Ivory Tower To Echo Chamber.  Do You Read Me, Echo Chamber?


Ben Sasse will almost certainly be heading to the United States Senate in January, 2015.  Yesterday Sasse managed to out-TEA Party his TEA Party opponent, Shane Osborn, as well as banker-flavored conservative Sid Dinsdale.  And, since Nebraska is about as red as it gets? game over.

Now that Sasse doesn’t have to woo anyone he’s free to be “just Ben” which is pretty damn awesome by most standards.  Sasse has a large collection of academic degrees from BS through PhD. from the likes of Harvard, Oxford and Yale.  His PhD dissertation won multiple prizes for best dissertation of the year.

He’s been in and out of policy consulting and staff jobs in DC as well as academic positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard.

Sasse served as counselor to the secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services for a year, during which he advised the Secretary on a broad spectrum of health policy issues, from affordable healthcare access to food safety and security.

And in July 2007, Sasse was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as “the principal advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on policy development” as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Sasse advised private equity clients and health care investors in his spare time and became a fellow at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs’ Center for Politics and Governance.

He is currently the president of Midland University in Nebraska.

Oh! and did I mention that he’s 42 years old?

Too bad, eh.  Because now that he’s broken into the upper echelons of the Republican Party he’s going to be forced to check his big brain at the door.

Apparently that doesn’t seem to be troubling Ben Sasse much, though, because here we have him going out of his way to make a colossal Republican ass of himself on his Me4Senate website listed under Issues: Religious Liberty:

Ben Sasse believes that our right to the free exercise of religion is co-equal to our right to life. This is not a negotiable issue. Government cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances. He will fight for the right of all Americans to act in accordance with their conscience.

Ian Millhiser and Josh Israel of Think Progress did a great job of enumerating the parade of horribles that might issue forth should the country exhibit the bad sense of adopting Sasse’s “almost anarchistic vision of religious liberty.”

Reading that TP article just left me hungry for more “anarchy” so I took myself over to Sasse’s campaign site to find out what else was kicking around in his recently appropriated brain pan.

I already had TMI on “About Ben” so I cut right to “Issues.”  There I found the list of eleven issues that Sasse finds wanting in our current state of affairs.  A quick perusal led me to the conclusion that Ben Sasse is a capital S, capital C Social Conservative.

Here’s a screen cap of that:


Notice how far down the list “Jobs and the Economy” falls?  Or Agriculture?  And here I thought Nebraska was wall-to-wall farmers!  And Immigration? well I suspect that might be because of a little disagreement Ben might have had with a donor.  That story deserves its very own reading . . .

Back to the list—there’s Obamacare still at the very tippy top despite it’s recent loss of star power.  And hooboy does Ben hate Obamacare, all 2,300 pages of it that he’s personally read, [including a few that he probably wrote].

See Ben was pretty hands-on during the drafting and implementation of Obamacare as Dean Clancy pointed out back in January:

. . . Mr. Sasse, a wealthy former business management consultant with a long list of health industry clients, is positioning himself as a staunchly “anti-Obamacare” candidate; but that doesn’t square with his past record, a careful review of which reveals four things:

He supports the basic principles of Obamacare, if not all the details.  While Obamacare was being drafted, he offered its authors advice on how to improve it.  After Obamacare became law, he prospered by advising health care companies how to implement it.  He wants to replace it with what may fairly be described as “ObamaCare Lite.”

What makes me think this? His record.

Sure enough, Mr Sasse already has his Obamacare Lite replacement plan in the hopper and ready to go, next January.

This could all be slightly problematic with some of the purer, more anti anti-ObamaCare conservatives but, remember, this is one smart cookie, this Ben Sasse, so he’s already covered his butt with this:

He’s . . .  against it [Obamacare] for a much more basic reason: Ben opposes ObamaCare because he rejects the worldview underlying it. It’s a worldview that says:

“If there’s a problem, only the Federal Government can solve it.”

“Fake budget projections are fine, it’s OK to hide the truth from the American people because “DC knows what America needs and the ends justify the means”

“The Executive branch has the authority to just fill in parts of the law that are unfinished, grant special waivers to politically connected friends, and change parts of the law that are politically inconvenient.”

“The American people need Government to care for them and permanent dependency isn’t just an acceptable outcome, it’s a goal of this Administration.”

Ah, the old scary World View, only one degree of separation from New World Order.  Where’s Agenda 21? come to think of it.

Under Issues: Constitution Sasse is a little shaky, believing, for example, that the “nuclear option” is unconstitutional.  We’ve been all over that, one, though—Senate Rules have nothing to do with the Constitution.  And vice versa.  But Ben probably won’t be getting his copy of the rule-book until orientation.

Ditto, the part listed under Issues: Second Amendment in which Mr Sasse opines that:

As horrific as some of our recent national tragedies have been, they are not the fault of responsible gun owners. None of the new policies being pushed by President Obama would have prevented them from happening. Stricter gun legislation will not deter criminals determined to break the law.

Furthermore, President Obama does not have the authority to sign Executive orders and thus circumvent the Constitutional process necessary to change the Second Amendment.

Psst! soon-to-be Senator Sasse, there’s a difference between Executive Actions and Executive Orders.  Also, I’m pretty sure you could lose that last part because President Obama, a constitutional lawyer himself, certainly already knows that he “does not have the authority to sign Executive orders and thus circumvent the Constitutional process necessary to change the Second Amendment.”

I’m sure there’s lots more to muddle through but I grew weary.  However, do yourselves a favor if you’re still interested in seeing Ben Sasse really let his freak flag fly and read his bit on Issues: Defending the Unborn containing the list of pro-life legislation that Ben Sasse has committed to in “his first 100 days in office.”

It’s OK, Ben.  You’re not running for President yet, we won’t be checking back in April.

Posted by Bette Noir on 05/14/14 at 02:13 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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Yesterday it was Rove and today it’s Palin. Are you *trying* to put me off my feed?

Are you *trying* to put me off my feed?

@QinaB It takes a strong stomach to be ‘Merican these days, Mate.

I’m rapidly loosing respect for Harvard.

I’m rapidly losing respect for Harvard.

Two words: Ted Cruz.

Two more: David Vitter

Obamacare may have “lost its power” but it sure is hitting the airwaves here in Georgia. There’s two or three of them putting up commercials where they swear they’ll repeal Obamacare. One of them even says he’ll do it in his first term or go home. I usually can’t help it and say to the TV, “gonna be a short trip up there so don;t get too comfortable.”

Yea, the political overdrive is already starting and I’m already losing my mind.


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