The Republican Party tax bill threatens to destroy Senator Corker’s legacy, and flip the Senate to the Democrats.
Until recently, Senator Corker had garnered (rare) widespread bipartisan praise for standing up to Trump and bucking his own party leadership by originally voting against the Senate version of the GOP tax bill because it will explode the U.S. national debt by over an additional $1 trillion, contrary to every principle that Senator Corker (and every conservative in the pre-Trump era) holds dear.
Principle over Party.
Senator Corker was still a “no” as of last week, maintaining his principle that he would not vote in favour of a tax bill that would add a single penny to the deficit.
Well, until recently.
Seemingly miraculously, Senator Corker switched his vote to a “yes” after a provision was added to the bill that would personally enrich Senator Corker (and Trump), despite the fact that the bill will still add over 100 trillion “pennies” to the U.S. national debt.
In fact, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn specifically stated that the aforementioned provision was added to the GOP Tax Bill to “cobble together [the] votes” necessary to pass the measure – remember, the only Republican Senator who had voted “no” was Senator Corker.
That looks bad. Really, really bad.
In fact, #CorkerKickback has been trending on social media as citizen outrage continues to grow over such a seemingly blatant demonstration of corruption as Senator Corker’s flip-flop on the GOP Tax Bill. So much so, that Senator Corker has had to defend himself by claiming he switched his intention to “yes” before actually having read the full text of the GOP Tax Bill.
That’s an odd defence – essentially, Senator Corker feels his only recourse his to admit to negligence (that he failed to do his job as an elected official).
Needless to say, most citizens will find Senator Corker’s explanation wanting, leaving him as the ‘poster-boy’ image of modern-day political corruption.
Unless he votes “no“.
This is why Senator Corker should immediately declare that after having had an opportunity to review the full text of the GOP Tax Bill, he will vote against it:
- Senator Corker may be retiring, but even retired politicians care about their legacy. Perhaps even more so than active politicians. After all, Senator Corker’s legacy is all he will leave with when he does retire. Up until this weekend, his legacy would have been that he had put his principles and his country above his party. Not a bad legacy to have, in this polarizing age of partisanship. As of today, his legacy will be of the ‘poster-boy’ of modern-day political corruption. Even a retiring politician would never choose the latter.
- He may be retiring, but he’s not dead. Not only do many politicians ‘unretire’ (a door that Senator Corker would forever foreclose if he retires after voting for the GOP Tax Bill that enriches himself personally), but as with most individuals of Senator Corker’s passions and ambitions, he is expected to continue to be active, whether in business or in the community, or both. Again, leaving with a legacy of such blatant corruption would undo any post-retirement plans he may have otherwise had for continuing to be engaged. Simply put, he’ll be toxic for the remainder of his life.
- A clear plurality of Tennessean voters are opposed to the GOP Tax Bill. By voting against the measure, Senator Corker can loudly and publicly claim that he voted in line with the wishes of his constituents’ wishes, once again reclaiming the moral high ground (and, incidentally, setting himself up as one of the leading post-Trump voices in the conservative movement).
- Senator Corker’s vote in favour of the GOP Tax Bill would inevitably embolden the Democratic base in Tennessee, further endangering an open Senate seat that the Democrats are already eyeing to flip the Senate in 2018. Popular two-term former governor Phil Bredesen has already announced his candidacy for Senator Corker’s upcoming open seat – if Senator Corker saddles the Republican candidate for the open Tennesee Senate seat in 2018 with his vote in favour of the unpopular GOP Tax Bill, Senator Corker’s ultimate legacy may end up being flipping the Senate to the Democrats in 2018.
- But, most importantly, the Republican Party doesn’t need Senator Corker’s vote! With Senator McCain home in Arizona, the Republican Party still has an extra Senate vote it can afford to lose – even if Senator Corker votes “no“, the measure will pass 50-49. (In fact, up to 3 GOP Senators could simply abstain and the measure would still pass 48(+1)-48 with a Vice President Pence tie-breaking vote, the very reason he skipped out on his Mideast visit to stay in Washington.)
For these reasons, Senator Corker should vote against the GOP Tax Bill.