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Citing Nastiness In Trump Era GOP, Jeff Flake Announces He’s Retiring

Jeff Flake

Citing the nastiness of the Republican Party in the Trump Era, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake announced today that he would not run for re-election after only one term in office:

Condemning the nastiness of Republican politics in the era of President Donald Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake on Tuesday announced he will serve out the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election in 2018.

The bombshell, which Flake, R-Ariz., intended to detail Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor, will further roil Republican hopes of keeping the party’s 52-seat Senate majority in the midterm elections of Trump’s first term, when the president’s party historically loses seats in Congress.

It also likely will upend the race for Flake’s seat.

Flake, one of the Senate’s more prominent critics of President Donald Trump, has been struggling in the polls.

He told The Arizona Republic ahead of his announcement that he has become convinced ”there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.”

Flake said he has not “soured on the Senate” and loves the institution, but that as a traditional, libertarian-leaning conservative Republican he is out of step with today’s Trump-dominated GOP.

“This spell will pass, but not by next year,” Flake said.

Among Republican primary voters, there’s overwhelming support for Trump’s positions and “behavior,” Flake said, and one of their top concerns is whether a candidate is with the president or against him. While Flake said he is with Trump on some issues, on other issues he is not. And Trump definitely views him as a foe, having denounced Flake publicly and called him “toxic” on Twitter.

“Here’s the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take,” Flake told The Republic in a telephone interview. “It would require me 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.”

As of Sept. 30, Flake’s campaign had $3.4 million on hand. He has continued to raise money — as recently as Thursday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headlined a fundraiser for him in Arizona.

Flake said he has ruled out running as an independent rather than a Republican, saying he didn’t think that was a viable strategy. He also said he has “no intention” of making a presidential run.

(…)

Flake was set to publicly announce his intentions in a Senate floor speech to be delivered at 12:20 p.m. Arizona time.

In his prepared remarks, Flake gives a blistering critique of the “coarseness of our national dialogue” that has defined the Trump era, saying it should never become accommodated as a “the new normal.”

“We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” Flake says in his remarks as prepared for delivery. “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.

“None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal,” he says in his speech.

Throughout his 17-year political career, Flake has been a champion for comprehensive immigration reform. However, Congress has been unable to come to terms on the issue and Flake’s bipartisan work on legislation in the House and Senate alienated many grass-roots conservative activists who consider a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to be “amnesty.”

Shortly after winning a Senate seat, he joined the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” which in 2013 collaborated on a plan to increase border security and establish a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country at the time. It passed the Senate but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would not take it up.

 

You can read the transcript of Flake’s announcement on the Senate Floor, or watch the video below:

Arizona’s senior Senator John McCain paid tribute to Flake:

As noted, Flake was facing a tough fight for the Republican nomination next year thanks to a challenge from Kelli Ward, an Arizona State Senator who previously unsuccessfully challenged Senator John McCain in 2016. While Ward was soundly trounced by McCain last year, recent polling in a primary matchup against Flake showed her performing strongly, which many observers interpreted as a sign that Flake was vulnerable to a primary challenge and that the seat itself might be vulnerable to a Democratic pickup in the General Election next year. To a large degree, Ward’s strong showing in the polls appears to be connected to the fact that Flake has fallen out of favor with a Republican Party in Arizona that has become as much a reflection of the current occupant of the Oval Office as the rest of the Republican Party has. Even before Trump, though, Flake’s libertarian-leaning conservatism was clearly not entirely in line with the populist conservatism that has taken over the GOP thanks to the Tea Party and the rise of Trumpism. Additionally, Flake has shown willingness to break with the rest of his party on several significant issues. As noted above, for example, Flake was among those Senators who supported the bipartisan immigration reform package that passed the Senate in 2013. He has also has been one of the few Republicans on Capitol Hill to publicly oppose the President’s restrictionist views on immigration. He also differentiated himself from the rest of his party by being one of the few Republicans to support President Obama’s decision to reform the relationship between in the United States and Cuba. More recently, Flake has been one of only a handful of Republicans on Capitol Hill to openly criticize the President, something that is likely to increase now that he has made his decision to retire public.

