Can You Believe it? The Boston Red Sox Are World Champions Once Again

Players from the Boston Red Sox celebrate their World Series win. (Photo from WLWT-TV)

For the ninth time in their 117-year history, the Boston Red Sox are World Series champions.

In Game 1, Mookie Betts fulfilled Taco Bell’s “Steal A Base, Steal A Taco” promotion when he stole second in the first inning en route to scoring the opening run of the World Series. After trading the lead back and forth with Los Angeles, backup Third Baseman Eduardo Nunez hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the seventh inning to secure Boston’s 8-4 victory.

The Red Sox relied on small ball to win Game 2, scoring 5 runs without hitting a home run. A pair of doubles by Betts and Shortstop Xander Boegarts, as well as singles by First Baseman Steve Pearce and Designated Hitter J.D. Martinez, gave the Red Sox a 2-0 World Series lead behind a strong pitching performance from David Price, who seems to have shaken his post-season troubles.

After jumping out to a quick 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox lost their only game of the series in a low scoring, 18-inning marathon Game 3. After trailing most of the game, ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit a solo home run to tie the game in the 8th. The loss came due to an error by Second Baseman Ian Kinsler with a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 13th inning. Nathan Eovaldi, who was a strong contender for the Willie Mays World Series MVP, pitched almost an entire game’s worth of innings in the extra-innings portion of the Game 3 loss.

The Red Sox didn’t let Game 3 keep them down. Instead, they battled back from a 4-0 deficit in Game 4 to a decisive 9-6 victory. The heroes of Game 4 was the First Baseman Platoon of Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce, who hit a home run a piece in order tie the game. The winning runs were driven in by back up Second Baseman Brock Holt and 22-year-old Third Baseman Rafael Devers. The Red Sox pitching was not great in Game 4, probably due to the fact that every available pitcher was used in the 18-inning Game 3, but they followed the “bend but don’t break” mentality to keep the team in the game.

The Red Sox came out to with hot bats in Game 5. In the first inning, Pearce hit a two-run home run. The Dodgers countered in the first when First Baseman David Freese hit a solo home run. Betts and Martinez followed up with solo shots of their own. Pearce wasn’t done in the first inning: he hit a second solo shot in the top of the 8th to seal the Red Sox victory and clinch the World Series MVP award for himself. Price pitched 7+ innings of 1-run baseball before giving the ball to flamethrower Joe Kelly, the Red Sox top postseason reliever, and starter-turned-reliever Chris Sale, who locked down the victory and the championship despite missing a start due to an undisclosed stomach illness during the ALCS.

From the start of Spring Training, it was clear that the 2018 Boston Red Sox would be something special. They had the best record in Spring Training, the best record in the Regular Season, and a 7-3 Post-Season record with 119 total wins.

Long-time Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione’s famous call of the 2004 championship team asked: “Can you believe it?”

Yes. We can. Once again, the Boston Red Sox are world champions.

Lyons: Trans Rights Are Under Attack (Again)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

The Trump Administration recently released a memo detailing a proposal that would greatly limit transgender peoples’ rights, safety, and freedom of expression. A new definition of sex that does not include gender identity is up for debate. According to The New York Times, the memo from the Administration states “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

This redefinition is defended by the Department of Health and Human Services as an attempt to specify the definition of sex under Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education programs and any other federally funded activities. The new definition impacts two policies currently under debate.

One concerns gender discrimination in colleges that receive federal financial aid, and the other involves federally funded health programs. If passed, this new regulation will affect the approximately 1.4 million transgender people in the United States, who, coincidentally, would also like to be protected from gender discrimination in educational spaces. This decision would drastically decrease the Obama-era policies that allowed for a wider and more fluid definition of gender that expanded legal protections for gender nonconforming individuals.

LGBTQ+ groups and activists took to the streets of New York on Sunday to protest this discriminatory policy. Additional demonstrations were planned for the White House on Monday. On Twitter, the hashtag #WontBeErased is trending as trans* people and allies alike assert the civil rights of transgender people. Trans twitter users are sharing pictures of themselves with this affirmation of visibility. Leaders of the Women’s March tweeted: “Trans and gender non-conforming people cannot be written, beaten, imprisoned, or shut out of existence. Protect trans rights. Protect trans lives,” while GLAAD simply but powerfully repeated “Trans people #WontBeErased.

