Et Tu, Senator Corker?

President Trump should be as wary of entering the Senate chambers as Julius Caesar should have been that fateful day in the Roman Senate. While Trump’s physical safety is assured, character assassins like Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker await. Corker, who is up for reelection in 2018, has announced with his remarks about President Trump’s stability and competence, Corker’s lack of both:

Sen. Bob Corker delivered his harshest criticism of President Trump yet, telling an audience in Chattanooga on Thursday that Trump has not demonstrated that he understands the character of the nation and has not shown the competence needed to lead. "The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order for him to be successful -- and our nation and our world needs for him to be successful, whether you are Republican or Democrat,” the Tennessee Republican said at a Rotary Club meeting in Chattanooga…

“He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation,” Corker told reporters following his luncheon address. “He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today. And he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that. Without the things I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.”

Sen. Corker must have missed the last election where Donald Trump, despite Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion war chest and the support of a sitting president, mobilized a grassroots army that broke the Democrats’ vaunted “blue wall” against all predictions, including Sen. Corker’s. That by itself shows that Trump does understand the character of a nation that is tired of career politicians more interested in keeping their job rather than doing their job. Trump’s business career demonstrates an ability to cut through bureaucratic BS and red tape in the proud tradition of Larry the Cable Guy’s mantra of “get ‘er done!”

Trump understands planning, perseverance, and the virtues and benefits of hard work, which is more than the likes of the vacationing Bob Corker understand. He and his colleagues had seven years to put an ObamaCare repeal and replace bill on President Trump’s desk and did less than nothing. And he talks about competence?

Like his colleagues, Corker demonstrated great courage in voting for ObamaCare repeal bills they knew President Obama would veto but when there was a President Trump ready to sign one, they headed for the tall grass to hide. Where was Corker to question the competence and stability of the likes of Sens. McCain, Murkowski, and Collins when they sided with the Democrats to let ObamaCare survive? Did Corker question Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s competence when he failed to muster enough votes?

In Corker’s Tennessee, 77 percent of counties have just one insurer, and the average premium increase is 63 percent over the past year. The average monthly insurance premium in Tennessee in 2013 was $213. In 2017, it was $587, an increase of 176 percent. Was the failure to repeal and replace the fault of Trump’s White House or Corker’s Senate?

Corker apparently has joined the self-righteous and hypocritical piling on after Charlottesville and Trump’s alleged late and insufficient condemnation of white nationalists. This rush to faulty judgment ignores the malfeasance of police who let conflicting groups collide in violence and ignores the Black Lives Matter and Antifa mobs that showed up in black ninja outfits complete with shields and blunt instruments. Ironically, Trump’s words after Charlottesville, clear enough for those not already hating Trump, were more than enough for Susan Bro, mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Hyer:

The mother of the woman killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., thanked President Trump on Monday after he spoke out against hate groups for their role in the weekend's violence.

"Thank you, President Trump, for those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred," Susan Bro said in a statement, according to NBC News.  

How many times must Trump denounce racism in all its forms to satisfy Corker and the others? This is the President in his Inaugural Address speaking of race in terms Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King would echo:

“A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights and heal our divisions. It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots,” he said.

“We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky. They fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator,” Trump added.”

He has said that many times, his words falling apparently on ideologically deaf ears. Contrast Trump’s words here and those he spoke after Charlottesville with those of President Obama after the murder of five Dallas police officers when he used a memorial, not to condemn the racially motivated shooter, but rather racist cops. As the Washington Times reported:

President Obama defended the Black Lives Matter movement Tuesday at a memorial service for five slain Dallas police officers, saying bigotry remains a problem in police departments across the U.S.

While paying tribute to the fallen officers for sacrificing their lives to protect anti-police protesters from a sniper, Mr. Obama also called on law enforcement agencies to root out bias that he said is contributing to violence on the streets of America.

“We have all seen this bigotry in our lives at some point,” Mr. Obama told an audience of about 2,500 at a concert hall in Dallas. “None of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this.”

The officers -- Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa -- were killed during a Black Lives Matter protest Thursday night by a black sniper who told police he targeted white officers…

Fox News commentator Katie Pavlich added: “Worst part of Obama’s lecture about racial bias today? He did it at a memorial for 5 officers who were killed because they were white.”

Did Corker question President Obama’s stability and competence? To do that would have invited charges of racism from Obama’s defenders, just as Trump is accused of racism and insensitivity for noting that bigotry and intolerance exists on both left and right.

My advice to Sen. Corker is for him to show some stability and competence, fight for President Trump’s health care and tax reform agenda, and leave the grandstanding in an election year for others.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.