Jeff Flake, the squishy Senator from Arizona, is having himself a dilemma. He can’t decide whether or not to support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
I caught up with Flake briefly as he left the event, and asked if this meant he would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh, even if the FBI cleared him by week’s end. He appeared rattled, and his handlers rushed him into the stairwell. “I didn’t say that …” he stammered. “I wasn’t referring to him.”
Flake seemed to be wavering in recent days over his willingness to confirm Kavanaugh. On Friday afternoon, mere hours after stating he would vote to send the judge’s nomination to the Senate floor, he struck the agreement with Coons, and urged his colleagues to support the week-long probe before moving forward.
Flake explained his anguish late Friday night in an interview with my colleague McKay Coppins. Even after he’d signaled his intent to vote “yea” on Friday morning, Flake said, he remained “unsettled” by the lack of clarity surrounding the allegations. He began to warm to Coons’s idea for a brief investigation. “If it was anybody else, I wouldn’t have taken it as seriously. But I know Chris. … We trust each other,” Flake explained. “And I thought, if we could actually get something like what he was asking for—an investigation limited in time, limited in scope—we could maybe bring a little unity.”
Speaking with Jeffrey Rosen, the president of the National Constitution Center, and Democratic Senator Chris Coons at The Atlantic Festival on Tuesday morning, Flake called the judge’s interactions with lawmakers “sharp and partisan.”
“We can’t have that on the Court,” said the Arizona senator, who didn’t elaborate on which interactions he was referring to.
But apparently you can have partisanship on the Court. Here’s a dose of Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
July 8, 2016
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.
Referring to something she thought her late husband, tax lawyer Martin Ginsburg, would have said, she said: “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
July 11, 2016
“He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that ….
“At first I thought it was funny,” she said of Trump’s early candidacy. “To think that there’s a possibility that he could be president ….
“I think he has gotten so much free publicity ….
And as for youthful indiscretions disqualifying one for future service, well, Flake ought to know that one well. His son Tanner has had some pretty nasty things to say:
“To the f—-t who stole my dirt bike from the church parking lot, I will find you, and I will beat the crap out of you,” the boy, whose Twitter handle is @tflakey, wrote on March 20.
“I’m down to own some f—-ts,” he wrote in February, in a tweet directed at another Twitter user.
His tweets also included an anti-Semitic message directed at an undisclosed Twitter user.
“Say something hilarious, and I guarantee that … will say it louder and get all the credit. Jew,” he tweeted in February.
In a series of Facebook postings, riddled with “f—-t” and “n—-r,” the boy also bragged about his famous dad.
He boasted that he could talk to his father about a “crappy bill” his Facebook friend was protesting.
BuzzFeed also reported that the teenager used the screen name “n1—rkiller” in Fun Run, a gaming app on which he was active.
Additionally, Flake posted screenshots of scores from games on “Fun Run,” a social gaming app. The screenshots show that Flake goes by the name of “n1ggerkiller.”
UPDATE: A source points out that Flake’s YouTube comments are also littered with offensive language. A preliminary review of the hundreds of comments shows he repeatedly called other users “nigger” and “faggot,” called Mexicans the “scum of the Earth,” and on several occasions bragged that his father is a member of Congress.
Wonder where he learned that?
No matter. Should this haunt the kid his entire life? Should he have this used as a tool with which to batter him if he ever sought public service?
As the father of boys, I don’t think so. Flake needs to remember this when passing judgment.
The thing with Flake, though, is a lack of principle.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that there’s “not a chance” he would have called for an FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh if he were running for reelection.
“Not a chance,” Flake said when asked on CBS’s “60 Minutes” if he would have asked for the investigation if he were up for reelection in the November midterms.
“There’s no value to reaching across the aisle,” Flake said. “There’s no currency for that anymore. There’s no incentive.”
That’s a problem, but if he votes against Kavanaugh then his son’s past is open game forever.