If you want to support trans* people and fight back against discriminatory policies, here are some ideas to get you started.

To trans readers: you are valid. We will fight for you and beside you.

 (Sources from The New York Times here and hereTime, and the general Twitter.)

Red Sox Contest Fourth World Series Title Since 2000

The Boston Red Sox after winning game five of the American League Championship series. (Photo from

For the fourth time since 2000, the Boston Red Sox are heading to the World Series as the American League Champions. This will be the 21st time a major Boston-area sports team (New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Revolution, or the Red Sox) contest a national championship since the turn of the century. Their track record points to success: In each of their three previous trips to the Fall Classic, the Red Sox have walked away with the Commissioner’s Trophy in hand. The bar is set very high for Boston this year. But how did they get to this point?

The easy answer is that they won 108 games in the regular season, which secured them a home field advantage throughout the postseason. Another easy answer is the free agent signing of slugger J.D. Martinez, who set the record for home runs by a player in his first year with the Boston Red Sox and led the MLB in total bases and RBI. The team, which was last in the Majors in home runs hit last season, finished with 208 longballs, putting them in the Top Ten in the Majors.

However, the path to the 2018 World Series really began in the offseason between 2015 and 2016. After finishing in last place in the American League in back-to-back years, the Red Sox went after free agent pitcher David Price. As a rookie in 2008, Price had led the Tampa Bay Rays to the World Series, including defeating the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

Price had had a productive career during the regular season, regularly pitching 200+ innings, but had prolonged problems in the postseason, never winning a game as a starter. Even though some have questioned if Price was worth the cost, it cannot be denied that the Red Sox were greatly in need of a bolstered pitching rotation, as they had posted an ERA over 4.00 in 2015.

The next year saw improvement for the Red Sox. Price, their big acquisition, had a record of 17-9 and posted an ERA of 3.99. Rick Porcello led the American League in wins with a 22-4 record and a 3.15 ERA en route to winning the American League Cy Young Award. The team finished first in the AL East with a record of 93-69.

Maybe the regular season run was fuelled by passion over Ortiz’s looming retirement, as he had broken the Curse of the Bambino in 2004 and led the Red Sox to three World Series victories, but there wasn’t enough left in the tank when October came around. The team was swept in three games by the Cleveland Indians en route to the World Series. Ortiz drew a walk in his final at-bat of the American League Division series and the Red Sox comeback season ended in disappointment.

The Red Sox faced a major turning point during the offseason between 2016 and 2017. For the first time since 2001, David Ortiz was not there to anchor the lineup. How did the Red Sox respond? They traded third baseman Travis Shaw to the Milwaukee Brewers for relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg (who promptly blew out his shoulder and missed more than a full year with thoracic outlet syndrome) as well as trading star prospects Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech for Chicago White Sox’s ace Chris Sale.

Neither of those moves would address the hole left by Ortiz and, unsurprisingly, the Red Sox offense suffered.

Red Sox skipper John Farrell was fired and replaced by Astros Bench Coach Alex Cora, who went on to clean house and hire a new bench coach, new base coaches, and a new pitching coach. On the player personnel front, the Red Sox were linked to several high profile free agents or trade targets but only one ended up donning a Red Sox uniform: Julio Daniel Martinez.

After a hiccup in Game One where Joe Kelly and Carson Smith blew a 4-0 lead to the Rays, the 2018 Boston Red Sox started rolling and never really stopped. They went 21-7 in March and April despite being no-hit by Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics, who proved to be the Red Sox’s kryptonite this season, only beating the A’s twice out of their eight meetings.

On May 25, the Red Sox went all in on a team led by Martinez and Betts. The Red Sox had designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment, who was second in home runs on the team in 2017 and had hit 6 home runs to that point in 2018. With Ramirez gone, Martinez settled into the Designed Hitter slot and played most games there, allowing Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Betts to patrol the outfield.

