Get up to speed:
1). A lot of folks on the Left are not taking Flake’s speech seriously because he still votes most of the time with Donald Trump. This is a fair observation, but I think it misses the point and lacks nuance. Flake never said he was leaving the Republican Party or ceasing to vote conservative. His primary criticism of Trump is grounded in the way the POTUS debases the office, tarnishes the reputation of the United States around the world, enables the alt-Right, etc…. I think you can say the same thing about Bob Corker and John McCain. I understand the intellectual purity of those on the Left. Flake is not a progressive and probably never will be a progressive. But by attacking Flake for voting with conservatives, those on the Left fail to recognize gravity of this particular moment. Their criticism of Flake’s voting record would be the same no matter who was in the White House. I don’t understand why those on the Left can’t bring themselves to be happy about the potential political implications of Flake’s speech. In other words, if those on the Left want Trump out of office, isn’t what Flake did a step in the right direction?
2). Why aren’t more moderate Republicans concerned that their party will be held hostage by the extremists when Flake, Corker, McCain, and others leave? Shouldn’t they stay in the Senate and fight? Ana Navarro actually made this argument yesterday on CNN.
OK–have at it.