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writing for godot

They're No Heroes

Written by Carl Peterson   
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 14:19


Now some Democrats and many in the mainstream media are hailing Bob Corker and Jeff Flake as brave, even noble statesmen for saying what everybody except the president's base has been saying for a long time: This president is bad for the country.

However, Corker and Flake have not cited policy differences with the president as a basis of their criticism.  Rather, Flake and Corker both refer to certain of the president's alleged personal characteristics that they claim constitute a danger to the nation.

Flake indicated that through his personal conduct the president has abased the public discourse, coarsened presidential leadership, and compromised "our" (presumably meaning Republican) moral authority.  Notwithstanding Flake's claim about moral authority, abysmal congressional approval ratings show that long before this president was elected Republicans in Congress had compromised their own moral authority, and, as bad as this president is, he should not be blamed for the predicament that Republicans in Congress have created for themselves.  Indeed, professional Republicans have not just been "complicit," (as Flake calls it) but they prepared the ground--tilled the soil, sowed the seed, watered it and gave this president his political life.  Now, Flake wants to separate the idea of this president from the idea of the Republican party.  It is the president, Flake says.  We Republicans were complicit, yes, our guilt is of omission, of failing to oppose this president sooner, but not of commission.

However, it is clear that professional Republican commitment to the norms of democracy has degenerated over the past several decades, constituting a trend that has contributed to and culminated in, the apparition of this new kind of anti-democratic president.  Those are the twin prongs of Republican guilt: commission and omission.  This president is their baby whether they like it or not.

Finally, Flake and Corker, both sensitive to certain of the president's character and moral shortcomings, do not acknowledge the depravity of the president's policies.  And they would not since they have voted for the president's policies about 90% of the time.  Both voted twice for Republican bills that would have deprived millions of Americans of healthcare, shortening thousands of American lives, with the objective of saving enough money to give the wealthy ruling class additional tax cuts.  Nothing this president has done so far is more depraved than that.
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