Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake's Conscience Is Good for Libertarians—and the Country

The Arizona senator calls for limited government, takes clear aim at Trump's authoritarianism, GOP big-spending.

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"We've been compromised…by forces…of populism and protectionism, isolationism, xenophobia," says Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, about his own Republican Party.

In a new book that borrows a title from Barry Goldwater, an NPR interview, and a no-holds-barred column in Politico, Flake is making the case that the GOP and President Trump are dishonest and disinterested in limiting the size, scope, and spending of government.

He has impeccable credentials as a libertarian-leaning politician who once ran the free-market Goldwater Institute in Phoenix. Flake is a dedicated free-trader and defender of immigration who accompanied Reason on our trip to Cuba in 2016. Since arriving in Congress in 2001, he has passionately attacked the Cuba embargo as misguided, immoral, and ineffective: "We preach the gospel of contact and commerce and trade and travel, yet with Cuba we turn around and say, 'No, it's not going to work there.' It just seemed to be a glaring inconsistency in our foreign policy." An "unapologetic member of the Gang of Eight" that sound comprehensive immigration reform, he is one of the few remaining Republicans in high office to champion higher levels of legal immigration both as a humanitarian gesture and as a practical boon to the country.

Flake tells NPR that his discontent "is a long time in coming. I got here in Washington in 2001…. And we got [President George W. Bush's education overhaul law] No Child Left Behind, which was, I thought, big federal overreach into local education policy. And then we got the prescription drug benefit, which added about $7 trillion in unfunded liabilities. I didn't think that was a very conservative thing to do."

As important, Flake notes,

When we couldn't argue that we were the party of limited government anymore, then that forced us into issues like flag burning or trying to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, things that we wouldn't have done otherwise if we would have been arguing about true principles of limited government or spending.

He says that conservatives need "to be honest with people" about the causes of economic dislocation. While Donald Trump and his fellow populists wail about Mexico and China, Flake stays grounded in reality. "We manufacture twice as much as we did in the 1980s with one-third fewer workers and those productivity gains will continue. Globalization has happened and the question is: Do we harness it for our benefit or are we left behind by it?"

In his Politico piece, Flake ranges close to calling for Trump's impeachment, or at least official censure, writing that "unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication, and those in positions of leadership bear particular responsibility." Flake says that revelations about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and the president's bromance with Vladimir Putin were among the reasons he's channeling his inner Goldwater. Where should his party go from here?:

First, we shouldn't hesitate to speak out if the president "plays to the base" in ways that damage the Republican Party's ability to grow and speak to a larger audience. Second, Republicans need to take the long view when it comes to issues like free trade: Populist and protectionist policies might play well in the short term, but they handicap the country in the long term. Third, Republicans need to stand up for institutions and prerogatives, like the Senate filibuster, that have served us well for more than two centuries.

No wonder there have been whispers about Trump working to primary Flake, who is up for re-election in 2018.

You might not agree with Jeff Flake on everything, but it's good to see a principled free-market, open-borders Republican going public with his discontent, especially because he's got a strong record of calling out massive expansions of the government going back to his first days in Congress. We need more people like him in Washington, not just the handful we already know (Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie…).

In 2008, at Reason's 40th anniversary gala in Los Angeles, soon after Barack Obama's and the Democrat's win over John McCain and the GOP Congress, Flake talked about how his party needed to get back to limited-government principles. Take a look:

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  1. “Flake is making the case that the GOP and President Trump are dishonest and disinterested in limiting the size, scope, and spending of government.”
    Jeff Flake seems to be a bit dishonest himself.
    Jeff Flake’s voting record
    Sanctions, AUMF, ObamaCare, etc.

    1. I do like him on average. Certainly I find him the better AZ Senator. I agree that he ain’t perfect though and that “impeccable credentials” is a but strong.

      1. Well, a strong butt is hard to find.

        1. I just wish he wasn’t a Mormon so that we could play rambling buttcheeks.

          1. Those aren’t pillows!

      2. On balance I like the guy. He was my congress-critter for a long time. I like his refusal to endorse Trump. Of course that won’t pay off. His own Team will try to primary him, and Team Blue folks won’t vote for him anyway.

      3. Flake is among the the few fiscal conservatives in Congress. He’s gone a little bonkers on Trump IMHO. Trump can’t really do much to cut spending because of Congress. Flake is attacking a fiscal ally.

  2. “[…] the GOP and President Trump are dishonest and disinterested in limiting the size, scope, and spending of government.”
    Obviously.

