Tag Archives: Jeff Flake

Joe Manchin Shows Backbone

In the world of politics, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has always been his own man. In today’s toxic political climate, he continues that path but his latest exchange showed he definitely belongs in the Backbone Club that consists of those not swayed by polls, bullied by fringe groups, or ruled by reelection fears.

Talking with the Charleston Gazette, Manchin was emphatic about standing up for what was important for West Virginians:

“I don’t give a s–t, you understand? I just don’t give a s–t,” he said. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s–t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”

“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”

The Backbone Club is populated with other elected representatives who have taken a principled stand and not backed down: Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Ben Sasse, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Barbara Comstock, and Gov. John Kasich. There may be others who deserve to be added to this list.

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Trump ‘Punches Back,’ Searches for Primary Challenger Against Jeff Flake

Bearing Drift colleague Andrew Hull brought up a sticky subject Sunday in a post where he noted, “My message to my fellow conservatives is simply this: acting as though Trump is infallible does both him and the country a disservice. … It seems, however, that a large portion of the Republican Party and conservatives have devolved into a group of yes men who perpetually have their lips welded to the President’s posterior, come what may.”

Today I am wondering what message is being sent to rank-and-file Republicans as the news spreads that Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) may be targeted by the White House itself for a primary in his 2018 re-election.

From Politico:

The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents.

At a time when it would be expected that Flake, 54, would be heralded for standing up for his principles and applauded for refusing to be a yes man, he is instead facing a challenge with the help of Donald Trump who has reportedly threatened to spend $10 million of his own money against Flake:

Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why elected officials continue falling all over themselves to get in line behind Trump. We can expect it to be that way until, and if, a united front emerges of courageous and energetic leaders willing to return the GOP to the party of Lincoln.

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