So much for open debate: Republican Sen. Bob Corker was told to resign by an administration stooge after he dared to find fault in Donald Trump.
As the White House spirals further into a parody of a bad reality television show, a top adviser from Donald Trump's campaign has now suggested that sitting U.S. senators ought to essentially be banished and sent home if they dare to disagree with Trump.
The result, of course, would be to completely shut down open debate in Congress.
The first up for exile would be Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. Sunday, in a stunning display of internecine warfare after Trump unleashed a Twitter rant at him, Corker returned fire in a tweet about the "adult day care" in the White House.
He followed that up with an interview in The New York Times where he portrayed the Oval Office occupant as a dangerous, out-of-control tyrant.
"I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him," the red state senator emphasized, warning that Trump’s recklessness could lead the country "on the path to World War III."
Corker added chillingly, "He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."
For an egomaniac like Trump and the loyalists around him, Corker’s outburst represented an unspeakable crime. So does the Trump team want to silence Corker politically? Do they want to strip him of his Senate chairmanship to punish is disloyalty? Do they want to ice him out of the White House’s center of power?
No. At least one wants him to resign — immediately, and then have Corker's replacement be hand-picked instead of elected by voters.
That was the undemocratic blueprint Jason Miller, the former communications director for Trump’s presidential campaign, spelled out on CNN Monday:
If Senator Corker is retiring and he doesn’t want to be in the U.S. Senate, and he doesn’t want to support President Trump, and he doesn’t want to support such basic conservative principals, he should just resign. Let the governor of Tennessee go and appoint a conservative like Marsha Blackburn, the congresswoman who is running to replace Senator Corker and get someone in there who is actually going to support the president.
Quick civics reminder: Governors bypassing voters to appoint replacements for U.S. senators is what happens, in many states, when a senator dies, or when a politician is sent to prison after being convicted of a crime. That’s not how the American democracy deals with senators who dare to criticize a sitting president from their own party.
Because that would be utterly absurd, and thoroughly un-American.
That would be how authoritarian countries like Russia operate, not how nearly three-century old democracies like the United Sates function.
But Trump, drowning in personal insecurities, tries to fill that void by having critics utterly banished — when he’s not stroking his own ego and demanding his underlings do the same.
Monday, Mike Pence issued a vague, rah-rah statement designed to counter nameless "critics" of Trump.
And later, the White House released a bizarre press release, filled with quotes from Trump's own appointees. It seemed designed solely to make Trump feel good about himself. The document was titled: "What they are saying: Praise from the president’s cabinet for the new immigration priorities."
Did the White House really put out a statement touting praise from the president's own cabinet? The employees praise the boss! pic.twitter.com/iCReC0WmJA
— Ginger Gibson (@GingerGibson) October 9, 2017
This — combined with the idea that Republicans must resign if they disagree with leader Trump — is approaching megalomania territory.
Otherwise known as Trump's America.