He didn’t mention his target by name or even by title, but everyone who heard U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s speech today know of whom he spoke.
Flake, the lame-duck Arizona Republican, was talking about Donald John Trump Sr., president of the United States.
Flake’s scathing remarks spoke to an assault on the truth by the “most powerful person in government.” Yes, he called the president a liar.
He also scorched Trump for his ongoing assault on the media and lambasted him for undermining a valuable institution charged with holding government accountable for its actions.
Here is Flake’s speech.
Flake’s speech came just a day after his Arizona colleague, Sen. John McCain, wrote in a Washington Post commentary that Trump needs to stop his criticism of the media and stop invoking the “fake news” criticism of those media reports with which he disagrees.
The White House response was quite predictable. It spoke of the lousy poll numbers staring Flake in the face, which many have said caused him to announce his retirement from the Senate at the end of the year; he won’t stand for re-election.
Of course, the poll numbers retort dodges the point that Flake sought to make. Which is that Donald Trump has torn the truth to shreds with his constant prevarication and his frontal assault on those whose job is to report to the public about what the public’s government is doing for — or to — the people to whom those in government must answer.
Here’s a final thought …
If congressional Republicans are going to criticize how the president has conducted himself while in office, shouldn’t they mention him by name?
I mean, they chewed former President Barack Obama out for failing to mention the words “radical Islamic terrorists” as he spoke about the nation’s ongoing war against terrorism.
We all know about whom Sen. Flake was referring. He should have mentioned his name just to remove any smidgen of doubt.
I’ll close with these words from Jeff Flake himself: We are a mature democracy – it is well past time that we stop excusing or ignoring – or worse, endorsing — these attacks on the truth. For if we compromise the truth for the sake of our politics, we are lost.
Well stated, senator.