Posted by: Donna
Count EJ Montini as disappointed at Senator Jeff Flake’s votes against background checks and tighter restrictions on straw purchasers of firearms yesterday.
Victims lost. Lobbyists won. And one of our senators helped.
Sen. Jeff Flake has proven himself to be a skilled teacher in the art of compromise when it comes to immigration reform.
It’s a shame he is such a poor student in that same art form when it came to background checks on weapon sales, which Flake helped to defeat in the senate on Wednesday.
There is nothing mysterious or confusing about what happened there. Flake voted against gun safety because that’s what he does. Flake’s hard right voting record and positions on a variety of issues he has taken as a member of the House were readily available to anyone, including the editorial board of the AZ Republic. Who said this about him in their endorsement for Senate:
Flake, on the other hand, is philosophically committed to smaller and more efficient government. On fiscal matters, everyone knows where he stands.
But there is something more about Flake. The candidate always has been affable, approachable and informed. But in the course of this campaign, especially, he seems to have grown.
In a recent interview with The Republic’s editorial board, Flake shined. These are subtle intangibles, but in arguing his positions, Flake seemed to demonstrate something very much like leadership. It was his best performance as a lawmaker and leader that we have seen.
Affability! Intangibles! A shining performance of something very much like leadership! I won’t point the finger at EJ for that embarrassing endorsement, since I watched the ed board as it was live streaming and witnessed Bob Robb and Doug MacEachern basically take turns making out with Flake so I know exactly who to blame. Dr. Rich Carmona, Flake’s Democratic challenger in 2012, lost by about 3 points – 67,000 votes.
People dismiss the significance of the Republic’s endorsements but I have seen people carry the paper into the polling place to help them fill out the ballot. In a race as close the Flake/Carmona one, where voters don’t have as much knowledge of those candidates as they do of the Presidential ones, it’s not at all unreasonable to conclude that the endorsement of Flake made a difference. And that was their choice to make. The ed board decided the budget deficit was the most important issue pressing the nation and our state and that Jeff Flake had the just the sort of affable, intangible, resemblance of leadership necessary to tackle that in the US Senate. What we’ve gotten with Jeff Flake thus far is very tangible – standard Republican obstructionism and catering to right wing interest groups. He is behaving exactly as those of us who paid attention to him all those years he was in the House predicted.
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