Yesterday, conservative Republican Senator Bob Corker – who was once a supporter of Donald Trump – took his ongoing gradual pivot away from Trump to nearly its inevitable conclusion. He tweeted that Trump needed “adult day care” and told a newspaper that if Trump remains in office he’ll end up starting World War III. Perhaps more importantly, Corker claimed that nearly every Republican in the Senate feels the same way. Today’s response has been telling.
Trump hasn’t tweeted anything about Bob Corker thus far today, after having hurled a number of personal insults at him yesterday. But the true deafening silence is coming from Senate Republicans themselves. Corker has already announced he’s not running for reelection in 2018, meaning that he’s more or less free to say whatever he wants, without fear of retribution from Trump. The rest of the Republican Senate has to worry about retaliation. But while none of them spoke out against Trump today, what really matters is that not a single one of them has bothered to contradict Corker’s claims.
To underscore the importance of where this leaves us: a prominent Republican Senator insisted that his colleagues all think the U.S. President from their own party is a demented lunatic – and not one of them has bothered to publicly refute that claim. Their silence means that not only do they agree with Corker, they’re no longer even willing to publicly pretend otherwise.
No one in the Republican Senate is willing to publicly defend Donald Trump, or even refute the claim that they all think he’s dangerously demented. As of this moment they’re still too cowardly to speak up in agreement with Bob Corker. But they’re unwilling to even partially defend Trump – because they know we’re rapidly approaching the point where Trump will be so toxic, they’d end up having to eat those words. Trump has been cornered today by his own party’s deafening silence – because it now frees up Corker to use the word “impeachment.”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report