Arizona Senator Jeff Flake arguably gave the most important speech in Congress since Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States back in January. In his speech, the Senator, now considered a bleeding heart of the pre-Trump Republican party, reamed his party, the President and the current political climate. Not to mention that the junior Senator announced his retirement. This came as a major shock as he, along with Senator Bob Corker and John McCain and now former President George W. Bush also voiced their outspoken opinions on the current state of affairs in Washington and around the country. His opinion piece published in the Washington Post titled "Enough" couldn't have been more perfectly titled. Enough is enough.
These four men represent a dying segment of the Republican party, the principled conservative. Speaking on behalf of Sen. John McCain and former President George W. Bush, these men are principled in their commitment towards ensuring American prosperity and sustainability. Neither of them are perfect, one far less perfect than the other, but they have always been consistent.
As for Senators Flake and Corker, they represent another side of the current GOP establishment that are increasingly becoming fed up with President Trump and the utter disregard for truth and faith in our institutions. They are the bleeding hearts of the Republican Party and the real conservative movement in the United States today.
Donald Trump is not a conservative and only a Republican in name only. Beyond his flip-flopping from party to party in his past, (which is fine frankly a man can change his mind) his populist and nationalist policies and positions are threatening to the stability of a vibrant and healthy democracy. Inconsistency is tricky to deal with. We expect the Democrats to be on the left and the Republicans to be on the right, the liberal vs conservative divide. However, Trump's populism blurs the lines and has prevented any form of progress since he took office. The Democrats get a taste of what they want, like infrastructure, and the Republicans get a taste of what they want, like tax cuts. Unfortunately, neither of these can exist. One could argue that it's good to have a President that isn't consistent and has varying views on issues, but it's become apparent that it just isn't working.
It also doesn't help that Donald Trump is not a principled and calculated man. His inconsistencies in his positions and policies also branch out to his disregard for the truth and the institutions he swore to uphold. Now, Sen. Flake and Corker are not shining examples of people who have always been top-A congressmen. Due to the need for political expediency, the Senators were not overwhelmingly supportive, even though Flake was more outspoken than Corker... neither of them were fans. But, if Donald Trump was supposed to be the Republican nominee for President, it's totally reasonable for these two to support him during an election.
The death of the GOP and it's re-birth into some Bannon-inspired zombie has resulted in the death of civility. Many miss the days of the Tea-Party with people running around with tea-bags in their faces arguing to get the governments hands off of social security. (Read into that as much as you will.) The party of McCain and of Bush is dying. Flake and Corker are not going to seek re-election. Trump may claim victory now but the fact of the matter is that Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are cut from the same cloth as McCain, Bush, Corker and now Flake.
The house is divided, but the GOP and Republicans nationwide need to figure out what is next for the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan.