Jeff Flake is hopelessly out of touch.
The Arizona senator, who is not running for re-election in 2018 because he would lose the Arizona Republican primary, traveled to New Hampshire Friday to tell an audience he hopes that President Donald Trump is primaried in 2020 and that he has not ruled out a run for president. Flake’s distaste for Trump is well documented, but now he is openly toying with challenging the president directly.
“It has not been in my plans to run for president, but I have not ruled it out,” Flake said at the “Politics and Eggs” speaker series at Saint Anselm College. “I hope that that someone does run in the Republican primary, somebody to challenge the president. I think that the Republicans want to be reminded what it means to be a traditional, decent Republican.” It’s not in his plans, says the Republican not-candidate in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire a full two and a half years before the 2020 presidential election. Right.
In a 20-minute speech and during follow-up questions, Flake poured out his bleeding heart, condemning fellow Republicans for “accommodation” with President Trump, lamenting the “propaganda-fueled dystopian view of conservatism,” warning that young Americans are in “a dead sprint” away from the Republican party.
“Resentment and anger are simply not a governing philosophy,” Flake said, condemning the “nativist” “populism” he believes helped Trump gain the office. He predicted the president’s downfall.
“Not today, but two years from now, possibly,” Flake said. “Things can unravel pretty fast. As soon as he’s viewed as one who loses majorities in the House and the Senate, and there’s no chance that someone in the 30s can win re-election, people might move on.”
Flake fundamentally misunderstands why Donald Trump is president of the United States and why Republicans are in power. He demonstrates, in both his speeches and his service in Congress, that he does not understand the conservative movement.
Donald Trump was not elected because of his insults or his frequent misleading or false statements, but in spite of them. Trump was elected because he campaigned on conservative issues: securing the border with strategic fencing and a wall; fully repealing Obamacare; unleashing the engine of the American economy through tax cuts and regulatory rollback; supporting the Second Amendment with concealed carry reciprocity; opposing Obama’s unconstitutional DACA amnesty; opposing liberal international agreements like the Paris climate accord, which undermined American sovereignty; opposing capitulation to rogue foreign states like Iran and North Korea.
These are the same issues that Republicans campaigned on to claim their majorities in Congress. If Donald Trump and the Republicans are unpopular and lose their majorities, it is not because they pursued a “dystopian” agenda. It’s because they failed to repeal Obamacare, passed massive spending increases, worked to enshrine Obama’s illegal amnesty, and pursued gun control instead of keeping their promises to voters. The GOP is failing to give voters a reason to vote for them. And wishy-washy virtue-signaling faux conservatives like Jeff Flake are the root of the problem.
If President Trump loses a primary challenge, it will be for the same reason Flake would’ve lost his primary challenge: because he has failed to keep his promises to conservatives.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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