Sen. Jeff Flake could save America, but will he demonstrate a ‘Profiles in Courage’ moment? (Update: No)

It has always been my experience that Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is all talk and no action. He has received undeserved credit for his speeches warning against the crypto-fascism of Trumpism, because he fails to take any concrete actions to actually do anything to stop it. He consistently votes with Trumpkin positions out of GOP tribalism.

Senator Flake has been completely ineffectual as a senator, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, if Senator Flake is ready for his “Profiles in Courage” moment, he is now in a position to demonstrate true courage, and that actions speak louder than words in the waning days of his Senate career by saving America from the crypto-fascist Trumpism that he decries.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) confirmed Tuesday that he plans to block President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees until Senate Republican leaders allow a vote on legislation aimed at restricting the president’s authority to impose tariffs. Jeff Flake: I Will Block Trump Judicial Nominees Until GOP Votes on Tariffs.

Tariffs?! That’s what gets your panties in a bunch? How about the good of the country and the preservation of our constitutional democracy? Big picture, senator.

“We need to vote on tariffs,” Flake told The Daily Beast. “I’m committed to getting a vote on tariffs. That’s all I’ll say.”

Flake sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the president’s judicial nominees. But Republicans only have an 11 to 10 majority on that panel, meaning that if Flake votes with Democrats to block nominations, the Senate’s calendar would essentially grind to a halt. It would also present a political headache for Senate GOP leaders, who have touted the record pace of judicial confirmations under Trump.

“I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the president’s executive calendar, his nominees, judges, that we have no reason to be there,” Flake said Sunday on ABC’s This Week, previewing his ultimate decision to vote with Democrats in preventing judicial nominees from receiving a vote on the Senate floor.

The Arizona senator, like many of his GOP colleagues, has long opposed the president’s trade policies, including his recent decisions to impose tariffs on U.S. allies.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) [also retiring] drafted a bipartisan bill that would restrict Trump’s ability to impose some tariffs. It would require congressional approval for any tariffs designated under the president’s national security authority. But Republican leaders on both sides of the Capitol have balked at the legislation in part because they say they are wary of picking a fight with Trump ahead of the midterm elections.

Republican senators emerging from their weekly policy lunch on Tuesday indicated that lawmakers were discussing whether to attach Corker’s bill as an amendment to the farm bill, which the Senate is voting on this week.

“We’re trying to work things out on a tariff vote, whether it’s on the farm bill or something else,” Flake said. “There are some people who feel strongly not to have it on the farm bill, think[ing] it might endanger the farm bill.”

Then came Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announced retirement from the Supreme Court yesterday. New calculation senator: it’s easy for you to posture on tariffs, but now what are you going to do about a Supreme Court Justice?

I am not optimistic. Senator Flake is his usual wishy-washy self. He enjoys the public attention he receives, but he never actually does anything. Senator Flake issued this statement after Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement:

As I have said before, approving a principled conservative who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench should be our top priority. As we turn toward filling this seat, I look forward to the Senate fulfilling its responsibility of providing advice and consent during a robust confirmation process.”

Doesn’t sound like a “principled conservative” who is ready to make a principled stand in a “Profiles in Courage” moment, does it? Sounds more like another cowardly Republican who will cave under the pressure of GOP tribalism, his oath of office to defend the Constitution be damned.

If Flake was actually going to do anything, this would have been the time to declare his intentions to make a stand that “no further judicial nominees will be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the remainder of this Congress.”

Every Arizonan, and every American, should bring great pressure to bear on Senator Jeff Flake to follow through on his threat to hold up Trump’s judicial nominees, not for tariffs, but for the good of the country and the preservation of our constitutional democracy.

Finally demonstrate that you possess true courage, Senator, at this critical moment in American history, or be condemned by history as the man who could have saved America but failed to act.

UPDATE: History will condemn you, senator, as the man who could have saved America but failed to act.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he would not hold up President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat as leverage in his push to get a vote on the President’s tariffs.

“There are lots of folks out there who assume because I’ve not been in line with lots of the President’s policies, and certainly haven’t condoned his behavior, that I should oppose everything, every one of the President’s nominees or whatever,” Flake told the Arizona Republic. “I’ve never taken that position.”