Flake’s decision to retire rather than face a primary campaign he stood a good chance of losing is understandable, but nonetheless unfortunate. As I’ve noted he has been one of the few Republicans willing to stand up against Trump publicly rather than meekly hiding his opinion behind a “no comment” or half-hearted endorsement that was given solely to ensure that they remain on the good side of the White House. It also means that, like John McCain and Bob Corker, the only Republicans who seem willing to speak out against Trump are the ones who have nothing to lose either because they’re retiring or, as in McCain’s case, other circumstances have intervened to make it clear that the possibility of being rebuked by the likes of Trump or Steve Bannon means nothing to them. There are plenty of reports to indicate that there are other Senators and Congressmen who agree with them, but the vast majority of them are too afraid of primary challenges to speak out publicly. The only notable exceptions to this rule are people such as Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse and Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, both of whom have been particularly outspoken against Trump both as a candidate for office and as a President. Flake was among that group before his announcement today, and his announcement means that the Trumpification of the Republican Party will only get worse.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MBunge says:

    Political non-entity who did worse than Mitt Romney in Arizona in 2012 and was behind by double-digits in his party’s primary announces he’s taking his ball and going home. Except it you think Flake is going back to Arizona, I’ve got bridge in New York City to sell you. But he’s willing to say bad things about Trump, which makes him the reincarnation of Cincinnatus to some nowadays.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 34

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    “Trump is wacked. I’m outta here.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. @MBunge:

    If you want to throw your lot in with an incompetent, xenophobic, hate-filled narcissist like Trump, that’s your choice.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 2

  4. Terrye Cravens says:

    @MBunge: Non entity my ass.If Flake had been willing to grovel at the feet of Trump and abandon every principle he had he would be in good standing in Trump’s GOP. The problem is that the party is getting wackier every day and sane people are leaving.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  5. CSK says:

    @MBunge:

    Did Flake say anything about Trump that was demonstrably untrue?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  6. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    At least Senators and Congressmen are groveling before Trump and debasing everything they once pretended to believe for a job. For a paycheck. They’re weak, dishonest and spineless for money.

    You do it for free.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

  7. reid says:

    Good for Flake. From the little I know of him, he’s always seemed like a decent person. No wonder he felt uncomfortable in the Republican party. Hopefully more like him will find their spines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:
    I see you failed to list anything Flake said that wasn’t true.
    Nothing but a volunteer lackey. Like a court jester…who is not allowed anywhere near the court.
    I submit that you are the exact anti-thesis of Cincinnatus; completely devoid of virtue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Tony W says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You do it for free.

    Now wait just a minute there, Trump promised to pay him and I’m sure the check will arrive any day now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  10. Davebo says:

    @MBunge:

    I’ve got bridge in New York City to sell you.

    Mike’s Trump transformation is almost complete! But sorry MB, you’ll never replicate that hairstyle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Davebo says:

    @MBunge:

    I’ve got bridge in New York City to sell you.

    Mike’s Trump transformation is almost complete! But sorry MB, you’ll never replicate that hairstyle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. CSK says:

    MBunge, we’re still waiting. How is it, exactly, that Trump has proven himself to you to be a great leader, a strong policy maker (whether liberal or conservative), or a proponent of anything other than the boosting of his enormous but extremely fragile ego?

    Trump is indeed unique: He’s the only president in my lifetime who has absolutely no idea of what the hell he’s doing, has no knowledge of history or politics, and is capable of changing his “position” on any one issues three times in the course of three hours. (Donald Trump on abortion: punish the woman; no, punish the provider; no, leave the laws the way they are.)

    When I glance at a pro-Trump forum such as Lucianne.com, it’s quite clear that hose who support Trump support him precisely because he’s a pig. Which, in their terms, God help us, makes him a true American patriot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  13. Scott F. says:

    That is a pretty good speech regardless of orator.

    It’s hard to not be disheartened that someone who espouses such principles sees no other means to stand for those principles but to quit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. Jen says:

    And, the gutless wonders who remain as Republicans in the Senate have executed their talking points. On CNN tonight, a lot of “I’m not going to spend time commenting on every tweet”–type statements.

