Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker got a lot of media attention this past week by doing what the mainstream media deemed unthinkable; criticizing their Republican President. CNN suggested that Jeff Flake’s anti-Trump speech was the most important speech of the year. Meanwhile, several news publications went so far as to call these men brave or at least referred to their words as such.
There have been several Republicans speaking out against the antics of President Trump lately. Among Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, there are Senator’s Ben Sasse of Nebraska Senator and of course John McCain of Arizona.
President Trump’s feud with John McCain is well documented and goes back to the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump had disparaged McCain for getting captured in Vietnam. Criticism between the two is expected. Ben Sasse on the other hand was the voice of the “anyone but Trump” campaign during the Republican Primaries. So again, criticism between these two is expected as well.
Along came Bob Corker, appearing on various channels a couple weeks ago, to denounce Trump for who he is and what he’s doing to the country. He said, among other things, that Trump has “great difficulty with the truth” and that “debasing” the US would be his prime legacy as President.
Speaking truth to power hasn’t really been in the Republican playbook of late, so to hear it come out of Corker’s mouth was very refreshing if not surprising. Not to be outdone, Corker’s spat with Trump was followed up by Jeff Flake’s passionate speech in congress where he essentially called out Republicans for not standing up to Trump.
As mentioned earlier, the media couldn’t get enough of these two Republican Senators, and rightfully so. It was long overdue. Even unprecedented as they said. But calling them things like “Republican Renegades” and “brave” was ridiculous at best.
For starters, neither Corker nor Flake are seeking re-election. How brave of them to speak out and resist King Trump when neither of their jobs are on the line. In fact, I would argue just the opposite. Calling out a bully with words, only to run away from him is cowardly, not brave. If Jeff Flake and Bob Corker were actually brave, they would stick around and fight for the party and its values they say they hold dear.
Second, they are hardly renegades. For example, Flake is for lower taxes on the rich, denies climate change, and is anti-union. In fact, Flake votes 90 percent of the time in line with Trump. Meanwhile, Corker votes in line with Trump 86 percent of the time. The only thing they seem to be resisting are bad manners in the White House.
There is no doubt that Trump has lowered the bar beneath our ankles when it comes to respectful behavior. Calling his detractors however, as brave little heroes, when they are of the same un-empathetic, greedy cloth is disingenuous at best. The next thing you know we’ll be longing for the return of that dimwitted war criminal simply because he’s politer. If we aren’t careful, that’s what we’ll get.