Roy Exum: Corker’s Got The Guts

Monday, October 9, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When people ask to “follow” me on Twitter, I tell them I’d rather carry a rattlesnake in my pocket. I wouldn’t trust myself on such an abomination for five minutes. I’d make a bigger fool out of myself in no time. So it came as no surprise on the Sunday Sabbath when the leader of the greatest nation in the world once again embarrassed our country with his senseless insults and flat-out lies.

This time 50 years ago I was walking in the same school hallways as Bobby Corker and we’ve been friends ever since. For Donald Trump to say our Senator has “no guts” is an outlandish lie. For Trump to want all of America to believe Corker wouldn’t win re-election in 2018 in an overwhelming Tennessee Waltz is beyond reason. The President can claim anything he wishes about closed-door meetings with Corker – none of us were there – but having watched both of them in the past year, I believe any and all Bob Corker says. Trump? Not so much.

As soon as Trump went on his temper tantrum yesterday, the wise said quietly that Trump is scared of Corker as a “lame duck” because, with no re-election fears, Bobby does indeed have the guts, and the Washington wherewithal, to say anything and do anything in the next year. The Republican Party is just as nervous and rightly so. Believe this, Corker has great sway right now.

My goodness, some Hollywood woman just tweeted the reason Melania Trump is going to head a war on opioids is because to sleep with her husband she must take drugs. Doesn’t the President of the United States realize Twitter is his biggest nightmare?

I really believe Trump’s thumbs on Twitter have best revealed a person none of us admire. I voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils. I’d vote for him again and again if he ran against the same opponent but as I watch the weekly popularity contests, I find myself joining those who dislike this boorish bully who is tearing our nation apart for no good reason. Why pounce on Corker? It was horribly stupid and not one American took joy in it.

Worse, it makes our catastrophic snarl in Washington all the worse. Our Congress and our Senate is now elected by money. That is the biggest reason we have such miserable candidates instead of those who value integrity over greed. The Republican Party is despised and the Democrats are on life support. If I had written a paper back in civics class with Corker that predicted 50 years later our nation would be presented with no other choice but a Donald or a Hillary, I would have moved to Canada with Barbara Streisand.

Instead, half a century later we loathe our leaders rather than take pride in them. The catch-phrase of the day is “Washington is broken” but we haven’t a Senator nor Congress person willing to do what it takes to fix it. The “do nothings” would rather tweet instead of sitting together as a group and giving us a solution to health insurance, outrageous partisan riffs, and petty nuisances that take too many eyes away from the real bullseyes.

In fairness, Trump’s outburst was in response to an unflattering comment by Corker several days before. For whatever reason, Bobby said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House chief of staff John Kelly, are "those people that help separate our country from chaos."

I haven’t the foggiest idea why Bobby said it but I wish he hadn’t – what good did it do? Trump has accomplished a lot but the reason you don’t know about it is because “Potomac Fever,” or whatever it is in the Washington air that causes politicians to become selfish power brokers, gets overshadowed by the stupid stuff every day.

For instance, Mike Pence, our nation’s Vice President, went to watch the Colts play the 49ers yesterday but quickly tweeted, “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS [President Trump] and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

There were 23 members of the San Francisco football team who kneeled in full view of our Vice President and, like Trump’s alarming Tweets earlier in the day, few in America took joy in that. A new poll by Fox News shows the NFL is now the least popular among top professional or college sports.

That Corker refused to be bullied by Trump proves to me he’s the same Bobby I’ve known for 50 years – he’ll step back from no one. But the worry is will the next Senator from Tennessee have the same guts?

royexum@aol.com



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