Knapp: ‘Flaky. Whiggy?’

Kn@ppster:

US Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) just became the latest Republican congresscritter to announce he won’t be seeking re-election in 2018:

He told The Arizona Republic ahead of his announcement that he has become convinced “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.”

Flake, 54, said he has not “soured on the Senate” and loves the institution. But as a traditional, libertarian-leaning conservative Republican, he is out of step with today’s Trump-dominated GOP.

Is it possible that there’s a plan (or that there will emerge one) over on the Never Trump side of the party to let Republicans take a big ass-whipping in the 2018 elections, then launch a new party (composed, at the candidate level, of old faces) to contest congressional seats and possibly the presidency in 2020?

Mere opposition to one individual doesn’t seem quite as durable or weighty as slavery, the issue that broke the Whigs and created the Republicans back in the 1850s. On the other hand, the individual in question is Trump. He seems to have a talent for creating the kind of chaos that permanently breaks organizations. So I’m wondering.



IPR note from Paulie: While USA Today and some other sources say Jeff Flake is libertarian-leaning, see http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Jeff_Flake.htm. The chart is at the bottom of the page, or you can score the detailed questions and answers yourself.

30 thoughts on “Knapp: ‘Flaky. Whiggy?’

  1. Andy

    I will not be surprised if the LP’s “Shiny Badge” Caucus tries to recruit Jeff Flake to run for the LP’s presidential nomination in 2020. Although Flake has some libertarian leanings, I know he is bad on some issues, and I would not want him as a Libertarian Party candidate.

  2. robert capozzi

    aj,

    Although I not in the LP since I am not a NAPster, I vote L, you are correct. We’re having that very conversation on the Open Thread.

    I’d like to see someone like Chairman Sarwark approach JF to switch affiliation to L in the coming months. Should he be comfortable enough with navigating the NAPster strictures, I’d like to see him consider running in 2020. He’d need to evolve into a more consistent lessarchist, I think, but he has the makings of being a breakthrough candidate.

  3. NewFederalist

    If Flake were to switch to the Libertarian Party right now giving the party their first U.S. Senator it would really send shock waves throughout the GOP. I don’t see him doing it but it would make great political theater! 😉

  4. robert capozzi

    nf,

    It would be a potential game changer, actually. The Opus Dei set in the LP might try to sabotage it, but it could open the floodgates, allowing Rs who see that DJT is unqualified and certifiably insane to jump ship with some sense of integrity and viability.

  5. robert capozzi

    Trump has accomplished one helpful thing: He and Bannon make Ls look relatively sane!

  6. Andy

    I would not trust Flake (appropriate name, as he would flake when it comes to libertarianism).

    Rand Paul, Justin Amash, or Tom Massie would probably be better than Flake, but I am really not that interested in any of them as an LP presidential candidate in 2020 either.

    Flake should be avoided. I bet it will be another Bob Barr or Gary Johnson type of campaign, which is exactly what the LP does not need.

    I think that Adam Kokesh is the only person to thus far announce that he is interested in seeking the LP’s 2020 presidential nomination. I would strongly consider supporting him for the nomination. Larry Sharpe is rumored to run for the nomination in 2020, and I think that he has got a lot of potential as a candidate, especially if he makes a goid showing if himself in the New York gubernatorial race in 2018. I would like to see Tom Woods or Andrew Napolitano run for the LP’s presidential nomination in 2020, but I doubt either will do it.

    2020 Is still a long time from now, and we do not know who all is going to run for the LP’s presidential ticket nominations, but whoever ends up jumping in the race, I hope that the cycle of running Republicans who are really not that libertarian, if they are libertarian at all, that has happened for the last three presidential election cycles, is finally broken.

  7. robert capozzi

    aj,

    Could your opinion shift if JF changed affiliation to L, making him the first L Senator? If he evolved his positions and entered the L quadrant?

    It’s probably true that he’ll never achieve Kokesh’s pinnacle position of pure, unadulterated NAPsterism, just above Cantwell.

  8. Andy

    I would be distrustful of Flake. I looked into his record awhile ago, and I recall that he supported the war in Iraq and The Patriot Act.

