This is what happens when you’re politely yet righteously shamed on national television. From “The View” this morning:
A chastened Hatch was confronted afterward by the media and agreed in hindsight that complaining about a dying friend not inviting a guy who goofed on his war heroism to his funeral might not be the classiest way to pay tribute to him.
“I agree with the daughter,” a remorseful Hatch told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I shouldn’t have said anything yesterday. I agree a hundred percent with her.”
Hatch also sent a letter to McCain apologizing for his comment and for suggesting that McCain would not return to the Senate, according to a person familiar with its contents. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange.
The weirdest thing about this episode is that Hatch is retiring. He gains nothing politically by shilling for Trump. Plus, he and McCain are among the longest-serving members of the Senate. They’re old (emphasis on “old”) friends. I’d expect a Devin Nunes or Matt Gaetz or some other Trump buddy eager to ingratiate himself with the White House to seize on the prospect of Maverick’s death as an opportunity to whine about how unfairly POTUS is forever being treated. Never Hatch.
But he must believe it. Like I say, he has no electoral motive to complain. He may be the one true-blue Trump fan in all of Congress. Besides Ted Cruz, I mean.
As for Trump, I’m going to guess that this tasteful meme from Roy Cohn fan and former Trump advisor turned enemy Sam Nunberg is closer to his true feelings than Hatch’s indignation about him being denied a chance to cry crocodile tears in public is:
This sums it up… pic.twitter.com/fZaA9JMvpt
— Sam Nunberg (@NunbergSam) May 7, 2018
I mentioned last night the prospective intense awkwardness of Trump having to meet and greet POWs at the funeral after his famous “I like soldiers who don’t get captured” shtick from a few years ago. But there might be other cringey moments. What if one of the speakers used the opportunity to take (veiled) shots at him by contrasting McCain’s legacy of sacrifice and service with those who spent the early 70s pursuing more vulgar interests, etc? They’d get rapped by righties for turning the ceremony into a political soapbox a la Paul Wellstone’s memorial service, but McCain might not mind. Such is his contempt for POTUS that if someone wanted to use the occasion of his formal memorial service to contrast his legacy with the “America Firster” Trump’s, he might be A-OK with it. As I said yesterday, McCain’s actually doing him a kindness by not inviting him. If he really wanted to hurt Trump, he’d call the media over to his ranch today and tell them on camera, “I want him there. It’s my dying wish.”