“I certainly wasn’t anticipating a Supreme Court vacancy, but it’s unaffected,” he added.

Folded like a cheap suit. Party before country, just like every other Republican.

15 responses to “Sen. Jeff Flake could save America, but will he demonstrate a ‘Profiles in Courage’ moment? (Update: No)

  1. Flake is a non effective waste of taxpayers money. He is a cult member which appears to be how he got elected . they take care of each other ONLY !
    Shameful that he is a Senator supposed to uphold the Constitution and look at what a mess he is ! Horrible .
    Try to get him to look in another direction other than Trump bashing and he will not work on what he was elected for ! .

  2. I’m not hopeful about Jeff Flake but I think it’s a good idea to flood his senate offices with calls from constituents demanding that he block Trump’s judicial nominees.

    Jeff Flake is 55 years old. I think we can safely assume he isn’t ready to ride off into the sunset. While he tries to present himself as a “conservative with a conscience”, there appears to be no evidence, certainly not in his voting record, that he is different from any other toe-the-line Republican in Congress.

    It remains to be seen what he has planned for his career after Congress. But whatever it is, he apparently believes that voting against the party line would be an obstacle.

    Flake is all about Flake.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      The rumors are that Flake is considering a run against Trump in 2020.

      He can’t vote against a SCOTUS nominee and still get the Trump base to vote for him.

      Hoping for Flake to do anything nobel flies in the face of his record and his lack of moral character.

      When someone shows you who they are….

      • It certainly didn’t take him long to cave. I guess he didn’t want all that social media pressure similar to what he got on the ACA repeal and replace vote.

        Jeff Flake to decent, fair minded Americans: Don’t beg for my vote. I have to think of myself first. Then my family. Then my Party and my wealthy donors, then…

        We aren’t on his list.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        This post displays a level of cluelessness never before seen on BfA.

        • Sen. John Kavanagh

          By this post I meant Tom not Lisa. Although Lisa is also divorced from reality but she is at least on our planet.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Ouch! Such a vicious attack! My inner snowflake has been triggered!

          Since you’ve posted clueless comments here dozens and dozens of times, I’m up against some pretty strong competition for the Most Clueless Award, perhaps you could elaborate?

          And for goodness sake, John, please think about your responses before you post.

          For once.

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            Flake did not run for reelection because he could never win the primary. If he cannot win in his home state, how could he knock off an incumbent president who is popular within his party. Find a “safe space,” Tom.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Flake has not ruled out a run in 2020, and you do not need to be popular in your home state to run, or even win, see Trump, who has been considered a clown and failed businessman in NY for decades. He couldn’t even win in his hometown of Manhattan.

            So other than failing at insulting me, what exactly is your point?

            I said there is no way Flake will vote against Trump’s SCOTUS pick, because that would eliminate any chance he could have.

            I never said he’d win, but I did ask you to think about your comment before posting, and it’s clear you did not.

            How is it you keep getting elected?

          • For Sure Not Tom

            So this is your way of admitting you made a mistake and have no idea what you’re talking about, that you started this exchange with a silly attack on me because you misunderstood the point of the discussion, and are now trying to deflect and hide your embarrassment with an indirect attack on my patriotism.

            You lose, sir, good day. 🙂

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            “…with an indirect attack on my patriotism.”

            ?????????????????? What are you talking about

          • For Sure Not Tom

            You asked me if I have a problem with democracy. That is an attack on my patriotism.

            You don’t realize that because your party tries to prevent people from voting, which is un-American.

            Look, man, I get it, you pushed SB1070, it cost Arizona over 2 billion dollars and counting because you didn’t think it through, and now your party leader was the birther king who had to admit he was lying the whole time and who ran the Trump University scam and grabbed all them pussy’s, you’re embarrassed, so you lash out at people online.

            It’s okay, John, a Blue Wave is coming, we’ll fix up the mess you’ve been making.

        • Sen. John Kavanagh

          I get elected because the voters prefer my views to my Democratic opponents views. It is called democracy. You got a problem with dat?

    • Sen. John Kavanagh

      Flake is a libertarian, which is close to conservatism but not conservatism. Flake has burned his bridges with Arizona conservatives. Flake is not voting to please the party. He is beyond that. He is voting his beliefs.