Temperamentally unable to exercise anything like mature judgment

Corker spelled out that nearly all the Republicans in Congress know Trump is unfit. James Fallows says ok so what are they going to do about it?

Senator Bob Corker, a Republican of Tennessee, deserves credit for saying in public this evening to The New York Times what most prominent Republicans have known and many have said (in careful privacy) over the past two years.

Namely: that Donald Trump is irrational, ill-informed, impulsive, unfit for command, and increasingly a danger to the country and the world. The man who has ultimate authority over the world’s most powerful military, including its nuclear weaponry, is recklessly issuing threats to North Korea and others that set the nation “on the path to World War III,” according to Corker—who, for the record, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” he told Jonathan Martin and Mark Landler of the Times.

This situation is not normal. It is not safe. And the group which for now has a monopoly on legislative and investigative power in Washington, Corker’s own Republican Party, has an obligation to the country’s past and its future to do something about it.

It’s had that obligation all along, it had it during the campaign and after the election and after the inauguration, but it has it all the more with every hour of this maniac armed with nuclear weapons.

I have heard, first-hand, from Republican senators, representatives, and other dignitaries that they view Donald Trump as a menace in his current role. It’s not (just) that they disagree with some of what he does. It’s that they consider him intellectually unaware of the cliffs toward which he is steering the country, and temperamentally unable to exercise anything like mature judgment. In these and other ways, including his personal and financial ethics, they know that he is outside the range of suitability to hold this job.

Then they should remove him, without delay. I’m tired of seeing “But they never will, because their jobs.” The mismatch is grotesque. On the one hand a hopeless rage-prone lunatic in a position to destroy everything, on the other hand Their Careers. Come on now. Yes I know self-interest is a powerful drug, but come on now.

For congressional Republicans, this is your moment in history’s eye. One of your colleagues, who has chosen not to run for office again, and who also was the object of one of Trump’s intemperate attacks this morning, has decided that he might as well tell the truth. It turns out that this is often the right way to go! As the (slightly altered) line from Mark Twain put it, by telling the truth you will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Perhaps Corker’s motivations are not the purest or most glorious. He was nice to Trump last year, when Corker was in the mentioning-cloud as a possible secretary of state, and he was part of the “respectable” Republicans who disastrous enabled Trump. Corker’s retorts todayfollowed personal attacks from Trump. Still, he’s doing more than his colleagues have.  And Corker has moved toward a better place for himself in the annals of Senate history than he would have had only 24 hours ago.

This most definitely should not be the last step for Corker. If he believes what he says, then as the chairman of the relevant committee in the Senate he has important tools to use. He can issue subpoenas and summon executive branch witnesses as soon as he can get his colleagues back in town. He can draft legislation about the procedure, the grounds, and the justifications before the U.S. commits troops to war. He could urge his colleagues toward the next step through their stages-of-tragedy relationship with Trump. Stage one was carping and dismissal during the first half of 2016, when he was an entertaining long-shot. Stage two was Vichy-regime acquiescence to him during the campaign. Stage three was “support” early this year, toward the goal of the Gorsuch confirmation and the hope of a tax-cut bill. Now we see the inklings of stage four, with the dawning awareness of what Corker spelled out: that they have empowered something genuinely dangerous. It’s time for Corker to act on that knowledge, and his colleagues too.

Do it. This is not a joke, and it’s not a drill.

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