Rather than writing a book about opposing your party’s excesses, you could just … oppose them.

This is just a general suggestion to Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican with a new book to sell and a rocky-looking reelection bid, but maybe this just-recently-discovered and now incessantly promoted conscience of yours would be more convincing if it had at any point during your past career been, you know, identifiable to an outside observer.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that Republicans should have done more to push back on “birtherism,” the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama was not actually a U.S. citizen.

While he said he personally stood up to birthers, Flake told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he wished the party would have done more during this “particularly ugly” time.

If you remember Sen. Jeff Flake personally standing up to “birthers” in any noteworthy forum you have a better memory than me—though there is occassional record of such feats. The true problem with Flake’s new commitment to calling out his own party’s ever-more-alarming rhetoric, however, is that his opposition appears to be, itself, solely rhetorical. As in, it lasts only up until the moment that he might have to act upon it.

In July he voted with other Senate Republicans to make John Bush, a man who published blog posts citing birther sources, a federal judge.

Well now there you go, then; that’s the entire point of the party’s movement into birtherism and other conspiracy theories, of which there are now dozens. Jeff Flake and other “serious” Republican voices made grumbling noises against it, they will tell you, when they were personally pinned down to give an answer—but he and his fellow would-be objectors exacted not a bit of penalty on those that promoted it, and still refuse to do so. Jeff Flake was against “birtherism” on a personal level, but as his party peddled theories like the sitting president is secretly allied with Muslim extremists Jeff Flake took no action that would impede the rise of those voices to higher and higher prominence.



USA News


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