Donald J. Trump sure is a piece of work, isn’t he?
The guy loses the presidential election, not by a little, by a lot, then claims he was robbed via vote fraud, a charge more than 60 courts dismissed for lack of evidence, then stokes an insurrection by his brainwashed followers, who run amok for hours in the U.S. Capitol in a violent riot that left one police officer dead. The House promptly impeached him for the second time, a first in U.S. history.
After all that, Mr. Trump wants a massive military parade to bid him farewell, replete with a 21-gun salute.
Forget the irony that the 21-gun salute is fired at noon of the day of the funeral of a president, ex-president, or president-elect (of course, Mr. Trump isn’t dead … just his political career and his entire legacy). But to have deceived Americans for months about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, along with refusing to concede — for the record, no defeated presidential candidate has ever refused to concede — and THEN ask for the honor … well, talk about chutzpah.
Not only is Mr. Trump a sore loser, something parents teach their children to outgrow by the time they’re 10, he won’t be attending the inauguration of his successor, Joseph R. Biden. Instead, he’s going to flee Washington, D.C., early Wednesday morning. Why?
According to CNN, so he can leave town as president aboard the presidential plane — which will still use the call sign “Air Force One.”
See, any plane the president is on is called Air Force One. But if Mr. Trump left after having become an ex-president, his plane would just be a plane — and he’d even have to ask Mr. Biden for permission to use it.
“He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden,” CNN reported, citing “a person familiar with the matter.”
Then reports emerged that Mr. Trump was reportedly planning an unprecedented farewell event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is hangared.
“Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he’s received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, color guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement,” The Associated Press reported.
Remember, this guy lost the 2020 election.
Wrote CNN: “Final plans for Trump’s departure were still being laid a week ahead of time, but Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters, according to a person with whom he has discussed the matter. Whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews or his final destination — Palm Beach International Airport — wasn’t clear. Trump is expected to be ensconced in his Mar-a-Lago club or his nearby golf course by noon on Inauguration Day, when his term officially ends.”
But Defense One, a military website, said the Pentagon put the kibosh on all that.
“The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump,” Executive Editor Kevin Baron wrote in a commentary piece.
“It’s a shame, but not a surprise. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth. One of those disgraces is how he is ghosting the U.S. troops that he commanded,” Mr. Baron wrote.
The Pentagon on Sunday fully rejected the president’s request for other military honors other than those associated with the Department of Defense’s traditional “Armed Forces Farewell tribute,” which typically includes “members of the military getting to meet or see the president in person and usually their commander-in-chief exhibits his appreciation for their commitment and sacrifice,” The Daily Mail reported.
The president has “declined to participate” in these events, the Mail wrote.
Of course he has.
Mr. Trump had some enormous achievements in his four years as president, but his childish behavior at the end of his single term will forever define him as a sore loser, and someone who cares far more about himself than his country. That will forever be his legacy, whether he likes it or not.
As my grandmother used to say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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