    In other words, they have decided to be complicit. This is now obviously the Republican party. Of course, that’s what it’s been for a while, but now they are making it clear: as long as there’s the tiniest of chances that they can eek through and not draw a primary, they won’t raise so much as a whisper to challenge this moron we have in the White House.

    Co-equal branches of government, my…backside.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I thought he was a fighter. I thought he was taking a stand. I take it all back. Jeff Flake is a coward too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. Tyrell says:

    @reid: That is exactly the conundrum that many political leaders find themselves in. The Republican party used to be the New England financial club – the thinking man’s party. The Democrats were the middle class – blue and white collar workers, and the Southern gentleman’s club. Now it is so far out in left field they’re in the visitor’s bullpen! It was once the party of Johnson, Truman, Connally, Russell Long, Ervin, Nunn, Fulbright, and Hollings.
    Does anyone else see all this as a golden opportunity for a third party?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  17. Terrye Cravens says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: How so? I don’t think he is a coward. He is abandoning the GOP because it is not longer his party. Who says that means he will not fight? Corker is not running again and I don’t see him laying down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    I’ve got bridge in New York City to sell you

    You and I both know that that’s what Trump has been doing his entire adult life: selling “bridges in New York City.” He’s a salesman {slash} con man. He can, will, and almost always says whatever it takes to separate individuals, businesses and prospective clients from their money.

    Without reservation, I call him a grifter, and yes, I know that 62 million voters call him ‘president.’

    Many people wondered aloud what it would be like if we elected a ‘businessman,’ a non-politician to be President, the chief politician in America. Now we know, and it smells a lot worse than Teen Spirit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Terrye Cravens: He is abandoning politics. He could have stood and fought. He isn’t. If he was just abandoning the GOP he could run as a DEM or an IND, instead he chose not to. He said some brave things. But when push came to shove, he chose to sit down and mouth some more meaningless words. What else needs be said?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  20. Lynn says:

    Would people please, please, please just ignore MBunge? You’re never going to make him see reason, you know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. MarkedMan says:

    We’ve seen this time and time again, since the age of Gingrich. Any Republican with a sense of decency or honor is driven from the party, exiting by quitting or by primary. The giants of the GOP are long gone and what we are left with are a few odds and ends who, although insanely Republican in policy, have enough shreds of integrity left to say “Enough”.

    When Boehner realized he didn’t want to go down in the history books as the partisan hack that brought down the iron standing of the full faith and credit of the US, he had enough integrity to cut a deal to insure at least a year or two of stability… and then quit. Now we have Ryan in his place, a gutless, spineless, delusional weasel. A stupid man’s idea of what a policy wonk is. God help us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Lynn: Lynn, you are doing the Lord’s work, but I fear it’s for nothing. Nearly four decades on the internet has taught me that no matter how many people say “Please don’t feed the trolls”, the trolls will continue to be fed.

    Best Policy? Scroll down for a quick glance and see how many posts are by our resident trolls or are replies to them. You can pick your own personal limit to decide on a ratio that indicates the thread is lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. Kylopod says:

    @Lynn:

    Would people please, please, please just ignore MBunge? You’re never going to make him see reason, you know.

    You’re assuming that people are trying to make him see reason. I don’t think anyone here is that naive. There are other purposes served in knocking down his inanities.

    For example, in the summertime he mocked what he called “‘Trump is dumb’ fantasies” and described Trump as “one of the most accomplished non-military men to win the Oval Office in American history.”

    Of course it was an amazingly dumb and indefensible thing to say. But it provoked a string of intelligent, cogent replies, such as this one from HarvardLaw92:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-140-character-potus/#comment-2222700

    How did MBunge respond to this? He didn’t. As always, he am-scrayed from the discussion.

    DFTT is the conventional advice people give about trolls, and I understand the logic: since trolls crave attention, ignoring them is the most effective way to deflate them.

    There are problems with this advice, however. First of all, whenever someone posts a comment telling people to ignore a troll, it’s probably a lost cause already.

