Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake announced today that he is going to retire at the end of his term rather than seek donald trump’s support in a re-election bid. Here’s his announcement:
It’s a little long at around 18 minutes, so here are a few highlights transcribed:
- There are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles.
- It is time for our complicity and our accommodation for the unacceptable to end.
- I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit and silent. When the next generation asks us, why didn’t you do something, why didn’t you speak up, what are we going to say?
I have been highly critical of Republicans who have come out to criticize donald trump for their earlier complicity to the political culture that guaranteed trump’s ascendancy to the White House, but I think perhaps it’s time to start applauding Republicans willing to “risk [their] careers” in order to condemn a president who is unbecoming of the office.
I’m not one to stand on ceremony or tradition, nor am I one to hold any particular person in any esteem simply because of their office or status, but I do believe that our president needs to adhere to a certain level of decorum, mindfulness, and deliberation, not because I believe the office is regal or sacrosanct, but because the rest of the world needs to know that our nation is stable, and right now, we are not projecting that image.
Through all of this, I’m tempted to adopt my cynical take, and while I would normally articulate what that is, I’m going to refrain from it this time, and simply state that this is the time we need to start embracing these principled stands.
We can go back to reminding everyone that the GOP has not gotten better, even if they do find their earlier professed moral high ground and remove this tumor from the Oval Office, once they have actually embraced the moral high ground and remove this tumor from the Oval Office.
We can deal with that once Pence takes the oath of office. Right now, we have to triage our nation, and if making sure we don’t capsize means we embrace Republicans who are only acting to remove the impediment to passing their horrendous legislative platform, then we first right the ship.
And, finally, for what it’s worth, I encourage you to watch Senator Flake’s whole speech. It’s worth it.
Here’s your trump picture: