This weekend, the nation honored the life of John McCain, the long-serving U.S. Senator who died recently from brain cancer. President Donald Trump did not attend any of the memorials, with some making clear that he was not welcome. Instead — as he’s done so many other times — he went golfing. Making this weekend’s excursions perhaps a bit different, Trump faced protesters with small versions of the now familiar balloon design depicting him as a crying baby along the side of the road.
He first faced them Saturday, when the perhaps most prominent service for McCain was held, featuring a wide array of notable figures gathering in his honor at the National Cathedral in D.C. Besides the Trump baby balloons, protesters held signs with messages including “You Trump Are No John McCain” and “Respect POWs – RIP John McCain.”
President Donald Trump was notably absent from the funeral for senator John McCain, leaving the capital to head to his golf club in Virginia, confronted by a handful of protesters pic.twitter.com/IgJXlokoPm
— AFP news agency (@AFP) September 2, 2018
Trump has specifically attacked McCain’s military service in the past, criticizing him for his capture during the Vietnam War. He’d been flying for the U.S. Armed Forces when North Vietnamese forces shot him out of the sky and took him captive, subsequently subjecting him to years of harsh conditions, including torture.
That wasn’t enough for Trump, though. Infamously, at an Iowa event early in the 2016 election cycle, he told a crowd:
‘He’s not a war hero. He was a “war hero” because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.’
He’s gone after McCain time and time again since then, harboring resentment over issues ranging from his opposition to 2017’s GOP health plans to his role in fostering government concern about Russian election interference. McCain returned the favor plenty of times, targeting the president over issues including his suckering up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Many, many people have had more than enough of the president’s rhetoric.
Protesters turned out along the roads outside of Virginia’s Trump golf club again on Sunday, when for the 153rd day as president, Trump took to golfing.
Journalist Kyle Griffin shared:
‘From the pool report: “About a dozen protestors set up a series of signs along the sidewalk outside the club including ‘Resign’ and ‘Liar.’ The Trump baby balloons were also out. They shouted ‘resign’ as the motorcade passed.”‘
That’s right — the presidential motorcade definitively went right by the protesters.
Trump has expressed discontent at the Trump baby balloon design in the past, so if he personally paid attention — and didn’t petulantly look out the other side of the car or something (which is possible) — they may have added to the political weight of his weekend.
The design first popped up in the United Kingdom, when activists flew a giant version over a huge anti-Trump protest in London coinciding with his visit to the country. Trump complained to the British media that the stunt made him feel unwelcome — which was precisely the point.
More recently — over the weekend, to be precise — Trump faced opposition from the array of prominent political figures who gathered to honor John McCain.
The late Senator’s daughter Meghan, for instance, commented at one point:
‘The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.’
In other words — wherever he turns, he faces opposition. Not even his trips to his golf clubs are safe.