    The real dishonesty though is that Flake pretends that Republicans have ever been interested n “small government”. That hasn’t been true. Ever.

  3. Nick is doing his usual “IT’S THE LIBERTARIAN MOMENT” bullshit.

    “We preach the gospel of contact and commerce and trade and travel, yet with Cuba we turn around and say, ‘No, it’s not going to work there.’

    When the government there can unilaterally just nullify contract and runs commerce — then, no, it won’t work there.

    An “unapologetic member of the Gang of Eight” that sound comprehensive immigration reform, he is one of the few remaining Republicans in high office to champion higher levels of legal immigration both as a humanitarian gesture and as a practical boon to the country.

    Nothing says “smaller government” then allowing illegal immigration as a “humanitarian gesture”.

    Flake says that revelations about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and the president’s bromance with Vladimir Putin were among the reasons he’s channeling his inner Goldwater.

    So he’s a gob-smacking idiot? Good to know.

    Apparently, smaller government means seeking war as much as possible…

    1. allowing illegal immigration

      I’m pretty sure that allowing it makes it not illegal. You do realize that it is possible for crossing the Mexican border not to be illegal, right?

      1. If you ignore laws, lots of things become legal.

        If nobody prosecuted cops for shooting people, then cops shooting people would be legal.

        It is quite possible to cross the border legally. Shame so many don’t want to go through the effort, ain’t it?

        1. That’s not accurate. It would still be illegal, just not prosecuted. Perhaps you mean it would be de facto legal. Even in that case it doesn’t make sense as he’s talking about making it legal in the most literal sense.

        2. It’s like you read “champion higher levels of legal immigration” and then changed ‘legal’ to ‘illegal’ in your head before making your argument.

          1. Maybe he thinks that all immigrants from points south are inherently and immutably “illegal” in some bizarre sense of the word.

          2. It’s like you read “champion higher levels of legal immigration” and then changed ‘legal’ to ‘illegal’ in your head before making your argument.

            He isn’t overly fond of stopping illegal, either.

        3. You really aren’t too bright, are you?

          Why would you assume that a senator who supports allowing higher levels of immigration is proposing that we should allow illegal immigration? Flake is proposing allowing more immigration by changing the laws, not ignoring illegal immigration.

          It’s actually not “quite possible” to cross the border legally for a lot of immigrants. Do you really think that sneaking through the desert or spending a lot of money to someone to help smuggle you into the country, then constantly having to worry about being deported would be something people would choose to do if there were available legal ways into the country?

          1. It’s actually not “quite possible” to cross the border legally for a lot of immigrants. Do you really think that sneaking through the desert or spending a lot of money to someone to help smuggle you into the country, then constantly having to worry about being deported would be something people would choose to do if there were available legal ways into the country?

            There is.

            If they don’t

          2. It’s actually not “quite possible” to cross the border legally for a lot of immigrants. Do you really think that sneaking through the desert or spending a lot of money to someone to help smuggle you into the country, then constantly having to worry about being deported would be something people would choose to do if there were available legal ways into the country?

            There is.

            If they don’t

            1. If they do not qualify for visas, c’est la vie. We are under no obligation to make it easier. There are very legal means of becoming citizens or just moving here. People do it all of the time.

              1. You are completely missing the point. No one says we are obliged to make it easier. Some people want to make it easier.

                People come illegally because they can’t qualify for visas. Whatever you think of the illlegals, that’s a fact. So it’s not true that there are ways for the illegal immigrants to come legally in most cases.
                Flake seems to support allowing more visas for low-skill workers. Which would mean less illegal immigration, all else being equal. Somehow you managed to interpret that as meaning that Flake wants to allow more illegal immigration. Which is exactly the opposite of what he wants.

              2. It’s not a matter of qualifying. It is a matter of quotas.

          3. “Do you really think that sneaking through the desert or spending a lot of money to someone to help smuggle you into the country, then constantly having to worry about being deported would be something people would choose to do if there were available legal ways into the country?”

            Because they’re sneaky Messican bad hombres. It’s what they do.

          4. You might not agree with Jeff Flake on everything, but it’s good to see a principled free-market, open-borders Republican.

            I guess if open borders was the law, then it would not be illegal to cross the border. The problem is it is a one way street. Yah, you can go to Mexico for a short period or be jailed. You can’t own real estate either.

        4. Try to base it on human freedom instead of laws passed by Congress. People should be free to travel, live and work where they are welcome, without Congress saying who Americans can hire or rent their houses out to. Americans should be free to travel to Cuba, even if the Cuban government is one of the worst.

