Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Senate Republicans Are Now Looking For Revenge-- Against Their Own President


Charlie Sykes: Trump is "an erratic narcissist, a serial liar"

Yesterday I mentioned how a top Senate staffer-- not someone connected with Bob Corker, by the way-- told me, on condition of anonymity-- that most Senate Republicans hate TRump more than they ever hated Obama. A Senate Democrat told me that Trump's outbursts against McCain, McConnell, Flake, Heller, Corker and the Senate itself has poisoned the atmosphere between Senate Republicans and the White House and that it's common knowledge that the Republican senators are "waiting for their opportunity to fuck him." Writing for the NY Times, Jonathan Martin and Mark Lander reported that Corker says "Trump was treating his office like 'a reality show,' with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation 'on the path to World War III'."
In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”

“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Mr. Corker’s comments capped a remarkable day of sulfurous insults between the president and the Tennessee senator-- a powerful, if lame-duck, lawmaker, whose support will be critical to the president on tax reform and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.
Putin turned the White House into an Adult Day Care center

I called my old friend who works for a GOP senator, the guy who told me the Senate Republicans like Obama more than Trump, and he told me in a long conversation that many on Capitol Hill are convinced Trump didn't understand that Corker would be in the Senate, voting and influencing people, until January 2019, when he launched his gratuitous and drug-fueled twitter rampage against him. "T-Tex has it right," he told me. "I hate to say to a Commie like you, but Trump is a fucking moron... He's destroying this party and blowing our opportunity to pass our agenda for a generation." He agrees with Corker that Trump is "a political novice who has failed to make the transition from show business."
Trump poses such an acute risk, the senator said, that a coterie of senior administration officials must protect him from his own instincts. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Mr. Corker said in a telephone interview.

The deeply personal back-and-forth will almost certainly rupture what had been a friendship with a fellow real estate developer turned elected official, one of the few genuine relationships Mr. Trump had developed on Capitol Hill. Still, even as he leveled his stinging accusations, Mr. Corker repeatedly said on Sunday that he liked Mr. Trump, until now an occasional golf partner, and wished him “no harm.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. Corker’s remarks.

Mr. Trump’s feud with Mr. Corker is particularly perilous given that the president has little margin for error as he tries to pass a landmark overhaul of the tax code-- his best, and perhaps last, hope of producing a major legislative achievement this year.

If Senate Democrats end up unified in opposition to the promised tax bill, Mr. Trump could lose the support of only two of the Senate’s 52 Republicans to pass it. That is the same challenging math that Mr. Trump and Senate Republican leaders faced in their failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Corker could also play a key role if Mr. Trump follows through on his threat to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal, kicking to Congress the issue of whether to restore sanctions on Tehran and effectively scuttle the pact.

Republicans could hold off on sanctions but use the threat of them to force Iran back to the negotiating table — a strategy being advocated by Senator Tom Cotton, the Arkansas Republican. But that approach could leave the United States isolated, and it will be up to Mr. Corker to balance opposition to the deal with the wishes of those, including some of Mr. Trump’s own aides, who want to change the accord but not blow it up.

Beyond the Iran deal, Mr. Corker’s committee holds confirmation hearings on Mr. Trump’s ambassadorial appointments. If the president were to oust Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state, as some expect, Mr. Corker would lead the hearings on Mr. Trump’s nominee for the post.

In a 25-minute conversation, Mr. Corker, speaking carefully and purposefully, seemed to almost find cathartic satisfaction by portraying Mr. Trump in terms that most senior Republicans use only in private.

The senator, who is close to Mr. Tillerson, invoked comments that the president made on Twitter last weekend in which he appeared to undercut Mr. Tillerson’s negotiations with North Korea.

“A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true,” Mr. Corker said.

Without offering specifics, he said Mr. Trump had repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers. “I know he has hurt, in several instances, he’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Mr. Corker said.

All but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president, Mr. Corker said his concerns about Mr. Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.

“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” he said, adding that “of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”

As for the tweets that set off the feud on Sunday morning, Mr. Corker expressed a measure of powerlessness.