    There has been a concerted effort to subvert the Libertarian Party that has been upped since 2006, and it has mostly been coming from the Republican Party (I suspect involvement of the Deep State, and groups who exert influence over government, like the CFR). If Jeff Flake were to switch to the LP, I suspect that he would be the next “Republican Lite” infiltrator that the LP’s “Shiny Badge” Caucus will wave around as their next “savior” who will turn the LP into a “serious’ party. If Flake were really interested in libertarianism, he had years as an elected official to prove himself, and I believe that he fell short.

  9. robert capozzi

    aj,

    Now THAT would be diabolical. Have JF write a book against DJT, then retire from the Senate, all as a part of a long con to subvert the LP!

    Wow!

  10. Andy

    Jeff Flake retiring from the US Senate, and writing a book and/or speaking out against Donald Trump, does not mean that Flake is a libertarian, nor does it mean that he would be a good candidate for the LP, and this is so regardless of whether or not Flake is a part of a nefarious plot to subvert the LP.

    How come Jeff Flake never rallied against George W. Bush? Ron Paul ran in the Republican presidential primaries twice while Flake was in office. I do not recall Flake supporting Ron Paul.

  11. Luke

    I’m not sold on the idea that Flake is any kind of libertarian but “How come Jeff Flake never rallied against George W. Bush?” is a stupid question. Trump is a whole different level of crazy, fucked up and evil that is not comparable to past US presidents no matter how bad they were. There are lots of Republicans who are neither libertarians nor Paulbot/constitutionists but still want nothing to do with Trump. More and more every day.

  12. Andy

    I would say that by this point in time, George W. Bush had done more damage than Trump has.

    This is not to say that Trump will not catch up to him George W. Bush, he might, but he still has quite a way to go.

  13. Luke

    The fact that you are so profoundly wrong about this is rather immaterial. What’s material is that a lot of people disagree with you, and have every right to rally against Trump even if they did not rally against Bush. Flake in particular has made speeches and even wrote a book explaining his reasoning. It’s not libertarian but is internally consistent.

  14. Luke

    “What’s material is that a lot of people disagree with you…”

    More and more every day. Trump is so profoundly unfit for office that words can’t even begin to describe it.

  15. Thane Eichenauer

    Let all folks that support and admire Jeff Flake make a list of pro-freedom actions he has engaged in since being sent in 2000 to Washington, DC by voters in Arizona. Among those that are less than impressed with Jeff Flake is Laurence M. Vance:

    “Dale, I keep hearing on the news that Senator Flake believes in limited government. I suppose this means that whenever he ran in an election, he campaigned on a platform of eliminating welfare, the DEA, and the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Commerce, and Energy. Yeah right. Flake’s idea of limited government is a government limited to control by Republicans.”
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/senator-jeff-flake/

    One of several reasons I am less than impressed with Jeff Flake is that he states that he REGRETS voting against the TARP bailout (billions for bankers, taxes for the rest of us).
    “Sen. Jeff Flake Regrets Voting Against Wall Street Bank Bailouts” says Breitbart.
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/02/sen-jeff-flake-regrets-voting-against-wall-street-bank-bailouts/

    I hope that Doug Marks, the Libertarian candidate for US Senate from Arizona 2018, is elected come November of 2018.
    https://www.doug2018.com/

    https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_election_in_Arizona,_2018

  16. Thane Eichenauer

    Luke> Trump is so profoundly unfit for office that words can’t even begin to describe it.

    There are many points that I find fault with President Donald J. Trump but at least I’ll come out and say that I disagree with him instead of spouting inanities like finding him “profoundly unfit” rather than simply stating that you don’t like the actions he takes and you don’t like the positions (such that Trump can have a position any given 24 hour period) he holds.

    Instead of saying that “words can’t even begin to describe it” simply admit that you aren’t very talented when it comes to writing and leave it at that.

  17. Thane Eichenauer

    Jeff Flake seems to me to be a member of the Outer Party (the Republicans) that is doing unpaid flackwork for the Inner Party (the Democrats).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_Party

    —quote—
    Flake, who said he believes the president is setting a bad example for children, called out Trump for tweeting at foreign leaders and referring to Democrats as “losers or clowns.”