      2. “I’m pretty sure that allowing it makes it not illegal”

        I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

    2. Well we have the right-wing Republican take on things, as if that was necessary.

      1. And now we have the faggot retard communist weasel’s take on this article. Thanks Tony.

    3. Nick is doing his usual “IT’S THE LIBERTARIAN MOMENT” bullshit.

      I would say that, between Nick Gillespie and NPR, I keep expecting the other shoe to drop.

      Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with Flake or that a Republican can’t be a libertarian by any means (obviously!), but I guess I’m a little gun-shy. Like, in a month, he’ll come out in support of gay wedding cakes, 100-person presidential gun safety panels, and Hillary Clinton.

      At the very least, he’s going to need something more than just a recommendation from Gillespie before I’m convinced he’s capable of wearing a libertarian gold star on his chest (or monocle between his cheek and eyebrow, whatever).

      1. Being against gay wedding cakes is libertarian?

        1. Being against the government forcing one to make gay wedding cakes is Libertarian.

    4. When the government there can unilaterally just nullify contract and runs commerce — then, no, it won’t work there.

      A true libertarian applauds when the government decides who they can and cannot trade with.

      1. That’s a good point. Now do Russia and the ‘libertarian’ ‘free traders’ at this publication like Cathy Young.

        Oh, is that inconvenient?

          1. I’m beginning to suspect that “WakaWaka” is just the name given to a machine learning algorithm tasked with creating the most tiresomely milquetoast cheap shots at libertarians ever devised.

            1. Dude, I’m asking you to defend your contradictory positions on free trade. If you think your position is anything other than a neoconservative trade policy then you are the perfect cosmo

              1. Where has paranoid android contradicted himself on free trade?

              2. Cosmo? Topper or Kramer?

          2. You’re mocking the above poster for Gillespie talking about the immorality of maintaining an embargo with Cuba. Well, OK, selective free trader, why is sanctions against Cuba bad, but sanctions with Russia, Iran, and North Korea good? If trading with Cuba will make them better then why not the other ‘baddies’?

            I’m just trying to understand the convoluted notion of ‘free trade’ pushed here (which is eerily the same notion pushed at the Weekly Standard).

            1. I’m just trying to understand the convoluted notion of ‘free trade’ pushed here

              Is “here” my singular comment, or am I somehow responsible for whatever Reason magazine publishes, because if so Reason has to get going on the sloppy titty photo section.

            2. Different writers have different ideas about things. Has Gillespie said that we must have an embargo against Russia? If not, you are just full of shit. Cathy Young said stuff about sanctions against Russia (though mostly what she said is that sanctions can work better than some people think). Take it up with her, she said it, not every single writer and commenter at Reason.

            3. Sanctions are used as a tool to squeeze other countries into doing what we want, or to (as in the case of Cuba) try to destabilize a bad regime. Not sure how thats really terribly complicated.

    5. “Nothing says “smaller government” then allowing illegal immigration as a ‘humanitarian gesture’.”

      First off, the article even specified “legal immigration,” and in no way even eluded to the idea of supporting illegal immigration.

      Second point, creating even more federal laws is what grows federal government, not immigration. Whether the federal government decides to fund programs determines if government grows. There are so many federal laws, the last time a request to review them all was made, they simply didn’t have the manpower to do so.

      “Economic Nationalism” and protectionism is what grows government. Fighting free trade is what grows government.

  4. First, we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president “plays to the base” in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience.

    I’m at a point where I don’t care about damage to political parties. They’ve ruined their own ability to grow and speak to a larger audience.

    1. “we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president “plays to the base” in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience.”

      “Play to the base” is code for uneducated civilians, makes him no better than any other politician who thinks he knows whats best for the base. which means he too will spend what it takes, by the government, to get his ideas accomplished

  5. Gillespie is a dishonest, Block Yomomma loving left liberal democrat shitbag who wants to follow the Western European governance model of scaling defense spending down to fund an ever-expanding welfare state, just as long as the democrats are the ones doing the expanding.

    This asshole openly calls for a guaranteed universal income for deadbeat bums, and loses his shit when the republicans try to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and his other pet causes.

    1. Do you say “Block Yomomma” unironically?

      1. What’s it to you, cuckashmuck gayboy?

        1. First of all, I’m not a cuck as I am alone, second I’m a biboy, and third I’m just wondering. “Block Yomomma” just sounds weird, and I can tell from context it is an insult, but the phrase itself doesn’t tell us that.

          1. What I’m saying is that Double Dummy has an awesome habit of retardizing the names of people he doesn’t like as well as thinking up even more retarded epithets for those who respond to him in a negative manner.

