John Lewis: The Man Who Could Not Be Criticized?
Let’s be honest here: Donald Trump has already shown there is no one on the planet he won’t defend himself against, no matter what that person’s reputation might be. This should have been obvious after the John McCain controversy in 2015, and it should have been cemented by Trump’s criticism of Pope Francis. There are no sacred cows in the Trump Universe.
Alas, his barn-burning style of argumentation still upsets all the liberals and Republican establishment types who want Trump to settle down and behave himself. So when Georgia Democrat John Lewis attacked the president-elect last week, they hoped that Trump would let the insults slide.
The trouble began with a Meet the Press interview Lewis did with Chuck Todd, excerpts of which were publicized on Friday. In the interview, Lewis said he would not be attending Trump’s inauguration – the first time he’s skipped the ceremony in 30 years.
“You know, I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It will be hard. It’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis said. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
While it’s apparently just fine for a House Democrat to say that the incoming President of the United States is an illegitimate product of a hostile foreign government, it is not okay for Trump to respond to this living monument to American civil rights. But Trump went ahead and did it anyway.
On Twitter, Trump said Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”
Trump later reiterated his attack, saying that Lewis was all “talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
This brought a wave of condemnation from Democrats and more than a few (already anti-Trump) Republicans.
“John Lewis has a walk that very few people in this country — least of all Donald Trump — have ever walked. So you have to respect that and pay attention to that in a real sense,” said former RNC chairman Michael Steele, a black Republican who never supported Trump.
And has Lewis ever walked a mile in Donald Trump’s shoes? Is Lewis above all criticism for the rest of his life, merely because he participated in the civil rights marches of the 1960s? Are you kidding?
No one is above criticism, least of all someone with a big mouth. If you want to say the president-elect of the United States was not legitimately elected, don’t be surprised when the heat comes down.