Local Conservative blogger Greg Patterson is already testing campaign messages for 2012 and the election to fill Jon Kyle's vacating Senate seat. Apparently Jeff Flake is RINO, and, gasp, a libertarian and not a Republican. Well, good. I will observe that Flake has had far more backbone on issues Republicans care about (e.g. spending) than most "true" Republicans in Congress have had.
As an aside, I could get all litmus-testy as well and be disappointed that Flake voted for the Patriot Act reauthorization. And I fear that Arizona politics will pull him further to the right on immigration. But Flake still strikes me as a far better choice in terms of the energy and passion he brings to key issues than some establishment Republican. He has stirred up far more trouble in the House than one might expect given his lack of seniority and plum committee assignments.