the national interest

Republicans Irked at Corker’s Myopic Obsession With Preventing Catastrophe

Donald Trump and Bob Corker in happier times. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Senator Bob Corker is so concerned that Donald Trump’s erratic behavior could lead to a war causing millions of deaths that he has spoken out about the issue publicly. Corker’s fellow Republicans are extremely upset. At Corker, not Trump.

Trump “needs to stop. But I wish Bob would stop too. Just stop,” Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa tells Politico. “We’ve got so many other things that we need to be focusing on right now.” Things other than warning the country that the mentally unstable president could blunder into a massive conflagration.

Likewise, Senator Roy Blunt pleads, “I would encourage them both to stop what they’re doing and get focused on what we need to be doing.” Which in Corker’s case would mean something other than containing the damage potential of a deranged leader of the free world.

Indeed, the entire Politico story reads almost like an Onion article, treating the issue of Trump’s unfitness for office as a gossipy spat devoid of substance. It is an “increasingly ugly feud,” a “tit-for-tat,” that is “threatening to further hobble the party’s flagging agenda.” I am guessing that blustering into World War III, or even a smaller regional conflict, might also have some deleterious effects on the Republican legislative agenda.

But the article merely reflects the broader, world-weary attitude the party has adopted. Democracy scholars are legitimately concerned about Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric, while national security experts are absolutely terrified that his attempts to out-crazy North Korea might create a deadly misunderstanding. The Republican Party, rationalizing its own indifference, has acted as though Corker is insulting the president out of nothing more than pique. “Senator Risch knows both Senator Corker and President Trump very well,” said Kaylin Minton, communications director for one Republican in the upper chamber. “He works with both of them. Senator Corker and the president obviously have differences they need to resolve, but Senator Risch has no intention of getting involved in this matter.”

One the one hand, Corker thinks Trump is unstable and a danger to world peace. But on the other hand, Trump thinks Corker is short. They both need to let it go.

Corker’s Obsession With Preventing Catastrophe Irks GOP