Senator Jeff Flake

The Senator from Arizona

Perhaps we honor the wrong one

I know — believe me I know — about Flake’s voting record, party allegiance, and his McCain-like lipservice and baby-step approach to criticizing the batshittery and callousness of and in the GOP; still, there are times I am a sucker for singular acts like this, a sucker for sweet, simple, human kindness.

This is one of those times.

“For Flake, one of the most jarring illustrations of Washington’s growing decency deficit came the night of the 2012 State of the Union address. He was seated next to Gabby Giffords, a friend and fellow member of Arizona’s congressional delegation. Giffords, a Democrat, had been shot in the head a year before and was still struggling to recover. Throughout the evening, Flake gently helped her up when she wanted to join the Democrats in a standing ovation — a gesture that meant he was often the only Republican on his feet during Obama’s applause lines. “I started getting texts and emails from people saying, ‘Why are you standing? Why are you standing?’”

Gabby Gifford, a Democrat, his friend. He helped her stand up.

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