The plan worked out, as the Red Sox led all of baseball in wins for nearly the entire season. Their starting rotation was stifling and their offense was dominating. The bullpen was shaky at times but, actually, had the highest WAR.

The team posted a 108-54 record. In the ALDS they faced the 100-win, all-time most home runs ever hit in a single season by a team Yankees, who they defeated 3-1. Brock Holt, who missed large chunks of the previous two seasons to concussions and vertigo, became the first player to ever hit for the cycle (a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game) in the postseason.

In the ALCS, they faced the 103-win, defending World Series Champion Astros, who they defeated 4-1 in a best of seven series. David Price secured his first win in the postseason as a starter after pitching on three days rest in Game 5 in Houston after throwing 6 beautiful innings, only allowing three hits with no runs or walks.

The Red Sox absolutely dominated in every aspect of the 2018 season. They pitched well. They hit well. They played well.

Now they’ll face the Los Angeles Dodgers (who had a regular season record of 92-71) who had to play a tie-breaking Game 163 to even make it into the postseason and then battle back and forth in to a full Seven Game series against the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Championship Series, which ended on Saturday night.

The Red Sox have faced the Dodgers once before in the World Series, in 1916, when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn and known as the Robins. The Red Sox won that series, four games to one, thanks to great performances from pitcher Babe Ruth and outfielder Harry Hooper.

The World Series begins on Tuesday, October 23 on FOX (on-campus channel 12). First pitch from Fenway Park is at 8:09 PM.

#WhyIWrite: Cam Lapine

I was studying abroad in London during the Spring of 2018. Feeling homesick, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post from Nick Fulchino about the launch of The Hilltopper.

I immediately felt a new wave of homesickness wash over me. I missed the passion that drives so many on the Hilltop to be the best that they can be, to do the best that they can do, and to aim as high as they can aim. I immediately reached out to Nick to see how I could get involved with this grand project he and Meg Miller were embarking upon. Since I was abroad, I couldn’t exactly report on on-campus affairs, at least not with the kind of first-hand experience needed. Instead, I was drawn to the Beyond Campus section of The Hilltopper, of which I am now an editor.

In the 24-hour news cycle in which we live, there are outlets for all kinds of voices. Conservatives have Fox. Liberals have MSNBC. Pop Culture Fanatics have E! and Bravo. Athletes have ESPN. But where is the voice for students? That’s #WhyIWrite. The Hilltopper is the 24-hour outlet for student voices, about what’s going on around campus and what’s going on beyond our campus.

I’m an avid reader of The Crier. I think that their staff is great, smart, and hardworking. But they are bound by the limitations of their format. Their chain of command is long and thorough. They are, primarily, a physical platform, limiting the speed with which they can put out news, although Editor-in-Chief Emily Craig has taken great steps to bring The Crier into the 21st Century.

That’s why I write for The Hilltopper: because we can bring the news of the day to the Saint Anselm College population as it is happening. We don’t need to wait around for sheets of newsprint to come off the presses and be distributed. You can read The Hiltopper as you’re walking to class, as you’re sitting in your dorm room, or as you’re waiting in line in the Coffee Shop.

The Hilltopper is also unfiltered by the college’s administration, giving us a far greater degree in freedom in what we can publish. We still strive for truth, accuracy, and honesty in everything we write, but we can tell it like it is, without fear of retribution or sanctions if we publish something unsavory about the College. That’s why The Hilltopper has been the leading voice in reporting on the College’s layoffs and the departure of President DiSalvo.

#WhyIWrite can be summarized in four short words. Give. Students. A. Voice. That’s the goal of The Hilltopper, and it’s my personal goal as Beyond Campus Editor.

New U.S. Visa Policy Draws Ire from LGBTQ Groups

On October 1st, a new policy went into effect banning visas for unmarried partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations officials. This new regulation will also impact U.N. ambassadors, U.S. embassy staff, employees of international organizations working in the U.S., and foreign military members stationed in the United States. Partners under these categories will need to provide proof of marriage to enter the country. Unmarried couples have until the end of 2018 to submit proof of marriage or leave the country within 30 days.

