Jeff Flake Wants To Keep Looking At Chiseled Face In The Mirror, Endorses Joe Biden
Joe Biden's campaign hoped to undercut the Republican National Convention by reminding voters that Republicans who are almost respectable can't stand Donald Trump, and they're not playing the 2016 game of “Trump's morally and mentally unfit, but Hillary Clinton is pro-choice and wears pant suits." No, they're straight-up endorsing Uncle Joe for president.
From NBC News:
"These former members of Congress cited Trump's corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course as a reason why they support Biden," the Biden campaign said in its announcement. "These former members of Congress are supporting Joe Biden because they know what's at stake in this election and that Trump's failures as president have superseded partisanship."
We already know former Ohio governor and 2016 Republican primary participant John Kasich was riding with Biden, along with former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, and former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York. Former senators John Warner of Virginia and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire are on the list but were never on the Trump train. They had the sense to "charge up the hill with Hilz" in 2016 (I just made that up).
Now, former Arizona senator Jeff Flake has joined the Biden crew. This is a big deal because while Flake didn't vote for Trump in 2016, he didn't vote for Hillary Clinton, either. Dude's a senator. He should've known how the Electoral College works, but I won't hold a grudge.
WATCH: Would it have been better if Hillary Clinton had won the election? @MLauer asks @JeffFlake https://t.co/LzZTuOH94R— TODAY (@TODAY)1508930237.0
Flake echoed Biden's Democratic National Convention speech when he endorsed the former vice president Monday.
FLAKE: It is because of my conservatism, and because of my belief in the Constitution and the separation of power, and because I am gravely concerned about the conduct and behavior of our current president, that I stand here today, proudly and wholeheartedly, to endorse Joe Biden as the next president of the United States of America.
We're all old enough to remember when we elected presidents who spoke to our highest ideals and aspirations of a nation, not to our deepest dystopian fears.
Now, as president of the United States, he has said, and I quote, "The only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged." What kind of president talks like that? What kind of American leader undermines confidence in the elections in his own country?
The American leader you didn't do enough to stop when you had the chance, Senator ... no, wait, I said I wouldn't hold a grudge.
Flake often criticized Trump's excesses on the Senate floor while later going on to vote for ACA repeal, the GOP tax scam, and Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice. But Flake's crappy record is helpful here. Trumpists will label any Republican a RINO if they don't fully embrace the president. The current GOP's a cult, not a political party. Ideology doesn't matter.
The Biden campaign wants to give space for Republican voters to reject the Trump death cult without pledging allegiance to the Democratic platform. I'm fine with playing nice if that's what it takes to crush Trump like a bug. It also makes the remaining Trump supporters in Congress look even more craven.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz said former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt and Lincoln Project co-founder was supporting “open borders, socialism, destruction of the Bill of Rights & ANTIFA mobs burning our cities." This is how crawling pieces of slime like Marco Rubio sleep at night, as well. They claim that Trump is the last, best hope against every imaginary threat they can invent. This is how you wind up with a QAnon GOP. You'd have to believe Democrats are part of some satanic pedophile cannibal cabal to justify keeping Trump in office.
The Republicans who have rejected Trump and supported the Democratic (in every sense of the word) candidate for president all have “former" before their last elected position. Every Republican currently in office has sold themselves to Trump. The Republican platform is currently just unwavering devotion to this madman. We've said it before but it bears repeating until Election Day: This is not a party that deserves to remain in power, and we're grateful for whoever will help us obliterate them at the ballot box.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."