Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is not a popular man in GOP circles at the moment.
This isn’t an unusual position for Flake. The retiring Arizona Republican has made NeverTrumpism a kind of calling card as he reaches the end of his last term in the Senate. Not that this is the end of his run as a politician, mind you; he’s held out the possibility of a 2020 primary challenge to President Trump.
So, perhaps what happened Friday was a campaign calculation. After previously saying he would vote to get Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the floor, Flake dramatically announced he wanted a one-week FBI investigation into Kavanaugh before he would vote yes on the floor; one week of Bureau digging would apparently make him “feel better” about the nominee.
“I’m simply stating the discussion that we had between us all is that I would hope and I think we had some agreement before that the Democrats who have been — I think — justifiably uncomfortable moving ahead, could publicly, in an effort to bring this country together, say that we would feel better,” Flake said.
“I’m not expecting them to vote yes … but not to complain that an FBI investigation has not occurred. This is what I’m trying to do. This country is being ripped apart here. We’ve got to make sure that we do due diligence.”
Allrighty then. We’ve had the hearing. We’ve had the first background check. One more week will do … what?
Well, according to some high-ranking GOP officials, it’ll make Jeff Flake feel a lot better about being Jeff Flake. Except they were somewhat less, ahem, delicate about devastating him over the Kavanaugh debacle.
“He’s a pompous a– who has lost his f—ing mind,” one source told the Daily Wire.
“He betrayed the Republican Party and went full-Democrat,” the anonymous official continued.
“He did not consider how his actions will affect the America that his grandchildren will grow up in and whether they will have the same freedoms that we have today.”
That’s because, according to the official, the move puts the vacant Supreme Court seat in jeopardy.
Another official echoed part of Kavanaugh’s testimony, saying that the charges were part of a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” and “a circus.”
“The consequences will extend long past my nomination,” the pertinent part of Kavanaugh’s testimony read.
“The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions, from serving our country.”
I’m inclined toward these positions; Flake’s position doesn’t make much sense unless viewed through the lens of self-aggrandizement. He certainly felt good enough voting to move Kavanaugh out of committee, but his warning to Majority Leader McConnell that he wanted a one-week investigation doesn’t accomplish much.
What, Sen. Flake, is the FBI going to do in seven days? Analyze every suburban D.C. house party in the summers between 1981 and 1983 to provide the corroboration Christine Blasey Ford couldn’t? How well do you think that’s going to work?
The answer is that it won’t. However, the spectacle will certainly do wonders for Flake’s visibility — which one guesses is precisely the point. After all, he’s not going to be staying in Washington for the duration of the new investigation. On Monday, he’ll be in New Hampshire, a state which he’s no doubt taking time out of his busy schedule to visit because he loves the New England autumns.
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