Today was another crazy trip to the circus known as Washington D.C. The biggest news was supposed to be about Mr. Trump visiting Capitol Hill and meeting with Republicans to discuss tax reform. Well, everything went off the rails pretty quickly, beginning with Mr. Trump attacking Republican Senator Bob Corker via Twitter. I’m not going to bother with quoting his tweets, because, honestly? Why bother? We’ve heard it and read it all before.
However, what Corker said during an interview with CNN’s Manu Raju was er, pretty noteworthy. Here’s just part of the exchange:
Raju: Is the President of the United States a liar?
Corker: The President has a great difficulty with the truth on many issues.
Raju: Do you think he’s a role model to children in the United States?
Corker: No, no, absolutely not….When his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation—the constant non-truth-telling, the name-calling—the debasement of our nation will be what he will be remembered the most for. And that’s regretful, and it affects young people. We have young people who for the first time are watching a President stating absolute non-truths, non-stop, personalizing things in the way that he does. And it’s very sad for our nation.
Raju: Do you trust him with access to the nuclear codes?
Corker: I don’t want to go into….our hearing process, certainly, we are going to be addressing the fact that he, with only one other person on the defense side, has tremendous powers. Again, I don’t want to carry this much further. But, look, I expressed concerns a few weeks ago about his leadership, and….his stability, and the lack of desire to be competent on issues and understand. But nothing has changed….
There’s more of the interview as well as other bombshell comments he made to reporters that you can find online, but I think you get the general idea. But hold on to your hats!
Republican Senator Jeff Flake decided to announce his retirement today and had some pointed remarks for Mr. Trump, as well as his fellow Republicans during an unprecedented speech he made on the Senate floor. Here’s just a few salient points:
I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our—all our—complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.
….We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is,’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.
….When such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength—because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.
….The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters—the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided.
….The principles that underlie our politics, the values of our founding, are too vital to our identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. Because politics can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity. I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.
….We were not made great as a country by indulging or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorifying in the things which divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake.
I have to be honest and say that I’m not a huge fan of either of these men. My disagreement with their conservative ideology aside, Senator Corker was an early acolyte of Mr. Trump, and Senator Flake, while not a supporter, also didn’t throw his support behind any of the other candidates. But, given that they have publicly shown they are willing to put country before party, as well as thrown their political careers away, and opened themselves up to harassment and death threats from some of Mr. Trump’s more “ardent” supporters, takes courage, and for that I salute them.
Is this the beginning of a Republican revolt against the maniac in the Oval Office. Um, probably not. The majority of Republicans and Democrats for that matter, have forgotten that they’re in Washington to represent the wishes of the American people. The majority of Republicans will continue to grumble about Mr. Trump in private, but cozy up to him in public if it means passing tax reform that will benefit the rich, and healthcare “reform” that will kick millions of people off their insurance. But, for a couple of brief shining moments today, there was further proof that a few politicians do indeed have a conscience. And right now, I’ll settle for that.