            1. Is it really genuine? Because “Block Yomomma” sounds like something better posters would say as a parody of stupid nicknames.

              1. Oh, it’s quite intentional on his part. He’s been using it for years.

              2. Who do you think those posters are parodying in the first place?

              3. Sometimes he includes the middle name: Block Insane Yomomma. Anyone who makes fun of Mikey is an “Obama momma,” which you might recognize as the kind of insult a particularly slow third-grader might think is funny for about a minute.

          2. What’s a biboy?

            1. I only have sex with oysters, clams and other bivalves.

              1. I’m sorry I asked.

                1. Well I was happy to answer.

              2. I thought it meant your taste includes both oysters and snails.

                1. I have to get a little booze in me before I’m attracted to snails.

                  1. How much booze are we talking about? Did you know slugs like beer?

              3. I thought it meant that when you wanted sex, you had to buy it.

    2. I’m pretty sure Gillespie wants lower government spending across the board.

  6. “We manufacture twice as much as we did in the 1980s with one-third fewer workers and those productivity gains will continue…”

    Dude, if you want to take down a populist, probably don’t use this argument.

    1. Yeah, I was thinking that as well. It’s like he doesn’t understand people’s concern there.

      1. Why not. It’s rather obvious, and further deluding this through populism isn’t going to change it. Rather, it’s going to keep the focus off how to improve things as they now stand and instead pine for “the good old days” that aren’t going to return.

        The global economy is tightly integrated, and produces how we could have only imagined in the past. It can also be improved.

    2. Dude, if you want to take down a populist, probably don’t use this argument.

      He seems to recognize this. Here is the larger quote from the interview’s transcript:

      But I think as conservatives, our first obligation is to be honest with people and telling factory workers for example – it’s always easier for a politician to point to a shuttered factory and say “That’s because of free trade. That’s because Mexico took those jobs, or China did.” But what is not recognized is that it’s largely been productivity gains and automation. We manufacture twice as much as we did in the 1980s with one-third fewer workers and those productivity gains will continue. Globalization has happened and the question is: Do we harness it for our benefit or are we left behind by it?

      I suppose what is required is a method of communicating the known facts to voters who have been “dumbed down” most of their lives by a multitude of influences and factors.

      1. I suppose what is required is a method of communicating the known facts to voters who have been “dumbed down” most of their lives by a multitude of influences and factors.

        Step one: place an acronym on a red hat
        Step two: blame the media for everything
        Step three: become President

        1. Can we all agree that it’s a pretty good hat?

          1. too much Soviet red

          2. Can we all agree that it’s a pretty good hat?

            It’s not for everyone.

        2. I’ve been burned by Nick before. I refuse to vote for a Republican with a conscience and a recommendation from Nick G. until he can prove that he knows where Aleppo is.

          1. It seemed, however, that all the candidates who DID know where Aleppo is wanted to blow it up.

            1. Did we ever get Weld’s position on Aleppo (other than Gary muffed it up)?

                1. Yes, one arm up on something and slightly leaning in that direction.

                2. Weld had positions?

                  His position on Gun Control and the fact that Gary essentially invented a 100 person (Vice) Presidential panel on the spot spoke volumes about the politic and their political dynamic to me.

                3. Weld is a drunken idiot and a Masshole liberal.

      2. that sort of economic literacy has no place in politics!

      3. What Mexico and China need is a good dose of the UAW and Teamsters.

    3. “We manufacture twice as much as we did in the 1980s with one-third fewer workers and those productivity gains will continue…”

      All the while ignoring that the corporations are bringing in immigrants on work visa to do the only jobs left and the citizen is required to train the immigrant or else loose any benifits they may have

      1. We’re not seeing U.S.-born applicants lining up for said jobs that you suggest “the immigrants” are taking. That’s because they are jobs that nobody wants.

        Until American citizens start demanding those labor-intensive jobs, like picking fruits and other hard labor, these absurd ideas ring loudly hollow.

        1. Tell that to the IT personnel at Disney!

        2. Not entirely true. I used to work for a large, well-known IT company. The mantra was cut costs and do more with less. At one point they decided to outsource a lot of their engineering work and flew in planeloads of trainees from India for U.S. employees to educate. Then the trainees went back to India and provided engineering services remotely while the U.S. employees were given a choice between early retirement or being let go. Just another facet of globalization, but it sucked.

    4. Why not. It’s a realistic assessment, not a mindless reaction that pines for a time machine where we’re watching Howdy-Doody and enjoying the lack of technology that brought us all these awful things that make our lives better.

