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Trump's Childish Petulance vs. John McCain's Heroism -- UPDATES

In an act of childish petulance, President Trump ordered the White House flag, which had been lowered in observation of the death Saturday of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), to be raised to full staff just after midnight Sunday -- an obvious sign of disrespect for the senator who Trump previously said was no hero because he had been captured.

UPDATE: Late this afternoon, following a deluge of criticism for taking that action, Trump changed his mind and ordered the flag flown at half-staff until McCain's internment.

"Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment," Trump said.

UPDATE 2: The decision to return the flag to half staff was made following Trump's receipt of a letter from the American Legion urging him to issue a proclamation honoring McCain and lowering the flag until the senator's internment.

The original decision by Trump followed a flood of news reports and social media taunts that McCain had specifically excluded the president from his funeral, but rather had asked Trump's arch enemy, former President Barack Obama, as well as Obama's predecessor, George Bush, to offer eulogies.

Raising that flag was the act of a child. Like the kid who taunts his little brother, "Cry baby, cry. Stick a finger in your eye." Come on, man. You're the President. You're supposed to be bigger than that.

But McCain still, from death, had that final word -- at least for now.

Long time aide Rick Davison Monday read McCain's final statement, which the senator dictated just days ago. They included a rebuke to Trump and his ideas, as the senator cautioned that America is weakened "when we hide behind walls."

Trump, of course, is obsessed with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

'We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been,' McCain said. "I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil."

And McCain added, "Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else's.

'We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates," he said. ''But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do."

McCain concluded, "Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history."

Farewell, Senator McCain. You always will be remembered for your courage, your forthrightness, and your wisdom. Godspeed, Senator.

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