U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has written a terrible screed against Donald Trump posing as a conservative, arguing that Trump must be toppled or the Republican Party will suffer dire electoral consequences next year and in the years to come.
Flake blames the current state of affairs on the GOP’s tolerance for certain “marginal figures” within it. He half-heartedly blames himself for not doing enough to isolate those radicals because their unchallenged presence has apparently given rise to Trump.
And who is Flake’s authority explaining the current woes of the Republican party? The sanctimonious Michael Gerson. Our compassionate bleeding-heart Republican can find none of those characteristics when he writes, “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” and “with the blessings of a president . . . have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion.” That assessment seems rather brutish. But Flake and Gerson whine in sackcloth and ashes that the End is Near. If only Trump would stop tweeting, we might not have to build a political ark to carry us over the flood waters sure to come. However, Gerson and the political classes of both parties have little to offer us in the way meaningful policy change and they have not for decades.
Flake demonstrates his trivial concerns by focusing on failed politicians who did not have an answer to the leftward drift in the country likely because they were, like Flake, more in agreement with the premises of the Left than the principles of the American Founders. This is why Flake ultimately supported Hillary Clinton for president. So craven was his disdain for all things Trump he even appeared in a Clinton campaign ad, which called Trump “unfit” and “dangerous.” He praised Clinton’s pick of Tim Kaine for vice president, calling him a “good man” and a “good friend.”
The Democrats and Obamacare are not a problem for Flake. Nor is the criminal activity of Hillary Clinton (her solicitation of Ukraine for electoral assistance, for example), Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s burgeoning data scandal, spying on political opponents, or the connection of the so called Steele “dossier” to the Russian government and the Democratic Party.
No. Flake thinks Russia is the problem and that the “Russian menace” is as much of a threat as it was in 1964. Is he serious? If he is, then vapid is his middle name.
Flake ignores the threats of jihadist terror to our national interest; the nuclear ambitions of North Korea; the expansion of the Chinese into territorial waters and the threats to our ally Japan; the problem with domestic terrorism in the form of MS-13; the potential for more Islamic terrorism as lawless judges strike down the ability of this country to protect its border;, and the list could go on. Yet Flake thinks we are living under the threat of the old Soviet Union, equating the Russian Bear with the Russian Federation. This is cannot be what Publius believed would pass for thoughtful reflection in the Senate.
Flake has always been a Never Trumper, and is probably more worried that Trump is actively supporting challengers to the senator in his home state. However, even if Flake’s ire is personal, it still places him in the same camp as those Rush Limbaugh has said want a silent coup. His startling ignorance of the current state of affairs and his support for a party and a system that beg for the overthrow of the American electorate helps explain why he is trailing in at least one poll. How he expects to win another election while chastising the electorate for being so stupid to elect Trump defies reason.
Publius wrote that “no government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable.” Flake has demonstrated in only a few short years that he has diminished himself by his intemperate remarks and his disregard for our national character. He no longer deserves our respect.