Former interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile was full of posthumous praise for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Wednesday’s edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier.
The context was President Trump’s renewed criticism of McCain after a newly-released deposition showed how deeply McCain was involved in the fraudulent “Russia dossier” that has been used to attack the administration and divide the nation.
Brazile, who Fox News recently hired as a contributor, began by criticizing the president for speaking ill of the dead. She then continued: “John McCain leaves a legacy. He leaves a legacy of sacrifice. … John McCain should be honored for his service.”
It is heart-warming to read tributes to McCain from people who ignored his heroism and sacrifice and smeared his character when he ran against Barack Obama and, later, criticized him as president.
In 2014, for example, Brazile tweeted a hit piece on McCain, “The Vacant Soul of Senator John McCain.” She added: “Interesting article.”
Interesting article. The Vacant Soul Of Senator John McCain. http://t.co/Mo4p9c0vIc
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) June 3, 2014
The article was a response to McCain’s criticism of Obama for the Bowe Berghdal prisoner swap, in which the U.S. freed five major Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. McCain, a prisoner-of-war himself in Vietnam for five-and-a-half years, nevertheless criticized the deal. (Berghdal was later convicted of desertion.)
What Brazile called an “interesting article” was a mean-spirited personal attack, with lines such as: “McCain had so much sunshine blown up his ass that his colon must have looked like Cabo San Lucas.” It referred to the war hero as a “small boy,” and accused him of handing U.S. foreign policy to corrupt “spooks and crooks.”
When McCain was alive, and — as it happens — in the right, Brazile said he had a “vacant soul.” Now she is his number-one fan.
The media do not love McCain for his service, which many did their best to ignore. No — the media love him as a foil to other Republicans — a role he has relished playing from the time he was the maverick alternative to George W. Bush during the 2000 Republican primary. They hated him when he was an effective critic of Obama’s foreign policy. They loved him again when he feuded with Trump in the 2015-6 election.
McCain made sure the feud would continue beyond his death. The media loved it, too: “Mr. McCain had carefully stage-managed a four-day celebration of his life — but what was also an unmistakable rebuke to President Trump and his agenda,” the New York Times wrote.
At the time, Trump swallowed his pride. Now that he is talking about McCain again, the last people to criticize the president should be those, like Donna Brazile, who trashed him while he was living, and when it mattered.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.