Okay, so let’s just acknowledge what anyone with a brain knows: Arizona Senator Jeff Flake decided not to run for re-election in 2018 because he was going to get beat. He saw the polls – one showing him trailing his primary Republican opponent by a staggering 47%-21% margin, he knew the temperament of his electorate, he recognized that conservatives had grown disgusted with his performance, he read the tea leaves, and he decided to get out.
I can’t fault him for not wanting to campaign for what he believed in and getting beat. Some people don’t like to lose.
But I can fault him for the pretense. See, Flake also knew that to save face, he needed to make his exit appear to be something other than surrendering to inevitable defeat. He couldn’t handle being bested, so he tried to “best.” And therefore, bemoaning the state of Trump-era politics, Flake postured as though he were taking the high road and exiting the Senate because he just had too much character to campaign as a Republican in the age of Donald Trump.
Flake may be a conservative sellout since ascending to his Senate seat, but he’s no dummy. He’s about to be unemployed, and landing a lucrative lobbying or analyst job requires some positive media. What better way to get that than to trash the media’s favorite enemy-in-chief?
And if there was ever any debate over whether that was what Arizona’s junior Senator was doing, he just settled it with another publicity stunt. But this one was so conscience-shocking that it almost defies description.
Taking aim at embattled and accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Flake tweeted out a picture of a $100 contribution check made out to Moore’s Senate opponent, Democrat Doug Jones. Flake included the three-word caption:
“Country over party.”
Someone should tell him he misspelled “publicity over principle.”
His donation and accompanying caption reveal a great deal about Jeff Flake, and very little of it is good. Starting with the positive, this certainly demonstrates Flake’s opposition to supporting candidates for public office who have been credibly accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old. That’s good.
But writing a check to Doug Jones is more than just a condemnation of Moore – it’s a commendation of Doug Jones. And that’s something a principled or reasonable conservative would never do – in any circumstance. Remember besides everything else he is wrong about, here’s Doug Jones on the most important issue there is:
“I'm not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman's right and her freedom to choose [to have her baby legally dismembered in the womb]. That's just the position that I've had for many years. It's a position I continue to have. But I want to make sure people understand, that once a baby is born, I'm going to be there for that child. That's where I become a right-to-lifer.”
To be clear, Jones just stated he believes that a person’s right to life commences when that person is born. That means a baby in the womb is not a person in the fantasy land of Doug Jones. And that’s who Jeff Flake, supposedly a “principled conservative” just financially endorsed to his supporters.
Let’s hasten to add that acknowledging Doug Jones doesn’t belong anywhere close to the U.S. Senate given his opposition to the most fundamental unalienable right established in America’s founding document, does not equate to saying that Roy Moore does belong there.
Just like in the presidential election of 2016, you don’t have to vote for either one.
Let’s assume for a second that every accusation against Moore is accurate (the position Flake obviously takes) and that he is a molester who preyed upon children. If that is the case, here’s what a principled conservative – or even just a decent person – would conclude:
Those who find it morally acceptable to molest children do not belong in the Senate. Those who find it morally acceptable to kill children do not either.