As Trump has repeatedly shown, he has no shame and he has no empathy. His continuing feud with the quite dead John McCain seems out of Shakespeare — some deranged character haranguing the ghost of an old foe. Trump’s inability to appreciate how intensely McCain suffered as a prisoner of war in Vietnam evinces a meanness and moral rottenness that shames both himself and the many in his party who look the other way.
President Trump has summoned Joseph Welch from the grave. Welch stood up to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954 when the demagogic Wisconsin Republican smeared Welch’s associate, Fred Fisher, as a communist sympathizer. When McCarthy persisted, Welch earned his way into every Bartlett’s by saying, “Have you no decency, sir, at long last?