“I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,” he said. “You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.”
Recent polling has shown that an increasing majority of voters feel that Trump is dishonest and most Americans believe almost any other source-- newspapers, TV news, ESPN, late night comedy hosts-- over him. The latest poll from PPP bodes poorly for any Republicans counting on Trump's coattails:

Mr. Corker would not directly answer when asked whether he thought Mr. Trump was fit for the presidency. But he did say that the commander in chief was not fully aware of the power of his office.

“I don’t think he appreciates that when the president of the United States speaks and says the things that he does, the impact that it has around the world, especially in the region that he’s addressing,” he said. “And so, yeah, it’s concerning to me.”

And yesterday, a new poll for Reuters by Ipsos shows that even in rural areas where Trump's support has been strong, his popularity has been slipping percipitously. "Trump... has been losing his grip on rural America. According to the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll, the Republican president’s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities where 15 percent of the country’s population lives... In September, 47 percent of people in non-metro areas approved of Trump while 47 percent disapproved. That is down from Trump’s first four weeks in office, when 55 percent said they approved of the president while 39 percent disapproved. The poll found that Trump has lost support in rural areas among men, whites and people who never went to college. He lost support with rural Republicans and rural voters who supported him on Election Day."

Over the weekend, The Intercept published a warning that the worst in yet to come in regard to Trump's mental instability. In an introduction to interview with Yale Professor Bandy Lee, author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, they challenge their readers to ask Republicans if Trump is "psychologically unstable and unfit for office [and if he has] a dangerous mental illness of some shape or form?"
During the GOP primaries, Marco Rubio suggested he was a “lunatic,” Rand Paul dubbed him a “delusional narcissist,” and Ted Cruz denounced him as “utterly amoral” and “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen.” Mitt Romney opined, “His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader,” and Jeb Bush declared, “He needs therapy.”

In recent months, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has admitted she is “worried” about the president’s mental health, and Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) has warned that Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence” necessary for a successful presidency.

Ask the ghostwriter of his best-selling book, The Art of the Deal.

Tony Schwartz has called Trump a “sociopath” and has said “there is an excellent possibility” that the Trump presidency “will lead to the end of civilization.”

Ask the voters.

One in three Americans say they believe Trump’s mental health is “poor” while two out of three regularly question his temperament. Four in ten voters in the swing state of Michigan-- which helped deliver the White House to Trump-- say they think the president is “mentally unstable” while a majority of them are worried that he has access to the nuclear codes.
Lee has concluded not just that Trump is insane but that he is dangerously insane. When the interviewer asks her "how worried should we be that Trump has access to the nuclear codes," her response is chilling: "Well, that is our critical concern: that his condition is actually probably far worse than people are detecting now; that [his] mental impairment goes deeper and is far more pervasive than people can understand when they are untrained in psychological matters. And that the worst is yet to come."

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At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

One would think that the Republicans would at least support a bill that would prevent the President from dropping a nuke unless Congress actually declared war. Ted Lieu has introduced one but there are few takers. To me, if the Republicans only did that, I would feel some relief. But no, they are not doing that. Every day I wake up and Trump has not dropped a nuke is a good day. The Republicans will bear total responsibility for a war that results from Trump's tantrums, although that would pale besides all the damage and death that would ensue. He is one deranged monster. Scary that only half the country at best sees this. Are Americans that stupid? It is so obvious he is mentally ill, unstable and dangerous.

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Hone, it won't be Rs alone who will bear responsibility if/when insane babyhands drops his first nuke. It'll be the democraps, whose refusals to act created the vacuum that the baboon's ass now occupies. It'll be the DNC who defrauded Bernie of his nom. It'll be D voters who for 4 decades have dutifully and brainlessly re-elected serial ratfuckers just because they sport a D.

And, yes, as all the polling that DWT quotes continue to prove... americans ARE that goddamn stupid. Put Donnie babyhands anywhere in Europe, and he'd enjoy no more than single-digit support. Only in America can such overt stupidity, narcissism and evil be supported by over a third of citizens. **ONLY** in America.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

senate republicans are pointedly NOT seeking revenge. Nearly all of them still drop to their knees and open their mouths reflexively whenever he is in the room... or his name is mentioned.


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