Three Cheers For Jeff Flake

Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

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I’ve seen a bunch of criticism of Sen. Jeff Flake that goes like this: Sure, you talk big about Trump, but when it comes to a vote you’re always on his side. What a hypocrite.

This is also a general criticism of nearly every Republican who criticizes Trump. But what do you expect them to do? They’re conservatives. When conservative bills reach the floor, are they supposed to vote against them just because Trump happens to support them? That doesn’t make any sense.

Short of impeachment, there’s really not much that congressional Republicans can do to rein in Trump.¹ Given that reality, calling him out clearly and distinctly when he acts like a child is exactly what they should do. We need more Jeff Flakes, not fewer, and they deserve support when they speak out, not petty carping.

¹Though I’m open to suggestions.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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