March 22, 2018

Flake: I'll Pick My Battles Against Trump

03 August 2017, 07:54 | Christie Tate

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

In "denial": In an excerpt at Politico, Flake accuses Republicans of being in denial at the lack of "normalcy" in the Trump White House.

As much as Trump and his base supporters hate the "Establishment" and its backbone, what Trump followers call "RINOS", he can not succeed as president without it. Throwing them out of the White House sets up Trump's administration for failure. Trump capitalized on frustration and alienation with the two-party system.

This is a DIRECT shot at McConnell.

"I want to support our nominee, I really do", Flake said at the time. "See if we can't put some wins on the board" on bills revamping the tax system and building public works projects, he said.

Flake also raised issue with the way the President has handled foreign policy, adding he has "tremendous confidence" in Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But in the book Flake proudly claims to be a "globalist".

Which is true. So often, when I break down with legal scholars whether something Trump or his team did crosses a legal line, their answer is: Maybe, but it's an open question whether you can prosecute a sitting president. John McCain from the right previous year, nearly immediately announced a primary challenge to Flake.

All this comes as Trump has been publicly savaging Attorney General Jeff Sessions, menacing Republicans who kicked to the curb the "skinny repeal" of Obamacare, and running the White House like America's temp agency. Further, Flake chides his party for not recognizing that Trump's campaign was "far from conservative" and only lending credence to "the importance of conflict in reality television" and Trump's resulting inability to "de-escalate" conflict at any point. "And I'm afraid they're seeing too much of that". Ignoring them isn't an option. Eliminating the filibuster would cede more power to the executive branch.

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Trump lost my congressional district by thousands of votes and nearly dragged my Republican congressman Darrell Issa down with him. Abdicating that responsibility for political purposes is simply not acceptable, Flake argues.

But movements by House centrists seldom bear fruit in the House, where the rules give the majority party ironclad control, and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., offered little encouragement.

This is exactly the siren call Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans have been looking for from Congress' so-called "principled conservatives".

The Trump political apparatus has engaged in conversations with Jeff DeWit, the former chief financial officer of the Trump campaign and current Arizona state treasurer, and Robert Graham, a financial adviser and former chair of the Arizona Republican Party, about potential runs.

"We can not claim to place the highest premium on character, then abruptly suspend the importance of character in the most vital civic decision that we make", Flake wrote. His thesis is that conservatives have permitted the forces of populism, protectionism, and demagoguery - personified in Donald Trump - to take over Republican party politics for the short-term goal of winning elections.

From the left, protesters pressuring him over the health care debate have practically made a second home of Flake's offices in Phoenix and Washington with protests in D.C. resulting in arrests twice this month.

This reflects just how radically different Trump's views on Russian Federation are from his party. "In 2017, we seem to have lost our appreciation for just how hard won and vulnerable those institutions are". Those are very strong words coming from any politician but especially from a conservative Republican.

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