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Ben Sasse, Who’s Served as Trump’s Footstool for Four Years, Now Has Bad Things to Say About Him

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Earlier this week, Republican senator Ben Sasse held a call with his Nebraska constituents and used a good portion of his time to castigate Donald Trump. Attacking the president for alienating allies, disrespecting women, ignoring human rights abuses, kissing “dictators’ butts,” “flirt[ing] with white supremacists,” and approaching the pandemic like a “P.R. crisis,” Sasse predicted that Trump would not only lose on Election Day but that he would take the Senate down with him, according to audio initially obtained by the Washington Examiner. “We are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami,” he told listeners, adding that post-November 3, the GOP would be asking itself, “What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?”

Obviously, everything Sasse said of the president is true. And based on his critique, you might have even gotten the impression that he was the lone member of the Republican Party to actually stand up to the president over the last four years, and not let him get away with, among other things, praising neo-Nazis, separating families, and attempting to extort another country to hurt his political rival. Of course, that’s not true at all.

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While the senator from Nebraska has said negative things about the president in the past, he hasn’t really used his power to do anything. As Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin notes, Sasse, despite allegedly being so upset about Trump’s lack of leadership during the COVID-19 crisis, “has not publicly come to the defense of Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, in the face of Trump’s attacks,” nor has he “warned governors not to follow Trump’s recommendations on the pandemic,” or spoken out against the White House for flouting guidelines on masks and social distancing. While he criticized the president’s attacks on Christine Blasey Ford, he went on to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This week, he lavished cringeworthy praise on Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, who he will no doubt happily vote to confirm as well. He voted for Trump’s tax cuts. He voted to declare a “national emergency” to divert funds to build the president’s moronic border wall. In total, he’s voted with Trump a whopping 86.7% of the time. His most important vote, in terms of exposing himself as a shameless hack who enjoys getting press for speaking out against the president and then falls in line, came earlier this year when first, he voted not to hear witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial and then voted to acquit.

Of course, by that time Sasse was well aware that the president was a power-abusing stain on society who’d made his passion for white supremacy, authoritarianism, and grabbing women by the genitals abundantly clear. And yet, given the opportunity to cast a vote to remove such an individual from office, he chose not to do so. So why the full-throated attacks now? Oh, right:

Mr. Sasse, who is up for re-election on Nov. 3, went public with his concerns at a time when Republicans are increasingly worried that Mr. Trump is careening toward a devastating loss in November’s elections that could also cost them the Senate, handing Democrats, who already hold the House, unified control.

“I’m now looking at the possibility of a Republican blood bath in the Senate, and that’s why I’ve never been on the Trump train,” he said. “It’s why I didn’t agree to be on his re-election committee, and it’s why I’m not campaigning for him.”

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