Political Divisions Deepen Within the Republican Party
Just as the Trump-Corker feud drew visible divisions within the GOP ranks, Senator Jeff Flake came forward to add fuel to the fire. Political divisions are becoming glaringly obvious each passing day, as one after another, the Senate leader takes the opportunity to publicly denounce the Republican President.
Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona publicly bashed President Donald Trump in his speech on Tuesday in the most critical manner he could. The senator made it clear on Tuesday that he refused to be led by a president who, in his view, posed a threat to democracy.
The senator took a direct aim at the president, saying, “The personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, and the flagrant disregard for truth and decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve. None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal.” He went on to criticize the President’s “Tweetstorms” as threats to the “stability of the entire world.”
Anti-Trump Republicans Causing Political Divisions Within the GOP
With that, we now have at least three established anti-Trump Republicans in the Senate. These include Senator John McCain, Senator Bob Corker, and now Senator Jeff Flake. The sad reality, however, is that all three of the senators have chosen to speak up only as they take a backseat in politics.
Senators Corker and Flake have both announced that they will not be running for reelection. Meanwhile, Senator McCain has more pressing problems to deal with right now, such as his brain cancer. This means none of them will likely be remaining within the party to push it in the right direction.
All three senators are well regarded in the political community, not only within their own party, but also within the Democratic circles. Their disagreements with Trump and consequent exits serve to weaken the party’s standing in the eyes of its supporters.
Moreover, the political divisions between the party leaders are worrisome for the party itself as the Republicans approach the critical tax reform deadlines.
The Republicans need to save their vote bank within the Senate. However, with party members taking aims at each other, getting everyone on the same page would be a tough row to hoe. That’s exactly the challenge party heads in the House and Senate will face when they come around to voting on Trump’s proposed tax cuts bill.
That said, the Republican party will likely continue to face serious challenges while seeking consensus on critical issues during Trump’s presidency, despite being in the majority.
“6 key quotes from Sen. Jeff Flake’s speech blasting Trump,” Vox, October 24, 2017.
“Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and John McCain need to start acting like senators, not pundits,” Vox, October 25, 2017.