Former Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who left the upper chamber of Congress with the 2018 midterm election — not in defeat, but in retirement — has had plenty to say about Donald Trump, both before and after he left his seat.
But for liberals, Flake was easily one of the most frustrating Republicans to watch in those interactions.
Seeing House Republicans like Devin Nunes or Mark Meadows, Senate Republicans like John Cornyn and Lindsey Graham, it’s easy to predict exactly what folks like them would say or do in any given situation when it comes to Donald Trump: They’re going to side with him, no matter what.
Even “moderate” Republicans most often vote with the President — as in, always — and we’ve come to accept that their party is largely in lockstep. It was the ones who, despite their consistent votes with the party, seemed to be sporting a conscience. Flake, Bob Corker, even John McCain, all promised America in not so many words that they were going to challenge Trump on his most egregious offenses. In the end, they did not, apart from one vote taken by John McCain that Trump still rakes his now-dead body over the coals for, seemingly weekly.
Now imagine that as frustrated as you have been by Jeff Flake for not actually standing up to Trump, there are MAGA voters out there twice as angry with him because they thought he stood up to Trump too much.
In an interview from just a few days ago with the Guardian newspaper, Flake said that a man upset that he delayed the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for a few days left a voicemail at his home threatening to kill his entire family:
I am tired of him interrupting our president, and I am coming down there to take him and his family out.”
That was James Dean Blevins Jr., who just pleaded guilty in Chicago to a federal retaliation charge. Blevins is far from the only one, either. Just for not being in absolute lockstep with Trump, Flake has seen his children threatened, been sent beheading videos, and even witnessed in horror as a gunman showed up at three different locations in Arizona associated with the Mormon church, of which Flake is a member.
That man was looking for Flake himself.
Understand, this article is not to inspire any more sympathy for a Republican who enabled Trump with his votes than you would give to anyone who got death threats from crazy people. It’s to remind readers that Trump’s followers are so crazy that they will threaten to murder even the people who vote with Trump, but don’t do it fast enough.
It’s also to remind people of what Trump has said in condemnation of these overzealous followers. The President’s statement on his MAGA fans who have repeatedly been arrested, investigated, questioned by the FBI, and even sent to jail for their cult-like behavior is as follows:
Featured image via screen capture