The Flake-y GOP
Over at True/Slant, E.D. makes a valuable and important comparison between Jeff Flake and Michelle Bachmann and the future of the GOP. I’m not looking to re-open the whole “reformer” vs. “base” vs. establishment brouhaha, but Flake is in many ways the shining example of why the GOP’s problems aren’t the craziness and partisanship of the base but the nihilism of the establishment. As E.D. notes, Flake is hardly in lockstep with the base on any number of issues and is often quite vocal on those topics where he disagrees with the base.
…And yet, when a seat opened up last year on the Appropriations Committee, the base overwhelmingly and passionately campaigned for him to be awarded that seat. The nihilistic GOP establishment, however, refused to do so. The base needs – and wants – leaders; if the establishment and the reformers don’t try to lead the base, then the base will choose its own leaders for better or for worse. They need more Jeff Flakes and fewer John Boehners and Michael Steeles. If they don’t get that, then they’ll give us all more Michelle Bachmanns.