Heh. It’s pretty simple!

Kelly Sadler’s private “joke” about McCain was less offensive than things Trump has said publicly about him. Firing her would have reminded his critics of his own boorishness about Maverick’s war service and it would have annoyed populists who hate McCain to see a deputy punished by Trump for hating him too. Canning her would have irritated all sides. Better to let her take her lumps in the media and wait for it to blow over.


Sadler did apologize too, it should be noted. Ed argued this morning that she should be booted anyway for the sheer grossness of her joke and I’d be tempted to agree (although probably wouldn’t agree) if this were a White House known for decorum, with the Sadler news a glaring black mark on its reputation. As it is, it’s a fart in the stinky wind. Plus, as I said about the boycott of Laura Ingraham and the demands to fire the idiot professor at Fresno State, I’m leery of how quickly modern political outrage proceeds from offense to calling for someone’s head professionally. Sadler, Ingraham, and the Fresno clod were all guilty of the same charge, what I’ll gently call “being a dick.” We’ve all been there, and Ingraham and Sadler at least had the minimal decency to apologize, albeit under public pressure. There are offenses against good taste so dire that they call into question someone’s basic judgment, but in the case of sneering at another’s misfortune (i.e. “being a dick”) I’d rather we follow an ethic of public shaming than one of insta-nuking someone’s livelihood. Unemployment is hard.

But if, like Meg, you want to take the position that White House staffers are different because their bad behavior impugns respect for the U.S. government, I understand.