Diary

Senator Bob Corker. Unacceptable.

Senator Bob Corker (TN) is all over the place.

Yesterday, he voted for the new START treaty in committee, which is heavily skewed towards Russia’s interests, limits our missile defense capabilities, and sends an unmistakable signal of weakness to the rest of the world. According to Corker’s own constituents, in a letter on behalf of the Williamson Country Republican Party:

New START seriously threatens our national security. Among its other flaws, the Treaty limits America’s ability to field a robust missile defense system, which is our only defense against a nuclear missile attack. Further, because New START contains weak verification systems, Russian compliance with the Treaty is unlikely. New START also fails to stop rogue nations like North Korea and Iran from continuing to develop nuclear weapons.

Corker ignored these concerns, when he, Johnny Isakson (GA) and Richard Lugar (IN), joined 11 Democrats in voting for the treaty. I wish that was the extent of the damage he caused yesterday.

This morning, I read the headline, “Senate GOP Looks for Deal in Tax Debate.” (Nothing quite catches my eye like news of Republicans selling out.) The article states that “McConnell and Boehner, along with many conservative Republicans, are demanding that all the Bush-era [tax] cuts be made permanent,” but that a group of Republican Senators are now pushing for only a two year extension.

Worse, part of these Senators’ rationale for their alternative is to allow the disaster that is the fiscal commission to make its recommendation in the lame duck and presumably not have to look like they’re raising taxes.

“We need to change the debate totally from picking at each other over tax policy and which program gets cut,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).

A two-year extension would give Obama’s deficit-reduction commission time to complete its work and Congress a chance to debate its recommendations. “That’s page one,” Corker said. “Then we can develop policies that move us in that direction.”

What’s puzzling is why Corker believes that we should stop “picking” at Democrats when they’re trying to raise taxes and refuse to cut federal spending. And I don’t understand why these Senators—Corker, Susan Collins, Judd Gregg, and Lindsey Graham (the reporter must have forgotten to call Olympia Snowe)—would want to make it any easier for the fiscal commission to raise taxes unless they actually want to raise taxes after the election. These people simply don’t get it.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Corker has lead in the wrong direction. He was instrumental in negotiating “financial services reform” with Chris Dodd and failed to understand or admit that the legislation (which is now law) amounted to a permanent bailout of Wall Street.

Bob Corker is the type of Republican Senator that politicos love. He is “credible.” He “wants to get things done.” He is “bipartisan.”

It might be nice if he was actually “conservative.”