Sasse Late Night Diatribe: Episode III

Well, at least Team Ricketts didn't pick THIS as the new state logo...
Well, at least Team Ricketts didn’t pick THIS as the new state logo…

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse took to the Twitters and another social media format last night to give ONE-LAST-SHOT at convincing GOP Convention delegates to dump Donald Trump as the Republican Presidential nominee.

Sasse couched this diatribe in a “sacred duty of voting for the average Joe”, word-play. But make no mistake, this was directed at the delegates heading to Cleveland.

Sasse says, in a section subheaded “Strategic vs. Conscience Voting”:

I do hope, however, to explain to these strategic voters why many other Americans think that voting means more than just the least bad option on the ballot. Call us “conscience voters.”

You got that? He votes his “conscience”.

Regular readers, as well as listeners of recent The Wheels Down Politics Show podcast featuring Rules Committee delegate from Nebraska, J.L. Spray, know that idea of “voting one’s conscience” is the idea being pushed hard from Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh.

Unruh’s plan is to have a motion go to the floor (and they are now saying they have 28 delegates for the “Minority Report” to go to a floor vote from the Rules Committee) that allows convention delegates to “vote their conscience” on who should be the nominee — as opposed to being confined to following the will of those pesky state primary voters.

Right now the “conscience” vote is the buzzword for Dump-Trump. When you hear it, you know.

By the way, who should the nominee be if the conscience of the delegates say Dump Trump?

To the smoke filled room!


You thought the butterfly ballot was confusing

But as long as we are dissecting Sasse’s latest late-night word cloud, let’s note a few things.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if Sasse had given this speech to the delegates at his home state convention, instead of to the comfort and safety of his laptop?

It could have been a surge, starting from those he represents, in theory, instead of just to the D.C. cognoscenti, which is much of his current constituency.

Next, Sasse has an interesting theory about voting, which dovetails with the concept of candidates on the ballot.

See, Sasse talks about voting being about “what America means“, and “moral leadership” and (some would argue, most importantly for Sasse) “what sort of candidates we want more of in coming years“. Ah, that.

But here’s what Sasse missed about the pesky “voting” part:

The names ON the ballot.

For one, people DID already vote. They certainly did in places like Indiana and Nebraska. And Trump won.

And then there’s the part about WHO will be on the ballot. So, let’s pretend for a minute that he’s not just talking to convention delegates, but that he’s talking to November voters.

There are going to be three or maybe even five or more names on the ballot for President. Of those, one of two have a shot.

And you can sit with your arms crossed or flush your vote to Gary Johnson if you want. But either Trump or Hillary will be sitting in the Oval Office in January.

And no matter how you think others will interpret your actions, it won’t matter what people think you think. One of them will be the new President.

Now, if you would like someone else — someone better — to run next time? Then tell that person TO RUN. Because you can’t beat someone with no one. And then, maybe — just maybe — campaign for them. Sitting back and saying how much you hate the leading vote-getter is not a strategy. Well, maybe it’s a losing strategy.


The Disrupter

Sasse talks about people wanting a disrupter, but that not all disrupters are the same. Some disrupters just want to watch DC burn, he says. Others (he counts himself among the latter group) will “lay out an actual vision for the future and where they will take us.


Yup, sometimes people do hope that elected officials keep to their campaign promises. The things that got them elected. The THING that got them elected. The THING they campaigned on. And ran ads on. People do hope for that.

And as far as that goes, here are a few things.

Yes, the people of America — especially the Republican voters who gave Trump the nomination — want to disrupt Washington. And of that bunch of 17, it came down to two “disrupters” — Cruz and Trump. And THE PEOPLE voted for Trump.

So let us go through this rigamarole once more:

That’s it.
That’s the choice.

And it’s really starting to sound more and more like Sasse would rather take Hillary Clinton for 4 years, than have Donald Trump as President.

To quote the final passage from Senator Ben Sasse last night:
“What am I missing? You tell me…”


Good…not Great

Wait a minute! What an I supposed to do with my “We Don’t Coast” license plate?

And then there’s my “Rare, Well Done” bumper sticker?

Now we have “Nebraska: Good Life. Great Opportunity.

