Washington's facade of civility was buried with McCain

Washington's facade of civility was buried with McCain
© Greg Nash

God must be a Democrat.

At least, judging by the two “national” funerals we recently witnessed.


At the services for Aretha Franklin and for Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Anti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid McCain's family, McCain Institute to promote #ActsOfCivility in marking first anniversary of senator's death MORE (R-Ariz.), it was clear that the most important person was someone you wasn’t there and who was very much alive: President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE.

At the former service, Professor Michael Eric Dyson thought it fitting to “preach” about the current White House incumbent using words such as "fascist" and "dictator." (Remember, Aretha Franklin was a performance artist).

At the service for the senator, a former “conservative” president — none other than George Bush Jr. — thought it fitting to lace his eulogy with words such as "bigot" and "swaggering despots." And the honored departed’s own daughter felt it apropos to cite and disparage Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again” in her remarks. 

How strange, especially when one remembers that more than 60 million of her fellow Americans agreed with President Trump’s call to “MAGA.” What exactly was Meghan McCain trying to say to those Americans? That they should have voted for a Democrat? At a funeral service? For her Republican father?

I lost my father and my mother over a decade ago. They died within three months of one another and, as their only child, the remembrances were up to me to plan and run. No, neither had been politicians in the classic sense of the word but even if they had dedicated their whole lives to political careers, I would have found it distasteful, to say the least, to turn either funeral into a political event aimed at attacking a living political figure, no matter how much I disagreed with that person. (All the more so if they were from the same political party as my parents).

How, then, do we explain why this behavior seemingly has been normalized in America today? I believe Tuesday’s Kavanaugh hearing can help explain what is going on.

From the pulpit at the McCain funeral and in the mainstream commentary thereafter, all we heard were calls for bipartisanship and how the late senator embodied the across-the-aisle attitude we need so much today. Yesterday put the lie to that call.

The mere fact that one of the leading Democratic frontrunners for president, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Calif.), interrupted Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces White House denies exploring payroll tax cut to offset worsening economy Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord MORE (R-Iowa) 13 words into the hearing — before Grassley could even utter the words “Judge Brett Kavanaugh" — is evidence enough.

There was no attempt at even giving the semblance of a fair, bipartisan hearing to the Supreme Court candidate. This is underscored by the pre-hearing clamor of the minority party that it hadn’t receiving the requisite background materials from the Trump administration in order to vet the president’s nominee.

In reality, no other administration in U.S. history has provided more information about a nominee. What’s galling is that, despite this truly historic level of transparency, Democrats apparently have no interest in reading any of the documents provided by the Trump White House.

Add to that the fact that multiple Democrats decided to vote against Kavanaugh or refused to meet with him – or anyone else the president nominated – long before any information was released, and you know that bipartisanship only works one way.

If a Republican does what the Democrats demand, as McCain did when he reneged on his promise to vote against ObamaCare, that will be praised by the left. But can you recall the last time the Democrats praised one of their own for siding in a “bipartisan” fashion with the Republicans? Right. Just ask Joe Lieberman about the bipartisanship of the DNC.

No, the real issue in Washington has nothing to do with bipartisanship across the political spectrum of right versus left. It has, instead, to do with two realities: an establishment where the GOP machine has been supine to the left for decades, playing by Marquis of Queensbury rules and forever being led by the nose as a result, and the establishment left being still unable to come to terms with the choice the “plebs” made in November 2016.

When you lose at the ballot box and you think it’s because the people chose the “wrong” candidate, you can’t wait four years and try to win the argument on the merits. Instead, you obstruct. Instead, you use the courts in an attempt to maintain your stranglehold on power – whether it’s an attempt to derail a perfectly qualified Supreme Court nominee, or to use leftist judges to sabotage the executive’s constitutional prerogative on issues such as national security and immigration.

Bipartisanship was never the objective. It was always power. At the McCain funeral, the facade was buried.

MAGA wasn’t just a campaign slogan. It was a declaration of political warfare against the established elite on both the left and right. November will decide whether this has been just a one-off battle, or the first victory in a campaign that will restore representative republicanism to our nation.

Sebastian Gorka (@SebGorka), Ph.D., is national security strategist with Fox News and former deputy assistant and strategist to President Donald Trump. He is the author of the new book, “Why We Fight: Recovering America’s Will to Win.”