Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker said President Donald Trump was treating the presidency like “a reality show,” making reckless threats against other countries that put the United States “on the path to World War III.” Republican Senator John McCain dealt the final blow to the so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare, walking onto the floor, turning his thumb down, and saying “No.” Republican Congressman Charlie Dent called President Trump’s travel bans “ridiculous” and urged the Trump administration to immediately halt action on enforcing the bans. All three of these Republicans defying their party’s President have one thing in common, something our country needs more of if we are going to survive the Trump Presidency.
The one thing all three have in common is that they are all lame ducks, meaning neither are seeking re-election to their seats. Senator Corker announcing his retirement said, “I also believe the most important public service I have to offer our country could well occur over the next 15 months,” “and I want to be able to do that as thoughtfully and independently, as I did the first 10 years and nine months of my Senate career.”
Unfortunately, Sen. John McCain, 80, has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor, average survival for malignant glioblastoma tends to be around 14 months with treatment. Since his return to the Senate after surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain, McCain has been an open critic of President Trump.
Congressman Dent says the current political atmosphere in Washington was “a factor, to be sure,” in his decision to retire adding that “even the most simple basic tasks of government have become excruciatingly difficult.”
All three are experiencing something rare in political life, independence. They have the freedom to perform the duties of their office with no concern of running a re-election campaign. Those still in the game and running for re-election view the three as lame ducks, a not-so popular status in pre-Trump days.
Senator Corker says the following:
Senator McCain says the following:
Congressman Dent tweeted the following:
The Republican Party was once the party of small government, free trade, traditional values, principled foreign policy leadership and, adherence to the Constitution. Under Donald Trump’s leadership Republicans have sat silently while he replaces free trade agreements with protectionism, put America’s integrity in jeopardy by backing out of commitments made by previous administrations, not divesting himself of his business holdings or releasing his tax returns and accepting trademark protections from China.
The Constitution’s system of checks and balances has a method of dealing with alleged wrongdoing — what it calls “high crimes and misdemeanors”: it permits Congress to impeach a president who will not respect the office or the law of the land but Congress has shown little appetite for holding President Trump accountable.
That is because both the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by the President’s allies in the Republican Party, and they have thus far decided overwhelmingly to side with partisan allegiance over accountability.
Coincidentally as I am writing this, Republican Senator Jeff Flake is making the announcement that he will not seek re-election, joining the other lame ducks of principle. In announcing his retirement from the Senate floor he said:
“The principles that underlie our politics, the values of our founding, are too vital to our identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. Because politics can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity. I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.
I have decided that I will be better able to represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience by freeing myself from the political considerations that consume far too much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many principles.”
With all the Trump turmoil emanating from our nation’s capital, America needs more than ever politicians free to do the right thing for America. As Edmund Burke famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” Now is the time to stand up, put the country ahead of the party and for politicians in Washington, D.C., to prove they still have the ability to see the difference. Now is the time for more LAME DUCKS!