President Trump recently tweeted about Senator Kristen Gillbrand (D-NY) who had called for him to resign because of the many accusations of sexual harassment and assault that have been leveled against him.
The implication that a United States Senator was offering sex for a campaign contribution is as boorish as it is ridiculous, as completely inappropriate as it is wildly out-of-touch. In other words, completely in character for Donald Trump.
After all the many things that Trump has said and done over the last couple of years, this one tweet finally pushed the editors of USA Today over the edge. In a widely-reported editorial, they excoriated the president for the behavior that has consistently brought shame and disgrace to our country.
Like many, I was happy to see it. I think it puts Trump in a perspective that we have sometimes lost due to the incessant barrage of his once-unbelievable behavior. But the most frequently cited quote in the piece left me uneasy.
"A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore," wrote the editorial board, "is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush."
I get the intended point, which I applaud. And I do not mean to quibble. But cleaning toilets and shining shoes are honorable professions and those who perform those tasks earn their money with hard work just like everyone else. In order to mount a political criticism against a powerful man, USA Today did not need to imply that far less powerful people occupy some very low rung on the moral hierarchy.
In my view, the paper owes janitors and shoe shiners an apology.