Tuesday, August 1, 2017

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake: "My Party Is In Denial About Donald Trump"

Excerpted from his new book, Conscience of a Conservative, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona goes all in deconstructing and taking responsibility for the process that gave rise to a President Trump.

Via Politico:

I will let the liberals answer for their own sins in this regard. (There are many.) But we conservatives mocked Barack Obama’s failure to deliver on his pledge to change the tone in Washington even as we worked to assist with that failure.

It was we conservatives who, upon Obama’s election, stated that our No. 1 priority was not advancing a conservative policy agenda but making Obama a one-term president—the corollary to this binary thinking being that his failure would be our success and the fortunes of the citizenry would presumably be sorted out in the meantime.

It was we conservatives who were largely silent when the most egregious and sustained attacks on Obama’s legitimacy were leveled by marginal figures who would later be embraced and legitimized by far too many of us.

It was we conservatives who rightly and robustly asserted our constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government when a Democrat was in the White House but who, despite solemn vows to do the same in the event of a Trump presidency, have maintained an unnerving silence as instability has ensued. To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial.

[snip]

For a conservative, that’s an awfully bitter pill to swallow. So as I layered in my defense mechanisms, I even found myself saying things like, “If I took the time to respond to every presiden­tial tweet, there would be little time for anything else.” Given the volume and velocity of tweets from both the Trump campaign and then the White House, this was certainly true.

But it was also a monumental dodge. It would be like Noah saying, “If I spent all my time obsessing about the coming flood, there would be little time for anything else.” At a certain point, if one is being honest, the flood becomes the thing that is most worthy of attention.

At a certain point, it might be time to build an ark.

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