Jeff Flake is only Steve Bannon's first scalp: Establishment GOP should be very afraid

Jeff Flake is only Steve Bannon's first scalp: Establishment GOP should be very afraid
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Republicans have controlled the House, Senate, and White House for 278 days… And yet they have done nothing for the American people who voted them into office. ObamaCare is still law of the land. Tax reform hasn’t gotten done. There have been no meaningful efforts to curb illegal immigration.

Plain and simple, Congressional Republicans aren’t doing their jobs. And now voters are fed up.

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Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is doing more to advance the agenda for America’s “forgotten men and women” than any Republican in Congress. Bannon, who recently declared a “season of war against the GOP Establishment,” is reshaping the party by running pro-Trump candidates against Senate Republicans who don’t support the president’s populist “America First” policies.

Bannon claimed his first scalp with Arizona Senator Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Flake asks Daily Show where he can get a blanket emblazoned with his 'meaningless tweets' McCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate MORE’s unexpected resignation. Flake, a known Establishment Republican, dropped out after recent polls showed him trailing potential GOP primary challenger Kelli Ward by 14 points.  

Flake’s sudden retirement proves that Bannon’s war against the Establishment GOP is working. It’s also great news for conservatives in this country.

Flake, like so many other Republicans in Congress, has become more interested in taking down Trump than in working for the American people. It’s gotten to the point where D.C. Republicans have become a bigger threat to the president’s populist initiatives than Democrats.

It’s expected that Democrats will resist Trump — they are representing their own voters, after all, who abhor the president’s policies. But GOPers like Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate Armed Services chair not convinced of need for Trump's Space Force Jenny McCarthy: ‘The View’ producers asked me to ‘act Republican’ Flake warns in farewell speech: US political climate 'is not healthy' MORE (R-Ariz.) — who killed the ObamaCare replacement bill with his “No” vote — are turning their backs on their own constituents by refusing to work for Trump’s agenda. Due to resistance from Establishment types like Flake and McCain, there has been no significant progress on critical initiatives like health care reform and tax reform—the issues that matter most to conservative voters.

Fighting tooth and nail for conservative policy change has taken a backseat to bashing Trump.

Case in point: On the Senate floor, Flake used his resignation announcement to launch a scathing attack on Trump. He called the president “reckless, outrageous, and undignified.” Flake’s decision to spend his last moment in the spotlight bashing the president, rather than shining a spotlight on issues that matter most to working Americans, reveals exactly what his priorities are.

Of course, the media swooned over Flake’s speech. CNN called it “the most important speech of 2017.” A U.S. News contributor glowingly called it “an extraordinary event.”  

But as we’ve learned over the last year, the mainstream media is laughably out-of-touch with working-class Americans.

Last November, when conservative voters turned out in droves to elect Trump, they made it clear which agenda they support. Any Republican in Congress who does not support that agenda must resign immediately.

Flake is only the tip of the iceberg. The purge of Establishment GOPers will be great and far-reaching. “To take your country back — it’s not going to happen in just one election,” Bannon said. “This is something you’re going to have to grind out day in and day out for the next five, ten, fifteen, twenty years.”

Bannon’s target list for the 2018 midterm elections include Republicans Tennessee Senator Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Senate passes resolution naming crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi slaying Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump MORE, Mississippi Senator Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerAlmost half of US residents don't use broadband internet: study Afghanistan war at a stalemate, top general tells lawmakers Grassley open to legislation making it tougher for Trump to impose tariffs on national security grounds MORE, and Nevada Senator Dean HellerDean Arthur Heller How to reform the federal electric vehicle tax credit White House jumps into fight over energy subsidies One last fight for Sen. Orrin Hatch MORE. After 2018, Bannon will soldier on; his war on the Establishment is just beginning.   

The days of Republicans being elected for term, after term, after term, after term, after term without fighting for their voters are over.

The Bob Corkers, John McCains, and Mitch McConnells of Washington, D.C., should be trembling in their taxpayer-subsidized offices. Their cushy jobs are no longer safe. Perhaps for the first time in their political careers, they are being held accountable to their constituents.  

It only took a street fighter from Breitbart News to do it.

Kristin Tate is a conservative columnist and author of the book “Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You For a Ride And What You Can Do About It.” She was recently named one of NewsMax’s “30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30.” Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.