NYT: DAVID LEONHARDT CALLS OUT “BOBBY THE CORK!” — “Put Up Or Shut Up!” — And, While You’re At It, Bobby, How About Accepting Some Responsibility For The Trump Debacle?


Leonhardt writes:

“All talk. A United States senator went on CNBC to explain that while Donald Trump may be an unorthodox politician, “there’s a lot of evolution that is taking place, and I think you’re already seeing that.”
To everyone who argued that Trump was unfit for the presidency, the senator had a ready answer: “My advice would be to chill for a while,” he said. “My sense is that a lot of people who have been resisting will become more comfortable.”
The senator was Bob Corker of Tennessee, and he was speaking on the show “Squawk Box” in May 2016. Today, of course, Corker has become Trump’s newest enemy, saying that the president is “on the path to World War III” and that the White House has become “an adult day care center.”
So what is Senator Corker’s responsibility now, given the crucial role that he and other eminent Republicans played in making Trump seem normal enough to win the presidency? James Fallows answers that question in The Atlantic. “Talk is better than nothing,” Fallows writes, “but action is what counts.”
As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker has the ability to hold hearings about the threat Trump poses to the country and the world, Fallows notes. Michelle Goldberg of The Times writes that Congress can also bar “the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a congressional declaration of war.”
I’ll add to that list: Corker and other senators can bring Trump’s legislative agenda to a complete halt until he begins acting more responsibly. No talk of a tax cut until he stops talking of nuclear war. Even the most ardent tax cutter should be willing to make that trade.
The reality that Corker has described — with an out-of-control president — is chilling. Trump, as Fallows puts it, is “irrational, ill-informed, impulsive, unfit for command, and increasingly a danger to the country and the world.”
It’s not enough to merely withhold support from Trump or to criticize him. Members of Congress have an unmatched ability to prevent damage by this president. Those members, like Corker, who ushered Trump into power by describing a man who doesn’t exist, bear a particular burden.”


Neither acting on their criticisms of Trump nor accepting responsibility are in the GOP’s tool box. Nor has the GOP shown the slightest interest or ability to govern in a bipartisan manner for the national interest.

The modern GOP is a toxic and motley collection of rich guys, xenophobes, war-mongers, theologues, racists, White Nationalists, science deniers, anti-intellectuals, and anarchists each apparently vying to be more selfish and irresponsible than the next. Where was “Bobby the Cork” when Trump and the GOP were planning to destroy Americans’ health care and tank insurance markets to reward fat cats with undeserved and unneeded tax breaks? He was right there on the Trump-GOP-Turtle “Destroy America Because We Promised To Do It Bandwagon.” Talk is cheap — responsible action is something else.  I’ll believe it when I see it coming from “Bobby the Cork” and his GOP fellow travelers!







One thought on “NYT: DAVID LEONHARDT CALLS OUT “BOBBY THE CORK!” — “Put Up Or Shut Up!” — And, While You’re At It, Bobby, How About Accepting Some Responsibility For The Trump Debacle?”

  1. Although I generally agree with PWS criticism of GOP politicians who sold their “real GOP” souls to Trump for illusions of power, I disagree with too much criticism of the first serious GOP politician who puts his mouth where his brain lies: Senator Bob Corker (Tenn GOP). McCain did too, but that’s just McCain being McCain. Always an American hero.

    Keep in mind that Corker is leaving a cushy job as a member of the US Senate a/k/a “the millionaires Club”, because he thinks he can do better as a private citizen-perhaps to run against Trump in 2020 if impeachment fails. Or maybe Corker just wants to return to private life to make money for his family.

    We have all been there, done that. And either choice, it’s what the Founding Fathers wanted. Talented local politicians who served for the public good and then returned to normal life, instead of just eating imported lotus petals in DC. a/k/a “the swamp”.

    Corker represents the views of his constituents in “flyover country”, which the Founding Fathers also wanted represented in a democracy, even though they themselves were our colonial America elite. Red states don’t like coastal uppity elites telling them that their long held beliefs are both ignorant and bigoted.

    Fortunately, Americans are always interested in learning, and as far enlightening the “rubes”, as Mary Poppins sang, “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”, watch her at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLkp_Dx6VdI

    The real threat is not politicians like Corker who finally decide that Dancing with the Devil does more harm than good. We have structural problems because the United States has been sliding into a Kakistocracy for a while. For details check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLkp_Dx6VdI The short version in Merriam Webster is “government by the worst people”. See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kakistocracy

    Political scientists explain that kakistocracy is a what happens to a democracy when government officials operate against a powerless minority, to please the majority. Remember Socrates trial. Corrupt politicians and powerful interests build an unholy alliance against the common good. That’s what Putin wants from Trump to discredit our democracy.

    Citizens lose faith in our democratic institutions because all they get is a meaningless choice every 4 years between 2 distasteful choices. i.e. Trump vs Hillary 2016. Tweedly Dee vs Tweedly Dum, as far as they are concerned and our politics slide into Tribalism. Demagogues will usually short term outgun lotus eating aficionados.

    So let’s welcome the “Corker” for credibly explaining to Red America why Emperor Trump has no clothes. Corker just quit being part of the problem and is trying to be part of the solution. In a storm, any port will do, and Trump is the storm.

    That’s how it is supposed to work in America’s constitutional democracy designed by James Madison for ordinary citizens to excel at correcting political mistakes, instead of expecting our rulers to be divinely inspired.
    Since January 20, 2017 Flynn, Price. etc. already bit the dust in disgrace. Others will soon follow. The guardrails of USA Democracy are holding against our fatally sliding into a police state Kakistocracy. Ideally it would be like when Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973, exactly 44 years ago. 44 is Hammering Hank’s uniform number who was just short one HR from making history in 1973. Is this a great country or what?

    But I digress again. My point is that if some morning we get news that Mango Mussolini just resigned to avoid jail time, and will pay back taxes for money laundering for Putin’s Mafia, USA will avoid needless anguish and turmoil, as the Founding Fathers intended.
    That is why Jared and Ivanka being in more legal jeopardy that Mango himself for similar Russian chicanery can help defuse the potential political crisis. Many Trumpians will no doubt crawl back under their usual rocks like the 1850s Know Nothings.

    If it was just Trump in jeopardy, his ego probably would choose Götterdämmerung like Hitler. Marx explained about the two Napoleon emperors (1769-1821) and (1808-73): History repeats itself, first as a tragedy and then as a farce. Trump sure looks the farcical part.

    BTW, I disagree with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Trump is just a moron. Idiots have IQs from 0-25, imbeciles 26-50, and morons 51-70.

    Morons have difficulty handling money, and Trump has no problem handling other people’s money. Idiot savant, as portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in “Rain man”, is more appropriate because it accurately reflects what Trump says and what he does.

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