What About Bob?

The war of words between Pres. Trump and retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has plenty of people talking. The problem is that almost all the talk is about Bob.

Anti-Trump folks and Trump skeptics tend to note that Corker was an early adopter of Trump, was a classic case of a GOP always feigning disappointment at various bits of Trump misbehavior, and perhaps even a living symbol of what happened to the GOP under Trump.

Trump supporters find Corker’s retorts to be “self-serving” and “disrespectful.”  They also speculate that Corker was retiring because he didn’t get named Secretary of State, knew he would lose a primary, or he was too cowardly to brave one. (Many of this crowd, btw, remains angry about his role in the bipartisan pact to review Pres. Obama’s Iranian nuke deal, tho Corker voted against the deal itself.)

This coverage isn’t surprising.  It’s right in line with the old adage I’ve referenced several times before: “great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; [and] small minds discuss people.”  I get it.  If I was being paid to write about this story, I’d have to be writing about the personalities.

Instead, I have the luxury of noting that what really matters here is whether Corker’s comments are correct.

Does Trump run his administration like “a reality show”?  Is the White House “an adult day care center”?  Is “every single day at the White House *** a situation of trying to contain him”?  Could Trump’s threats toward other countries set the nation “on the path to World War III”?  Has Trump “hurt, in several instances, *** hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway” by attacking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter?  Does Trump “tweet[] out things that are not true”?

Although the WWIII comment might be hyperbolic, does anyone see Trump supporters make any sort of effort to deny the substance of Corker’s criticisms?  Not really.

Nobody really denies how this White House is run (or not run) by Trump.  It’s as much an open secret as Harvey Weinstein’s reputation.  I noted the problem of a president disconnected from his own cabinet — and the power it vests in the latter — back in May.  Trump tweets screwing up Middle East diplomacy was known about in June.  Everyone knows Trump is a BS artist, on and off Twitter.

Trump critics can have their moment of Schadenfreude now that Corker is getting his karma.  Trump supporters can enjoy bashing Corker for being self-interested, old and busted.  But Corker will be gone soon enough, while the problems no one really disputes remain.

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