    Second, and more importantly, responding to a troll in order to destroy their arguments can be useful even if the troll himself never admits defeat. MBunge may be receiving the attention he craves, and he may continue to perceive himself as the brave truth-teller. In reality, however, he’s doing nothing to advance the cause he’s defending. Whether he realizes it or not, for any persuadable lurkers reading this discussion he’s probably doing far more damage to the cause of Trumpism than helping it. In any case, he sometimes ironically ends up provoking intelligent and thought-provoking comments that help highlight the utter vacuity of all attempts to defend the current President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. Moosebreath says:

    I tend to agree with Jon Chait’s take on the recent denunciations of Trump by McCain, Corker, Flake and Bush the Younger:

    “They are trying to navigate a political world in which direct criticism of Trump within the Republican party is no longer possible. It is better that they are speaking out against Trump than if they didn’t. But the fact that they can do so only from retirement indicates how thoroughly Trump has captured the party, and how little resistance the Constitutional separation of powers has put up against his takeover.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, my policy with Trolls is to occasionally add a “For the record” comment, to correct something that is factually incorrect. I try not to name the person I’m responding to or engage them in any way. But I’m not entirely consistent with this, perhaps because deep down I realize that while it may satisfy me, it doesn’t really do much to stop the thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Moosebreath says:

    Or if you want it even harsher, there’s John Cole’s take:

    “And what did these bold truth sayers do? McCain ran for President and brought us fucking Palin and then was an irascible prick for eight years, Corker said “gimme some of that sh!t” and became a Senator in 2007 then spent the last eight years lying about Obama and doing sh!t like voting against the bill that saved our auto industry, Sasse became a Senator in 2014 at the height of the GOP insanity in the Obama years and hasn’t done a fncking thing except give media wood because he’s oh so reasonable and if anyone can point to a fncking thing Jeff Flake has done well, thanks.

    They had fncking choices. And every time they put themselves and their party over country. They could have switched parties. They could have selflessly worked to inform their base and stopped appearing on Fox. They could have openly opposed Trump during the election, but with the exception of Sasse, they didn’t. A decade ago when this shit was obvious, I joined the Democrats to undo some of the sh!t I had helped create, and I, too, had been a Republican my whole life and went to Hitler Youth Camp (TARS- Teenage Republicans camp) and went to county Republican party meetings from the age of 13 and then got a bunch of years of on the ground training in authoritarianism in the military, yet I fncking clued in.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  27. Kari Q says:

    It’s nice, I suppose, that a politically dead man walking like Flake is speaking out. But until and unless I start seeing some of those “unnamed Republicans” saying publicly what they have been saying anonymously – that Trump is unfit for the job, dangerously unstable, and is damaging the country – I can’t take any of it seriously.

    BTW – I read Flake’s opinion piece in the Washington Post and was embarrassed for him that he actually quoted Welch’s “Have you no sense of decency?” Of course Trump doesn’t. Nor does anyone in the GOP. Anyone with decency left long ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Kari Q says:

    @Kari Q:

    Also, if Flake and Corker are serious about the things they are saying, they should stop caucusing with the GOP, and switch to the Democrats. If they are serious and think the Republican president is a threat to the country, it’s the least they should be willing to do. If they aren’t, it’s just words that don’t mean much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  29. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Kari Q: They are not Democrats. Why would they caucus with them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Terrye Cravens says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You don’t really know what he plans to do in the future. Wait and see. He might surprise you. Or Flake might be so disgusted with the entire world of politics that he just want to walk away…either way he had the courage to take this stand and it will hurt Trump. That was more than be said for a lot of other people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. Kari Q says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    To stand against the “complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs?” To resist the “accommodation of the unacceptable?” To prove he will not “meekly accept the daily sundering of our country?” Because otherwise “ambition fails to counteract ambition?” To make sure stability doesn’t “fail to assert itself in the face of chaos and instability?”

    You know , all those things he said? If he seriously thinks there’s danger to the country, why is he not joining forces with those fighting that danger?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. MBunge says:

    Sorry for going off topic but there’s something I want to make sure doesn’t get ignored.

    This blog currently has 30 main posts and 14 quick takes on the front page covering 10 days. As best I can tell, there is exactly ONE of those 44 posts that is expressly and specifically critical of Democrats and/or liberals. You guys can certainly run this place the way you want but…ONE? Out of 44 posts? In 10 days? There was precisely ONE time anything happened on the Left that you guys felt deserved a disparaging word? Nothing else?

