In the days since Sen. Bob Corker, a no-nonsense Tennessee Republican, warned that President Donald Trump’s erratic behavior could lead the nation into World War III, not a single one of his colleagues has uttered a word. This despite Corker’s insistence that the "vast majority" of his Republican colleagues agree with him.
The timid silence on Capitol Hill suggests that Republicans would rather sway with the political winds than dare to openly question the president’s fitness for office. Meanwhile, the president’s fury is growing, as reported Tuesday in The Washington Post. He is described by aides and associates as brooding in isolation — a pressure cooker ready to explode, one confidant said.
Corker has the courage to speak out while his colleagues bow to the base. Even those who were just elected or re-elected last year are staying mum. Trump’s approval rating is down to 32 percent in the latest AP/National Opinion Research Center poll. But 67 percent of Republicans still back Trump, and they’re the ones who vote in primary elections where the fates of incumbent members of Congress are decided.
Corker, having declared that he’s not running for a third term next year, has the freedom to speak out. On Sunday, Trump fired off a series of furious tweets responding to Corker’s claim that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was among the few who "separate our country from chaos."
Trump countered that Corker was upset after he had "begged" the president for an endorsement, fearing he couldn’t win without it. Trump refused. "Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda," he tweeted. "Didn’t have the guts to run!"
Corker responds that, between him and Trump, only one man has a verified record of lying. Corker called the White House an "adult day-care center." He told The New York Times that the White House is run like "a reality show," featuring ominous threats that could put the nation "on the path to World War III. … Every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him."
With North Korea threatening war and the Iran nuclear deal hanging by a thread, Trump devoted his energies Sunday to sending Vice President Mike Pence on a $250,000 trip to Indianapolis to stage a pre-planned walkout — an act of "patriotism" — over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. It was a silly waste of taxpayer money.
Corker is an old-school Republican with a conservative voting record. He is said to be extremely popular with his colleagues. He must convince them that if they truly believe the man in the White House is out of control, they must speak up. This is a time for real patriots.
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch