Jensen column: This week’s profiles in political courage
Arizona Republican Jeff Flake proudly stood before America this week and crowed, “Mr. President, I rise today to address a matter that has been much on my mind, at a moment when it seems that our democracy is more defined by our discord and our dysfunction than it is by our values and our principles.”
And so, Flake announced he will not run for re-election because his principles require him to run away from a fight.
“Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is,’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” Flake said on the Senate floor. “When such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength — because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.”
So, Flake does what he thinks is dignified and brave, which is to flee from his alleged fight for smaller, more effective government and free markets.
If he was anything but a flake, he would stay and attempt to build a constituency to try to compel the president toward the conservative policies he supports.
Instead, Flake bellows, “It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ — what are we going to say?”
I know exactly what we’re going to say. “Look, children, Jeff Flake rose up and ran away instead of staying where he actually had some power and authority to do something.”
If values and “the children” matter, you don’t run away. Even if you fear losing your primary.
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is also resigning, following, during and likely continuing his media and Twitter storms with the president.
Manu Raju, senior congressional correspondent for CNN, also invoked “the children” this week, asking Corker, “Is President Trump a role model to children in the United States?
“No ... absolutely not,” Corker responded.
Here are some more really great questions for CNN to ask Democrats and Republicans:
To Congresswoman Wilson: “Would you let Trump block your cowboy hat?”
To Nancy Pelosi: “Would you let Trump’s hairstylist near your head?”
To Charles Schumer: “Have you convinced Trump to join you in supporting government-controlled universal health care so Canadians have nowhere to go for life-saving heart surgeries?”
To (almost) every congressional critter: “Would you let him babysit your grandchildren?”
If someone answers, “Yes,” then, “Why do you hate your grandchildren?”
This immature war of words between CNN and Trump is becoming a sandbox legend.
Trump won’t quit, CNN won’t quit and Rachel Maddow won’t quit making ludicrous claims that even the left-wing Huffington Post disavows.
In another extraordinary act of cowardice, former Democratic Chair of the Federal Elections Commission Ann Ravel has reportedly amassed support from Democrats to fine and intimidate U.S. citizens who “like” and share “fake news” on Internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times website.
The intimidation would be your inbox and social media filled with official FEC messages warning you to standby for a libel suit.
No detail on how much the fine would be.
Whose appointee would be the arbiter of fake vs. real? The DNC? The RNC? CNN? Breitbart?
Ravel’s plan specifies the regulations would “improve voter competence,” even though the Constitution does not forbid ignorant and/or angry people from voting, which explains Trump, Hillary, Pelosi, etc.
Who’s doing the grading? Whoever is the current secretary of education? A program leader at the U.S. Office of Weights and Measures?
While cowardly Republicans like Flake run away from a fight, the Democrats are engaging in one against the American people ... and all “the children” who use Facebook and Twitter.
Rick Jensen is an award-winning Delaware talk show host and national columnist. Email Rick@DBCMedia.com.