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The Trump-Corker Feud Resumes

Bob Corker resumed [1] his criticism of Trump’s interference with U.S. diplomatic efforts today:

“Really, when you look at the fact that we’ve got this issue in North Korea and the president continues to knee-cap his diplomatic representative, the secretary of state, and really move him away from successful diplomatic negotiations with China, which is key to this, you’re taking us on a path to combat,” Corker said on ABC.

“The president undermines our secretary of state, raises tensions in the area by virtue of the tweets that he sends out, and I would just like him to leave it to the professionals for a while and see if we can do something that’s constructive for our country, the region and the world,” he said.

Corker’s comments triggered more outbursts [2] from the president on Twitter. The senator fired back again:

The criticism of Trump’s undermining of Tillerson is sound, but it is not enough. One reason that the administration’s foreign policy has been so unsuccessful is that they don’t really have many professionals working on it, and those that they do have aren’t doing a very good job. Corker is right to object when the president sabotages Tillerson, but he should also acknowledge that Tillerson is capable of bungling things all by himself. Both Tillerson and Haley are at best amateurs when it comes to foreign policy, and no one on the president’s national security team seems capable of thinking strategically. They produce “strategy” outlines that don’t include anything resembling a strategy for achieving their goals. When the National Security Advisor is regularly declaring that denuclearization is the only acceptable outcome in dealing with North Korea and dismisses the possibility of deterrence, the “professionals” aren’t inspiring a lot of confidence, either. The U.S. can’t do anything “constructive” for anyone when it is taking positions that make conflict more likely.

As long as the administration is trying to pursue unrealistic and maximalist goals on Iran and North Korea, they are going to fail no matter how much leeway Trump gives his officials. Corker notably isn’t challenging the administration on the substance of its policies, and that is what needs far greater scrutiny and criticism from members of Congress.

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12 Comments To "The Trump-Corker Feud Resumes"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 24, 2017 @ 10:57 am

I worked for several organisations who’s problems stem from the inability to give credit where credit was due. I think Pres Trump is afraid to allow anyone be successful that it will reflect poorly on them.

In today’s political climate in which there are so many vacuums there are twice a many scrambling to make a case that they could do better.

Perhaps, there is nothing more astute in a manager than allowing one’ subordinate to take credit and own their work, while you get credit for employing their skills. I suspect that somewhere Pres. Trump suffers from this lack of courage or gracious unless that kill is employed his way to his singular end.

And that afford his opponents plenty of fodder to distract from hi main objectives — filter a wider wealth domestic economy (tax cuts alone are insufficient), deal with immigration, apply a means of withdrawal from a good many needles foreign excursions.

#2 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 24, 2017 @ 11:04 am

“Corker notably isn’t challenging the administration on the substance of its policies, and that is what needs far greater scrutiny and criticism from members of Congress.”

I agree. It’s more like in fighting about improbable policies that both contenders want credit for. They both want credit for suggesting a military solution in both arenas. Now the admin may have a side agenda. And Sen Corker may have a side agenda all his own — around about 2019.

#3 Comment By Chris D. On October 24, 2017 @ 11:18 am

I suspect this is because he wants to run against Trump in 2020. I think he’s trying to win over the #nevertrump crowd for now without planting any policy flags. (As far I can recall, Corker has been either a policy cipher or fallen in with the usual GOP fat cat interests for most of his tenure.) Now, he can bide his time to see how the policy landscape shakes out and whether more Republicans jump ship on Trump. Classic establishment strategy. Wait for popular passions to subside, resignation to set in, and then present yourself as the perfect vessel of the status quo ante.

#4 Comment By rayray On October 24, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

Seems like a waste of time to discuss the “reason” Corker is doing it when he is simply pointing out what has been desperately obvious to everyone: Trump is an ignorant, incompetent, vain fool.

I’m sure everyone does a political calculus when they make a speech, and most of that time said calculus leads to obfuscation and spin. I’m just pleased that whatever the calculus, this time it led to someone saying WHAT EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS.

May it be the first of many.

#5 Comment By Youknowho On October 24, 2017 @ 1:24 pm

I have no sympathy for Corker. The time to blast Trump was in September-October, to keep him away from the Oval Office and the nuclear codes.

He chose to embrace him then.

As the meme goes, it is his circus, it is his monkey.

#6 Comment By balconesfault On October 24, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

Flake not running for re-election.

It’s Trump’s party now.

Either get in line … or get out.

#7 Comment By Hyperion On October 24, 2017 @ 3:56 pm

So I guess the only R pols that will come out against DJT are the ones planning to run against him. REAL profiles in courage, GOP.

I’m glad DL isn’t fooled by Corker.

#8 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On October 24, 2017 @ 4:06 pm

“The objective correlation of forces.”

In the context of Trump and his critics, this phrase means that Trump’s policies and ideas *are* what really galls his political enemies, including those in the GOP establishment. Trump would change the identity of capital from globalist to nationalist through protective trade policies. And he would change the identity of labor in the same way, from globalist and borderless to nationalist and immigration-restrictionist.

Trump threatens to change the objective correlation of forces in regard to political economy and nation-statehood in a way that fundamentally conflicts with the status quo. That’s the real reason why McCain, Corker, Jeff Flake, David Brooks etc. oppose Trump so vehemently. All else is cosmetics and subjective correlations of forces–the last gasp of the status quo.

#9 Comment By Just_Dropping_By On October 24, 2017 @ 5:15 pm

One reason that the administration’s foreign policy has been so unsuccessful is that they don’t really have many professionals working on it, and those that they do have aren’t doing a very good job.

That statement is 100% true, but I’m not sure what Corker is supposed to do about it. He can’t nominate anyone for the vacant positions himself and although he could introduce articles of impeachment for Tillerson and Haley, there’s no way they would be replaced by anybody better. Is Corker even in a position to conduct a senate committee investigation of anything?

#10 Comment By One Guy On October 24, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

@Just Dropping By
Maybe he’s speaking out because he CAN’T do much else about it.

#11 Comment By wake me up when … On October 24, 2017 @ 9:56 pm

Ditto for Jeff Flake’s remarks. Wake me up when these “courageous” senators stop attacking Trump on grounds of civility and decency, and start attacking him on the grounds that he’s got American soldiers fighting in so many countries now that we can’t even keep track of where they are anymore. Or that he’s conducting the most comprehensive mass surveillance of innocent American citizens in our history, or that instead of seeking America’s interests overseas he’s doing the bidding of pipsqueak client states like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

#12 Comment By SurlyDuff On October 25, 2017 @ 7:48 am

@ balconesfault – “It’s Trump’s party now. Either get in line … or get out.”

But that’s the strange thing; they are in line. Flake has voted in line with the administration position on everything thus far. He’s not taking some brave stand on the substance; he just dislikes the presentation.