News & Politics

The 5 Best Lines from Jeff Flake's Withering New Anti-Trump Op-Ed

The senator held nothing back as he used history to condemn the president.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

After a rousing speech on the Senate floor announcing an end to his reelection bid, Sen. Jeff Flake published an anti-Trump op-ed in the Washington Post  Tuesday night titled "Enough." The entire piece is worth a read.

The senator offers a historic parallel between President Donald Trump and Sen. Joseph McCarthy by recounting a story about former Army chief counsel Joseph Welch, who described McCarthy as cruel and reckless to his face.

Flake offers the same style of rebuke to Trump in his no-holds-barred editorial.

These are five stand-out quotes from the piece.

1. Flake seems to suggest an end to Trump's presidency.

"Nine months of this administration is enough for us to stop pretending that this is somehow normal, and that we are on the verge of some sort of pivot to governing, to stability. Nine months is more than enough for us to say, loudly and clearly: Enough."

2. Flake calls on the GOP to act immediately to combat the president.

"We can no longer remain silent, merely observing this train wreck, passively, as if waiting for someone else to do something. The longer we wait, the greater the damage, the harsher the judgment of history."

3. Flake condemns a list of Trump offenses, complete with hyperlinks.

"How many more disgraceful public feuds with Gold Star families can we witness in silence before we ourselves are disgraced?

"How many more times will we see moral ambiguity in the face of shocking bigotry and shrug it off?

"How many more childish insults do we need to see hurled at a hostile foreign power before we acknowledge the senseless danger of it?"

4. Flake attacks 'empty' right-wing populism.

"I have been so worried about the state of our disunion that I recently wrote a book called 'Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.' I meant for the book to be a defense of principle at a time when principle is in a state of collapse. In it, I traced the transformation of my party from a party of ideas to a party in thrall to a charismatic figure peddling empty populist slogans."

5. Flake fires a warning shot that he will be uninhibited for the rest of his term.

"For the next 14 months, relieved of the strictures of politics, I will be guided only by the dictates of conscience."


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Chris Sosa is the former Senior Editor of AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.