Lord have mercy upon me, release me from the pit of darkness: There is another story about how Sen. Ben Sasse, the Republican #NeverTrump wonder, is “refusing to bow” to the bad man and standing up by releasing a book and maybe running for president. Blown away by this bravery.
Politico reports today that Sasse is making moves that indicate he may run against Trump in 2020: He has a book coming out in October and “has quietly launched a new political non-profit group,” traditionally the most effective forms of political protest in America. The group—which, because it is a nonprofit, won’t have to reveal its donors—is suitably bland in its purpose. From Politico:
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.”
The name appears to be a reference to an epic takedown of Richard Spencer that Sasse laid down in a September tweetstorm. The current featured article on America 101's website is “Blockchain Could Upend Welfare Programs,” from National Review. “Imagine a welfare system in which people contribute voluntarily, sometimes because they know the people who benefit from the donation,” the article says. Charity—what you’re talking about there is a charity, and it already exists and we still have a ton of poverty, you fucking morons. Can’t wait to see what other big ideas this genius runs on.
Much of the Politico piece focuses on Sasse’s status as a staunch defender of the Republican Party against Trump. Sasse “has shown little interest in backing down,” the site claims. Sasse has demonstrated this by, for example, by voting with Trump 87.7% of the time, including for the tax bill and the horrific Affordable Care Act repeal bills of last year. One of the few times he voted against Trump? Opposing disaster relief funds for Puerto Rico.
In fact, the biggest area of conflict between Sasse and Trump, as highlighted by the Politico piece, is on trade and tariffs, because that affects businesses, which are The Economy, which if you think about it is The Troops, really. Sasse is accompanied in this noble quest by the other major #NeverTrump figure, Jeff Flake, whose solemn vow to block Trump judicial nominees until Trump stands down on tariffs is just so inspiring.
The Politico piece is further evidence that the majority of political reporters care more about what politicians say than what they actually do. Sasse gets the label of “a fiery anti-Trump figure” for being one of three Republicans to accurately call Trump a megalomaniac, despite supporting almost all of his agenda and doing absolutely fuck all to stop any of the bits he doesn’t support. More than that, it’s evidence that you can get a lot of press by making grand statements diagnosing America’s political problems as long as your solution is along the lines of “we should be nicer to each other/our political opponents” and not anything actually resembling a policy proposal. Also, you can’t mention capitalism.
Still, I hope Sasse does run against Trump in 2020, because it would make Trump mad and it would be funny. That’s all I have left.