Re­turn of the Fourth Es­tate faint­ing couches

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

Just when they thought it was safe to go out­side again, the po­lit­i­cal press is break­ing out the smelling salts again. They’re back to hav­ing the va­pors and break­ing out in warts over the or­ange-haired vul­gar­ian hold­ing court at his fab­u­lous and op­u­lent New Jersey golf course. Trump Na­tional Bed­min­ster has be­come Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s White House-in-wait­ing as he hosts count­less dig­ni­taries, rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies and even es­tab­lish­ment politi­cians who have come from near and far to kiss the gi­ant ring.

There is Gov. Chris Christie, Mayor Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani and re­tired Gen. Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis. And Repub­li­can Mitt Rom­ney, who was never elected pres­i­dent.

The per­sonal, pri­vate tor­ture all this public grov­el­ing must be for Mr. Rom­ney, who spent the past year and a half do­ing ev­ery­thing he could to keep the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee from win­ning the White House he him­self failed to win four years ago.

At least you can’t say Mr. Trump did not warn us: Early on, he an­nounced that he was a big be­liever in tor­ture — as long as it works.

In the case of Mr. Rom­ney, it ap­par­ently does. He may be a good up­stand­ing Mor­mon, but the guy just can­not get enough of this tor­ture and dom­i­na­tion. Called back for a redo of his in­ter­view to be sec­re­tary of state, Mr. Rom­ney clicked his heels and saluted.

This is the same guy who said Mr. Trump was im­moral, dis­hon­est, tyran­ni­cal and un­fit to hold public of­fice. Now the guy wants to carry out Mr. Trump’s for­eign poli­cies around the world.

Wow. Who knew what a bul­let we ac­tu­ally dodged in 2012 when this bum­bling loser lost the race for the White House? And we thought an­other four years of Barack Obama was bad.

Now the press is breath­ing heav­ily into a pa­per bag, hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing that Mr. Trump is still tweet­ing.

Re­ally? So the guy breaks the me­dia and scraps his way around them to talk di­rectly to vot­ers un­fil­tered, and now that he is go­ing to the White House they want him to give up his mega­phone? I don’t think so.

That is not go­ing to hap­pen.

So, in a typ­i­cal Trumpian flash of flam­ing glory, the pres­i­den­t­elect opined about throw­ing peo­ple in jail for burn­ing the Amer­i­can flag. Or strip­ping them of cit­i­zen­ship.

So de­light­ful! How about send­ing them to Cuba to prac­tice free speech for a year? See how they like the thin gruel served in Fidel’s … well, now Raul’s gu­lag. Truly, the va­ca­tion that never ends.

Should Amer­i­cans be tossed in the slammer for burn­ing the flag? I don’t know. Ap­par­ently, it is “free speech,” ac­cord­ing to the Supreme Court, even though you could burn a flag with­out ut­ter­ing or writ­ing a sin­gle word. Free­dom of “speech” is pretty ab­so­lute in this coun­try. Free­dom of “ac­tion” is not. But I don’t wear a black robe.

Still, it is in­cal­cu­la­bly hos­tile, rude and un­civ­i­lized to per­form such a public des­e­cra­tion in the eyes of all those Amer­i­cans who have sac­ri­ficed sons and daugh­ters and mothers and fa­thers and broth­ers fight­ing for that flag.

The mes­sage from flag burn­ers is: “Take your sac­ri­ficed son and go screw your­self!” And if any­body re­sponds to these snivel­ing, spine­less cretins, they go run­ning, scream­ing and cry­ing for the near­est safe space.

So, not sure about jail­ing flag­burn­ers, but I do love the idea of strip­ping them of cit­i­zen­ship. Or forc­ing them to take a course in Amer­i­can his­tory.

Is it “un­pres­i­den­tial” for Mr. Trump to tweet out back-of-theen­ve­lope thoughts on jail­ing pro­test­ers? Maybe.

But it is un­doubt­edly un­pres­i­den­tial and anti-Amer­i­can and an ut­ter des­e­cra­tion of the val­ues this coun­try was founded on for the sit­ting pres­i­dent to mark the death of Cuba’s mur­der­ing dic­ta­tor with any­thing short of to­tal con­dem­na­tion.

If only all the peo­ple Fidel Cas­tro vi­ciously mur­dered could have died as peace­fully. Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com; fol­low him on Twit­ter via @charleshurt.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is cir­cum­vent­ing the press and con­tin­u­ing to send his mes­sages un­fil­tered through his fa­vorite mega­phone, Twit­ter.

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