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Flake’s Sudden Exit . . . Another Sign That Elite’s Duplicity Gives Voters A Weapon

October 29, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


PHOENIX — The Washington, D.C., swamp is in a trap of its own making, giving cage-rattling reformers a key advantage against the gnarly gators who’d prefer to keep snoozing in the corruption while the public demands action to save the United States.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was speaking both generally against the swamp critters and specifically against Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) at a rally in suburban Scottsdale on October 17 when Bannon denounced the elite’s rejection of voters, saying, “They hold you in total and complete contempt. They think you’re a group of morons.” (See last week’s Wanderer, p. 1.)
Elite politicians’ own arrogance and duplicity handed voters a rod to beat them with.
Exactly a week later, shaky one-term senator Flake announced on October 24 that he wouldn’t run to retain his seat in 2018. Flake insisted he was a true conservative, and both he and his many media cheerleaders had trouble acknowledging why he actually was so weak in a generally conservative state.
It was quiet when I dropped in to Flake’s office near my Phoenix home the morning of October 25. I asked the man behind the protective glass if there’d been any camera crews around. No, he said.
They had, however, surrounded him the previous day in Washington.
In a self-pitying Senate speech revealing his decision, Flake essentially portrayed himself as a model of moral magnificence, aghast at the raw evils of the Trump era.
Regretting “the coarseness of our leadership” and “the compromise of our moral authority,” Flake said, “It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.”
He denounced “the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals” and “the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons,” that betray “the people that we have all been elected to serve.”
Flake needed to look in the mirror but threw stones at others instead.
Except for Flake and his worshippers, politically conscious Arizonans remember how he ran for that Senate seat, which he narrowly won, in 2012.
His previous reputation while serving as a congressman was in favor of open borders, but, coveting the Senate spot, Flake announced he’d had a major conversion from his “dead end” stand.
Following up, he sent out a big, glossy, full-color mailer measuring 11 by 17 inches, headlined, “Jeff Flake: A tough, proven record on immigration.” (I still have a copy right here on my desk.)
With appropriate photos of sheriffs, border agents, and a long border barrier, the mailer proclaimed, “Build the fence. Secure our Border,” and, “No to Sanctuary Cities. Yes to Deportations.”
Highlighted in yellow for emphasis, a statement with Flake’s own signature at the bottom said the situation “calls for an exclusive focus on border security. Comprehensive immigration reform is a dead end. We must have a secure border” — then, without the emphatic yellow, the sentence concluded — “before addressing additional immigration reform.”
Just a few months later, in April 2013, new Sen. Flake was one of eight senators to announce their “Gang of Eight” bill for — yesss — “comprehensive immigration reform.” Flake had lied about his conversion to get elected, then quickly reverted to form.
On a different issue, back on November 11, 2013, reported that both Flake and his Arizona GOP teammate Sen. John McCain voted for the transgender “rights” ENDA bill after telling the conservative Center for Arizona Policy for its questionnaires that they opposed the idea.
Arizona was the only state to have two Republican senators both of whom voted for the sexual radicals’ ENDA bill, said.
Not to rehash the past, but Flake’s and McCain’s records of serious deception disprove their current pontifications that President Trump somehow brought unbearable dishonesty to their Washington world.
In his 2010 Senate re-election race, McCain’s advertising growled to “complete the danged fence,” then he promptly dropped that pose upon victory. In 2016 McCain insisted to voters that he was a leader to dump Obamacare. Once re-elected, he shocked the Senate by saying what he really wants is “bipartisan” reform of Obamacare along with Democrats — meaning Obamacare stays in place.
Also in his 2016 race, McCain’s team smeared conservative primary-election foe Kelli Ward with the false accusation that she promoted “chemtrails” conspiracies — a phony charge rejected even by the liberal Washington Post and PolitiFact.
Bannon had plenty of justification for telling restive voters in October 2017 that the elite “hold you in total and complete contempt. They think you’re a group of morons.”
Including the morally magnificent Jeff Flake’s contemptuous attitude to voters who won’t tolerate him any longer.
The Flake-loving, leftish Arizona Republic, the state’s largest daily newspaper, reported on October 25 that Flake told it he wasn’t willing to take a path that “I can’t in good conscience take” because he’d have to “believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration, and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”
Considering his record of deceiving voters, Flake must know they don’t accept his claims to a sparkling conscience now suffering under the baleful Trump. Hmm, Trump is destroying the nation, but Flake is so offended that he retires from the field?
The Republic was quick to edit the facts to vouch for Flake’s purity in its news story, falsely claiming, “Throughout his 17-year political career, Flake has championed comprehensive immigration reform.” Did the paper already forget the 2012 immigration switcheroo?
The morning of October 25, Hugh Hewitt, a self-described “center-right” national radio talk host, not a tough conservative, expressed his irritation with “these Senate prima donnas” and their broken congressional chamber. This is why Trump was elected president, Hewitt said — Washington wasn’t doing its job.
Interviewing a different senator, liberal Chris Coons (D., Del.), Hewitt said, “And I think a lot of Americans are just disgusted with your institution, senator. I think they think the Senate is the source of all paralysis, and I’m not a Bannonite, right? I’m kind of a center-right guy. But I do think the Senate’s broken.”
Hewitt noted that anti-Trump Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) was so busy tweeting that Trump is leading the U.S. to World War III that Corker, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, failed to get a long list of Trump’s selections to be ambassadors confirmed.
“And I’ve been really hitting on the chairman,” Hewitt said, “because that’s not the way you act if you’re really worried about World War III. You get people into their posts.”
The Senate seat that Flake won in 2012 had opened up with the surprise retirement of powerful incumbent Republican Jon Kyl, who was viewed as safe for re-election.
Flake was known to be eager for the seat if it became available, but Arizona GOP Cong. Trent Franks said he was thinking of running for that spot, too. However, after a few weeks Franks removed himself from contention.
The reasons Franks gave for backing off, like wanting to spend time with his family, wouldn’t have been any different a few weeks earlier, and Arizonans were left to speculate whether Arizona powerbrokers had waved their magic wands to discourage Franks.
Interestingly, as soon as Flake announced he wouldn’t run for a second Senate term, Franks released a generous statement on October 24 saying: “In spite of our sometimes stark political differences, I consider Sen. Jeff Flake a truly decent human being and a man who loves God, his country, and his fellow human beings. I wish him and his family the very best God can give them during his remaining time in the Senate and going forward in life.”

