If there’s one voice that definitely needed to be heard in the middle of the fight over whether or not to believe the multiple women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, it’s that of Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a 46-year-old man who spent his Wednesday evening paying very public, and very hollow, lip service to how appalled he is at how women have been treated lately.
In an emotional Senate floor speech, Sasse claimed he’d “urged the president to nominate a different individual” to the Supreme Court. “I urged the president to nominate a woman,” Sasse said, occasionally crying throughout his 18-minute monologue.
Part of my argument then was that the very important #MeToo movement was also very new and that this Senate is not at all well prepared to handle potential allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
(Spoiler: Whether he actually believes this or not, he happens to be extremely correct.)
Sasse also challenged President Donald Trump, who just two days earlier had cruelly mocked Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during a campaign rally in Mississippi.
“We all know that the president cannot lead us through this time,” Sasse said.
Yet, however emotional and resonant Sasse’s speech may have been, it means absolutely nothing if the senator eventually votes in favor of putting Kavanaugh on the court—something that, by all indications, he’s prepared to do.
Sasse joined his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee in voting to pass Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor, and he has previously been a vocal supporter of Kavanaugh. He strongly defended him during a previous Senate hearing, saying at one point, “Judge Kavanaugh doesn’t hate women and children. Judge Kavanaugh doesn’t lust after dirty water and stinky air. No, looking at his record, it seems to me that what he actually dislikes are legislators that are too lazy and risk-averse to do our actual jobs.”
So, to recap where Sasse seems to stand: The #MeToo movement is important. The Senate has no idea what to do about it. He’s probably gonna vote for this accused sexual predator anyway.