Jeff Flake Tells His GOP: Lets Stand Up To Trump & Do What’s Right
By Teddy Paige
Fascinating development out of Arizona politics this week as excerpts from Jeff Flake’s new book, Conscience of a Conservative, have been released. Most notably, Senator Flake took his colleagues and party to task over the rise of Donald Trump. And Flake puts the blame mostly on the shoulders of himself and his fellow conservatives:
…we conservatives mocked Barack Obama’s failure to deliver on his pledge to change the tone in Washington even as we worked to assist with that failure. It was we conservatives who, upon Obama’s election, stated that our No. 1 priority was not advancing a conservative policy agenda but making Obama a one-term president—the corollary to this binary thinking being that his failure would be our success and the fortunes of the citizenry would presumably be sorted out in the meantime. It was we conservatives who were largely silent when the most egregious and sustained attacks on Obama’s legitimacy were leveled by marginal figures who would later be embraced and legitimized by far too many of us. It was we conservatives who rightly and robustly asserted our constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government when a Democrat was in the White House but who, despite solemn vows to do the same in the event of a Trump presidency, have maintained an unnerving silence as instability has ensued. To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial.
For the first (or perhaps, the most significant) time, a Republican is admitting that the GOP maybe, just possibly, if you squint enough, contributed to the lack-of-progress by the U.S. government over the last eight years because the GOP’s top priority was hurting Barack Obama. Flake is acknowledging…. nay, accepting… that by focusing solely on the political destruction of America’s first black President, the GOP put politics ahead of the American people.
While Senator Flake’s voting record (currently) doesn’t reflect the positions in his book (he voted for the recent Republican skinny-bill on healthcare, despite its presumed cuts to Medicare & Medicaid), it is still refreshing to see a Republican Senator take some responsibility for failure.
America’s government is at its strongest when both parties are working together. Whomever wrote Senator Flake’s book is a person interested in bipartisanship, and not just the destruction of the other political party. We’ll see if the Arizona Senators actions begin to reflect his literary attitude.
Or, as some have already decided, the position of teamwork Flake has taken will result in his own political doom.