    “These are kinds of things that we shouldn’t be okay with,” he said. “We keep waiting for a pivot that simply isn’t happening.”
    —end quote

    http:// nypost.com/2017/10/24/jeff-flake-wont-rule-out-taking-on-trump-in-2020-primary/

    Is it possible Jeff Flake will use the next 2 years to evolve into the next Democratic nominee for President in 2020? Signs point to yes. Or he could be the next iteration of failed Republican candidate for President à la John McCain 2008. Perhaps he will go on a deep retreat with acclaimed advocate of limited government John Kasich (I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth)?

  18. Luke

    “There are many points that I find fault with President Donald J. Trump but at least I’ll come out and say that I disagree with him instead of spouting inanities like finding him “profoundly unfit” rather than simply stating that you don’t like the actions he takes and you don’t like the positions (such that Trump can have a position any given 24 hour period) he holds.”

    It’s not an inanity, it’s a fact that transcends mere laundry lists of actions, inactions, statements and plans.

    “Instead of saying that “words can’t even begin to describe it” simply admit that you aren’t very talented when it comes to writing and leave it at that.”

    I’ll let my ability or inability to write speak for itself, and I’ll stick by my statement that he is so unfit for office that words – and even parody, by some of the most talented parodists of our time – all fail at the task.

    And again, the ranks of people who agree with me on this – or are beginning to publicly admit they agree – is growing every day.

    The “God-Emperor” has no clothes. How long before impeachment, 25th amendment invocation, nuclear war, martial law or more than one of those?

  19. Luke

    “Jeff Flake seems to me to be a member of the Outer Party (the Republicans) that is doing unpaid flackwork for the Inner Party (the Democrats).”

    LOL. Where and how do you derive the absurd taxonomy that Democrats are analogous to 1984’s Inner Party and Republicans, Outer Party?

    “Is it possible Jeff Flake will use the next 2 years to evolve into the next Democratic nominee for President in 2020?”

    In a word, no.

    “Or he could be the next iteration of failed Republican candidate for President à la John McCain 2008. ”

    It seems rather unlikely that he could beat Trump for the nomination, unless you agree with me that Trump could be removed from office first. But even then, we still have the same primary electorate that nominated Trump, so it still seems unlikely. After all there will be any number of candidates seeking to appeal to the Trump base and copy Trump’s appeal in those same primaries.

    “Perhaps he will go on a deep retreat with acclaimed advocate of limited government John Kasich (I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth)?”

    Finally, you arrive at a real plausible possibility. I don’t think you are off course on that one.

  20. Thane Eichenauer

    Luke at October 25, 2017 at 20:58

    Luke> There are lots of Republicans who are neither libertarians nor Paulbot/constitutionists but still want nothing to do with Trump. More and more every day.

    No matter how many times Rachel Maddow whispers this into your ears in the dead of night (‘cuz your The Clapper is on the fritz and MSNBC is running reruns at 3 AM) it just ain’t so. There is no growing Resistance and Impeachment League. Donald Trump is the President and is likely to continue being the President until the day in November in 2020 when a new US President is chosen via some outdated process involving the electoral college that the Democrats never got around to fixing because passing Obamacare was OH – SO – VERY – IMPORTANT.

    P.S. Do go RIGHT NOW and order your very own “Chris&Chris&Rachel&Lawrence” tri-blend tshirt for a mere $31.95 (order 10, you know you can resell them at no profit to the growing numbers of The Resistance – That’s a no-brainer, right?). Don’t wait till next week Luke! They may run out because as you know full well there are MORE AND MORE people that are joining the Impeach Donald Trump (with 25th amendment frosting) marching band (and Resistance Movement [TM by The Clinton Foundation]). They may RUN OUT ANY MOMENT NOW! Really! REALLY! Really-really!!

    https://www.msnbcstore.com/shop-by-show/the-rachel-maddow-show/msnbc-ampersand-men-s-tri-blend-short-sleeve-t-shirt.html

  21. paulie Post author

    No matter how many times Rachel Maddow whispers this into your ears in the dead of night (‘cuz your The Clapper is on the fritz and MSNBC is running reruns at 3 AM) it just ain’t so.

    Yes, it is.

