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Corker Against World War III Now That Trump Is for It

Corker is a longtime defender of American intervention and war in the Middle East, and now wants to supply billions in weapons to the Saudis and Ukraine.

Alex Edelman/ZUMA Press/NewscomAlex Edelman/ZUMA Press/NewscomSen. Bob Corker is getting a lot of kudos from progressives for his recent criticisms of President Donald Trump. On Sunday, the Tennessee Republican called the White House an "adult day care"—you know, the kind of place where people stick elderly people with dementia—and said the president is steering America toward "World War III."

Corker "admits what others won't say about Trump," cooed Vanity Fair, in what has been a common framing: He's a maverick!

But despite this show of supposed resistance, there's not really much daylight between Corker and Trump. Corker supported Trump during the 2016 election (and has voted with him 90 percent of the time since, for what it's worth). And he hasn't always been so averse to World War III. He's a longtime defender of American intervention and war in the Middle East, and now wants to sell or supply billions worth of weapons to Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

The senator spoke at Trump campaign rallies leading up to the Republican National Convention in July 2016, said Trump could could "change the trajectory of this country" for the better, and lamented the "caricature" that "the media" was making of him.

That Corker began speaking out against Trump once Trump took aim at him isn't exactly a display of heroism.

Though their animosity has been ongoing for a few months, Corker's latest comments come in the wake of Trump calling him a "negative voice" in Congress who was "largely responsible for the horrendous Iran deal." In a series of Sunday-morning tweets, Trump also said that Corker "begged" for Trump's endorsement but he had said "NO," that Corker couldn't win without the endorsement, and that he had also rejected Corker's pleas to be Secretary of State.

And it's not just that Corker has been, at best, very slow to see Trump's shortcomings. A rich construction company owner before being elected, Corker also came to power with a little help from feeding racial resentment. He supported access to legal abortion until it wasn't fashionable for him to do so anymore, and is willing to buck party lines for pet big-government policies.

Last May, "a Republican who knows Corker well" described him to Politico as an independent "tough guy" who was "frustrated by being in the Senate and not getting anything done," "not afraid to buck the old guard," and "no dummy: He jumped out on the Trump thing early."

And then when it was no longer politically advantageous, he jumped off—at least publicly. As James Fallows writes at The Atlantic, Corker's comments may be "doing more than his colleagues have," but they're not worth much if not followed by some sort of concrete distancing actions.

Maybe Corker could start by pushing for limits on executive power—for changes that would make it harder for Trump, or any other president, to cause an international catastrophe. Or at least he might stop backing foreign-policy moves that could have their own globally catastrophic consequences.

Photo Credit: Alex Edelman/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • Crusty Juggler||

    Is there a more tiresome media douche than Joe Scarborough?

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Chris Cuomo

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    I don't watch any of them so I'll have to take your word.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    He is son of former NY governor Mario and brother of current NY governor Andrew. Among his long list of douchery, he once equated calling a broadcaster "fake news" with calling a black person "nigger."

  • BALONEY TONEY MAHONEY||

    ScumBag Colbert!!!

  • DajjaI||

    He's positioning himself as the anti-Trump. However my money's on Bannon/Paul 20/20.

  • BALONEY TONEY MAHONEY||

    I STAND BY RAND!!!!!!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Corker is also resisting adding $2.4 trillion to the debt to pay for the Orange Fucking Moron's tax "reform" plan. Corker rightly wants spending cuts to offset the high deficits.

    The GOP infighting is wonderful to witness.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    PB, I thought there was nothing left to cut. Has that changed while I was away?

  • DesigNate||

    The military can always be cut, duh! (but don't touch shrieks ACA subsidy, the green energy subsidies, any of the alphabet soup departments, ad nauseum.)

  • mortiscrum||

    All of those programs are laughable chump change compared to military spending. The $84B boost to military spending this year alone is enough to cover several popular programs.

  • damikesc||

    All of those programs are laughable chump change compared to military spending. The $84B boost to military spending this year alone is enough to cover several popular programs.

    The military is chump change next to Medicare and all. You can cut the military to zero and we still run deficits.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You're both right. Let's cut everything.

  • BYODB||

    This can't be repeated enough. Lefties seem to believe the military is spending too much money which is pretty amusing since their preferred programs eat up way more cash. Personally I think they're both right, but they're also both assholes.

  • mortiscrum||

    The people who defend these programs explicitly, and probably a fair few besides, see a lot more value in the dollar spent on Medicare than the dollar spent on a F22.

  • BALONEY TONEY MAHONEY||

    "nobody's right when everybody's wrong!" -Buffalo Springfield, 1965

  • MJBinAL||

    At least "provide for the common defense" actually IS a legitimate role for the federal government. The rest of that shit all slides in as "general welfare" that should not even apply.

  • Juice||

    The military can always be cut, duh!

    Well, maybe it could be cut to only half a trillion per year instead of a full trillion?

  • DesigNate||

    I'd be okay with that.

    My point was more to pointing out that the leftist only ever consider cutting the military.

  • mortiscrum||

    And conservatives always default to cutting social programs. It's clear which is the priority for each political group.

  • Jury Nullification||

    "And conservatives always default to cutting social programs."

