Thursday, November 29, 2018

WSJ: Jeff Flake Will Leave a Legacy of Petty Vindictiveness

R• Opinion
• Review & Outlook
Jeff Flake’s Sad Exit
He blocks judicial nominees in a futile anti-Trump gesture.
By The Editorial Board
Nov. 29, 2018 6:29 p.m. ET
The Wall Street Journal

Republican Senator Jeff Flake listens to questions from members of the media in Washington, D.C., Nov. 28. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg News

Usually when Congress cancels a committee meeting the country misses nothing more than grandstanding. But this week the Senate Judiciary Committee had to halt progress on confirming talented judges thanks to GOP Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

The committee was scheduled to meet Thursday to move some 20 judicial nominees. But Mr. Flake has said he will block all judicial nominees until he receives a vote on a bill that would insulate Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation from normal political accountability. The GOP’s one-seat majority on Judiciary means the party can’t report judges out of committee with a favorable recommendation without Mr. Flake’s vote.

Mr. Flake tried to bring up the Mueller bill on Wednesday but Republicans objected. Then he voted against a procedural motion to move forward on district judge nominee Thomas Farr, which meant Vice President Mike Pence had to break the 50-50 tie on the Senate floor. Judiciary canceled the committee meeting on Wednesday evening.

The judges who won’t move out of committee include six circuit nominees, not least Bridget Bade for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She’s from Arizona. Ms. Bade was nominated in August, but now she may have to wait until January for the committee’s blessing. She probably isn’t feeling the hometown camaraderie from Mr. Flake.

Mr. Flake’s stunt will have zero effect on President Trump or Mr. Mueller, and he’s compromising a substantive principle to make a futile political gesture. Mr. Flake is hurting the cause of confirming conservative judges who would enforce the Constitution in the name of a bill that is unconstitutional.

The legislation violates the Constitution because it would prevent the special counsel from being fired except by a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official for “good cause.” But Article II allows the President to fire inferior officers of the executive branch at will.

Defenders point to the Supreme Court’s 1988 Morrison v. Olson ruling that upheld the late and unlamented independent counsel statute. But Congress let that law expire because it had become a constitutional travesty, as Antonin Scalia so memorably wrote in dissent (“this wolf comes as a wolf”). Justice Brett Kavanaugh said in 2016 that he thought Morrison should be overturned.

Even worse is a provision that would let Mr. Mueller appeal his dismissal to a federal judge. Making Article III judges arbiters of the President’s appointment power undermines the separation of powers and dilutes political accountability. There is no such judicial power in the Constitution unless a President acts unlawfully, and firing Mr. Mueller would be a political mistake but it wouldn’t be unlawful.

Perhaps Mr. Flake, who didn’t run for re-election, is making a political statement in advance of the primary run he says he may make against Mr. Trump in 2020 in New Hampshire. But Republicans are likely to notice that he put his personal feelings about Mr. Trump above confirming judges that any GOP President would be proud to nominate.

Recall that John McCain scuttled the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare, in part because of his personal distaste for the President. But in the long run he will have harmed the institution he spent his career trying to protect: the military, which is squeezed by unreformed health-care entitlements. Mr. Flake’s self-indulgence is another example of how hostility to Mr. Trump has caused so many people to lose their own political bearings.

Appeared in the November 30, 2018, print edition.


Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
Never heard of Hayley Heidi Brey, a Playboy model, but she's made national news by getting groped in a laundromat. The video is here:
If they need help identifying the guy, I can tell them right now. It's Colin Kaepernick! Seriously though, that's gotta be a Moslem and you can bet it's something happening plenty on the streets with the Muslim invasion, and will be getting worse. Check out the end of the video where it shows her "partner", it's a black man and they have a daughter. I wonder what the boyfriend will say about this dude copping a feel on his lady, they'd love it if it were a white guy, then they really wave around their sanctimonious outrage, as it is they're gonna have to be a little bit understanding, after all it's a brotha. Seeing that this woman is a coal burner I don't feel too sorry for her, actually not at all, when they choose to be with black men and then are sexually assaulted by them, it's kind of karmic Check out that face, she's a classic butter face, which is probably the source of her resentment toward white men. What I don't understand is how she's a Playboy model, OK, the body is good, or was before having a baby, but that face just isn't the kind of quality I saw sneaking peeks as a kid, there was a time that being in Playboy meant you had to be a 10 all around, not just one part. Maybe this is a sign of the times for Playboy now that Hef is dead, a much lower standard of beauty.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a fake "assault".When he walked in,she pulled her short skirt down and he made his grab almost on cue.Publicity stunt of some kind?I call B.S.

Anonymous said...

GRA:This is the last one of these inane stories I'll paste on here.We know how stupid this is--where the libs thought processes are,so it becomes ridiculous to point out their ridiculousness after a while.
HuffPost, a liberal news site, was lampooned after saying Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was “seriously problematic” over claims that it features sexism and bullying.

“Viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all,” the outlet’s video said. “And they’re sharing their observations online.”

Among those observations was the suggestion that the TV classic was a story about racism and homophobia, while calling Santa Claus abusive and bigoted.

“Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick,” read one comment shared by HuffPost. “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training. #Rudolph,” read another.

"Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick."
The video also suggests it was problematic that Rudolph's father verbally abused him by forcing him to wear a fake nose to be accepted by others.

Some eagle-eyed social media critics also said the cartoon is sexist because Rudolph’s mom was snubbed after she wanted to help reindeer husband Donner to search for their son after he goes missing. “No, this is man’s work,” Donner says.

But HuffPost's effort to highlight the perceived bigotry of the beloved movie attracted tens of thousands of negative comments, most of them mocking the video.

“Oh look! Something people like and enjoy; let's go ruin it!” tweeted Rebeccah Heinrichs.“If you try hard enough you can find offence in almost anything,” Chloe Westley seconded.

Others pointed out that HuffPost misunderstood the cartoon as the troubling characters learn their lesson in the end. “But... but... the bigoted characters learn they were wrong. It teaches a lesson. It doesn't endorse the problematic stuff,” tweeted Robby Soave.

Even President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the topic, tweeting “Liberalism is a disease.”