Jeff Flake, the fake


I’d bet Ken Tingley is struggling to scrub the three-egg omelet from his mug.

“Flake conjur[e]s up a ‘Profiles-in-Courage’ moment,” says the headline on his column in the Glens Falls, N.Y., Post-Star, where he’s the editor.

“For some time, I’ve been waiting for that ‘Profiles-in-Courage‘ moment from someone, anyone in Washington,” he wrote of Sen. Jeff Flake on Sept. 30.

“I wondered if it would ever happen, if anyone would ever stand up and do the right thing in choosing what is morally correct over what is politically expedient.”

Friday, Jeff Flake opted for the latter. He toed the party line and voted to send Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to today’s floor vote. He also said he’d vote for Trump’s Supreme Court pick “unless something big changes,” tweeted Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post.

Flake voted for Kavanaugh in the 50-48 tally that put Kavanaugh on the court.

Jeff Flake had raised Democratic hopes when he sidetracked for a week the GOP’s Kavanaugh Express by calling for an FBI investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s charges that the nominee sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

“It does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover, for example,” Flake bloviated. “We actually need to find out what we can find out.”

Flake needed a fig leaf. Trump made sure the investigation would be bogus. No matter – it gave Flake the excuse he needed to get on board with Kavanaugh.

Tingley gushed that “Flake…following in the footsteps of the late Sen. John’s McCain’s early-morning thumbs-down vote on health care last year, came the closest Friday.”

Jeff Flake didn’t make this old reporter think of McCain, or of JFK’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Instead, Flake reminded me of an immortal scene from the movie Animal House. I mean the one where the Omegas team up with Dean Wormer to drag the Deltas before a college kangaroo court. (Boof Kavanaugh would have been an Omega.)

The Deltas know the trial is a sham, that they are being railroaded off campus. So, they start coughing to barely disguise a rude term that applies to Flake and his approval of the fraudulent, Trump-directed FBI probe.

Flake was a fake all along. His beef with Trump is based on style, not substance. It’s Trump’s boorish bigotry—not the president’s politics—that riles Flake, who is leaving the Senate after his term expires.

Like the president, Flake is a union-busting social Darwinist. Flake has supported Trump’s position on legislation nearly 87 percent of the time, according to Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump.

In contrast to the Tinsley editorial, Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini wasn’t ready to nominate Flake for a sequel to Profiles in Courage.

Three days before Tinsley penned his paean to Flake, Montini wrote, “This is it. Last chance for the tough-talking, justice-touting, truth-seeking Sen. Jeff Flake to actually do something tough, champion justice, and seek the truth.

“Or he can fold … again.”


Cross-posted with permission from the KY AFL-CIO site.

Berry Craig
Berry Craig of Mayfield is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and an author of five books on the Civil War in Kentucky. The last one, published by the University Press of Kentucky, is Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media in the Civil War. His critically-acclaimed Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase, also from the University Press, has been reprinted in paperback.