The President Doesn’t Get to Lecture Anyone About Being Disrespectful

I agree with Martin Longman that the remarks made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib probably did more harm than good. But I’d also like to put them in context.

Speaking to a crowd at an event sponsored by the progressive group MoveOn, Tlaib recalled the moment she won her election in November.

“And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Mama look, you won. Bullies don’t win,’ and I said, ‘Baby, they don’t,’ because we’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf****r,” Tlaib said Thursday, speaking of Trump…

I understand that there are people who will say that using language like that with your son is not a good idea. But there are also those who would suggest that the more important lesson is the one about how to handle bullies. One group focuses on language and the other on behavior. To the extent that we have to prioritize those two things, I’ll always come down on the side of those who focus on behavior.

Today during his press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump made it pretty difficult for us to avoid coming to Rep. Tlaib’s defense.

It is almost impossible for me to comprehend how someone with Trump’s public history can stand there and presume to lecture someone else about how their language is disrespectful to the United States of America. Let’s be honest, that is a moment of breathtaking dishonesty and hypocrisy. While I wouldn’t presume to diagnose the president, it is very indicative of the kind of behavior exhibited by sociopaths.

Watching the president claim that someone’s words are harmful to children reminded me of this:

Perhaps you know parents who have had to censor what the president says so as to avoid exposing their children to his bullying and profanity. No one in public service has done more to dishonor both the presidency and this country than Donald Trump.

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