Friday October 16, 2020
'What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?“
Yes. What the heck were any of you thinking?
For the past four years, Ben Sasse, U.S. Senator from Nebraska, always seemed like one of those potentially reasonable Republicans who might speak up about the damage Donald Trump is doing to the executive branch, the federal government, American democracy itself. Might is the key word there. He always sounded like he might say something ... and then he wouldn't. And disasters would continue apace.
Three weeks before the 2020 election, during a telephone town hall with constituents (Sasse is running for re-election, too), he finally let loose. Highlights:
- On COVID: ”He refused to treat it seriously. For months, he treated it like a news-cycle-by-news-cycle P.R. crisis.“ Trump's leadership during the crisis wasn't ”reasonable or responsible, or right.“
- ”The way he kisses dictators' butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers.“
- ”The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor.“
- ”He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors,“ he added. ”His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He's flirted with white supremacists.“
About fucking time. Imagine holding all this in for years. For years.
And why is he talking now? Apparently it's the fear of a blue tsunami. It's less the damage Trump is doing to the country, in other words, than the damage he's doing to the GOP:
[Sasse] predicted that a loss by Mr. Trump on Election Day, less than three weeks away, ”looks likely,“ and said that Republicans would face steep repercussions for having backed him so staunchly over four tumultuous years.
”The debate is not going to be, 'Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?'“ Mr. Sasse said, according to audio obtained by The Washington Examiner and authenticated by The New York Times. ”It's going to be, 'What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?'"
Welcome to the party, pal. Looking forward to those steep repercussions.