What do Hatch and Lee think about the president's behavior?

Wednesday , October 11, 2017 - 5:00 AM7 comments

DON PORTER, special to the Standard-Examiner

It’s been almost nine months since Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States. Surprisingly, human civilization persists.

According to Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who will not be running for re-election in 2018, the fact that the world is not yet shrouded in nuclear winter owes mainly to those members of the White House staff who have been able to “contain” Trump’s erratic and destructive impulses.

That’s what Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The New York Times over the weekend, adding the president’s behavior could put the United States “on the path to World War III.” He explained previously, according to the newspaper’s reporting, that Trump’s closest advisors are responsible for separating “our country from chaos” caused by their boss.

Furthermore, Corker claims he is no outlier in the Republican Party when it comes to this knowledge and opinion regarding our president. Most Senate Republicans, he told The Times, agree with him.

Corker’s a serious guy. Really conservative. But he’s a newcomer to public ridicule of Trump. It should be noted that Corker held his tongue regarding the tweeter-in-chief’s clear shortcomings after the election – when it looked as though the senator might be tapped to fill a high-ranking Cabinet position.

But now, unimpeded by not having to seek re-election, Corker’s tongue has loosened and he’s blasting away. He’s obviously afraid, and maybe a little angry, too.

Welcome to our world, senator.

As of this writing, Corker hasn’t directly urged his fellow senators to join him aboard the anti-Trump train. But my hope is he’s made it difficult for the GOP half of the Senate to remain silent on the issue of Trump’s frightening immaturity, appalling lack of common sense and general lack of fitness for office.

In other words, what do Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee think of Trump’s conduct in office? If asked direct questions on the subject by Utah media, how would they respond? Would they attempt to dodge the questions? Would they swear continued fealty to Trump? Or would they try to find a middle ground?

In my fantasies, Hatch and Lee would man-up and admit that Trump’s unwillingness to divest business interests, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his relentless habit of lying, his war against the First Amendment and the free press, his sabotaging of Obamacare, his support of white supremacists, his tweet-taunts of North Korea’s leader, etc., not only disqualify him for the job of the nation’s leader, but constitute a menace to our national well-being.

I have written of this before, and I may write it again after this, since it bears repeating: During the years and decades ahead, history will identify the co-conspirators of the Trump Era. Shame will linger for the men and women – and, fair or not, the stench will extend to their families – who aided and abetted this president’s abuse of America’s reputation, its Constitution and the dignity that generally has been a hallmark of our land’s highest elective office.

Will the names Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Stewart and Love be counted among the toadies who cynically supported Trump in the hopes they could advance partisan legislation? Or will they be listed alongside the bold and courageous American leaders who led the moral, ethical struggle to pull this nation back from the precipice of doom?

Unfortunately, I have seen no indication that any member of our congressional delegation will make the difficult but necessary choice to challenge President Trump’s behavior. If they never do, they will bear the stain of collaborators.

Email Don at dportercolumn@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DonPondorter.

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