  22. Thane Eichenauer

    Luke at October 26, 2017 at 07:49

    Luke> LOL. Where and how do you derive the absurd taxonomy that Democrats are analogous to 1984’s Inner Party and Republicans, Outer Party?

    I find it here: https://blog.jim.com/party-politics/another-day-another-scalp/

    “Mencius Moldbug interpreted the Democrats as the inner party, and Republicans as the outer party, as subservient to the Democrats. Which accurately describes and predicts their inability to build a wall, halt race replacement, or repeal Obamacare.

    But Trump, whatever his faults, is not part of the Outer Party, is manifestly an enemy of the inner party.”

    Perhaps I am easily entranced by any writer that uses Orwellian terminology but those that use his words and concepts well have far more of a universal vantage point than most current talking heads. Take a look Luke (and paulie) and see if some of the other analysis on that greater post doesn’t persuade you just a little.

    “If Trump takes power, falsifying the Moldbug thesis, it will be that the alt right frog marched him into power, as King David’s mighty men conscripted him into Kingship, and the junior officers hauled Pinochet off to the still smoking presidential palace. It is striking that Jeff Flake conceded on the same day, or within a few days, of the investigation into Trump going off the rails, indicating that both are merely symptoms of a deeper change, that deeper change being recognition of the strong horse. We are still far away from Trump actually being in power, but today, not as far as it was.”

  23. paulie Post author

    Mencius Moldbug? Some altreich wackjob is your source?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Yarvin

    Curtis Guy Yarvin (born 1973), also known by his pen name Mencius Moldbug, is an American computer scientist, political theorist, and neoreactionary thinker….

    Yarvin describes himself as a royalist because, he says, “all organizations, big or small, public or private, military or civilian, are managed best when managed by a single executive. Hence: royalism…”

    he does not consider himself a libertarian because, he says, “as a moral imperative, or a political design, or a historical tradition, libertarianism does not strike me as an effective means to this end.”

    Yarvin’s opinions have been described as racist, with his writings interpreted as supportive of slavery, including the belief that whites have higher IQs than blacks for genetic reasons. Yarvin himself maintains that he is not a racist because, while he doubts that “all races are equally smart,” the notion “that people who score higher on IQ tests are in some sense superior human beings” is “creepy”. He also disputes being an “outspoken advocate for slavery”,[6][35] but has argued that some races are more suited to slavery than others.[36]”

  24. paulie Post author

    Republicans as the outer party, as subservient to the Democrats.

    Ridiculous. They have unified control of both houses of congress, presidency, supreme court, lower level federal judiciary, and an overwhelming advantage in governorships and state legislatures, the most unified Republican government the US has had since the 1920s. “Halting race replacement” is the twisted insane fantasy of the altreich, not the mainstream of the Republican Party.

    Halting Obamacare is procedurally difficult because we have over 80 years (at least) of momentum of people become used to “entitlements,” making them virtually impossible to get rid of as the hue and cry is raised about benefits being taken away, and indeed the Republicans never succeeded at getting rid of the New Deal or Great Society programs either no matter how much noise they made about doing so when they are out of power. In reality, the Republicans have long since settled for merely making a show of slowing the growth of such welfare entitlements – in no small part because many of their own voters benefit from them – in return for Democrats acquiescing to greater military and drug war spending, greater corporate welfare and more money for prisons and federal law enforcement. Those are the real priorities of the Republican Party, and have been for decades.

    As for “the wall” it probably will get built. It’s already being built for that matter. The altreich fascists are just too impatient.

    But Trump, whatever his faults, is not part of the Outer Party

    Make up your mind. Is “halting race replacement,” building the wall etc part of the agenda of the outer party or isn’t it?

  25. Thane Eichenauer

    paulie,
    Luke asked a question, I offered a responsive answer. The post I am referring to is written by Jim Donald, the owner of jim.com. He references Mencius Moldbug in his writing. Jim uses Mencius Moldbug’s analysis to decide where Donald Trump is and where Donald Trump is not.

    If you think that Mencius Moldbug is the worst guy on earth that is fine with me. Read the article (again written by Jim Donald not written by Mencius Moldbug) and decide whether his concepts are valid or not as applied to the current thing that we call the government of the United States.

