Election 2016

'There Are Dumpster Fires In My Town More Popular' Than Clinton or Trump, Complains Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse

"Our Founders didn't want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?"

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Benjamin Dixon Show

Republican Ben Sasse, a freshman U.S. Senator from Nebraska, has written one of the best Facebook political rants of the 2016 election season. Not only is it frank, passionate, and as critical of his own party as it is of the Democrats, but it contains lines like "There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than" either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the two current presidential frontrunners. "WHY," asks Sasse (all caps his), "is that the only choice?" 

In the "open letter to majority America" that Sasse posted to Facebook Wednesday, it's pretty clear he's testing the waters for an independent presidential run (if not by himself, than by someone). Yet somehow the standard ranting and raving about "Washington dysfunction" and the need for unity comes off not like a stilted, empty tirade but … honest. Righteously angry. Maybe even a tiny bit substantive. Sure, there's the hokey dialogues he allegedly had at the Fremont, Nebraska, Walmart that morning, but there's also a willingness to engage with the idea—oft touted by the likes of all of us here at Reason—that people's dissatisfaction with both Republicans and Democrats is totally warranted, because both parties failed the people long before Trump vs. Clinton 2016. 

Maybe it's just because I was reading along before I had any coffee this morning, but I found my jaded, cynical little libertarian heart filled with some excitement while reading Sasse's letter. So I'm going to highlight the better parts for you, and generously pair them some complementary Reason reading as well. We'll skip right past the Conversations at Walmart series and get right to the "dozen-ish observations" these conversations provoked in Sasse.

The major parties might be worth saving, but not in their current forms. Republicans and Democrats are "like a couple arguing about what color to paint the living room, and meanwhile, their house is on fire," writes Sasse. "They resort to character attacks as step one because they think voters are too dumb for a real debate."

"I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln—and I will work to reform and restore the GOP—but let's tell the plain truth that right now both parties lack vision," he continues. Later, Sasse adds that the "two national political parties are enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart," and that this is probably deserved.

"Remember," adds Sasse, "our Founders didn't want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?" 

See also: 
Donald Trump Has Wrecked the Republican Party. Here's What a Better GOP Could Look Like
In the Age of Trump, Republicans Are In for a Reckoning—Or a Realignment
Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders Are Burning the GOP & Democratic Party To The Ground, Thank God

More and more Americans are identifying as politically independent. Most people in the U.S. "don't like either party," admits Sasse. "If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: 'Neither.'"

See also: 
The Surprising Weakness of Invincible Institutions
The Triumph of Independents
Third Parties: A Beginner's Guide

Millennials hate Republicans and Democrats even more than their elders. "Young people despise the two parties even more than the general electorate," writes Sasse. "And why shouldn't they? The main thing that unites most Democrats is being anti-Republican; the main thing that unites most Republicans is being anti-Democrat. No one knows what either party is for—but almost everyone knows neither party has any solutions for our problems."

But far from being an issue, Sasses suggests that maybe millennials' partisan apathy is as asset. "One of the bright spots with the rising generation," he writes, "is that they really would like to rethink the often knee-jerk partisanship of their parents and grandparents. We should encourage this rethinking."

See also: 
Generation Independent 
Melding Socially Liberal Businesspeople, Non-Warmongering Democrats, and Avowed Libertarians Into a New Party 
Libertarian Gary Johnson Could Pull Support From Both Clinton and Trump

#NeverTrump, #NeverClinton. "In the history of polling, we've basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate," but "this year, we have two," points out Sasse. "In fact, we now have the two most unpopular candidates ever—Hillary by a little, and Trump by miles (including now 3 out of 4 women—who vote more and influence more votes than men). There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than these two 'leaders.'"

See also: 
Most Americans Dislike Hillary Clinton, But They Like Her More Than Donald Trump 
Trump Is the Second Most Unpopular Presidential Candidate Since 1984

The federal government should stick to the big issues. "Washington isn't competent to micromanage the lives of free people," writes Sasse. Our next president should instead commit to "focusing on 3 or 4 big national problems," such as national security, budgeting and entitlement reform, "empowering states and local governments to improve K-12 education," and "retiring career politicians by ending all the incumbency protections, special rules, and revolving door opportunities." 

