Everyone makes stupid mistakes — including the president and his chief of staff. No doubt President Trump meant well when he called the widow of a soldier who was slain recently in the line of duty in Niger. But whatever the president intended, it apparently came out clumsily and greatly offended the widow.
In a gentler time, when the norms of courtesy were still being observed, the matter might have been handled differently without any publicity. Someone might have called the White House and explained the problem — and a second presidential call to the widow might have followed, smoothing over any hurt feelings.
Then there would have been no need for General Kelly’s extraordinary news conference defending the president’s phone call with many unfortunate misstatements of fact — and the back-and-forth that followed would have been avoided.
There’s still time, I think, to restore a sense of civility in our politics. We should at least accord a measure of respect to the institutions of the presidency, the Congress, the courts, the military, the media — and keep to ourselves whatever disdain we might have for some of the people who temporarily occupy these positions.
Phillip Hubbart, Miami
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is just plain mad, figuratively and literally. If she spent as much time on honest reflection of our president and the Republican Party as she does on hat selection, she would truly be earning her keep as a Congresswoman.
She chooses instead to seek self-promotion at the expense of our fallen heroes. Her entire demeanor is self-attention getting. Her utter disrespect of our president and Chief of Staff, John Kelly, is disgusting, unforgiving and unwarranted. She is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party and our country.
Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Trump should dismiss her as an empty tin can that rattles endlessly, blown by the wind.
Lucita Moran, Coral Gables
It is well known that President Trump suffers from a missing empathy gene, so I am willing to cut him some slack on his stilted condolence to Myeshia Johnson, Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson’s widow.
However, why on God’s green earth, after being silent on the matter for two weeks, would he try to call her while she was on her way to the airport to pick up her husband’s casket? So sad we may have to put up with four years of this. Talk about “empty barrels!” He has no cattle and no big hat.
Alfred Sasiadek, Miami
Closing liquor sales outdoors at 2 a.m. on Ocean Drive is a much-needed first step that has to be taken in order for the nightlife establishments to take this distressing situation seriously.
Those of us who actually live on this street full-time know Ocean Drive continues to go downhill and discourages viable tourism.
A message has to be sent and a “Yes” vote will do it. Then it is up to the Commission to go forward....and we full-time residents whose quality of life has been negatively impacted will welcome all the additional work that has to be done to bring the Drive back to world-class status. Right now it is a crime-ridden sewer.
Jo Manning, Miami Beach
Our current system makes employers’ expenses for employees fully tax deductible. So if job creators are already rewarded for spending on jobs, won’t lowering their tax rates only provide the same benefits for not creating jobs?
Mike Pryslak, Miami
No one could ever accuse Donald Trump of being a mensch (Yiddish for a person of integrity who always knows the right thing to do or say).
After hearing that Myeshia Johnson was offended by his words during a condolence call, a mensch could have simply said. “I am so sorry my words offended you. I certainly did not mean for that to happen.”
Instead, Trump went into his usual hateful attack mode. Compassion is another word that is not in his vocabulary. What’s that he always says? “Sad.”
Priscilla Fregger Adler, Cutler Bay
Staff lacks facts
Apparently President Trump’s staff buys into the fact they can get away with lies because President Trump has done so many times before, and after his election.
His chief of staff, General Kelly, has shown his apparent lack of facts in calling Congresswoman Wilson an empty barrel by claiming she claimed credit for getting funding for an FBI building, when videos of that event showed no such claim by Ms. Wilson.