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.