It's Trump's party now
"More is now required of us than to put down our thoughts in writing," declaimed Jeff Flake in his oration against President Trump, just before he announced he will be quitting the Senate.
Though he had lifted the title of his August anti-Trump polemic, "Conscience of a Conservative," from Barry Goldwater, Jeff Flake is no Barry Goldwater.
Goldwater took on the GOP establishment in the primaries, voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, defiantly declared, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," and then went down to defeat battling to the end after the assassination of JFK made LBJ invincible.
The real "Mr. Conservative" was a true profile in courage.
Flake, with only 18 percent approval in Arizona, decided to pack it in rather than get waxed in his own primary. With Falstaff, Flake appears to believe that "discretion is the better part of valor."
Sen. Bob Corker is another summertime soldier calling on colleagues to stand and fight Trump while he retires to Tennessee.
It's no wonder the establishment is viewed with such derision.
Flake calls Trump "dangerous to our democracy." But the real threat Trump represents is to the GOP establishment's control of the party's agenda and the party's destiny.
U.S. politics have indeed been coarsened, with Trump playing a lead role. Yet, beneath the savagery of the uncivil war in the party lies more than personal insults and personality clashes.
This is a struggle about policy, about the future. And Trump is president because he read the party and the country right, while the Bush-McCain Republican establishment had lost touch with both.