    And the most notable distinction between the 2 is that providing for the national defense is in the constitution but providing for the national redistribution of wealth, not so much. I think I know which spending gives a bigger bang for the buck.

  • MJBinAL||

    At least "provide for the common defense" actually IS a legitimate role for the federal government. The rest of that shit all slides in as "general welfare" that should not even apply.

    Step ONE: Cut ALL "social programs" to ZERO as they are not the proper role of the Federal Government at all.

    Step TWO: Provide for the common defense does not include having troops all over the world fighting every damned thing. Bring them home and stop mixing defense with global police force.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Maybe Corker could start by pushing for limits on executive power—for changes that would make it harder for Trump, or any other president, to cause an international catastrophe.

    Don't be ridiculous. I'm sure the next guy will be fully qualified to send the world's largest military to war on a whim. We wouldn't want to hamstring him in case of a crisis now would we?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Do you know who else led a resistance movement?

  • Rhywun||

    *applause*

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Georg Ohm?

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    winner... winner...

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Carl Spatz?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Jed Eckert?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Someone has to provide the correct answer.

  • Juice||

    With a question mark?

  • CE||

    Geronimo?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    The leftists can sure turn on a dime with their admirations, as we already saw when James Comey got fired. Good preparation for keeping on the correct side when we switch between fighting Eurasia and Eastasia.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Shut the fuck up, Shaun King.

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Is that what prevents me from posting recursive links to the thread we're already in?

  • mortiscrum||

    What's wrong with his comment? Isn't it the most honest, least hypocritical one of the bunch

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    How embarrassing.

  • damikesc||

    Though their animosity has been ongoing for a few months, Corker's latest comments come in the wake of Trump calling him a "negative voice" in Congress who was "largely responsible for the horrendous Iran deal." In a series of Sunday-morning tweets, Trump also said that Corker "begged" for Trump's endorsement but he had said "NO," that Corker couldn't win without the endorsement, and that he had also rejected Corker's pleas to be Secretary of State.

    Trump ain't wrong. Corker was the driving force in getting that deal legalized. If Corker did nothing, it'd have to be sent to the Senate as a Treaty where it would've died. He worked hard to make it the law. That fucking awful deal is Corker's deal as much as Obama's. Good on Trump for calling the useless shit out over it.

  • Sigivald||

    He's a longtime defender of American intervention and war in the Middle East, and now wants to sell or supply billions worth of weapons to Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

    Good, except for the SA part.

    A Ukraine that can stand up to Russia is a great idea, and selling them weapons with which to defend themselves seems like a sensible way to help.

    Did Reason get taken over by hippie peaceniks when I wasn't looking, that "selling arms to a free country under threat by an autocracy" became warmongering?

  • CE||

    You know who else was a rich construction company owner turned politician who doesn't like Trump?

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    ~50% of all rich construction company owners turned politician?

    (I think maybe you don't know how to play this game, that was pretty specific)

  • Fk_Censorship||

    So Gary Johnson is literally Hitler, now?

  • MJBinAL||

    Nope, just stupid.

  • UnityFollowsValues||

    I respect Sen. Corker having the courage to confront Trump when most in the GOP just looked the other way in fear of Trumps idiotic reprisals or losing their "base". When politicians fear doing the right things for the wrong reasons, they should resign. Am tired of the labels we use to divide people - liberals, right, moderates, conservatives and progressives. Too much finger pointing and shutting down our ability as a nation to learn the truth, discuss criteria to solve a need and vote on it as Americans. I don't care if a politician is a Democrat or a Republican. I do care if they have character, can collaborate across the wall and mostly that they represent the greatest needs of their constituents without a party or personal bias, as all are sworn to do. Trumps ignorance equates our constitution to a comic book without pictures. Human rights, values, allies, diplomacy are all foreign policy to this inept clown. It's time to obsolete the rhetoric and call for action to create an absolute American agenda that both parties have to support, understand the criteria to solve all key needs and then only push bills that meet that criteria, take the big money out of politics and make campaign reform a more critical exercise as media costs should not define who runs or Russia who wins. Chosen leaders need to pull Trump aside and get in his face to demand answers as so far the man still thinks he is promoting his brand and a TV show.

  • Jury Nullification||

    "I don't care if a politician is a Democrat or a Republican. I do care if they have character, can collaborate across the wall and mostly that they represent the greatest needs of their constituents without a party or personal bias, as all are sworn to do."

    Someone could be a big McCain supporter. No qualification as to good or bad "character", "Can collaborate" (betray principles), "represent...without a party?" Since he is a RINO, he has no real party. Dems definitely celebrated after McNasty's vote on 0bunglercare but cannot be sure if their Maverick of the hour attended the party or not. In his defense it was his "good conscience" and his thoughts,"I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats,...." that got the better of him.

    My preference is more streamlined; Do the right fucking thing per the US Constitution and err on the side of individual liberty for American citizens. Spike Lee does not endorse this platform.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Disaster is coming. Strike a pose, everybody!

  • Vegas||

    The horrors! To sell weapons to Ukraine!
    Isn't free trade a libertarian value? Why Reason Magazine is against foreign trade? Against trade with victims of military aggression?!

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