01:49 - Source: CNN
Trump responds to Pelosi: She's a disgrace
CNN  — 

When President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at a cemetery during the Civil War, he said he couldn’t consecrate or hallow the ground at Gettysburg because the people who died there already had.

It is among the few speeches remembered by history. Another is the address Ronald Reagan gave commemorating the 40th anniversary of D-Day – a rhetorical highlight of a presidency marked by great speeches.

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc,” he said, referring to the Rangers who stormed the beach, then in their 60s, who were sitting before him. “These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

Presidents give powerful speeches at cemeteries, commemorating the sacrifice of the dead and making people feel good about their country, even as they mourn what was lost to build it. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama offered their own speeches at Normandy. And President Donald Trump did his part to add to that canon with a very good 75th anniversary speech, praising the Americans who had fought and died.

“Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil,” he said.

And then he went on Fox News.

Trump, who has stacked himself up against Lincoln, had headstones as a scenic backdrop for an interview with a Fox News pundit in which he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi names.

Lincoln said in 272 words – the entire Gettysburg Address – that the dead gave “the last full measure of devotion” and their sacrifice would bring “a new birth of freedom.” His words have since been etched into stone walls and reprinted in history books.

Trump said 360 words directly attacking Pelosi in his Fox News interview at Normandy, and they overshadowed the ones he said commemorating D-Day.

“She’s a nasty, vindictive, horrible person,” the President said of the speaker of the House.

Pelosi, given the opportunity to respond, said it would be inappropriate.

What had set Trump off about her was that earlier in the week, it was reported that she had privately told lawmakers she’d rather see him in jail than impeached.

That, in itself, is a remarkable testament to where the political discourse is at the moment, and how Pelosi is fighting calls within her party to pursue a politically perilous impeachment of Trump by arguing he should face justice in court.

The Republicans who once chanted “lock her up” now want to castigate Pelosi for her interpretation of the Mueller report.

In the midst of honoring war dead at Normandy wasn’t the only time Trump used the word “nasty” recently.

He also used it to describe comments made by Meghan Markle, the American turned British royal, in an interview with a British tabloid before he was to meet her new family at a British state dinner.

Later, he explained he didn’t mean SHE was nasty, but that her comments about him during the 2016 campaign (before she was a royal) were.

“They said some of the things that she said, and it’s actually on tape. And I said, ‘Well, I didn’t know she was nasty.’ I wasn’t referring to she’s nasty,” Trump told Piers Morgan. “I said she was nasty about me. And essentially I didn’t know she was nasty about me.”

By denying he was calling Markle nasty, Trump seems to acknowledge there is an undeniable connotation of the word “nasty” when it is applied toward women.

It is not a nice word. It means “disgustingly filthy” or “physically repugnant,” according to Merriam-Webster. He could also be applying it with the “lacking in courtesy or sportsmanship” definition listed further down, but it doesn’t seem like it.

That he would then turn around and use the word with regard to Pelosi makes the insult all the more jarring.

But while Trump has used the word to label a number of women – Hillary Clinton, Sen. Kamala Harris, Omarosa – he has used it an equal number of times toward men, including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio and others. He actually uses it on Twitter quite a bit.

But he wasn’t on Twitter, he was doing a TV interview in the middle of what Lincoln would have called “a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”

Rather than “take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion,” Trump used offensive language about a woman, just before delivering a speech about the heroes who retook Europe from the Nazis.

And that’s too bad. His speech was good.