In my last article, I opined that I thought that Jeff Flake was sincere in his stand in forcing the reopening of the FBI background check into Brett Kavanaugh’s behavior before the Senate could vote on his nomination. I feel that Flake actually has a conscience, and the combination of those two powerful Sexual assault survivor activists and his friend Chris Coons passionate plea, shamed him into doing the right thing. Flake is retiring, and I honestly believe that he feels this is his “legacy” for his Senate tenure. Several people in the comments, while not directly disputing my take, had reservations on it. Kewl, this is why we get together.
Let’s be honest, my friends, all people, act from self interest. Rich people give millions to charity as much for the recognition and praise as for simply doing the right thing. If it was just doing the right thing, they’d do it anonymously, like the guy with the gold coins in the Salvation Army Christmas pots. Even common people, who volunteer their time spooning out Dinty Moore beef stew for homeless people, or wrapping blankets around hurricane survivors get the warm glow from their selfless actions. There is personal satisfaction in doing the right thing, but there is also recognition.
Jeff Flake is a politician. And politics is as addictive as any other activity someone is passionate about. Anybody who has ever played a sport competitively, for a long time, knows this. No matter how old you get, you still dream of picking up the bat again, or the hockey stick, or dribbling the ball. Retirement brings as much regret for the fact that it’s over as it does fond memories of past feats.
There is going to be a “post Trump” world, even for conservatives. Conservatives didn’t stop being conservatives just because they have an Orange Howler Monkey throwing shit balls all over their brand. The simple fact of the matter is that Trump supporters are the minority of the Republican party. They are not there because they are “true” conservatives, they’re there for Trump. And whenever Trump finally slithers out of the White House, they’ll slither right on out of the Republican party with him.
When Trump and his merry band of misfits finally check out, like a band that has trashed their hotel room, conservatives are going to want their party back. And Jeff Flake knows this. He isn’t getting blown away by the Trump hurricane, he’s evacuating inland. My aunt and uncle in the south suburbs of Chicago spent almost a year living in a double wide in the front yard when their house was destroyed by a tornado many years ago, while the house was rebuilt. Jeff Flake is moving into that double wide.
This stand on Brett Kavanaugh is Flake’s smoke signal to “true” conservatives that there are still fellow travelers out there to take up the mantle when the time is right. And this isn’t his first puff of smoke either. Last year he wrote a book, a love sonnet to the conservative movement and its principles. I’ve read passages of it here and there, and while it’s not my cup of tea, it is chicken soup for the conservative soul while the Trump virus rages in the body.
And Jeff Flake is not the only traditional Republican conservative taking this path. Ben Sasse of Nebraska is doing the same damn thing. Sasse has repeatedly earned the ire of His Lowness with public denunciations of his more boneheaded stunts, and has also written a couple of Air Supply love songs to conservatism. Sasse is in a better position to ride out the hurricane, since Nebraska is a little redder than Arizona, and Sasse is not up for reelection this cycle. Bob Corker has also made a public show of feuding with Herr Gropinfuror, but his position is weaker, due to his personal and business wealth, and the fact that a couple of his sell outs have come with embarrassing price tags in plain sight.
Hey, I’m not looking a present in the equines chops, and I have no reason to doubt Flake’s sincerity or principles. But we all act from self interest, and whether Trump wins or loses in 2020, by 2024 the GOP is going to be starting the renovations on their house. And Jeff Flake is going to be right there, with his “Bob the Builder” hat on, and with plans in his hot little hands. Whether it’s for his old Senate seat, or a Presidential run, you haven’t seen the last of Jeff Flake. This is a tactical retreat, not a full surrender.
The wait is over! Volume two of the trilogy, President Evil II: A Clodwork Orange is now available. Amazon is whining about me crashing their site, but the hell with them, I ain’t in this for their health. You can also find volume one, President Evil as well. And fear not, work on volume three is just beginning.
Cross posted on Politizoom.com
Joseph “Murfster35” Murphy is a lifelong liberal political junkie. Being born and raised in Chicago, he is no stranger to bare-knuckle politics.