The Truth About Jeff “Holier Than Thou” Flake
When Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake talks about conservative principles, he sounds exactly like the kind of Republican we need more of in government. That’s why, for a long time, he was one of the standard-bearers cited by institutions like the Heritage Foundation – a man with a fiercely conservative voting record against which any senator or congressman could be compared. His career has been long and distinguished, and hell, he’s probably a nice guy to boot.
And then Trump happened.
Now, we’re not going to stoop to calling Flake a “swamp monster” who’s only out for the donor class or engage in the rest of the name-calling that would be so easy to succumb to at a time like this, because there’s really no need. Jeff Flake is a problem, but he’s not THE problem. THE problem is now, and will always be, the Democratic Party, and we will still believe that no matter how many Republicans from Arizona turn on the president. We have no respect for conservatives still pushing the NeverTrump narrative, and we think Flake’s sanctimonious speech in front of the Senate was a real low point in the history of our government, but it is what it is.
We do, however, have a problem with some of these pundits making Flake’s big stand against Trump out to be some grand act of courage. It wasn’t. Not really.
In an interview with the Arizona Republic, Flake said, “Here’s the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take. It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone. This spell will pass, but not by next year.”
He phrases it in the same “holier-than-thou” fashion that he phrased his Senate speech and his Washington Post op-ed, but the truth is between the lines: He can’t win. He knows it and everyone else knows it. The state of conservative politics has passed him by, and he’s set to lose to insurgent candidate Kelli Ward. He doesn’t care about his big principles enough to sacrifice his ego on the altar of an embarrassing election loss, now does he? So he’s taking the coward’s way out, and he found a way to do it so he looks like a hero instead.
It would have been more honest if he’d simply come and said, “Hey, the Trump Train ran me over, so I’m tucking my tail between my legs and going home.” Because, really, that’s what happened.