Writers of Washington-set political dramas threw themselves on their couches today and chewed the pillows in an ecstasy of grief when Actual Washington topped most of their plotlines in a single day.
Not one but two Republican senators blasted their own party’s POTUS as a lying lout and warned the world he is a menace and a danger. But that did not stop them from attending a “unity lunch” on Capitol Hill with President Donald Trump – who got a Russian flag thrown at him as he was entering the event.
After the lunch, during which Trump received multiple standing ovations, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake became the second member of Trump’s own party to devote Tuesday to denouncing the exec branch’s flagrant “disregard for truth or decency.” In a passionate address to fellow senators, and TV cameras, Flake also lamented the White House’s “reckless provocations” and undignified behavior Flake called dangerous to the country.
Flake announced on the floor of the Senate that he will not run for re-election after his current term ends in early 2019, saying he cannot be “complicit or silent” to what the current administration is up to. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed his remarks as the comments of a guy who was going to lose his re-election bid, badly.
“I rise today with no small measure of regret,” Flake said in his announcement. “Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by all of our complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs.
“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.”
“We must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue – with the tone set at the top,” Flake said pointedly, though he never mentioned Trump by name.
“We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons.”
“Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as “telling it like it is,” when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” Flake said.
Just a few hours earlier, and shortly before Trump’s lunch with GOP senators, Sen. Bob Corker, who heads the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, gave a pop-up presser in a Hill hallway at which he said the world is bearing witness to Trump’s lies, adding that POTUS’ legacy will be the “debasing of our nation.”