    There are more than a few other conservative/libertarian/Republican blogs out there that are not fans of Donald Trump. I got $5 that says you can’t find one of them that has a 44 post stretch with only one negative thing to say about the other side of the aisle. And while this isn’t a terribly partisan blog I’ve got another $5 that says at the absolute bottom of the George W. Bush administration, when his poll numbers were a good bit worse than Trump’s have ever been, that you couldn’t find a 44 post stretch here where the ratio of Bush criticism to Democrat/liberal criticism even approached what it is for anti-Trump to anti…well, anti-ANYTHING now.

    Again, your blog so your rules, but do you guys believe you are analyzing and responding to the world as it actually exists? That the content reflects a calm and clear-eyed view of what’s happening around you? Really?

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  33. Barry says:

    Yesterday, in statesmanship, Jeff ‘Pincipled Stateman’ Flake voted to allow Wall Street to require beinding arbitration. This means that if they rip you off, you are forced to deal with their literally boughtand paid for ‘judges’, and can not enter class action lawsuits.

    I disagree with Mbunge 99% of the time, and consider him to be worth far less than week-old pig manure in August, but he was right here. He just forgot to add that the Tea Party filth that would have ousted Flake is the worst of filth that Flake helped get into power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. Barry says:

    @MBunge: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. Andre Kenji says:

    Jeff Flake, the GOP Evan Bayh. Too much talk and nothing else(To be fair at least Bayh managed to get his Deficit Commission)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Guarneri says:

    Flake was going to get his arse handed to him, so he did what every man of principle does…………….runs away like a yellow dog.

    But moving away from another in an endless stream of OTB pooh flinging stories, the DNC and Clinton Campaign colluded with and paid for the absurd Russian pee pee dossier.

    Another vast right wing conspiracy I’m sure……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @MBunge: You have a legitimate point, but I have to admit my reaction is that the fight against Trump is truly existential, both morally and, given his hand is on the nuclear trigger, physically. Fretting that Democrats foibles isn’t getting enough attention is equivalent to fretting about all the war coverage in 1944.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. Tony W says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m not seeing much of a legitimate point there.

    The R’s are in power – all three branches of government. What exactly could the Democrats do that would be worthy of criticism other than individualized corruption?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. Gustopher says:

    @MBunge: Perhaps this blog isn’t for you? You might find yourself more comfortable with the balance elsewhere.

    (And, if the Trump administration could do something significant that wasn’t foolish, dangerous or vile, they might get better coverage here…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:

    But moving away from another in an endless stream of OTB pooh flinging stories, the DNC and Clinton Campaign colluded with and paid for the absurd Russian pee pee dossier.

    You mean the absurd dossier that has had a great deal of it substantiated? And very little debunked? Indeed…it was used as a basis for warrants. Pretty absurd.
    Besides…that’s an ancient story. It was out before the election. Before the Democrats bellied up the bar the Republicans running against Draft-Dodging Don paid for it. Its called opposition research you stupid fvck.
    Tell me Guarneri…does Donnie comb-over his ass hair too? You have you face up there…you must know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  41. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:
    I’m sure you would love it if everyone ignored the damage your dear Leader is doing, on an hourly basis, to this country.
    Unfortunately for you and your fellow cultists, some of us care.
    Why don’t you toddle along and read only what makes you warm and fuzzy about the incompetent, xenophobic, sexual assaulting, delusional man-child that you worship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    does Donnie comb-over his ass hair too?

    Great. Now I’m going to have nightmares…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    the DNC and Clinton Campaign colluded with and paid for the absurd Russian pee pee dossier.

    How can one collude with a dossier?

    Two words, Mike: Due Dilligence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  44. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Guarneri:

    Why are you regurgitating news that Mother Jones (you know, the big bad liberal media) reported in October 2016? From nearly the moment the dossier was announced, it has been widely reported that it was initially funded by a Republican primary opponent of Trump’s, and then the Dem’s started funding the research once Trump sealed the nomination.

    So is the point of your post to loudly announce that you are ignorant of year-old news?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  45. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MBunge: Since it’s now been established you do continue to read these threads after you sh!t out your comment, want to try to answer @CSK‘s comment? It–or variances of it–have been asked of you numerous times.

