President Donald Trump’s comments on Monday regarding actions that he said were “treasonous,” resulted in at least one forceful and effective rebuttal from a Democratic senator.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), who also served in the Iraq War and is a double-leg amputee, took issue with Trump’s characterizations of her and her fellow Democratic colleagues.
Trump on Monday gave a speech in Ohio in which he derided Democrats for sitting down during this State of the Union address.
“They were like death and un-American,” Trump said. “Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, eh. I guess, why not? Can we call that treason, why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
Trump’s statement is callous and troubling, to say the least. Sitting down during the State of the Union address is a practice that has been around for decades, and one in which both parties engage in to show disapproval of the president’s agenda. Treason, on the other hand, is an offense that is punishable by death, not to be made fun of lightly.
In her criticism of Trump, which she posted on Twitter, Duckworth engaged the president in a bit of name-calling — a move that would ordinarily be disrespectful to a chief executive, but which the president himself engages in on a regular basis.
We don't live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. I swore an oath—in the military and in the Senate—to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap https://t.co/99gW1yalDl— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) February 6, 2018
“We don't live in a dictatorship or a monarchy,” Duckworth explained. “I swore an oath — in the military and in the Senate — to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap.”
The “Cadet Bone Spurs” remark alludes to one of the five draft deferments Trump received during the Vietnam War. The injury he was diagnosed with at the time is somewhat questionable, not only in Democratic circles, because Trump in later interviews couldn’t remember which foot he got the deferment for.
Whether you agree with Duckworth’s use of the name or not, her overall point is spot-on. The president was wrong to state that Democrats’ actions were un-American and definitely mistaken to call them treasonous.
Lawmakers don’t swear loyalty to the president — they swear it to the rule of law, a notion for which this particular president doesn’t demonstrate the same regard.