Tag Archives: Presidential Medal of Freedom

Trump denigrates Bush 41, too!

Donald John Trump thinks he is operating in a free-fire zone.

Political foes are open targets for his insults. That’s a given.

But a former president? Of the current president’s own party?

The 45th president of the United States decided Thursday to denigrate the charitable program initiated by the 41st president of the United States. He told the rally crowd in Great Falls, Mont., that he didn’t understand George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light” program, the one that called on Americans to help one another, apart from government.

“What the hell does that mean?” Trump asked.

Mr. President, it means charity. It means selflessness. It means public service in the purist sense of the term.

For this president to denigrate the work of a man — President Bush — who just buried his beloved wife of more than seven decades speaks volumes about his absolute callousness.

And I hasten to point out here that President Barack Obama honored President Bush when he awarded the 41st president the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — for the very work that Trump decided to disparage.

This is how you pay tribute to a great American:

Pay attention — for once in your life! — Mr. President.


How might Trump honor predecessors?

The thought occurs to me late in the day.

How¬†might Donald J. Trump honor his two immediate predecessors? Might he feel that George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama deserve to be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor?

It’s common for presidents to honor their predecessors in this fashion. Barack Obama honored former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; Bush honored former President Ronald Reagan; Clinton honored President Carter and President Ford; Carter honored President Johnson, who honored President Kennedy, whose administration established this award.

I keep wondering whether Trump would bestow this honor to Obama and George W. Bush.

He spent years savaging President Obama, implying he was a foreign-born individual who was not qualified to serve as president; he has called President Bush’s prosecution of the Iraq War one of the nation’s most disastrous misadventure. Don’t forget that he also tore into the president’s brother, Jeb, while campaigning for the presidency in 2016.

In my view, both men deserve to be honored for their service to the country. I am merely intrigued by the notion of the current president setting aside all that fiery rhetoric to do what’s right and decent.

Yes, Americans will miss this team

Presidents and vice presidents haven’t always had the kind of relationship that Barack Obama and Joseph Biden have developed.

Lyndon Johnson famously summoned Hubert Humphrey to the White House for a conference … while LBJ was sitting on a commode; Dwight Eisenhower once responded¬†to a question about what Richard Nixon contributed to his administration by saying: “If you give me a week, I’ll think of something”; John Nance Garner once referred to the vice presidency as being worth “a bucket of warm piss.”

To watch the current president bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the current vice president is to witness a true friendship that doubled as a national governing partnership.

The president added a final “with distinction” honor to the presentation, noting that such an honor is bestowed only rarely. He noted that his three immediate predecessors honored Pope John Paul II, President Reagan and Gen. Colin Powell “with distinction.”

With that, Vice President Biden joins some heady company.

And he deserves to stand with them.

Their partnership and friendship no doubt will make me miss them once they leave the public stage.

Iran, nukes … and Bill Cosby

Well, that about covers it.

President Obama’s press conference today was meant to explain the details of the recently completed negotiation to stop Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.

Then the question turned to Bill Cosby and whether the president could revoke the comedic icon’s Presidential Medal of Freedom on the basis of the rape charges that have been leveled against him by several women.


Obama’s answer was deft and on point.

There’s no precedent for revoking such a medal and there’s no mechanism now to do it, he said.

Cosby received the medal in 2002 from President George W. Bush. The world didn’t know what it knows now of what Cosby allegedly has done. It’s been reported recently that court documents show that he admitted to giving Quaaludes to women and then had sex with them.

It’s all quite disgusting.

Obama then ventured his own view on what he considers to be rape. “I’ll say this: if you give a woman, or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge a drug and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” the president said.

OK. By my understanding of what is known, I believe Bill Cosby has admitted to being a rapist.

Should the White House revoke his Medal of Freedom?

Leave the issue alone — and let Bill Cosby try to fend off the lawsuits that are going to bury him.