Despite His Lack Of Achievements, Sasse Is Seeking A Second Term
Ben Sasse has just announced his re-election to the U.S. Senate. He is a pleasant man who, without any achievements in his first term, would very much like a second term. Let’s look at his record, shall we?
In 2013–14, Sasse ran as the so-called Obama Care “nemesis.” He even went so far as to predict that “America would cease to exist” if Obama Care wasn’t repealed. As Senator, Sasse has yet to introduce any replacement plan. He did vote in 2017 to take away insurance from 17 million people and to gut pre-existing condition protections.
During his first term, Sasse abandoned the Ag Committee to join the Judiciary Committee, where he has voted to rubber stamp numerous anti-choice judges who are also committed to comforting the already comfortable. Thanks to Sasse’s switch, Nebraska was without a Congressional representative on the Ag Committee for the first time since the early 1970s. (Fischer eventually flipped to the Ag Committee as part of her 2018 re-election bid.)
Sasse initially postured as a Trump critic, occasionally posting tweets that mildly criticized the former TV reality star. But he has voted consistently with Trump, despite these tepid reservations. According to Congressional Quarterly, Sasse has voted with the GOP 99% of the time in 2018 and with Trump 96% of the time in 2018.
Sasse voted for the 2017 tax cut that will add $2 trillion to the national debt and that has returned us to the days of $1 trillion annual deficits. (This was after Sasse railed against the deficit when Obama was president.) Approximately 83% of the Sasse/Trump tax cuts will go to the top 1%. Moreover, Sasse voted to allow Wall Street to self regulate again. (How did that turn out the last time we did it?)
Sasse is also an author who fancies himself as a bit of an intellectual and even as a philosopher of sorts. Sasse blamed our current state of polarization on the theory that we’re now more lonely than ever. He blames this alleged state of loneliness on technology and tribalism. Sasse believes that politics can’t solve this alleged problem and presents a vague “solution.”
The junior Nebraska Senator believes that we can reduce polarization by having our kids believing in what he calls “principled pluralism.” Sasse has defined this concept as follows: “And principled pluralism means I want to understand my neighbor’s view, and I want to have dinner with him or her, and I want to argue and persuade and maybe listen enough to learn or be persuaded. But what I want to be sure is we agree that the public square isn’t going to try to solve those problems by violence or coercion. And that’s what principled pluralism really is. Government is not going to solve all those problems, government’s supposed to, its best form in the American system, just maintain a framework for ordered liberty, so the really important communities can flower. And those around your dining room table.”
Can you figure out what he was talking about? In my opinion, it’s just a bunch of double speak and gobbledygook aimed at making us overlook the true causes of polarization in the U.S. The genuine cause of our current polarization is the high degree of inequality in this country and its domination by a handful of powerful and wealthy elites. Sasse would like to avoid this conclusion because his policy choices have supported the top 1% and further entrenched their wealth and power.
Sasse has drawn three Democratic challengers and an opponent in the GOP primary. On the Democratic side, we have Chris Janicek, Angie Philips and Dan Wik. I would urge you all to get behind one of these candidates and help out their campaign. It is absolutely essential that the Democrats regain the Senate and retire the toxic Mitch McConnell as majority leader. Now let’s get it done!