Last Thursday's NFL melee between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns ended in one ugly, violent brawl. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off the head of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him over the head with it. The league suspended Garrett indefinitely. Believe it or not, USA Today is comparing President Donald Trump's Tweet against a House impeachment witness to Garrett's despicable thuggery.
Though the president did not bludgeon anyone over the head with a six-pound blunt object, Chris Truax, a San Diego lawyer and adviser to Republicans on the rule of law, made that ridiculous comparison in a USA Today guest column.
The sarcastic Truax wrote that Garrett is just trying to make the Browns "great again" and Cleveland fans love him for being a fighter. While defending himself from the House impeachment hearings, President Donald Trump supposedly delivered an equally damaging blow to former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch last Friday. His version of the helmet strike was typing critical words about her on his Twitter account while she was testifying at the congressional impeachment hearing. Here's the president's Tweet:
"If that wasn’t a cheap shot when she wasn’t looking, I don’t know what is," Truax writes. "This all does seem sort of amusing — you can imagine my reaction when I saw that 'Saturday Night Live' had 'stolen' this analogy and used it in a cold open that ended with 'Garrett' bopping 'Rudy Giuliani' in the head with his helmet — but it’s not. Trump’s scorched earth defense is damaging real people, good people, who deserve better."
Yovanovitch served American interests, along with Republicans and Democrats during a distinguished career in "stressful, unpleasant and occasionally dangerous places on earth," Truax writes. Her service should have insulated her from attacks like she got from the president. Truax slings the Trump-Garrett comparison again.:
"But President Trump, Garrett-style, tore that helmet off and beat her with it, claiming that she was responsible for the difficult conditions in the countries where she served rather than honoring her for her service. It’s pretty much the equivalent of blaming the military team that took out the leader of the Islamic State terrorist organization, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for the civil war in Syria."
The Garrett-esque Trump attack wasn’t all that surprising, Truax claims, because the president also bashed the ambassador during a July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to the USA Today column, she was unjustly removed from her ambassadorship for "not going along with half-baked conspiracy theories and because she’s trying to keep U.S.-Ukraine relations on an even keel despite Giuliani’s ham-handed efforts to freelance his own apparently illegal foreign policy, well, we’ve got a problem."
A National Security Council Ukraine expert who was on the call with Zelensky, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, is also getting the "Garrett treatment" from the president and "vile" Republicans.
"Trump and his sycophants have already sneered at Vindman's honesty and questioned his patriotism and service. We can expect more of the same when he testifies publicly on Tuesday," Truax continued.
By defending himself, Trump's actions are called "vile" by Truax:. "What’s even more vile is the Republican response, which, with very few exceptions, has been nothing but crickets."
Apparently when Republicans defend themselves from Democrat attacks, it's not really about politics! "[I]t’s about basic human decency," Truax whines. "If you’re willing to stand by and look the other way when a powerful bully torments a decent person just for trying to do their duty, there’s really no other way to put this: You suck."
"A fish rots from the head," Truax says. "Dirty, baseless attacks seem to be the order of the day in Trump’s America. While the stakes may be different, Myles Garrett’s vicious attack on Mason Rudolph is far too similar to Trump’s attack on Ambassador Yovanovitch for moral comfort. If you are OK with one and not the other, maybe you should ask yourself why."