We’ve all watched Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska try to position himself as a reasonable and moderately conservative Republican. We’ve seen him go so far as to grant interviews to liberal pundits, in the hope of coming off as a mainstream and bipartisan guy. Heading into the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, we all knew Sasse would end up voting “yes” because, for all his talk, he’s a GOP lapdog. But his jarringly sexist words today are going to come back to haunt him, and maybe sooner than you’d think.
Brett Kavanaugh’s own record reveals that he’s staunchly anti-abortion, and that if he’s confirmed, he will vote to overturn Roe v Wade. Moreover, because there are already four conservative extremists on the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s deciding vote would result in abortion being outlawed in many if not most states. It’s not just about abortion, either. Kavanaugh’s record makes clear that he doesn’t believe women have a fundamental right to birth control. This man is direct and immediate threat to every woman in this country.
But in the fantasy world where Senator Ben Sasse lives, none of that is really happening. Here’s what Sasse said in response to the number of women pushing back against Kavanaugh: “So the fact that the hysteria has nothing to do with you means that we should ask, what’s the hysteria coming from? The hysteria around Supreme Court confirmation hearings is coming from the fact that we have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the Supreme Court in American life now.”
That’s right, Ben Sasse thinks women who are fighting for their basic fundamental rights are just being hysterical. He’s playing right into the age-old stereotype of the “hysterical woman” which is invoked by sexist men, any time a woman wants to have her voice heard or her rights respected. Of all the red state Senators who are up for reelection in 2020, Sasse just made himself the number one target when it comes to women voters and women who are political activists. There are also plenty of men who have a real problem with Sasse’s breed of sexism as well. Sasse thought he was going to be President – but he may have just lost his Senate seat. In the current political environment, GOP Senators aren’t safe just because they’re in red states.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report