    Please tell us what Flake said that was demonstrably untrue. Do be specific, dearie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You have a legitimate point

    No he doesn’t…if he did he would have come up with a credible list of items that are conspicuously missing.
    He’s an emotional wreck because his Dear Leader is getting beat up constantly; he cannot accept that his Dear Leader is an incompetent.
    Republicans are just snowflakes that are all about emotions…nothing else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    This blog currently has 30 main posts and 14 quick takes on the front page covering 10 days. As best I can tell, there is exactly ONE of those 44 posts that is expressly and specifically critical of Democrats and/or liberals. You guys can certainly run this place the way you want but…ONE? Out of 44 posts? In 10 days? There was precisely ONE time anything happened on the Left that you guys felt deserved a disparaging word? Nothing else?

    Mike, you do realize that Donald Trump is our president, and that the Republican Party has de-facto control of the entire federal government.

    So what is it that Democrats are now doing that has affected how Trump and congressional Republicans have been able (or not able) to implement their agenda?

    Really, should Schumer and Pelosi be criticized for ‘waiting round’ as Republicans have locked them out of the process of drafting bills, then have declined to join Republicans in supporting those bills?

    Fill me in — What has happened on the “Left” that warrants more attention, publicity, and criticism than what Trump, his cabinet officers, John Kelly, and various Republican Party politicians are presenting us with EVERY SINGLE DAY?

    And no, ‘both sides do it’ is not a reflection of reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. Gustopher says:

    On a scale of 1 to Thích Quảng Đức, I’d give Flake about a 0.5

    He’s spouting off, but not doing anything about it. He’s not sacrificing anything other than a humiliating primary loss. His pretty speech amounts to nothing.

    I welcome him to prove me wrong, even while maintaining his “conservative” principles. I don’t expect him to run out and try to save ObamaCare, or set himself on fire in a busy intersection, but actually doing his job with oversight might be a good start.

    He’s been voting to approve the incompetent nominees, along with the rest of his party. If the President is unstable and unfit, then the least one can do in that position is try to make sure he has the best advisors and administrators to temper his unfitness.

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  49. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:
    What we should really be reading about is how Republicans just overturned rules protecting consumers from fraud committed by financial institutions.
    I guess we could expect nothing less from a President who ran a fraudulent University.
    But can you explain exactly how this will benefit the people who voted for him?
    Maybe while you are at it you could explain how getting rid of workplace protections will benefit his voters, too?
    Or how an almost immediate rate increase, and loss of insurance for many, is going to benefit his voters?
    Dude…you made a down-payment on the Brooklyn Bridge. YOu should be proud…

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  50. Jen says:

    @Guarneri:

    1) That ‘news’ as indicated above, was reported extensively by Mother Jones in October of last year, and was also covered by CNN in January of this year.

    2) A Republican primary opponent started the engagement with the opposition research firm (no reporting on who, but my guess would be Cruz or Rubio). When the primary candidate dropped out, the info was shopped to Clinton donors–again, this has been widely reported.

    3) Much of the information in the dossier has been verified and validated.

    Cute attempt to work in the word “collusion,” but that doesn’t work here. That people paid an opposition research firm to do opposition research is hardly an earth-shaking headline. Given how much of the dossier has proven to be correct, I really am surprised the Republicans are pursuing this.

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  51. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jen:

    I really am surprised the Republicans are pursuing this.

    You shouldn’t be. The facts you and others have recounted mean nothing to the Trumpettes. Look how fast Guarneri was willing to parrot the talking point. Just put the words Clinton and collusion together and everything else becomes blah blah blah to these people. It’s really scary how quickly these people have been willing to abandon any sense of principle for a guy in a fake tan that clearly takes them for idiots.

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  52. James Pearce says:

    @Jen:

    I really am surprised the Republicans are pursuing this.

    What’s the downside?

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  53. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    What’s the downside?

    With an electorate who will believe absolutely anything spooned to them? Absolutely zero.

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  54. Jen says:

    @James Pearce: It keeps the phrase “pee tape” in the public lexicon.

