Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Jeff Flake

I had another post planned for today, but evens go ahead of me and here I am, once again, bemoaning the sorry state of American politics.

Jeff Flake, my junior Senator, is trading in complicity for..... hmmmmm..... a run for the Presidency in 2020?  His remarks on the Senate floor are worth reading in full, but here are some of the pieces I liked the best:
I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our – all of our – complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.
Well, you don't hear that every day.

He called them all out for being complicit; it's every bit as powerful as SNL's Ivanka Trump perfume ad, and every bit as true.

My soon-to-be-former-Senator went on.
But we must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue – with the tone set at the top.
We must never regard as “normal” the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country - the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.
I wonder if he's been listening in to my dinner conversations over the past 10 months?  Petty.  Having nothing to do with .... the people (he's) elected to serve. He sounds like TBG and me, changing from the news because it's spoiling our digestion.

There's more. He's finally come to the point at which those of us who've been paying attention for a long time began:
With respect and humility, I must say that we have fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. We know better than that. By now, we all know better than that.
Yup, he is what he is and he's not going to change, neither sooner nor later.  This is a man who brags that he has never said I'm Sorry.  Such hubris is, as Sen. Flake goes on to say, quite dangerous:
When we remain silent and fail to act when we know that that silence and inaction is the wrong thing to do – because of political considerations, because we might make enemies, because we might alienate the base, because we might provoke a primary challenge, because ad infinitum, ad nauseam – when we succumb to those considerations in spite of what should be greater considerations and imperatives in defense of the institutions of our liberty, then we dishonor our principles and forsake our obligations. Those things are far more important than politics.
He is talking about the soul of not just the Republican Party but of the Republicans themselves.  They are so busy keeping their jobs they are forgetting to do their jobs.  
 Leadership knows where the buck stops. Humility helps. Character counts. Leadership does not knowingly encourage or feed ugly and debased appetites in us.
Leadership lives by the American creed: E Pluribus Unum. From many, one.
We were not made great as a country by indulging or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorying in the things which divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake. And we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how hard-won and vulnerable they are. 
I still think he's wrong on guns.  I still think he's wrong on reproductive rights.  I still think his votes on Repeal and Replace were misguided.  I think that his book was the first shot and this is the second shot across the bow of I'm Running for President

Right now, though, I really don't care.  Right now he's standing in the well of the Senate decrying the desecration of our American values by the man in the Oval Office, a member of his own party, a demagogue with a Twitter feed.  Right now, that constitutes bravery.

I'm proud of him today.


  1. He is saying important things right now. I still wonder how it was that he (and anyone else) failed to see all the signs that I thought were so very clear from the beginning, but better late than never.

    1. Yes, he did say mportant this nags. Too bad he’s being marginalized this morning. Where are the rest of his Republican colleagues?

  2. That was the second volley in a run for the '20 presidency. His book was the first. I don't know how well he'll fare with Republicans. Independents might go for him but he's a religious conservative with views on things like choice which will make him hard for liberals to swallow. I have never liked him but in reading his positions on issues, after this speech, he appears to have principles that would have never let him do what McCain did to win in Arizona-- i.e. pretend to be more conservative than he is on issues like immigration and trade. [This is a really shallow observation; but he's such a handsome guy, that i wish he'd get his nose fixed. I can't look at him without thinking that when he had it broken, couldn't he have pushed is straight? I did on mine ;). I know, silly observation.

    Basically, I don't trust Republicans period on some issues that matter a lot to me. I can't see myself ever voting for someone who opposed choice for women as it always is about more than that as in how they see women incapable of making their own decision on what to me is a big issue for control of a woman's life. He did though give a little on gun control with some checks on who can buy-- and seems like a nice guy. It's hard to say if he could get the nomination in today's Republican party but in a year or two it might seem different if the extreme element becomes more threatening to mainstream Republicans. Bannon is going to make that more and more clear what is at stake.

    1. He’s a nice guy who voted wrong on every gun bill even after sitting on stage with Gabby a year after she was shot. I give him credit for speaking out: he’ll be able to answer his kids questions in the future with a clear conscience.
      I’ll take a look at his nose........

  3. One more thing, Olga, Flake never favored Trump. I think he was a Cruz guy.


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