This afternoon, the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act in a public ceremony accompanied by one of his usual incoherent speeches in which he showered praise on the military and our veterans.
One veteran he didn’t acknowledge once, however, was Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who had the bill named after him, honoring his service during the Vietnam War as he wages his ongoing battle with brain cancer.
The slight was obviously intentional. Donald Trump and John McCain have been feuding ever since the 2016 election campaign, when Trump mocked McCain for being captured and tortured by the North Vietnamese.
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Since then, the two have clashed multiple times throughout his presidency, with the Arizona Republican taking a hawkish stance against the President’s cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and providing the crucial “no” vote to stop his party’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a decision which Trump still complains about at every given opportunity.
Trump’s actions this afternoon was another disgraceful example of his petulant immaturity — though while McCain might be upset that he wasn’t honored at the ceremony, the rest of us should be far more concerned with its contents.
It is the largest military spending budget in history, a whopping $717 billion dollars to be squandered on our endless overseas wars and on enormous warships that aren’t even “survivable in high-intensity combat.”
Every American should be deeply disturbed by the sight of the President openly boasting about how easy it was to get Congress to agree to this preposterous expenditure in a nation where nearly half the population can’t afford basic necessities like paying rent or purchase groceries.’
The 2.9% raise for the troops is one of the few decent provisions in the bill; the rest is a damning indictment of our government’s refusal to utilize public resources to actually benefit the public instead of filling the pockets of military contractors and raining death upon the global poor.
Senator McCain should not be proud of this bill, nor should any American. The best way to really show that we appreciate the sacrifices of our fighting men and women is to bring them home to their families and to ensure they have the quality mental and physical healthcare they need to recover from their ordeals on the front lines of America’s crumbling empire.