It used to be just, “The Good Life.” But now with the “GREAT” opportunity, it’s like “Life” is getting short shrift.

But at least they didn’t go with the original logo suggested by the $65,000 branding company:

NE logo-sower


Requiescat in pace

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Seth Rich, the Nebraska native working for the DNC who was murdered in Washington, D.C.

Many who read this blog are staffers in D.C. and other places, and have taken the same sort of steps in their careers. We wish the best for those close to him at this very difficult time.


Festivus in July

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Follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook because that’s how you keep up with the talk of Nebraska politics!


    • Sparkles says:

      As the cliff rapidly approaches, do those following imagine the lead lemming a visionary?

      (..actually that’s the perfect analogy, since lemmings jumping off a cliff en masse is a myth – a total fabrication perpetuated by Walt Disney in the movie ‘White Wilderness’. A bit of 1950’s hucksterism to go with our modern day Huckster in Chief, both of them in service to the White Wilderness)

  1. HTH says:

    Sweeper, I’m disappointed in you! Where’s the blind party loyalty when it comes to Sen. Sasse? Don’t give me any guff about supporting him being against your conscience, now. He’s got the (R) next to his name, you’re only helping the Democrats by attacking him!


    • GOP Donor says:

      Sasse has become an embarrassment to all Nebraskans (especially Republicans). He will be voted out of office in the next Primary in 2020.

      • Tony says:

        I wonder, as a Senator, if he has something better to do with his time? And I only wish he went after Obama/Hillary/Lynch with as much fervor as he does Trump.

  2. Sparkles says:

    Then again, maybe Sasse has chosen to put Country ahead of Party.

    Does it not bother Republicans that almost every economist, left, right and center who has examined Forrest Trump’s economic policies have found they would massively increase the federal debt and very likely lead to yet another crippling recession?

    The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget analysis finds –
    Trump’s plan would add $10 Trillion to the debt in the coming decade.
    Clinton’s plan would add 0.25 Trillion.

    The Fiscal Times analysis finds –
    Trump’s plan would add 24.5 Trillion to the debt over a decade.
    Clinton’s plan would add 0.2 Trillion.

    Tax Policy Center –
    Trump would add 11.5 Trillion to the debt.
    Clinton would REDUCE the debt by 1.1 Trillion in the coming decade.

    Tax Foundation –
    Trump’s plan would decrease federal revenue by 10.135 Trillion in the coming decade.
    Clinton’s plan would increase federal revenue by 191 Billion.

    Moody’s Analytics –
    Trump’s economic policies would “significantly” weaken our country, lead to a “lengthy recession” and cost our nation 3.5 Million jobs.

    And Hank Paulson (R), GW’s Treasury Sec who many economists have largely credited for saving our economy from total collapse. In a June 24th OpEd penned:
    “The GOP, in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism. This troubles me deeply as a Republican, but it troubles me even more as an American..
    ..The policies Trump endorses would destroy, not save, U.S. jobs.
    Simply put, a Trump presidency is unthinkable.”

    But hey – ya’ll keep telling yourselves how ‘fiscally conservative’ you are, as your party whistles past the graveyard.

  3. Oh, Jerry. . . says:

    For all of Jerry Kratochvil’s hand wringing and getting the vapors about “Wouldn’t it have been nice if Sasse had given this speech to the delegates at his home state convention, instead of to the comfort and safety of his laptop?” it’s worth noting that Dan Welch asked Sasse not to hit Trump in any of his remarks.

    I guess Jerry can be excused for being unaware–in his defense, he WAS pretty busy scurrying around with Deb Fischer’s nephew, Sam, trying to get the Convention to censure Deb’s fellow Senator…

    • 1) If you were there, you can note that I spent 95% of my time at the press table at the convention, and then another 5% in the lobby.

      2) While in the lobby, that was the extent of my “lobbying”. I spoke to no one about supporting the resolution, one way or the other.

      3) To my knowledge, Sam Fischer did zero lobbying for the resolution he proposed, which was approved by the resolution committee.