    Even if I were an advocate of open borders and uncritical tolerance of immigration I would read the bits I have quoted and find that the analysis is true.

    paulie> Make up your mind. Is “halting race replacement,” building the wall etc part of the agenda of the outer party or isn’t it?

    I would say that “building the wall” is seriously part of the Republican party (the outer party) propaganda that is used to sucker votes during election season. My personal representative of this is my senior US Senator John McCain. I do believe that most people who identify as alt-right types hate John McCain for his actual efforts and votes. My view is that “the wall” is already built. If I were a human being born in Mexico I would find relocation to the US to be quite difficult only partially due to a physical wall. I would find working in the US to be very difficult due to the wall of laws that prohibit employment of working foreigners.

    The wall of anti-freedom, anti-movement laws is already here and of substantial effect.

    Only building more miles of physical wall is even being discussed. Sounds to me that the Inner Party Outer Party comparison is quite apt. The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that Democrats claim not to want to build any MORE MILES OF WALL. Are they in favor of tearing down those miles of border wall that the US already has built? NOT A BIT.

    From my view here in Phoenix, Arizona the Republican Party in power is Democrat lite which makes them… the Outer Party. The Democrat Party is the Inner Party, the workers and managers in the US government are Democrats. The Republicans do hold all the supposed positions of “power” that you refer to… SO WHAT? What good does that do for the actual pursued goals of the Republican party (such that they have any goals other than claiming to NOT support what the Democrats want). As far as the military goes the Democrats in power (including the well paid worker bees of the US government) and the Republicans (all those very well paid elected officials you refer to) in power are 99% in deep and blissful bipartisan agreement with only a very few rebels such as Rand Paul, Jim Hines, Tulsi Gabbard, Raúl Grijalva and Barbara Lee holding out from utterly unrestrained rule by Pentagon.

    I hope that my words add some clarity and that my reply is responsive to your comments and questions.

  26. paulie Post author

    The post I am referring to is written by Jim Donald, the owner of jim.com.

    I looked at his blog long enough to see that he “was hoping and expecting Trump would take power by now,” presumably in Moldbug’s royalist sense, since he finds Moldbug’s ideas to be interesting and a good basis for expounding further.

  27. paulie Post author

    The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that Democrats claim not to want to build any MORE MILES OF WALL. Are they in favor of tearing down those miles of border wall that the US already has built? NOT A BIT.

    Thus falsifying the whole inner party/outer party description of the Ds and Rs. Both Ds and Rs are remarkably inept at undoing anything. The Democrats can’t tear down the wall any more effectively than the Republicans can end Obamacare. The Democrats can’t even halt the transfer of military equipment to police departments in the US for more than a few months.

    Arizona the Republican Party in power is Democrat lite

    Just like the Democratic Party is Republican lite on any issues where their rhetoric is marginally better than Republicans, and there are a lot of such issues.

    . As far as the military goes the Democrats in power (including the well paid worker bees of the US government) and the Republicans (all those very well paid elected officials you refer to) in power are 99% in deep and blissful bipartisan agreement

    The Republicans make noises about expanding it more rapidly than the Democrats. The Democratic base wants to shrink it more than their politicians do.

  28. Thane Eichenauer

    paulie at October 26, 2017 at 09:19

    paulie> Yes, it is.

    As an FYI, you might want to listen to the last 30 minutes (or the entire thing) of Thaddeus Russell interviewing Scott Horton. Thaddeus Russell is clearly as worried as you are about the US powers that be (Trump plus the Generals/Pentagon [I’ll add in the Military Industrial Congressional Complex]) and Scott Horton (to my ears) is willing to admit that there is some cause to to be concerned. I think Russell takes the position of the American people are ignorant and stupid enough to be hoodwinked again (and goodness knows that is a far stronger case than I would like it to be) and Horton sounds somewhat persuaded but just doesn’t think it is likely given all other factors. I’ll throw in with Scott Horton. He clearly has processed all the juicy informative pieces about all the US involved and interested and US subsidized conflicts on planet earth in the last 50 years. I have every reason to believe that he is as current about what is happening and is as skeptical about war in general as every good person should be. So long as Scott Horton is around and I continue to listen to him once a week I might, just might become more concerned. Just not this week. Trust me, I am concerned.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xezg3WluxI

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