For the past few years we’ve seen Republican Senator Ben Sasse occasionally try to put on a good air of dignified leadership, only to then fall in line with Donald Trump every time. After all, it’s Trump’s party, and Sasse is ambitious but he’s also a coward, and Sasse wanted to make sure he was still standing by the time Trump took his inevitable fall.
Now Ben Sasse is making clear that he thinks Trump’s downfall is upon us. Sasse got on a conference call with his constituents earlier this week and accused Trump of kissing “dictators’ butts,” selling out America’s allies, recklessly spending money, mistreating women, and other things. While this was not a publicly broadcast conference call, it was the kind of call where Sasse had to know with certainty that his remarks would end up leaking – which means he wanted these remarks to leak.
So what is Ben Sasse doing? He clearly expects Donald Trump to lose with near 100% certainty, because he’d be setting himself up as an outcast for the next four years if Trump were to win. But it’s not about whether Sasse is correct in his expectation that Trump will lose; that’ll come down to voter turnout.
What Sasse gave away is that GOP Senators like him were always going to selfishly sell Trump out if and when they concluded that he’s toast. In fact Sasse is making a point of stomping on Trump’s political grave before the election even happens, because Sasse wants to later be able to point back to this and use it as supposed evidence that he was anti-Trump all along.
Ben Sasse deserves zero points for being a complicit coward for four years, only to turn against Trump three weeks before his presumptive election loss. But it’s nonetheless a big deal that GOP Senators are in fact selfishly stabbing him in the back. When it inevitably came down to it, they were always going to choose themselves over Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report