Are Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, and Nebraska’s Ben Sasse the only honest Republicans on Capitol Hill? It appears so. They seem to have more testosterone flowing through their bodies than the remaining male Republican members of both Houses of Congress combined. And they appear to be the only Republicans in Washington gutsy enough to publicly take on the president.
In announcing their decisions not to run for re-election, Senators Corker and Flake freed themselves of the festering stench wafting through the halls of power. Upon leaving Congress, they will be able to speak even more candidly about the irreparable damage caused by President Trump than they have already.
These two senators are not partisan Democrats. Both are conservatives who have voted consistently with the legislative agenda put forth by the Republican leadership. But they refuse to stand idle while the putative leader of the free world runs roughshod over the American people and tramples upon longstanding relationships with our friends and allies abroad.
Sen. Corker, the respected Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, made clear that “world leaders are very aware that much of what he [the president] says is untrue.”
From the Senate floor, Sen. Flake implored his colleagues, “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.”
The president’s supporters and every Republican member of Congress must heed these words before he leads us to the edge of a moral abyss from which there will be no turning back.
When asked by a reporter whether the president was a role model for our children, Sen. Corker responded, “No, absolutely not.” He fears that by the end of his term, the president will have debased our nation through his “constant non-truth telling.” Sen. Corker is too much of a southern gentleman to state the obvious: the president is a pathological liar.
What more and more Americans are inexplicably willing to accept as “the new norm” is abnormal behavior on the part of the president.
Senators Corker and Flake are unafraid to go on record and state what so many Republicans say in private: that the president is erratic, out of control, and potentially dangerous. Do not be surprised should either man challenge him for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020. The selection of one or both as the party’s standard-bearer(s) may be their only hope of keeping the White House red.
Mr. Trump’s politics of personality have not served him. While many of his supporters believe that fault lies squarely on the shoulders of his party’s establishment wing, he must share responsibility for failed attempts at policy reform and the inability to pass programs and legislation for which the congressional majority has hungered for nearly a decade.
The president stands for the president and no one else. If the lackluster party leadership believes they can manipulate Mr. Trump and see him solely as the means to an end, they are delusional, not doing their jobs, nor serving the needs of the American people. Senators Corker, Flake, McCain, and Sasse understand this. But they are only four of 54 Republican voices in the Senate. It’s time for the remainder to unshackle themselves from Mr. Trump and do the right thing.
Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist. He edits the online blog Soaggragated.com, and can be reached at BBess.email@example.com.