further drove the point home by inviting former President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush to deliver the eulogies. Today, former President George H.W. Bush was laid to rest, and let’s just say that we were reminded why Trump doesn’t belong at these kinds of things.
George H.W. Bush hated Donald Trump, and certainly didn’t want to invite him to his funeral. He thought Trump was such a disaster, he famously crossed party lines to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. But President Bush was a protocol kind of guy, so he told his family to go ahead and invite Trump to the funeral anyway. Even though Trump seemed to be trying to behave himself, he still managed to make a mess of things just by being there.
Every former President and First Lady in attendance dutifully got out their book and recited The Apostles’ Creed when the time came. Then there was Donald Trump, sitting next to them, holding the book down by his waist, not looking at it, not bothering to participate in the memorial process, even as Melania stared at the floor in seeming embarrassment. Isn’t Trump supposed to be the evangelical candidate? It may have been a small moment, but it’s a reminder that this guy Trump either refuses to – or simply can’t – function in public.
Then there were the reminders that no one wanted him there, because he’s a psychopath and a racist and a career criminal who committed treason to rig the election in his favor, and is therefore not the President of the United States. We saw George W. Bush stop and shake hands with Trump, but then we realized he’d only reluctantly done it so he could get to the Obamas on the other side, and give Michelle a piece of candy. Check out this surreal image capturing the moment:
Hillary Clinton, understandably, ignored Trump entirely. The point is that there’s no right way to deal with a confirmed traitor, who’s currently masquerading as president while the justice system dismantles him, when he shows up at a funeral for an actual former president. Politicians from both parties understand that on days like this it’s not about politics, and they make it work accordingly. But Donald Trump low-key screwed up this funeral just by being there, because real Americans don’t know what to do when they’re in the presence of a fake “president” who’s about to go to prison for treason.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report