      Selling this pipe dream of rolling back the economic clock is absurd, and born out of unreasonable reaction to the world as-is.

      1. And the robots are built in Germany, Mexico, Japan, and China. Because the U.S. manufacturing sector has been decimated by regulation.

    5. Productivity gains represent economic growth, which is where jobs come from. Not horse and buggy jobs, though. You have to get some skills, can’t be just a strong back and a pair of hands any more and expect the American dream to come true for you.

  7. >>>a no-holds-barred column

    oooooh, them words hurt.

  8. I’d believe that Jeff Flake was interested in limiting the size, scope, and spending of government if he either talked more about it or actually did more to limit it. What has he limited lately? Rather little that I can determine.

    I live and vote in Arizona.
    Jeff Flake Liberty Score by CR – 53% – An “F”.

    1. I just went and looked at his stuff. I couldn’t find the actual criteria for CR so if you have those I’d appreciate it.

      That said, looking at this recent votes, he is not good on fiscal issues, which is a damn shame.

      1. Try this, BUCS.

        1. Posting a link to the exact page did not work. I’ll attempt to post a link to the website’s main page here and if it works you’ll simply have to choose Arizona in the drop down box toward the upper left of the page.

          1. I found that, but from there I can’t find the detailed report of his voting record. They give some more detail in a PDF but it still doesn’t say what votes specifically the CR agrees/disagrees on. Unless I’m missing something else. In which case, just leave me to my brain death.

            1. I looked around and haven’t found anything tangible either. On the CR website there is a short video which inadequately describes part of the process (around the 50 second mark).

              I will add that the three contributors pictured on the main page give me pause to take the Liberty Scorecard seriously.

    2. Conservative isn’t libertarian.

  9. Nick’s gone full Dondero affixing a “libertarian ” prefix to any and every establishment RINO

    1. establishment RINO

      Do you know what “RINO” actually means? Or “establishment”?

      1. All SIV knows is the pleasure of a beak caressing his taint. Props for the DONDEROOOOOOOO reference, though.

        1. Full Dondero was SIV’s nickname in high school, though, before he discovered he preferred to engage in fowl play.

        2. Oh, and if you are wondering how SIV gets a rooster to caress his taint, in one word: earthworms.

          1. It’s sad that he can’t afford tapeworms.

    2. Yep. He’s just about the biggest lying sack of shit here, and that’s saying something with the stiff competition he has. When you cut through all his mountains of lies and bullshit, what he really wants is:

      1) Massive cuts to defense spending (not necessarily a bad thing, as defense can and should be cut).
      2) An ever-expanding welfare state and redistribution, including a guaranteed universal income for lazy bums.
      3) Liberals, and especially democrats, to be the ones controlling the central administrative state doing the expanding (he has no problem shamelessly attacking republicans for doing things he’d support coming from the democrats, while at the same getting pissed when the republicans try to cut things he really supports, like Planned Parenthood).

      He believes in a couple of the right things, like free trade and ending the drug war, but in almost all other respects he’s a conventional liberal democrat, albeit one who lies like most people breathe.

      1. What business is it of you whether people are lazy? Freedom is the freedom to be lazy. You think there should be a sentence of death by starvation for that non-crime. (But owning a yacht means an indefinite amount of public dollars must be spent on making sure it doesn’t get so much as a scratch on it.) Moral prigs, all of you.

        1. What business is it of you whether people are lazy? Freedom is the freedom to be lazy. You think there should be a sentence of death by starvation for that non-crime.

          Yes.

          Next question?

          1. People are free to be lazy, and people that feed bad for them are free to feed them. But why do you want those that don’t want to feed the lazy to be forced to do so?

            1. Because people like that see the government as a paternal figure that dictates how you live your life. Basically, everything the Constitution warns us of.

          2. So does that apply to lazy folks that lucked into having rich parents, or just lazy folks born to the other 99%?

            1. Well, continuing to use Tony’s black-and-white language:

              If you have rich parents and you’re lazy and your rich parents pay for you, you don’t starve.

              If you don’t have rich parents and you’re lazy and you can’t receive charity from, say, a church, you starve.

              And you know who gets the better deal there? The people without rich parents, because being compelled to get off your lazy ass is a good thing.

              (Of course, those are only the consequences of the libertarian position. The justification of the libertarian position is that you don’t have a moral right to take other people’s property by force, even if your life is at stake.)

              1. Except you can take my property to pay for armed protection and retribution should your yacht me scratched, even by accident. So you can see where one might be confused about the priorities of your stupid, simplistic nonsense belief system.

