Social Conservatives Already Gunning For Jeff Flake In Arizona

As I noted here yesterday, Jeff Flake formally announced today that he was running to succeed Jon Kyl in the Senate. Already he’s being considered a front-runner in the race for the GOP nomination, especially since retired Congressman John Shadegg has decided not to run. As Matt Lewis notes, he’s already been endorsed by the Club for Growth and Red State’s Erick Erickson. However, some social conservatives are already calling Flake out for not being orthodox enough:

I don’t want to see Jeff Flake in the United States Senate in 2013.

There I said it.

So what’s my problem with Flake?

1. He’s bad on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He obviously hasn’t read the DOD report and their recommendations or he would realize what a tremendous cost this is going to be for the American tax payer. I have posted it here for you . Do yourself a favor, and start reading at page 131. The good stuff doesn’t happen until they start talking about redefining what a “dependent” (which will have a huge impact on the cost of housing and benefits) is. I’d also like to point out that he voted for this during the Lame Duck session — which was the last gasp of Nancy Pelosi and the House liberals to try and ram down the American peoples throats legislation that in a few short weeks would never have made it out of committee. Flake helped them.

2. The so called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Flake voted in favor of telling businesses who they could and couldn’t hire. How is that conservative? Now the interesting thing here is that Nancy Pelosi and her friends really wanted to add sexual expression and identity(men wearing dresses to work) to the list as well, but settled for this as a first step.

3. Pledge Protection Act. Flake voted against protecting the United States flag from desecration. Before those of you who only get out of your mom’s basement to either vote for Ron Paul or attend C-PAC, jump all over me about this, the only reason I bring this up is that it passed, and even RON PAUL voted to protect the flag.

4. Internet Gambling. Flake is on the opposite side of social conservatives and major league baseball, football, basketball, etc…

For the most part, these issues strike me as being a little silly. DADT is essentially a dead issue at this point. It’s been repealed, and the talk on the right about reinstating it is little more than a way to appeal to the steadily shrinking number of people who are afraid of the fact that there are gay people in the military.  Flag burning The Pledge Of Allegiance  is one of those issues that gets brought up in fund raising letters every now and then and never goes anywhere. Internet gambling strikes me as something that ought to be illegal legal and if SoCons don’t want to do it, they shouldn’t do it. As for the ENDA, I don’t know enough about Flake’s reasoning regarding his yes vote to comment but it doesn’t strike me as an unreasonable position.

It’s unclear who SoCons would rally behind other than Flake. J.D. Hayworth would appeal to them nicely but, well, he proved in 2010 that he’s basically a nut. Besides, if the GOP is going to be putting up a candidate against someone like Gabrielle Giffords or former Governor Janet Napolitano, they’re going to have to find a candidate who can actually win rather than one who’s “pure.”

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jack says:

    I know it’s not the point of your post, but why should Internet gambling be illegal?

  2. Jack says:

    Or, did you mean Internet gambling “ought to be legal” and if someone doesn’t want to do it, they shouldn’t? Is that a typo?

  3. sam says:

    “It’s unclear who SoCons would rally behind other than Flake. J.D. Hayworth would appeal to them nicely but, well, he proved in 2010 that he’s basically a nut.”

    And that would disqualify him in their eyes because?

  4. Uh…the “Pledge Protection Act” is a bill that would strip federal courts of jurisdiction for plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, what the heck does it have to do with flag burning?

  5. TG Chicago says:

    Strikes me as a bad idea to talk about a race in Arizona and use the word “gunning”.