When does “yes” really mean “no”?
I found myself asking that question Friday while watching the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on whether to recommend the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
I will readily admit that I was as surprised as anyone when Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake committed Friday morning to support Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Flake has made no secret about his disdain for the current presidential administration and many were heartened to learn of his decision to stand with Trump’s nominee.
But it’s his disdain that left me wondering: When does “yes” really mean “no”?
Don’t let Flake fool you. His “yes” vote in the committee had absolutely nothing to do with partisanship or fairness.
It had everything to do with embarrassing President Donald Trump.
Think about it. Flake voted to nominate Kavanaugh.
But what did he qualify his vote with? He demanded the FBI investigate a decades-old allegation against Kavanaugh — an investigation that Democrats are already pushing to extend as long as possible.
Flake tried to paint this as something that would “bring people together,” claiming the investigation would take no longer than a week.
Anyone who knows anything about government bureaucracy knows that an FBI investigation will take longer than a week.
But let’s say it doesn’t. Let’s assume that the FBI will take exactly one week to finish the investigation. No matter what happens in a week, Flake will get what he wants.
If the FBI investigation can miraculously find evidence against Kavanaugh, Flake wins. Sure, he voted “yes,” but he gets what he wants in the end: He gets to skewer and embarrass Trump over one of the most important decisions in his presidency.
In the far more likely chance that the FBI investigation finds nothing against Kavanaugh, Flake still wins. He gets to claim he said “yes,” while the Democrats start whining and attacking Trump over the investigation. Considering how unhinged Democrats have been over the Kavanaugh ordeal, it’s likely we’ll see them crawl into even more depraved depths after a week of stewing.
Meanwhile, as Democrats are making the Kavanaugh process as difficult as possible, Flake can sit back with a smile on his face. He voted “yes,” he’ll say. He did his part, he’ll say. All along, Trump will be the one who has to handle the fallout from another week of ridiculous speculation and hearsay, assuming it’s only a week.
It’s truly a win-win situation for Flake. And that makes me sick to my stomach.
So when does “yes” really mean “no”? When your answer is immaterial to your true objective.
His endgame was and is to embarrass Trump.
The Kavanaugh vote was nothing more than Flake’s latest attempt to attack the president.
Don’t let him fool you. You can bet Trump won’t.
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