      3) I don’t know what Dan Welch asked of Sen. Sasse, but he still could have given any speech that wasn’t just a warmed over version of the ones given at the county conventions. Further, he could have given any version of his speech without “hitting” Trump. And the speech he gave to AEI when he got back to DC didn’t mention Trump by name, I believe, so he still could have given that one.

      Thanks for reading.

  4. The Grundle King says:

    Sweeps, I posted a series of questions in the previous post’s comment section…you’re free to take a stab at them anytime you like.

    Heck…you don’t even have to answer all of them. You can just start out with acknowledging that Trump’s ‘build a wall’ plan is a total farce, then move on to the next ones.

    • GOP Donor says:

      The wall is going up — cry all you want, but Trump is going to get that wall built in his first term. This guy doesn’t mess around when it come to construction and at this point, the future costs of not having the wall outweigh whatever it costs to built it.

      “BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL!” — I can hear the inauguration crowd now:-)

      • HTH says:

        What are the costs of not building the wall? Please enthrall us. And don’t skimp on the details.

        Fact of the matter is people like you are exactly like Trump – bravado, hubris, but flimsy as cardboard when it comes to details and hard plans.


      • The Grundle King says:

        HTH asked a legitimate question…what are the costs of not building the wall? I mean actual dollars here.

      • Tony says:

        HTH it’s pretty simple really. Add up the costs of welfare, education, health care and increased crime for 25 million illegal aliens.

      • HTH says:

        Ah, and he associates himself with his prejudice again! Now, I know you and your buddies in the Klan like to talk about how immigrants and minorities are a very violent, crime-ridden bunch, but would you mind citing a reputable source to support that contention?

        Tony, you cannot write two words without saying four wrong things. Look it up: undocumented immigrants commit FEWER crimes than native-born Americans. Most consider them to be tax-neutral, if not positive (their wages go to social security they’ll never collect, for example). But here’s the biggest thing for you to wrap your tiny, white-supremacist mind around: THEY’RE LEAVING. We’ve had a net NEGATIVE for undocumented aliens leaving the US for Mexico for YEARS. And there’s only 11.4m in our borders now – not some made up number you propose. Your idiotic wall is more likely to keep them in our borders than out.

        Seriously, Tony – you have to try to be this dense. Then again, you defend apartheid.


      • HTH says:

        When the other guy pretends to be someone else to bolster his argument, I know I’ve won.

        Keep on keeping on, Tony. Your hate and biases are going the way of the dodo.


      • The Grundle King says:


        I’ll avoid stepping into your little dispute with HTH…you said:

        “HTH it’s pretty simple really. Add up the costs of welfare, education, health care and increased crime for 25 million illegal aliens.”

        If it really is “pretty simple”, then YOU add those costs up. Sorry…but you don’t get to assert that there are costs of not having a wall, and that those costs outweigh the massive construction cost of building a wall…and then make others do the work of figuring out the costs.

        If you and Trump want to build a wall…then tell us how much it’s going to cost.
        If you and Trump think it will cost us MORE if we don’t build a wall…then tell us what those costs are in actual dollar amounts.

  5. Bluejay says:

    Way too much nuance and over-thinking by Sasse.

    Just get on the team, Ben. Otherwise it is Hillary. Hillary, the criminal. The Hillary with 2, 3 or 4 SCOTUS appointments.

    • The Eye Ball says:

      Also, Streetsweeper is being a jerk with this comment “IT’S EITHER TRUMP OR HILLARY.” What about down ballot candidates and issues? So someone votes for Gary Johnson. Did they vote for Don Bacon?

  6. GOP Donor says:

    Serious question: Who will be running against Sasse in the next Primary?

    We all now see that electing Ben was a mistake and it’s imperative that we get someone in that seat who won’t look like a fool every time he/she has a hankerin’ to talk to the press or fiddle with Twitter/facebook, and who will actually fight for our liberties and against the Marxist forces that now occupy most of the Democrat Party. Personally, I’d support Mayor Stothert if she decided to run against Sasse.

    • The Eye Ball says:

      If you are a GOP donor, you would not be anonymous as your name would be on an FEC form. Also, your not Republican but Democrat.