A Bad Job

Soon after losing to McCain in the 2016 GOP primary, former State Sen. Kelli Ward declared she was in the race against Flake. Ward surged in early polls when she was seen as the anti-Flake. It remains to be seen how she holds up when some other candidate now may enter the race for the August 2018 GOP primary.
The Wanderer asked a few Arizona figures for how they think Flake’s withdrawal affects the contest.
Rob Haney, retired chairman of the Phoenix-based Maricopa County Republican Party and a longtime foe of Flake and McCain, said:
“I cannot imagine that Sen. Flake decided to withdraw of his own volition. I believe it is more likely the establishment powerbrokers helped Flake read the political tea leaves. They would have sadly informed Flake that he had cooked his own goose with his Trump-bashing, and that they needed a less tarnished representative to carry the McCain flag against Kelli Ward in the primary.
“State Treasurer Jeff DeWit has strong ties to Trump and so would be a less likely candidate to represent the liberal McCain faction,” Haney said. “And former (Arizona) GOP Chairman Robert Graham is so widely recognized as an over-the-top McCain operative that he has become a pariah to the Republican base, although DeWit backed him strongly for RNC chairman, which in turn gives me a concern about a DeWit candidacy,” Haney said.
“Jay Heiler is being pushed by former Gov. Jan Brewer, an unabashed McCain supporter. Heiler has worked in the establishment bureaucracy for decades and would be a strong McCain representative if he had better name recognition. If the GOP elites can’t find a better sacrificial lamb for Ward, they just might settle on announced far-left Democrat U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema as their default candidate to defeat Ward,” he said.
When Flake’s re-election weakness became apparent, Sinema announced she was running for the Democratic nomination for his seat.
“It would not be the first time they preferred a liberal Democrat over a true conservative,” Haney said. “In 2002, they formed a PAC called Republicans for Janet to elect their pro-abortion, liberal Democrat choice for governor (Janet Napolitano) over pro-life conservative U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon.”
Attorney and political activist John Jakubczyk said Flake is “frustrated with the state of Congress and probably also frustrated with the administration….He probably doesn’t like having to deal with a race” where Ward isn’t “the typical candidate.”
Also, Jakubczyk said, people were upset with Flake “disagreeing with a lot of things Trump has said.”
GOP campaign consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer: “I opined publicly back in September that Flake needed to get out of the race and, while I’m quite certain he didn’t consider or take my advice, it is clear that he and his campaign team saw the same things the rest of us were seeing. He could not win the GOP primary. So he was right to retire.”
Asked if it seemed weak that Flake wouldn’t even run in the primary, Querard replied, “I don’t think ‘weak’ is a fair word for it. But it is the first time that Flake has admitted that he has done a bad job of representing the values of the Republican Party the way he promised to.”
Q. Previously I read that Jeff DeWit wouldn’t get into the primary race and split the results. Do you think that changes with Flake’s exit?
A. It is possible that someone who said no previously suddenly says yes now. But we would have to ask why they took a pass on a race where they could have had the president’s endorsement and probably $10 million to $15 million in support, then changed their minds once those incentives were likely removed. DeWit is a special case because I think he would have the president’s support even without Flake in the race, but he has been the most reluctant to run, so it would be a surprise to see him get into the race. . . .
Q. Do you think Flake’s tone announcing his departure sounded excessively moralistic? If Trump is so awful, Flake cedes the field to him?
At this point Querard referred The Wanderer to an October 24 post by pundit Ben Shapiro at The Daily Wire saying that Trump didn’t destroy Flake, Flake destroyed himself by adopting a number of liberal positions.
Q. I see the Senate Leadership Fund says Ward still won’t be the nominee. What do you think SLF has in mind to win?
A. I have no idea who SLF has in mind, but this is a group that claims their mission is to protect the GOP majority in the Senate, yet they have abandoned Roy Moore, the GOP nominee in Alabama, so I’d be wary of their ultimate choice.
Q. Do you think the Arizona Republic and establishment are primed to ram Sinema into that seat now?
A. I think Sinema’s path to victory just got a lot more complicated. She got in planning on Flake or Ward and now it’s very likely it won’t be either. That’s not good for Sinema or her backers.

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