            2. Except you can take my property to pay for armed protection and retribution

              Did I say anywhere that that should be so? Where did I say that that was “part of my belief system”? Where is that even part of the libertarian belief system?

              So you can see where one might be confused about the priorities of your stupid, simplistic nonsense belief system.

              Actually, Tony, you’re simply confused.

        2. You think there should be a sentence of death by starvation for that non-crime.

          Woe is libertarianism, what is to be done about all the people too lazy to feed themselves. Who will feed all the starving straw men?

        3. Tony, you’ve never heard of the luxury tax, I see. When that cuntwad Bush enacted the 10% luxury tax in 1991, guess what the result was for, say, the boating industry? Sales went down, which impacted a lot of jobs: marinas, boat manufacturers, boat repair businesses, yacht brokers, sailing schools, diesel engine manufacturers, etc. Most of the people working these jobs are not rich.

          1. Plus, it raised very little revenue and the concept was abandoned in the US (thankfully).

        4. If laziness is a death sentence then the lazy person is the judge, jury and executioner. If he is so disinterested in his own survival that he refuses to offer value in service to others to earn his bread, how is that anyone else’s moral failing?

    3. It’s pronounced ‘Rockefeller Republican’ and it’s pretty much well describes Reason’s selective vision of ‘libertarianism’

  10. Jeff Flake is apparently not enough of a factory-produced hypocritical Republican for some of the principled libertarians here.

    1. You’d be a lot less uptight if you let your Linus and Charlie Brown’s roam free.

      1. My uptight mien goes way deeper than underclothes, I’m afraid.

        1. That is the worst sentence i’ve ever read on Hit’n’Run.

          1. Aw man, my cleft palate comment has been displaced.

            1. Thanks, alcohol-induced memory loss!

    2. If Flake succeeded granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants, Republican and libertarian concerns would become irrelevant. So, his principles are pretty much irrelevant (inconsistent as they are).

      1. LOL ^This guy’s still around?

      2. Republican and libertarian concerns would become irrelevant.

        Not to disagree with your point but is there evidence of this? I mean, it’s generally held that they’d vote democrat and then refuted that they’d vote Republican and frequently evidenced that they’d vote for Trump. Which isn’t exactly not Democrat and a poor indication of libertarianism. What percentage of immigrants are voting libertarian? What about voting libertarian in spite of or aside from the more mainstream LP’s shitty immigration rhetoric (i.e. other places where libertarian rubber meets the road and/or can’t be construed as free shit)?

      3. It might help if Republicans and some libertarians weren’t overtly hostile to immigrants. Immigrants should be a good constituency for Republicans. They are often pretty centered on family values and hard work to get ahead. If Republicans would say “we want you in this country if you are going to work hard and contribute something valuable” rather than “fuck you, wait in the line that you will never get through or go back where you came from”, there might be a bit more support from immigrants. They actually don’t have a genetic predisposition to voting Democrat.

        1. rather than “fuck you, wait in the line that you will never get through or go back where you came from”, .

          I’m a non-Hispanic immigrant. It took me a couple of decades to become a US citizen. That’s the deal.

          What Democrats are telling me is “fuck you for waiting in that line, and fuck you now because you’re a white cis-male shitlord, and fuck you for working your way up from nothing into the top few percent of income earners”. We Democrats support Pedro here who just walked over the border illegally, receives more in government benefits than he pays in taxes, and who can play the oppressed minority whenever he likes to.

          It might help if Republicans and some libertarians weren’t overtly hostile to immigrants.

          As an immigrant, I perceive Democrats to be overtly hostile to me.

    3. Tony, at least he’s not a thieving piece of shit communist democrat. Like you.

  11. I’m glad Flake is standing up for free trade. Did he oppose Obama on this issue in 2012, when our former president attacked Mitt Romney for having international trade ties?

    Campaign Ad 1

    Campaign Ad 2

  12. The dude seems kinda flaky to me.

  13. OT: President Trump pressured Fox News to release fake story about death of DNC staffer Seth Rich and Wikileaks to divert attention from Russia, claims explosive lawsuit

    President Donald Trump is being accused of knowingly and actively trying to spread false news about the murder of DNC employee Seth Rich in a new lawsuit.

    It’s a Rod Wheeler and Fox News bitch-fight! HOW FUN!

  14. Jeff Flake saved us from the terrorists, drug dealers and child exploiters by voting to reauthorize the libertarian-Patriot Act..

    1. Don’t forget the anti-freedom money launderers.

  15. are dishonest and disinterested in limiting the size, scope, and spending of government.