    • Ricky says:

      Anything to get Stothert out of the office she is in now. A totally ineffective mayor who puts the GOP ahead of her job as Omaha mayor.
      I believe she will be one and done. Beaten by Heath Mellow.

    • Tony says:

      Osborne, Foley, two names, or that other guy that knocked the Obama doll off the fence in the commercial that got the media liberals all worked up.

  7. The Eye Ball says:

    The anti-Sasse Republicans have been no friends of conservatives. When pointing to the problems of Senator Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, many Nebraska Republicans failed to take note of the situation. Now Sasse takes issue with Trump and lots of Republicans don’t get it.

    This matter compounded itself when moderates managed to push Republicans to support Marco Rubio instead of Ted Cruz. Sen. Deb Fischer’s endorsed Rubio while Sasse avoided endorsing. Why? Because when moderates pushed Rubio, anyone familiar with Rubio’s support for immigration reform knew Rubio would lose.

    Trump is not the solution to doing stupid things. He got a plurality of the vote but that does not make him a winner. How is he going fund his general election campaign? Many of his supporters have dropped out. I liked Trump for about a month, but like many who thought Trump was on to something, he screwed up way too much. Either he is pathetically stupid or he is deliberately trying to get Hillary Clinton elected.

    There is plenty of cold conservative cash sitting on the sidelines which Trump never solicited and now will never receive. The GOP does not get this. If the GOP was smart, they would dump Trump and nominate Scott Walker. If Trump gets the nomination, he will lose out in over 5 billion dollars of conservative resources. That is the fact and why Trump will lose the election.

  8. Khan says:

    I don’t particularly care how long Sasse chooses to grind the #NeverTrump ax. What I have a difficult time forgiving, both on his part and many other GOP pols, is their failure to take ownership of the dumpster fire during the primaries, when they still had the chance. Memories in politics are short, but it wasn’t all that long ago that our principled senator was tiptoeing through the tulips and withholding endorsement of Ted Cruz along with so many other elected Republicans even as the Trump Train approached critical mass. I was a Cruz guy all along, so I freely admit bias, but he was the only other Republican that had a snowball’s chance in hell while the primaries were still in full swing. But all we’d hear about then was how he was just a bridge too far for a GOP establishment that had taken their ball and gone home after Jeb and Rubio fizzled out.

    You rarely if ever get what you want when you want it in politics, no matter how you vote. But at the end of the day, it is just a vote, not a ticket to the Lonely Island of Ideological Purity. If a vote for Trump is the most likely way to keep another lawless goddamned Clinton out of the Oval Office, I’ll do so and sleep just fine. If the GOP really does decide to go all seppuku and succeeds in replacing Trump at the convention, fine. I’ll go down with whatever ship that seeks to keep another lawless goddamned Clinton out of the Oval Office.

    • The Grundle King says:

      Cruz f***ed the pooch big time when he decided that he was out, then back in again. He should have just stuck with it, even if he didn’t end up winning any more primaries…he’d still be in the conversation should some crazy stuff happen at the convention.

      • Khan says:

        Agreed. Though I also think that had the delegate count been more split than it ended up being, and Trump didn’t have the voter mandate that he does, the GOP would have been more emboldened to send up its own candidate.

  9. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    I haven’t read the latest Sasse diatribe on Twitter or Facebook. I remain opposed to his idea that a counter candidate could have emerged that would beat Hillary. Nebraska Right to Life Board members voted in June to support Trump. As Sweeper has pointed out, your choice is Hillary or Trump. No amount of hand-wringing is going to change that. Those that are unhappy should look to 2020 to run their candidate. They missed the boat on this cycle.

    • The Grundle King says:

      And once again, your support for Donald “I was for abortion before I was against it” Trump is duly noted.

      • Julie Schmit-Albin says:

        TGK: And if you’re pro-life your selection is who? Throwing away your vote to help Hillary? We know exactly what she will do to the Supreme Court. We’ll take our chances with Trump.

