There are legitimate ways for conservatives and Republicans to be critical of Donald Trump. We saw a lot of it during the last presidential primaries, though most on the Right overcame their objections to Trump after he won in 2016. Nevertheless, there are still principled conservative critics like Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) who stand up for Trump when they think he is right and call him out when he’s not.
And then there are people like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Flake came out swinging against Trump during the primaries and didn’t desist after Trump’s election. Instead, he’s built himself into the anti-Trump Republican and has become a media darling for it. The same left-wing media that would label as a hater any other Republican who shared Flake’s positions is hailing him as a hero because he seemingly opposes Trump no matter what he does, to the detriment of the country.
Flake has vowed to block all of Trump’s judicial nominees until he can get a vote on a bill to shield special counsel Robert Mueller in the never-ending Russia investigation. Never mind that nothing substantive has come out of the interminable investigation, or that Trump has said over and over that he will not fire Mueller, as much as he wants to. Or that there are over 100 federal judicial vacancies to fill, and Democrat stall tactics are slowing things to a crawl.
Flake has decided to bring the process to a complete stop, and he is now enjoying some rare, fleeting praise from the media and D.C. elite for opposing Trump. Although Senate Republicans are furious with him, he doesn’t care because he’s having his moment in the liberal sun and enjoying it. Meanwhile, what will likely become the centerpiece of Trump’s term(s) in office — the restoration of the federal judiciary through filling dozens of vacancies with constitutionalist judges — is suffering. Rather than spend the last weeks of his term fighting for constitutionalist judges, Flake is grandstanding.
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Maybe he wants a high-paying gig as a contributor to CNN or MSNBC, or as a lobbyist in D.C. like most of his former colleagues. Undoubtedly, he’ll get offers as soon as he leaves office in January. But his short-sighted, self-promotional stunts are of little benefit to a country that demands an end to the activist judiciary.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore