Posted by: Donna
The AZ Democratic Party is sending out an email crowing about Sen. Jeff Flake’s rock bottom approval ratings after his shameful and two-faced vote to obstruct the Manchin-Toomey gun background checks bill.
Senator Jeff Flake is the poster boy for a “Lemon Law” in American Politics! In just four short months, the venerable Mr. Flake has done what many thought impossible and is now the most unpopular Senator in America. According to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling, only 32% of the respondents approved of Flake’s job performance! It appears voters are experiencing a serious case of buyer’s remorse when it comes to Flake.
Flake is cracking jokes on Facebook about being less popular than pond scum today. You said it, Jeff, not us. However, the inimitable Charlie Pierce of Esquire came along to throw harsh on our mellows.
It pains me to say it, but the air is out of this issue as a stand-alone issue right now. The only way it can gather power is as an important element in a general critique of Republican governance and of conservative policies as being generally bad for the nation. The votes on gun laws have to be made an example of something greater, and not just a single egregious flouting of the people’s will. (Which is not to say that Harry Reid shouldn’t still have Heidi Heitkamp’s desk moved to the sidewalk. He should.)…
…This vote has to be made into another reason not to vote for these guys — and for the Democrats who made common cause with them — and that’s a longer, harder sell. Nobody in Arizona is going to lose an election simply because they’re not pro-gun-control enough. Not any time soon, anyway.
I don’t quite agree that gun safety is dead as an issue, since (sigh) the carnage caused by this nation’s gun fetish will continue. And I certainly expect the many enraged, and engaged, activists to continue the fight for sensible gun safety measures. But I think Charlie is right that an unpopular anti-gun safety vote isn’t going to be the one thing that uproots Republican Senate incumbents from their respective seats across the nation. Particularly not Jeff Flake, who is barely four months into his six year term. He’s not going anywhere for a while. I do hope that his cavalier duplicity on Manchin-Toomey jarred at least some Arizona liberals (yes, I’m still hearing how shocked they are at Flake’s behavior as a Senator) and establishment types out of their complacency about him. He is, was, and has always been a right wing reactionary.
Had he been understood as such, I don’t see how he would have won last year. But he did. Oh, here’s why:
I crunched the numbers (and you can too) and saw that Jeff Flake won because he got nearly a third of his votes from self-described moderate voters (and, yes, a small percentage of liberals). I expect Flake will vote for immigration reform in an attempt to redeem himself with that voting bloc. Which might work since, apparently, moderates and independents who continue to vote Republican despite the lunacy and the obstruction will seize upon those rare nice gestures to remain in their state of denial.
Leave a comment