Alan Zendell, October 4, 2017
It’s not even possible to pretend any more. We’ve all seen the signs for months, but the reality was too horrifying to accept, so we tried to sweep it under the rug. No doubt, the president has some real support in both the Senate and the House, but for the most part, it’s like his voter base, a very vocal minority made up of fringe splinter groups.
But the rifts between Trump and the steady mainstream members of Congress are real too, and they’re not going away. On the surface, business continues to go on usual, but all those nasty mercurial tweets will not be forgotten. People like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell say what they have to when the microphones are on, implying continued support for the president, but does anyone really believe them any more? Did they ever?
If there was any doubt, consider Senator Bob Corker (R, Tenn), one of the rock-solid, soft-spoken Conservatives in the Republican caucus. For a man like Corker to speak out against the president, something must be seriously wrong.
In August, Corker said that Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.” What a remarkable statement that was coming virtually out of the blue. Its implications were staggering. Corker had been debating whether to run for a third term in 2020. He ultimately decided not to, and if there was any doubt before about why, he eliminated it today.
If Corker’s August statement wasn’t distinct enough he was crystal clear today. He said that our nation’s policies are sound and coherent only because of Rex Tillerson and Generals Kelly and Mattis. Without them there would be total chaos. The message couldn’t have been stated any better. Donald Trump is truly an Agent of Chaos, and that’s incredibly dangerous unless the world chooses to ignore him and pay attention instead to the people who really know how to run things.
Of course, having made the decision to retire next year, Senator Corker can now speak his mind openly. There’s nothing Trump can threaten him with, and he clearly believes that this administration is a train wreck waiting to happen. If Corker feels that way, what about the others?
Senator Jeff Flake has already taken Trump to task in his recent book, but he doesn’t have either Corker’s standing or stature. So ask yourself – if those two have been willing to call Trump what he is in plain English, is it possible that the other leaders of Congress can’t see that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes? How long will it be before they’ve had enough of a president who creates chaos whenever he speaks or tweets without a teleprompter in front of him? How long before the chaos does so much damage both within our country and internationally that they feel they must speak out with the same clarity as Corker and Flake?
Trump says he loves to be unpredictable, and he believes in the crazy man approach to foreign policy that Richard Nixon sometimes espoused. But Nixon believed in a clear strategy of keeping our potential enemies off guard. Trump is simply undisciplined. It’s clear to everyone that without General Kelly slapping his hand off his keyboard, Trump is unable to control himself. How long before the other responsible leaders of our country who’ve sworn oaths to serve and protect stand up and say “Enough!”
I can’t imagine a president undercutting his Secretary of State who is attempting to negotiate with one of the most dangerous adversaries we face. Presidents are not supposed to be playing nuclear chicken as though they were starring in a reality television show. They’re not supposed to insult mayors and senators and governors who are responsibly trying to serve their constituents either. And they’re not supposed to raise finding someone to blame for their own failures to an art form.
This country does not need chaos at the top of the food chain. It’s not cute and it’s not entertaining. At best it’s an embarrassment and at worst it places us in deadly seriously jeopardy. What we need is to silence the Agent of Chaos that calls himself president.