Speed Reads

same old same old

Republican senators caution against interpreting Sen. Jeff Flake's floor speech as a turning point

Just two days after Sen. Jeff Flake's (R-Ariz.) rousing Senate floor speech, the Arizona senator's GOP colleagues are dampening talk of his disavowal of the Trump administration as being any sort of turning point. "I don't really expect any difference in the pre-announcement Flake from the post-announcement Flake," an unruffled Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Politico.

Flake, like a number of other Republicans recently, condemned President Trump for fueling the GOP's transformation into a "fearful, backward-looking minority party." Flake, though, confirmed later that: "I'm not out [to be] vindictive."

Critics had been skeptical from the start, noting that Flake's bold words have not been in line with his actions. Flake and other anti-Trump Republicans "still remain thirstier for the GOP's tax-slashing agenda and the possibility of nabbing another Supreme Court seat for constitutional fundamentalists than they are for the substance of their somberly intoned cliches about the sanctity of democracy," The Week's David Faris writes.

Or, in the words of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "Bob Corker and Jeff Flake … are not going to vote against good ideas because they're mad at the president."

Still, there might be hope for never-Trumpers yet. Read more about why recent Republican outcry is still potentially good for the left at The Week.