In recent days, Senator Bob Corker has become one of the loudest critics of Donald Trump on the Republican side–possibly, the loudest. His suggestion that the Trump White House resembles an “adult day care center,” as well as his other pointed questions about Trump’s mental and emotional state, have led to speculation that Corker is laying the groundwork to stick it to Trump before leaving the Senate at the end of his term.
Some have suggested the Tennessee Republican is making the case for impeachment, while others believe he’s getting ready to push for Trump to be bounced out of office via the 25th Amendment. Whatever the case, Corker’s opposition to Trump doesn’t sit well with the self-appointed leader of the deplorable diehards, Steve Bannon. On Monday night, the former White House chief strategist and once-and-current boss of Breitbart has a message for Corker–unless you’re willing to support Trump, get out now.
Bannon chose a very receptive audience for this fatwa–Sean Hannity of Fox News. Watch here.
Hannity blasted Corker as “arrogant” and an “elitist snob” who was representative of a do-nothing Senate. Indeed, as far as Hannity was concerned, Corker “is the swamp.”
Bannon lapped it up, saying that Corker did the American people a favor by saying what a lot of Republican Senators are saying “behind closed doors.” He then pronounced Corker’s attacks on Trump “totally unacceptable,” considering that we have troops on the ground in Afghanistan, the Pacific, Korea, the South China Sea, and the Persian Gulf.
Now that’s interesting. You would think that under these very circumstances, it would be more than legitimate for the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to express concern about a president’s behavior. After all, wouldn’t we want to be sure that the commander-in-chief is of sound mind? You would think Bannon would understand this, being a former naval officer.
But apparently such considerations didn’t matter to Bannon. As far as he was concerned, Corker and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were part of an “establishment globalist clique” that needed to be swept out posthaste.
Hannity piled on, saying that Republicans like Corker, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse and others who trashed the president “are the swamp,” and have allowed Trump’s agenda to wither on the vine at the expense of the “forgotten men and women” who voted for Trump.”
Bannon agreed, saying that the GOP establishment was showing its “contempt” for working people. He then continued his attack on Corker, pronouncing him an “absolute disgrace” who didn’t belong in the Senate as long as he opposed Trump.
“If Bob Corker has any honor, any decency, he should resign immediately. He should not let these words stand, those words that he said about the president.”
Bannon believed that Corker opted to retire after seeing Luther Strange get destroyed by Roy Moore in the primary for Jeff Sessions’ old seat in Alabama. Hannity agreed, suggesting that if Corker got back in the race, he would get destroyed by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who jumped into the race soon after Corker announced his retirement.
Bannon was echoing a call made hours earlier by former Trump campaign communications adviser Jason Miller, who believed that Corker should resign so Governor Bill Haslam can appoint Blackburn–a simon-pure conservative and tea partier–in his place. That way, Miller said, that seat will be occupied by someone “who will actually support the president.”
Bannon also revealed that he plans to find and fund primary challengers for every Republican Senator running for reelection except Ted Cruz. He claimed it was the very reason he left the White House–to “go after the Republican establishment” and replace them with people who will back Trump.
It says a lot about Hannity that Bannon was even on his show in the first place. Remember, just last weekend, Buzzfeed uncovered evidence that proves beyond any doubt that Breitbart is actively working to normalize and sanitize racism and hate.
It also says a lot that Bannon and others who worked on the Trump campaign actively sought to get Democrats to desert their party and back Trump. But any Republican who dared even think about walking away from Trump–first during the campaign, then now–is almost a traitor.
Granted, Corker’s awakening came rather late. Indeed, he was reportedly on the short list to be Trump’s running mate, and later to be Secretary of State. But now he is putting country above party, like any responsible politician should do so. The fact that Bannon is trying to kneecap him for doing exactly that not only says a lot about Bannon, but proves that–at least for now–we should be standing behind Corker.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)