Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sasse v Señor Trumpanzee In Nebraska?


How horrible would this be-- for the country?

Ben Sasse (R-NE) is a lot of hot air when it comes to his criticism of Señor Trumpanzee. He's like a barking toy poodle from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska. For all the heartfelt late night Facebook posts yipping and yapping about Trump's disgustingness, Sasse's Trump adhesion score is 87.7%, quite a bit Trumpier than Rand Paul's, Bob Corker's, Mike Lee's, Lisa Murkowski's, John McCain's, Jeff Flake's or Susan Collin's. Not that that stopped publication of a melodramatic puff piece by Alex Isenstadt in Politico yesterday. He's trying to create a stir for the sales of a book coming out in October but already on sale at Amazon now, Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal. Isenstadt note that Sasse has refused to "bow down" to the illegitimate "president" that Putin installed in the White House and that Trump still hasn't "publicly flogged" the Nebraska senator. They should make a TV about it. "As the 'never Trump' faction of the Republican Party dwindles to a lonely few," wrote Isenstadt in his sleep Saturday night, "the Nebraska senator has shown little interest in backing down-- leaving him vulnerable to a Trump-fueled primary challenge in 2020, when he’s up for reelection." Oh my God! Oh my God! "[H]e might launch a Hail Mary bid for president rather than seek another term in the Senate-- promises to be the next intra-GOP drama." Not even worthy of an LOL... unless Sasse votes NO on the Trump SCOTUS nominee-- which not one single person in the universe thinks he will even consider doing-- not ONE.

Isenstadt's big scoop: Trump once referred to Sasse as "that guy." Let me get some smelling salts; I'll be right back.
[A]t a time when Trump has moved aggressively to consolidate the Republican Party behind him-- and get rid of his enemies-- some of the president’s staunchest backers are eager for him to take a hard line against the first-term senator.

"I just don't think Sasse has been a Trump supporter and I don't think he's been a good representative of the state because of that," said Debby Brehm, a Lincoln real estate executive who was a delegate at the 2016 Republican National Convention and served as a “Nebraskans for Trump” co-chair.

Brehm, who supported Sasse during his 2014 general election bid, said she was interested in recruiting a primary opponent to unseat the senator.

"Trump won our state handily and I think Sasse should get on board with that," she added. Trump carried Nebraska in 2016 by 25 points.

Sasse, a 46-year-old Harvard and Yale-educated former university president, has established himself as a fiery anti-Trump figure. During a Dec. 2015 speech on the Senate floor, he derided then-candidate Trump as a “megalomaniac strongman.” Later in the campaign, he called Trump “creepy” and said he was running to become a “king”; said he doesn’t think Trump has “any core principles”; and skipped Trump’s nominating convention to “instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires.”

More recently, Sasse has called the president’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports “dumb,” and has described Trump’s escalating trade war with China “nuts.” His opposition to the tariffs is shared by other farm-state Republicans, though they’ve used far less pointed language.

...In a move that’s sure to further stoke speculation about a presidential campaign, Sasse has started a new tax-exempt political group, America 101, whose mission states: “We believe that in order to prepare ourselves for the challenges of decades to come, fundamental changes are needed. It’s time to get back to basics.”
Sure to stoke speculation? That description could just as easily be on Trump's website-- or on the website of any political in America, from Ro Khanna and Bernie Sanders to Tom Cotton and Mitch McConnell. Sasse refused to be interviewed for the Politico puff piece. If Sasse, or any other congressional Republicans hope to use Trump's growing toxicity against him, the way Democrats are doing, they better start with some high-profile votes now that show their foresight and courageousness.

Better news in Nebraska: Kara Eastman, the Omaha progressive who won the primary against the DCCC-backed Blue Dog, Brad Ashford, is in a statistical tie with Republican incumbent Don Bacon. Today she was endorsed by People for the American Way, adding to a long list of respected organizations inside and outside the district-- from Panned Parenthood, NOW, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Justice Democrats to Move On, Climate Hawks Vote, NARAL, DFA, the Working Families Party and, of course, Blue America, despite continued sabotage from the DCCC, which should be supporting all Democratic Party primary winners, not grousing about and undermining progressives beating their Blue Dogs and New Dems.

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