Joshua Micah Marshall asserts that the sitting President is a coward who truly lacks shame..
On JM Marshall’s first point, I’m not sure. It’s one thing to refuse to fight in a war you believe is deeply misguided – reasonable opinions differ on whether unjust laws should be obeyed.
It’s quite another to believe wholeheartedly in a war - but to dodge it so that somebody else’s precious skin is threatened. In common political discourse these characters --Bush, Cheney and Gingrich are 3 examples-- are called Chicken Hawks. But perhaps “coward” is a better characterization.
Here I must stress that every American deserves freedom of speech-- even cowards.
On Mr. Marshall’s second point, it should be noted that all Presidents make use of proxies: traditionally the Vice President uses direct language and over-broad characterizations while the President remains above the fray.
But when direct language blurs into character assassination and over-broad language become outright falsehood, then a true statesman --or even a halfway decent human being-- should either impose a limit on the dishonesty or stand up and endorse the charges that are being made.