Last week Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced that he would not seek re-election. In a self-aggrandizing speech before the United States Senate, Mr. Flake decried the coarseness of American politics and laid the blame for it squarely at President Donald Trump’s feet.
Apparently Mr. Flake missed the last three decades of political discourse beginning with the “politics of personal destruction” authored by former President Bill Clinton and his cadre of sleaze merchants – Paul Begala, James Carville and Hillary Clinton. Or maybe he was so insulated during his tenure in Congress that he missed the Swiftboating of John Kerry, or the condescending remarks from former President Barack Obama about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA). Or the all out war among the 2016 Republican presidential aspirants. And maybe Mr. Flake has not read the newspapers or watched the talking heads on network and cable television while they engaged in the most demeaning, insulting and condescending comments regarding a sitting President of the United States – right down to questioning his mental stability, his intelligence, his relationship with his wife and even the size of his penis. Or maybe he missed the statements of empty headed starlets and empty headed congressional members urging and offering to assassinate the President of the United States.
Mr. Flake must have missed all of that because he remained curiously silent in response to all of this over the last three decades. It is only now that he has been subjected to criticism by Mr. Trump that he has risen in righteous indignation. It is only now after his polling numbers in Arizona indicate that, even if he could survive a primary challenge from Dr. Kelli Ward, he would surely lose to Democrat Rep. Krysten Sinema, that Mr. Flake decries the coarseness of politics today. Mr. Flake’s new found sensitivities may be real but they are certainly suspect.
Mr. Flake may have missed all of that but I doubt it because he is a member of Washington’s political elite – the smartest people on earth. The very people who know what’s best for you despite your ignorant and contrary opinions. (You may want to watch to see if Mr. Flake returns to Arizona – the place he purported to represent – or continues to support the entrenched Washington establishment as a lobbyist for this or that cause.)
Mr. Flake’s re-election efforts may have suffered some from his dust ups with Mr. Trump but his real problem is that he says one thing in Arizona and votes differently in Washington, DC. That is particularly true regarding illegal immigration and international trade restrictions. Mr. Flake was one of the “Gang of Eight” that crafted an “immigration reform” package that provided a path to citizenship (amnesty) for the 20 million illegal aliens and paid only lip service to strengthening our border security. (It focused on apprehension rather than border security providing a mere $1.5 Billion spread over several years for updating fencing.) The continuing flood of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico into Arizona would never have decreased with such minimalist attention to border security and given the provisions for amnesty would probably have resulted in a new flood of illegals.
Mr. Flake was also a strong supporter of the job killing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and objected to any changes in its status – in fact any examination of its provisions. In doing so Mr. Flake demonstrated that he was more concerned with the benefits to Mexico than he was to the burdens on American companies and American workers.
But it is his equivocation over the repeated question as to whether the United States would have been better off had Hillary Clinton (D) won the presidential election. This is the same Hillary Clinton that has been mired in money-grubbing scandals since her husband, former President Bill Clinton (D) was first elected governor of Arkansas and continuing through Mr. Clinton’s presidency, her service in the United States Senate and her service as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. This is the same Hillary Clinton who portrayed herself as the Grand Dame of the women’s movement but led the charge on trashing the accusers of Mr. Clinton’s lifetime of sexual abuse. This is the same Hillary Clinton who has lied so often and so regularly that she is no longer capable of discerning between the truth and her lies. This is the same Hillary Clinton who helped engineer the sale of twenty percent of the nation’s uranium stockpile to Vladmir Putin’s corrupt Russian regime. This is the same Hillary Clinton who would have turned the White House into an auction house to further enhance the nearly $200 Million that the Clinton’s have acquired to date by selling influence. And Mr. Flake cannot see the difference between a genuine sleaze bag like Ms. Clinton and a trash talking New Yorker like Mr. Trump – a man, unlike Ms. Clinton, who made his money the old-fashion way – he earned it.
Mr. Flake’s decades of silence over the increasing coarseness of national politics coupled with his seeming ambivalence over the money-grubbing dishonesty of the Clintons disqualifies him from having his remarks taken seriously. It’s just another instance of a loser seeking to cast blame on everybody but himself. Just like another prominent loser – Hillary Rodham Clinton.