In July, the U.S. mission informed relevant U.N. members, “Same-sex spouses of U.S. diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses,” and therefore “partners accompanying members of permanent missions or seeking to join the same must generally be married in order to be eligible.” The changes began in October, giving a three-month window for unmarried couples to act. This decision, it has been said, will further the equal treatment of same-sex and straight relationships. According to a statement on the State Department website, the new visas “are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses.”

Many critics, however, were quick to point out that this policy may, in fact, cause hardships for same-sex couples. Samantha Power, the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., noted that only 12% of U.N. member states actually allow same-sex marriage— and only 26 countries worldwide. This decision reverses then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s 2009 policy that granted visas to partners of U.S. and foreign diplomats, on the understanding that marriage equality was still a work in progress.  Akshaya Kumar, Deputy U.N. Director at Human Rights Watch, explained that this may “[force] those living in countries without marriage equality to choose between a posting at UN headquarters or family separation.” If couples are married in the U.S., they may face discrimination in home countries where same-sex marriage is illegal.

Foreign Policy reports that “limited exceptions” will be offered to diplomats from countries where same-sex marriage is not legal but “that government would have to provide documentation proving that same-sex marriage was illegal and commit to accepting same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats.”

The new policy will affect approximately 105 families from the United States. It is unclear how many foreign couples will be affected by this change. This decision comes as a blow to the LGBTQ+ community, after the legal recognition of marriage equality in the U.S. in 2015, and advocacy groups worldwide. Many LGBTQ+ organizations and human rights groups have expressed concern that this policy will be far more discriminatory than equalizing.

Cover image from Yahoo! News.

Warren Addresses Ancestry as 2020 Heats Up

Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaking at Saint Anselm College during the U.S. election. (Photo by Andrew Harnik, Associated Press)

For many years, there have been questions over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) claim of Native American ancestry during her time at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. In her 2012 Senate race, her opponent, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), attacked Warren’s honesty over her claims of Native American ancestry.

President Donald Trump has labeled her “Pocahontas,” which has been condemned by many as a racist epithet. At a rally in Montana in July, President Trump offered $1,000,000 to a charity of Senator Warren’s choice if she took a DNA test and proved her Native American roots. This week, Senator Warren took the president up on that offer.

On Monday, Senator Warren released an Ancestry DNA test she had taken, as well as a letter from a geneticist who had analyzed the results. The geneticist, Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante, found that the majority of Senator Warren’s ancestry came from Europe, specifically the United Kingdom, and Utah. There were markers on 5 genetic segments from Senator Warren that matched Native American markers. The Native American markers seem to come to Senator Warren from an ancestor eight generations prior, meaning the closest Native American in her family was a great-great-great-great-great-great-Grandparent.

Although small, Dr. Bustamante noted that this is a higher percentage than a random standard sample DNA set would have. Senator Warren has spoken about family gatherings in Oklahoma, where she was born, where the family spoke about their Cherokee heritage. Although they cannot provide documentation of that heritage and do not appear in any tribal register, experts say that that is not uncommon. As one article explains, “During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many Native Americans did not join tribal rolls for a host of complex reasons, including residency requirements, fear of discrimination, and opposition to land allotment policies.”

The timing of Senator Warren’s decision to take, and release the results of, a DNA test has not gone unnoticed. After being an oft-named potential candidate in 2016, Senator Warren appears to be taking the steps to actually run for President in 2020. As the Washington Post reported on Sunday, Senator Warren has spent the last six months laying the groundwork for a Presidential campaign, speaking with Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections across the country, and sending staffers to New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin – all either early primary states or must-win general election states.

Another 2020 potential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), announced her plans to travel to Iowa, the first state to hold a presidential caucus, at the end of the month. The swing through Iowa will come after a visit to South Carolina and before a trip to Wisconsin. A poll by CNN showed former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE), who has been very active in campaigning for Democratic candidates across the country, leading a slew of candidates with 33%. Senator Harris pulled 9%, while Senator Warren was at 8%. Congressman John K. Delaney (D-MD-6), who visited the Hilltop last month and was in New Hampshire over the weekend, polled at <1% in the CNN poll.

