Your friends disappear when you take on the Trump wing of the party. I should know.
Jeff Flake is about to find out what it means to be a political orphan.
I know because I’ve been there and I can give Flake a sense of what he can expect now that he has left the safe confines of the tribe. His conservative credentials will be attacked and his motives questioned; he’ll be filleted as a sellout, a RINO, a Judas, and even as a closet liberal. Even though he and Senator Bob Corker gave voice to what many of their colleagues say in private, they will become pariahs among many of the groups that had once been allies. And they will lose friends.
I suspect Flake already knows some of this. Although his announcement that he would not seek reelection came as a surprise, it was also somewhat anti-climactic. Ever since he published his searing indictment of Donald Trump, Flake has been a dead man walking.