Cynicism so thick that you actually *can’t* cut it with a knife. You’ll need some sort of power tool.
Say whatever else you want about Bannon but he’s the opposite of stupid. He knows there are gaping holes in this complaint, starting with the fact that we on the right trashed Obama at every opportunity despite the fact that there were troops in harm’s way every day of his two terms. Weak, diffident, irresolute, consumed with making nice with implacable terrorist regimes like Iran’s: That was our O on foreign policy. We kicked him in the nuts regularly for his flaws and he deserved it because those flaws led to bad policy outcomes. That’s precisely what Corker’s worried about with Trump. And Trump himself was an unusually aggressive offender as a private citizen in breaking the “no trashing the commander-in-chief!” rule. He accused Obama of being nothing less than an illegitimate president, supposedly having faked his birth certificate to avoid the “natural born” requirement. It’s one thing to criticize the commander-in-chief with troops in the field. It’s another to accuse him of having committed fraud to become commander-in-chief in the first place.
Beyond that, since when has Trump ever let respect for the military stop him from taking a dump on one of his critics? It didn’t stop him from squabbling with Khizr Khan, a Gold Star father, after Khan criticized him at last year’s Democratic convention. It sure as shinola didn’t stop him from dumping on McCain, as the McCain family will happily remind you:
Trump slammed my dads service when both of my brothers were (and still are) currently serving. Give me a break with this. https://t.co/yuLqqio5QL
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) October 14, 2017
Bill Mitchell, one of Trump’s biggest boosters on Twitter, coincidentally chimed in with this earlier today before Bannon’s speech:
The more I see of John McCain the more I believe he was the songbird in Vietnam and sold out his friends. He does that now every day.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) October 14, 2017
The best you can do to salvage a defensible point from Bannon’s comment is to say that he’s making an argument about party loyalty above all else. Private citizens can criticize the commander-in-chief and the other party can criticize the commander-in-chief but a senator from the president’s *own party* should not be criticizing the commander-in-chief. And I do think that’s what he’s going for here. This is part of his omnibus indictment of the GOP establishment ahead of the primaries. If he can add a little spice to that indictment by accusing Corker of fragging the head of the armed forces with the tacit consent of the rest of McConnell’s caucus, so much the better for populist turnout next spring. But the reply to that is easy: Country over party. Corker’s first loyalty is to the United States, not to the GOP. He doesn’t even work under POTUS in the executive branch. If he believes that Trump is so erratic or foolhardy in his foreign policy that he’s putting the lives of troops in the field at needless risk, he’d be derelict in his duty if he didn’t speak up.
Meanwhile, on Earth 2, Marco Rubio won the election and Bannon’s giving a speech today arguing that it’s the height of patriotism to accuse the commander-in-chief of treason for selling out America on immigration.
Bannon slams GOP senators for not denouncing Corker, who "has mocked and ridiculed a commander-in-chief when we have kids in the field." pic.twitter.com/moI5pt0HzH
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 14, 2017