    I see Flake’s strategy here. Give Democrats a reason to like Trump.

  16. “disinterested” is not the same as “uninterested”

    I really would like for our politicians to be disinterested on issues related to “limiting the size, scope, and spending of government”.

    Instead, they are highly interested in “the size, scope, and spending of government”, and highly uninterested in limiting government.

  17. We’ve been compromised…by forces…of populism and protectionism, isolationism, xenophobia,

    Seriously? Not wanting 10-20 million people to invade your country illegally and demand government resources is now considered “xenophobia”? Being concerned about the effect of foreign political lobbying and manipulation of US markets (I’m talking EU, not Russia here) is “protectionism”? And instead of “populism” (=support for the concerns of average Americans”) you prefer what? Technocracy and elitism.

    He has impeccable credentials as a libertarian-leaning politician who once ran the free-market Goldwater Institute in Phoenix. … You might not agree with Jeff Flake on everything, but it’s good to see a principled free-market, open-borders Republican going public with his discontent,

    “Open borders” is neither principled nor libertarian in the presence of a massive welfare state and a highly regulated and subsidized economy. The Republican party has had its share of progressive pricks and idiots; Flake is obviously among them.

    1. Flake talked about how his party needed to get back to limited-government principles.

      Yeah, but Flake sure isn’t going to help with that.

      All ideological issues aside, Flake wants to give illegals citizenship. That would guarantee a permanent Democratic majority, making him, his “limited-government principles”, and Republicans permanently irrelevant.

      Flake has convinced me: he needs to be driven from office, the sooner the better. I’d rather have a progressive Democrat than him: at least Republicans recognize those as enemies. People like Flake destroy liberty from within.

      1. Principles must be sacrificed for party.

        Which would be a pretty fucking amazing thing to say even if Republicans ever once actually adhered to your principles or any other.

        1. Principles must be sacrificed for party.

          No, principles need to be sacrificed for survival, and if the US naturalizes 10-20 million third world illegals, we can kiss our democracy and our economy goodbye. It doesn’t matter what party labels you apply.

          1. LOL racist douchefuck

            1. I see: opposing the naturalization of white, European lawbreakers is now “racist”. Fascinating.

        2. You mean Rule of law principles?

          That illegals should follow American’s rules like every other potential immigrant?

          Deport all the illegals and make them follow our rules for immigration.

    2. “And instead of “populism” (=support for the concerns of average Americans”) you prefer what? Technocracy and elitism.”
      And you don’t?

      For fear of making assumptions, if you are a Libertarian or libertarian, then you too think that politicians should be focusing on an agenda that does not align with the “concerns of average Americans”. Face it, a lot of what irks libertarians/Libertarians is fairly accepted by most folks. And the areas where concerns collide, the libertarian/Libertarian solution is inevitably not the one favored by most folk.

      So I’m not sure this criticism bites as hard as you think it does.

      1. For fear of making assumptions, if you are a Libertarian or libertarian, then you too think that politicians should be focusing on an agenda that does not align with the “concerns of average Americans”.

        No, I don’t believe that at all. What I believe in is limited government and subsidiarity.

        Technocracy/elitism is saying “the right people in power can/should solve problem X (at the federal level), and their solution may look different from what the people want”. Populism says “implement the solution to problem X (at the federal level) that most people want implemented”. Libertarianism is different from both of them, saying that “solving problem X is just not the (federal) government’s business”.

  18. Do ‘libertarians’ even want to reduce the size of government anymore?

    1. I can’t speak for every libertarian, but I believe the size of government is only one aspect of the problem. A problem to be sure, but I believe it’s more a symptom than the problem.

      1. And the larger problem is….?

        1. Removal of liberty.

      2. I can’t speak for every libertarian, but I believe the size of government is only one aspect of the problem. A problem to be sure, but I believe it’s more a symptom than the problem.

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen “Yes” spelled like that before.

    2. I know, right? Real limited government involves a police state on the border and billions in spending on a giant see-through wall!

      1. And where did it say that?

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  20. I love all the regular Trump supporters here going apeshit over the idea of Flake being considered somewhat libertarian by Reason.

    Oh, the irony.

    1. It’s definitely the elephant in the room, pardon the pun.

      Many of us are undoubtedly thinking the same thing. It’s glaringly obvious.

    2. I’m just waiting for a determination on how many degrees of vertical Jeff Flake LEANS libertarian. Is that one degree from vertical or 1.1 degrees from vertical?