      • Sparkles says:

        You know.. a Trump Presidency may actually lead to the shuttering of some Planned Parenthoods, simply due to the bankruptcy of many states and loss of Trillions of federal revenue.
        Most economist say a Trump Presidency would also likely lead the shuttering of 10’s of thousands of businesses throughout America and the loss of 3.5 million jobs.
        But, I’m not sure the closing of these Planned Parenthoods would ultimately benefit your cause.
        The massive recession that these same economists predict is likely to result from Trump economic policies, would likely lead to a far greater need for abortive services. Statistics show poor women have more abortions – and it’s an absolute certainly that Trump’s Great Recession would result in millions and millions of women added to the growing legions of the newly impoverished.

        Hey, maybe on the bright side, those closed Planned Parenthoods and the 10’s of thousands of shuttered business could be put to good use as Soup Kitchens, to aid the millions of newly homeless and impoverished Americans.
        The return of Government Cheese!
        Processed American Cheese that was always distributed in block form (kind of like Velveeta) – therefore fulfilling Trump’s promise to:
        Make America Grate Again.

      • Tony says:

        Planned Parenthood could always keep selling baby body parts for cash, to keep the doors open Sparkles. Then of course, try to shut down people like Project Veritas that exposed it all. All in the name of “women’s health care” of course.

      • Sparkles says:


        I’m grateful for your presence on his blog and I value every post you contribute.

        You represent, for all to see, the thought, voice and the opinion of the dwindling number who still associate themselves with the modern day Republican party.
        – edit – To be fair, as a former Republican (most of my life) and knowing many among the party remain thoughtful (and sane), I should clarify that point –
        You best represent those who proudly stand in support of Donald J Trump, a carnival barker who has hijacked and sh^& all over the party of Lincoln, T.R. and Eisenhower.

        (and borrowing the tag affixed to every Trump related articled published on HuffPo)
        Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

      • Tony says:

        Huff Post tags, yes, those are very important. They may influence about a dozen voters. Too bad Trump never said that. He said he wanted to temporarily ban muslim immigrant terrorists from terrorist enabling countries until a process could be put in place to vet the immigrants. Unlike now where they can come in and do whatever they want. But Huff Post has always supported muslim terrorists so it doesn’t surprise anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Julie are you serious? Nebraska RTL has lost all credibility when they support Trump. You should not give your endorsement to anyone this cycle. I guess it really shows that all your concerned about is donations and being close to power when you endorse someone who has been against abortion for all of 15 minutes.

    • Sparkles says:


      It will be too late in 2020.
      The tide has turned, permanently, against the unconstitutional overreach of the right and their unremitting efforts to restrict women’s rights.
      Not only was your cause soundly defeated in the 5 -3 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision, but Justice Ginsberg’s opinion, specifically her statement –
      “Laws like H. B. 2 that ‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion,’ … cannot survive judicial inspection.” –
      has permanently written into law the factual finding that abortion is safe.
      Science – an insurmountable blow to the bogus TRAP laws your cause employs.

      5 – 3.
      The end of the conservative court has arrived.
      And it arrived even before HRC’s inauguration, even before she exercises her right to nominate 2, maybe 3 more justices.

      Nope, 2020 won’t matter at all.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Do make sure you’re able to procure some aborted fetuses upon which you can spike your football and perform your celebratory dance.

      • bynd says:


        I hear Sparkles will be having baby wings as an appetizer. An all you can eat type affair. Win or lose. The baby wings are too expensive to just toss.

    • Ricky says:

      Not very many people care what NRTL board members think, say or vote. With the latest ruling by the Supreme Court, JSA and her ilk lost. Abortion will remain safe and legal in America, and the big government conservatives that want to get between a woman and her doctor; well their time has come and gone.

  10. Ricky says:

    Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce head Dave Brown out to be tarred and feathered and run out of town. For forcing this terrible we coast a lot slogan on the people.
    Who died and made him King that he has the gall to embarrass Omaha with that slogan he spent 6 million dollars on?
    And this was also the guy that teamed up with Loserbaugh to force the ousting of the OPS school board, duly elected.
    Somebody needs to tell Brown to take a hike.

    • bynd says:

      OK, Ricky, take a hike! A long walk off a short pier. Become zebra mussel crap. Thanks for insuring Stothert’s reelection if she decides to run. You’re a peach. And now we see why the USPS is always in financial trouble, they have a bunch of Rickys working for them.

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