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Editorial: President’s ‘treasonous’ comment just repugnant

As a candidate and then president, Donald Trump has said many outrageous things. So many that we are somewhat immune to it.

But never giving up on his race to the bottom, he outdid himself in remarks last week in which he used the terms “un-American” and “treasonous” to criticize Democrats for sitting on their hands at certain points in his State of the Union address.

The term “treason” isn’t one to be tossed around lightly – especially by the president of the United States. And it should never be used by the commander in chief to criticize those who dissent. That’s their right as Americans – Americans who include Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq war.

And in his criticism, Trump again stepped on his own message and turned positives into negatives.

He called for unity and bipartisan cooperation in a State of the Union speech that was well received. A CBS News poll taken immediately afterward found a 70 percent approval rating.

Trump hit mostly the right notes and effectively used powerful American stories – including that of Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets and his wife, who adopted the baby of a heroin addict.

Democrats foolishly gave Trump a political gift by sitting on their hands at lines in the speech such as those pointing out that unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics being at or near historic lows. Who wouldn’t applaud that? Apparently Democrats.

And make no mistake. People noticed their petulant behavior.

But Trump simply cannot help himself. Within a week, he was back to the unscripted and vindictive Trump, making a comment that can hardly be explained away as “tongue-in-cheek,” and turning off many of the same people who liked his speech and were offended by the Democrats.

His ability to offend seems to have no boundary. And if looking a political gift horse in the mouth was an Olympic event, Donald Trump would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.