The Hill writes today about relationships that have been torn asunder within the Republican party because of the split over supporting GOP Presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The angle The Hill takes, however, is where GOP politicos are supporting Trump and find that their colleagues just can’t fathom that, and have cut them off. One notable is former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer who wrote, “There’s a lot about Donald Trump that I don’t like, but I’ll vote for Trump over Hillary any day.”
In response, old friends have blackballed him.
But back in Nebraska, things have gone the opposite way. Unlike Beltway types who can’t understand the outsider Trump taking the party by storm, Nebraska party-liners have, for the most part, accepted the will of the voters and their party’s nominee.
There are exceptions of course — the main one being junior U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, who many credit with starting the #NeverTrump movement back in the primaries.
And it is therefore Sasse who is now receiving the wrath of his party.
Case in point:
Yesterday (Sunday) was the bi-annual Five County GOP Barbecue for Otoe, Nemaha, Johnson, Richardson and Pawnee counties, which took place at the American Legion hall in Johnson, Nebraska (about 30 minutes southwest of Nebraska City).
After the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem and invocation, the co-chair of the event, and master of ceremonies, took the mic…and delivered a harsh rebuke of Senator Sasse to the 175 or so in attendance.
First specifying that these were his personal feelings, he noted Sasse’s continued criticism of Donald Trump. He noted that Sasse is now featured criticizing Trump in a Hillary Clinton TV ad. And he emphasized that the GOP could not accept a Hillary Clinton Presidency.
And then he noted that he could not welcome Senator Sasse at any future 5 County BBQs (the next in 2018) unless Sasse apologized for his anti-Trump position.
And as he finished up…he was roundly applauded. Not everyone, but those there estimate 85% of so putting their hands together for this rebuke.
Now this type of event usually brings the party stalwarts out — much like the 2016 Nebraska GOP convention of course did. And Senator Sasse has opined that these types aren’t very representative of ALL Nebraskans. And he is probably correct. These are usually only the people who feel the desire and duty to be involved in their communities and at a high level — while most others are watching the NFL.
But, just as the Trump supporters will apparently need to work to mend ties with their anti-Trump Beltway-brethren, Sasse will likely need to do the same.
And depending on the outcome of the election — and the ensuing Presidential term — that effort will be an interesting one to watch.
The OWH’s Robynn Tysver typed a Friday afternoon article asking…again…whether former Governor Dave Heineman is going to run for Governor in 2018.
As in, “Why did she write this?”
She quoted former GOP Chair David Kramer noting that it was generally unlikely. But that people like to talk about it.
And she quoted former Chair J.L. Spray, who also said it was unlikely.
And there was no quote from Heineman at all.
But otherwise that sure is a…space-filler?
RIP Duane Acklie
When I got my footing in Nebraska politics back in the late 80s and early 90s, Duane Acklie was an established titan in the party. There was not a major political gathering or VIP event without his attendance, or at least influence.
The OWH had a nice summary of comments from elected officials yesterday, including Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, Governor Ricketts and former Governor Heineman.
Here is one more from (arguably) the current dean of the Nebraska GOP, Hal Daub:
Duane Acklie was a giant of a man.
Although short in physical statute, he carried himself humbly in his highly successful walk through life, distinguishing himself in family, business and public service.
I know him best as a mentor to me in Republican Party politics. He understood the importance of being involved, and always was there for advice, encouragement and help with the heavy lifting. He was a man of high principle and conviction, especially with respect to his beloved America. He was a true American patriot, and represents the best of what participation in all things positive should mean to all of us.
His life-long companion Phyllis, always at his side, demonstrated the best of marriage and this couple served as a model to all who knew them.
He will leave a great void in my heart.
The Social Network