President Trump has been campaigning for re-election through much of his Presidency, holding rallies of various sizes across the country in both swing states and safe Republican states.

DiSalvo to Leave in 2019, Search for His Successor is Already Underway

President Steven R. DiSalvo at Saint Anselm College’s 124th commencement on May 20, 2017. (Photo from Saint Anselm College)

After five years on the Hilltop, Steven DiSalvo announced that he would be stepping down as the President of Saint Anselm College.

When DiSalvo became president in 2013, he was the first president of the College to come from outside of the monastery. Instead, DiSalvo had a long history in higher education. Before coming to Saint Anselm, DiSalvo was the President of Marian University in Wisconsin, a school of 1,680 undergraduates and 500 graduates.

The president announced his decision to the school community in an email Friday. In his letter, DiSalvo thanked the Anselmian community for welcoming him and acknowledged the strides he made as president, writing, “As I make this announcement, I am filled with pride in the progress that we at Saint Anselm have made, and deep gratitude for the privilege of leading this unique college.”

The College website casts DiSalvo’s tenure in a positive light. “[DiSalvo] has advanced the college’s national reputation through scholarship, athletics and via the prestigious New Hampshire Institute of Politics operated by the college,” it says.

The New Hampshire Institute of Politics growth and development has been a high-point under the DiSalvo Administration. The chaotic 2016 campaign was handled with great care on campus and the school was again chosen to host debates during the Democratic and Republican primaries, though it is not clear how much of the credit DiSalvo deserves for this.

Madison Mangels ‘19, a Politics major, said, “I’m not entirely aware of anything specific he has done for the NHIOP. When I think of work done on NHIOP, I think of Neil Levesque and the rest of the NHIOP staff as well as the professors.”

In a press release posted on the College’s webpage, the Chair of the Board of Trustees published a list of DiSalvo’s accomplishments, including an increase in the College’s endowment and retention rate, the completion of $48 million in capital improvement projects, such as the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex, and the hiring of a Chief Diversity Officer.

Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. ’71 praised Disalvo, saying, “Much has been accomplished during Dr. DiSalvo’s years as president, and all of us are most grateful for our current strong enrollment, our ever-increasing endowment, and especially for the recent news of our making the list of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the United States.”

His administration has not always been positively received, however. In the fall of 2015, some student-athletes and alumni protested DiSalvo when he announced plans to transfer Saint Anselm to a Division III school. Despite persistent exploration of the possibility throughout the 2015-2016 school year, Saint Anselm decided to remain a Division II school.

More recently, DiSalvo came under fire this summer after 13 Saint Anselm College employees were abruptly laid off over the summer. No official acknowledgment of the layoffs was ever made to the student body. He did address Saint Anselm staff after the layoffs and was escorted out of the premises by security officers. Rumors of his firing or resignation have surfaced ever since.

Shortly after the layoffs were announced, the College announced that Chief Financial Officer Eric Norman was leaving his position. The job is now occupied, at least temporarily, by Bill Furlong.

Student reaction to DiSalvo’s departure has been mixed. Jackson Peck ’22, an SGA senator, said he was “sad” to see Dr. DiSalvo leave. “I have not been at this college long enough to determine DiSalvo to be [an] effective or ineffective leader; however, I can see with certainty that it is important for every organization or institution to have a strong leader at its helm.” He continued, “At times where the president’s leadership ability is brought into question it undermines the ability of students to establish meaningful relationships with the administration.”

One Saint Anselm graduate shared the college’s press release on her Facebook page with the caption, “About time👌.”

The unofficial results of a Twitter poll being conducted by The Hilltopper show that 50% of respondents said they were pleased with Dr. DiSalvo’s decision to step down as Saint Anselm College president while 17% said they were not. Of those who took the survey, 33% said they were unsure or had no opinion on his departure.

Professor Gary Bouchard, Fr. Jerome Day, and Dr. Joe Horton ’77 are all on a rumored shortlist to replace Dr. Steven DiSalvo as he leaves the college.