    As I noted above, that an opposition research firm was paid to do opposition research during a campaign isn’t much of a story. That the FBI might have shouldered some of the payment is a bit interesting, but then the question is why they did that. The only plausible answer is that they felt the information being researched might have some validity. If any of the dossier is valid (as the FBI has confirmed some of it is), then the other contents of the dossier–including some of its more startling claims–might be true as well.

    Keeping that in the news is hardly a winning strategy for Republicans or the President.

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  55. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    It’s important to note that while Trumpettes are trying their best to discredit the Steele Dossier…the White House is refusing to implement Russian sanctions passed into law by Congress, which Draft-Dodging Donnie was essentially forced to sign under duress.
    But President Bone-Spurs is not Putin’s puppet…really…he’s not…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Absolutely zero.

    Correct answer: There is no downside.

    Trump wins on every battle fought in the press, even when it looks like he’s losing. He’s shameless, narcissistic, and he’s being manipulating the press for a long time.
    @Jen:

    It keeps the phrase “pee tape” in the public lexicon.

    Yeah, but if Trump could be brought down by the magical appearance of a tape, it would have already happened.

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  57. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Trump wins on every battle fought in the press, even when it looks like he’s losing.

    Well…he wins the 38 or 39% that are like you.

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  58. charon says:
  59. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yeah, but if Trump could be brought down by the magical appearance of a tape, it would have already happened.

    That defies logic…even for you.
    If Putin is holding a tape, or anything else, as leverage over Don-the-Con…why would he release it?
    It’s easy to see why you are such an ardent supporter of the Comb-Over…you have an IQ of 78.

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  60. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Well…he wins the 38 or 39% that are like you.

    Yeah, spare me the triumphalism. Dude has an approval rating like that and Democrats still don’t know what to do.

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  61. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Dude has an approval rating like that and Democrats still don’t know what to do.

    There is nothing that can be done about stupid, stupid.
    Revel in your idiocy.

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  62. Tyrell says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: At one time audio tapes were not considered reliable evidence and not admissible in court. Too easy to edit, erase, doctor, and fake.
    It looks more and more that Hillary is the person who is the object of Muller’s investigating. And that Muller himself is also under suspicion. Too bad Director Hoover is not still around.

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  63. Franklin says:

    @Tyrell:

    Too bad Director Hoover is not still around.

    Why? Sessions wouldn’t even let Hoover use the bathroom.

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  64. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Tyrell:

    It looks more and more that Hillary is the person who is the object of Muller’s investigating. And that Muller himself is also under suspicion.

    Stop watching FOX News. They are polluting your already tiny mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  65. Jen says:

    @James Pearce:

    brought down by the magical appearance of a tape,

    I picked my words very carefully. I did not say that the tape had to appear, or even exist. I said that it *keeps the phrase* in the lexicon. Meaning, every time people hear about the dossier, they think “oh, yeah, the thing with the pee tape…”

    This isn’t the type of thing you want people continually reminded of.

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  66. James Pearce says:

    @Jen:

    This isn’t the type of thing you want people continually reminded of.

    I don’t think Trump cares. His supporters are not going to see the tape on CNN and realize they made a tremendous mistake.

    They’re going to think CNN doctored it. And you know CNN won’t be able to resist adding subtitles or blurring something or doing one of those digital zooms.

    Forget about the pee tape.

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  67. Tony W says:

    The pee-tape, if it exists, won’t have any more impact than the “grab-em” tape.

    The real goods Putin has over Trump has to do with his ties to the Russian mafia and organized crime – which was required because no legitimate lender would do business with Trump because he’s so crooked (on a side note – remember, everything Trump says is projection).

    Exposing Trump’s ties to organized crime is not the Russian threat – again, his supporters won’t care.

    Destroying Trump’s financial empire is the threat. And I get the idea that Putin can do it whenever he wants to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  68. al-Ameda says:

    @Tony W:

    The pee-tape, if it exists, won’t have any more impact than the “grab-em” tape.

    Frankly Trump could gargle pee at the front of the Manhattan Trump Tower at noon on any weekday, with hundreds of media outlets recording it and his supporters would say that its #FakeNews, and ask why the media’s not covering the Russia-Uranium or DNC Trump Dossier stories.

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