Flake claims 35 GOP senators would like to oust Trump

A story gaining wide circulation this weekend is a report that former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, “thinks at least 35 Republican senators would vote for President Donald Trump to be removed from office if they could vote in private.”

Newsweek reported, “Speaking at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival Thursday, Flake was responding to comments made by Republican political consultant Mike Murphy on MSNBC who said that if there was a secret vote, at least 30 GOP Senators would back impeachment. ‘That’s not true. There would be at least 35,’ Flake said.” Read story here.

If this is true, Trump could be in a world of hurt, because the House is virtually certain to impeach him, and probably quickly. As of Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had 224 of the 218 votes needed to initiate impeachment proceedings. This includes no Republicans, and would swell if they began jumping on the impeachment train. But Pelosi doesn’t need any Republican votes, so we’re likely to find out just where each of the GOP senators stands on the question of removing Trump from the presidency in favor of Mike Pence.

But we need to slow down here. Flake only thinks Trump would lose a secret vote in the Senate; the operative words in this are “thinks” and “secret.” While he’s in a better position than most of us to know, given those are his friends and colleagues, in the end it’s only his opinion, even if a well-informed one.

And removal votes are not secret; they’re very very public, and that changes the calculus dramatically, because most (if not all) of these senators are afraid of Trump and their many constituents back home who adore him. They’ve seen what happens to Republican politicians who go against Trump’s core supporters.

So far, no Republican senator has publicly come out against Trump (although a couple have come close). Therefore what Flake’s comments tell us, if true, is that the Senate majority caucus is a pack of cowards. Bet you didn’t know that before, huh? Let us hope and pray they find their consciences and spines in the weeks ahead, because our nation’s fate hangs in the balance: Either rule of law, or rule by a strongman.

The Democratic strategy is to force them to vote, and then make them defend their votes at the ballot box. That might be enough to crack the GOP’s protective wall around Trump. We do know there is little love lost between many Republicans in Congress and the man who effected a hostile takeover of their party three years ago, and has been riding roughshod over everything and everybody ever since. So, the anti-Trump sentiment is there. The question is whether they have the courage — and patriotism — to act on it.

Photo: Former Sen. Jeff Flake

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    Just like all the members of the house any votes on the matter will be public. There is also a trial in the Senate and it is possible the leadership could toss the matter back to the house or just vote that there is no case and the matter should be dismissed. Which all the Republicans and some Democrats would like especially if it could be done in secret. Again this assumes there are enough votes for an article og impeachment.

  2. Mark Adams #

    It would be nice if the Speaker would have matched her rhetoric and kept the House in session. A visit to her San Fran estate will make everything in Washington DC a musical with Nancy getting to do the French Mistake.

    The House can do the impeachment thing in a couple of weeks. Or she doesn’t have the votes.

  3. theaveeditor #

    Howsabout responding to my reply about your bull pucky?

  4. Roger Rabbit #

    “it is possible the leadership could toss the matter back to the house”

    No, that is not possible. Once the House approves articles of impeachment, the Senate must either acquit or remove the official, unless the person chooses to resign.

  5. Roger Rabbit #

    “or just vote that there is no case and the matter should be dismissed”

    Technically no, but practically speaking, yes. The Senate can decide there’s a case, but decline to remove the official. If they decide not to remove, the term used is “acquittal” not “dismissal.”

  6. Roger Rabbit #

    “should be dismissed. Which all the Republicans and some Democrats would like especially if it could be done in secret.”

    You’ve got it backwards. Most Democrats want Trump gone. And if Mike Murphy and Jeff Flake are to be believed, according to them, 30 or 35 GOP senators would vote for removal if they could do so in secret, which they can’t.

  7. Roger Rabbit #

    “Or she doesn’t have the votes.”

    She didn’t get to be Speaker without knowing how to count votes. As of Friday, 224 House members publicly supported an impeachment inquiry. Of course, we won’t know for certain whether the 118 votes needed to pass articles of impeachment are there until actual articles are voted on, but it looks like she’ll have the votes.