      1. Stop measuring the imperceptible lean and rank him vs. the other 99 US senators. How many are more libertarian?

        1. Rand Paul
        2. ?

  21. Erratic or not, who’s the last POTUS who was this good at this point in his 1st term?

    1. It depends on how many more countries he decides to invade or bomb. He already is up one with Syria. Those deployed soldiers aren’t self-funding.

  22. Flake is a fucking retard. That was my conclusion after interacting with him for a bit. A truly mediocre human. Granted, the senate and Congress have a grip of those. Trump may be a numbut but most of the policies he’s advocated for are smaller government. Trump ain’t the issue. Fake, feel free and get your caucus to pass something libertarian — Trump will likely sign it.

  23. Why, very Lib of him.
    http://www.azcentral.com/story…../86195982/

    FLAKE: Well, if somebody is denied a gun purchase because they’re on the selectee list or the no-fly list, they can go directly to a court of appeals and ask the government to provide evidence that says that they shouldn’t have a gun. The burden is on government here. And if the plaintiff prevails, then the government pays their attorney’s fees

    Yep. How long again was then Senator Ted Kennedy on the “list”?
    Small government answer there.

    Otherwise, it seems pretty difficult to find what this guy has even proposed, much less done.

    1. Look at very first post. It has his Senate voting record.

    2. LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!!!

      Nothing says “Liberty” like “Well, if we have you on a list for no reason, you can always go to court about it”.

      Because God knows that is a quick and simple process.

    3. LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!!!

      Nothing says “Liberty” like “Well, if we have you on a list for no reason, you can always go to court about it”.

      Because God knows that is a quick and simple process.

  24. What’s wrong with Arizona that it elects flakes like John McCain and…well, a Flake himself?

    Must be the heat.

  25. We can’t have both an expansive welfare state and unrestricted immigration. Or at least a welfare state that takes care of the immigrants.

    Team D wants both an expansive welfare state that will cover anyone who wants to come into the country.
    Team R runs the gamut from no welfare state and no immigrants to no welfare state but allow immigrants to welfare state for us but not for the immigrants.

  26. I’m a bit tired of “libertarians” making EVERYTHING about a “free market.” Sure, immigration has a component involved with the movement of labor but so what? Shouldn’t national identity and cohesion be considered, or does do they really think America will still be America if we open the borders and admit every person on the face of the Earth who wants to move here? Not EVERYTHING is about capital, investment and the free market. We wouldn’t let the free market determine speed limits, who to go to war with so why should immigration be viewed through only that lens?

    This is the problem I have with “libertarians.”

    1. I’m pretty sure America is America because the borders were open all along and we admitted every person on the face of the Earth who wanted to move here. At least for the first 150 years or so.

      1. And I would let the free market determine speed limits.

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  28. Like a lot of others I like a lot of what he says(not sure what he actually does), but you have got to realize who you are up against. we can’t afford any pyrrhic victories that preserve our wonderful ethics and morals. This is a long-game war and you take what you can, like a decent supreme court justice. would that have happened with a defeated Jeb? Take the hill and try to hold it and then move on. If helping Trump will prevent another Socialist from invading DC, then suck it up.

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  30. “We’ve been compromised…by forces…of populism and protectionism, isolationism, xenophobia,” says Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, about his own Republican Party.

    First, we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president “plays to the base” in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience.

    And Flake votes with Drumpf 95.6% of the time. What specifically does he mean “plays to the base”? Stokes their racist side?

    LOL at the hypocrisy and how easily morons at reason.com are taken in by this huckster

  31. Not bad. Too bad he’s a warmonger.

  32. Theoretically, I should love Flake for his endorsement of Smith, market principles, and liberty; but somehow he disappoints. First, due to the unrelenting opposition of the media, the deep state, and congress, there is no danger of Trump becoming an authoritarian; while Trump is an unprincipled pragmatist, the country isn’t ready for a principled capitalist as president; at least he isn’tt an anti-American socialist. More importantly, Flake doesn’t seem to understand the reason why America lost its capitalistic engine. Smith would be turning over in his grave if he knew the shenanigans going on in the central banks–manipulating interest rates, unending phases of quantitative easing, manipulating prices of gold, silver, oil, central banks buying stocks and bonds with printed money etc. Trump is more likely to make changes to our monetary policy than establishment Republicans, who never want to rock the boat. Lastly, Flake views “globalism” in a narrow sense (i.e. free international trade); however, “globalism” usually involves support for nefarious organizations (e.g. the support of the UN, the IMF, climate accords) that seek to create global money (SDRs) & global taxation (BEPS). If Flake supports “globalism” in this latter sense, he is another dishonest politician.

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