Goodbye, Ben Sasse
Sasse, a Yale-trained historian and onetime president of a small Lutheran college, exits the Senate two years after winning reelection to a second term to assume the top post at the University of Florida.
During his eight years in Washington (not including previous stints in the executive branch), Sasse was often a voice of civility and moderation but also of hard truth telling. In 2016, he was one of the first to say he would vote for a third party rather than support then-candidate Donald Trump. Later, he excoriated the 45th president on a range of charges, saying on one occasion that he objects to “the way [Trump] treats women, spends like a drunken sailor,” and more. “He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists,” Sasse went on.
After a pro-Trump mob invaded the Capitol in 2021 in a half-baked attempt to stop certification of Joe Biden’s election, Sasse was among the handful of Republicans who voted to convict the outgoing president. He was similarly one of the small number who voted to create a commission to investigate January 6.
Availing himself of the chance to offer farewell remarks from the Senate floor on Tuesday, Sasse twice lamented the “I alone can fix it” mentality that has arisen on the political right, a barely veiled reference to the former president.
His 30-minute speech, and a companion op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal a day earlier, contrasted two groups that Sasse believes represent America’s “true divide”: civic pluralists (who “value debate and persuasion” and are “committed to human dignity, even for those with whom we disagree”) and political zealots (who “seek total victory in the public square”). Whether they’re on the left or on the right, he said Tuesday, “the message of all politics-first folks is basi
Article from Reason.com