In his letter, DiSalvo confirmed that there was a search committee underway to find a successor. Speculation is already underway about who may be the college’s next president. A rumored shortlist that was passed on to The Hilltopper by a reliable source includes Dr. Joe Horton ‘77, who was one of the 13 employees let go over the summer, Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, who served as President of the College before DiSalvo, Fr. Jerome Day of the monastery, and professor Gary Bouchard, who now oversees the recently-established Humanities Institute. A fifth candidate, a woman, is rumored to be undergoing the vetting process as well, but The Hilltopper did not learn of her name.

The Hilltopper reached out to Fr. Jonathan, Fr. Jerome, and Professor Bouchard for comment. Fr. Jonathan said he was “quite certain” that he was not under consideration. Neither Fr. Jerome nor Professor Bouchard was immediately available for a statement upon request.

The nature of the list signals a clear interest in choosing a new college president who has deep ties to the Saint Anselm community, which may be intentional in the wake of DiSalvo’s tenure.

While The Hilltopper received no official confirmation of the shortlist above, it deemed its source credible enough to reach out to the candidates whose names appear on the list. We maintain our commitment to transparent reporting and will update our readers as we continue to assess the accuracy of the list.

Fulchino: Jeff Flake is a Politician’s Politician

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Friday, when he demanded an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo by Alexis Egeland/Cronkite News)

On Monday, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) came to campus to talk about “a rejection of American politics and a return to principle.” While the topic is an important one, I do not believe that Senator Flake is in any way qualified to speak on it.

Since Donald Trump’s candidacy, Flake has worked carefully to craft an image as a sensible Republican alternative by tweeting his disdain when the president says something especially problematic.

In his brief remarks, Flake challenged the idea of tribal politics and said that more often than not, he found himself to be a man without a party. My only question is when exactly Jeff Flake has found himself without a party. Was it when Mitch McConnell decided that the U.S. Senate would never hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland? Because that seems to have been the clearest example of bucking Senate norms, and yet Jeff Flake made no principled stand to support a hearing for the president’s nominee.

He voted to name Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, even after she demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of even the most elementary aspects of her position. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) opposed DeVos’ nomination, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote – the only time that has happened for a cabinet secretary nomination. Senator Flake could have made the politically courageous decision to oppose her disastrous nomination. He did not.

Did he feel without a party when he voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Because on that vote of massive historical significance, Jeff Flake towed the party line, even when Senators Collins and Murkowksi joined Flake’s own Arizonan colleague, John McCain, in opposing the measure. 

When it came time to point to his record of bipartisanship during his speech on Monday night, Flake cited how upset he was when his colleague, Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), was shot in Tuscon, Arizona. When Giffords attended the State of the Union address the following year, Jeff Flake helped her stand so she could applaud President Obama. Despite this, Senator Flake never pushed for any real comprehensive gun safety legislation that could prevent another shooting like the one Giffords endured.

Is being sad about a colleague being shot truly how low the bar for civility in our politics has fallen?

Jeff Flake has called for “a rejection of American politics.” Yet, he seems to be the politician’s politician. He tweets and talks a lot about bringing people together and shedding partisan politics, but when it comes to casting a vote, Flake does as his party asks.

On Friday, Jeff Flake looked visibly ill as he voted to move Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination out of committee to a full Senate vote. Yes, he called for an FBI investigation into the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and others. His concern, however, seems to be more about the process of how to confirm a man accused of sexual assault to the Court rather than whether or not a man accused of sexual assault should even be confirmed.

Jeff Flake is a conservative Republican. I do not expect him to vote with Democrats on every issue, or even on any issue, really. I do expect him to stop lecturing me about taking principled stands when he has never once demonstrated a real concern for doing so.

A reporter asked me what I thought Jeff Flake’s legacy would be as he prepares to leave the Senate after his term ends in January. I answered honestly that I believe Jeff Flake’s legacy hinges on the vote he is about to make and whether or not he votes to believe survivors of sexual assault. For me, Jeff Flake’s votes – not his tweets – will be his legacy. I hope he casts the right one on the Kavanaugh nomination.

Edit: The piece originally referred to Lisa Murkowski as a senator from Maine. She is, in fact, a senator from Alaska. The piece has been updated to reflect this correction.