Once again, we got yet another example of why the Republican Party is called “the stupid party” with Arizona Senator — and pseudo Republican — Jeff Flake torpedoing his own party’s momentum on the nomination of Bret Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. But what is it that he actually did? Well, let’s find out…
First of all, who is this flakey Flake? Well, he is a short-timer in the U.S. Senate because he decided that he would not run for re-election. He did this because every poll in Arizona showed that even his own voters wanted to see him thrown out on his ear. So, he announced that he would not run again.
So, he is a man who is not beholden to his constituents and can do whatever he wants because since he isn’t running again, he’ll face no political consequences from his actions.
But, what did he do on Friday to torpedo his own party?
Jason Russell of the Washington Examiner explains:
On Friday morning, Flake announced he would support Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. But by the time the committee was supposed to vote to advance the nomination to the full Senate floor at 1:30pm, Flake, well, flaked a little bit.
Although he voted to advance the nomination to the floor, Flake asked for a short delay – up to a week, he said, but perhaps shorter – for the FBI to conduct an investigation limited in scope and time on the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh (Flake did seem to say “allegations” plural, rather than limiting it to just the initial allegation from Christine Blasey Ford).
But Flake’s request is nonbinding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can push for a final vote regardless. As Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said during the hearing, “It is completely up to Sen. [Chuck] Schumer and McConnell.” Still, Flake strongly implied that the votes of other Republican senators might hang in the balance, and that surely includes Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
The Senate can’t order an FBI investigation. But McConnell can tell the White House that the nomination can’t pass until the White House does order an FBI investigation.
Sen. Grassley, the head of the Judiciary Committee, did succeed in getting Kavanaugh voted out of committee. So, the next stop is a full vote of the U.S. Senate. That, at least, did not get held up by the traitorous Flake.
Despite appearances, one thing Flake did not do was say he could not vote for Kavanaugh without the FBI investigation. All he said is that he would prefer the investigation happen first before the final vote is held.
Ultimately, it is up to Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell to decide what he’ll do. If he accepts the recommendation, it means another week’s delay and another week that the Democrats can spend assassinating Kavanaugh’s character.
But, in truth, it absolutely does not matter what the FBI finds or does not find. Every single Democrat has already said that they will vote against Kavanaugh. The only thing a delay for a meaningless investigation will mean is another week’s delay for the vote.
Flake’s simply showed that the GOP can’t keep its own members under control.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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