See also:
The Worst Campaign Promises of 2016
Why Are We Expecting the Next President to Fix the Economy?
Hillary Clinton Just Turned the Democratic Party Into the Party of the $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

The one indication that Sasse might not be talking about himself as the great savior here is a claim that "such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months. Therefore he/she likely can't be an engaged parent with little kids." Sasse and his wife have a three young children, all home-schooled.   

From a libertarian perspective, this is probably a good thing. While Sasse diagnoses the disease right, his cures leave a lot to be desired. Though he claims to be for limited government, Sasse supports things like federal subsidies for farmers in the form of crop insurance, has fought against amnesty and Social Security numbers for illegal immigrants, opposes gay people getting married and adopting children, and is hawkish on foreign policy ("to protect our national security, we will be engaged in a decades-long battle against jihadis"), among other not-so-terribly small government positions. But keep the Facebook rants coming, Ben! 

NEXT: A.M. Links: Trump vs. Clinton, Massive Wildfire Spreads in Canada, California Raises Smoking Age to 21

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  1. How convenient Sasse pretends to oppose “entrenched political parties” right when an outsider seizes control of one.

    1. He was elected to the Senate in 2014, his first political office, so he hasn’t been a Republican all that long. And I hardly think Bernie has “seized control” of the Democrat Party. He’s not a Democrat, true, but he’s hardly an “outsider” either.

      1. Then it seems the only people who can count as outsiders are losers.

    2. At least Nebraska lets voters choose the Libertarian Party ticket, unlike the neighboring People’s States of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Other kleptocracy states that adopt the Soviet and NSDAP model are Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio… Saaaaay… isn’t Ohio home to the only remaining fanatically anti-choice Republican candidate?

      1. So Nebraska borders Illinois and Minnesota now?

        1. Dictionary, show “finger” here the difference between contiguous, across the street and illiterate

      2. The LP’s on the ballot in Virginia. Kasich dropped out yesterday.

    3. He has been anti-Trump from the get go. Why shouldn’t he be?

  2. “Washington isn’t competent to micromanage the lives of free people,” writes Sasse.

    No one is! Doesn’t matter if they are in Washington or anywhere else.

    About the only thing I’d like to see rot away and collapse more than TEAM BLUE and TEAM RED is the entire notion of TOP MEN.

    1. We can start with Washington, though. Power focused on the local level is more likely to be controlled by the people (instead of the other way around).

    2. You know who else thought the country should be governed by TOP MEN?

      1. Every progressive ever?

    3. you prefer bottom men, amirite?

      1. You could say that he….opened himself up…to that one, no?

        Teehee

  3. “They resort to character attacks as step one because they think voters are too dumb for a real debate.”

    I don’t know if that’s true – name-calling is the lowest common denominator in debate so if your opponent goes there, you gotta go there, too. And what are the voters going to do? Vote third-party? No, they’re going to have to vote for the best name-caller if that’s all the criteria they have to judge a candidate by. Everybody talks about running an issues campaign but nobody ever does. Look at the Trump campaign and its success for example. And if you dare, look at this steaming chunky pile of vomit. (NSFL)

    1. “And what are the voters going to do? Vote third-party?”

      I’d say this year presents a golden opportunity for a third party to do some serious damage in the election, if they can do a successful-enough media blitz (including social media like YouTube) between now and November.

  4. “I’ve spent ten years detoxifying this party. It’s been a bit like renovating an old, old house, yeah? You can take out a sexist beam here, a callous window there, replace the odd homophobic roof tile. But after a while you realise that this renovation is doomed. Because the foundations are built on what I can only describe as a solid bed of cunts.”

    The Thick of It

    1. + difficult difficult lemon difficult

    2. That’s the problem with the project – burning down the old house is easy, it’s the building a new one that’s hard. Everybody’s applauding Trump for “destroying” the once-grand old party and some wondering why the LP has been so ineffective in doing anything for so long when they’ve been railing against the system for forty damn years. But that’s because the LP has been working on what to replace the system with, and that’s 99% of the job. All Trump’s doing is talking about bulldozing the lot – what’s the new house going to look like? He’s not saying, nobody knows, you just have to trust him that it’s going to look great and you’re going to love it. I have a sneaky suspicion though that Trump has no idea how to operate a bulldozer and all his talk is simply a hollow threat to the home-owners that if they don’t let him live in the basement he’ll bulldoze the house. And they’re going to do it, too. Once Donald gets his room in the basement, that’s the last you’re going to hear about the bulldozer, that’s when you’re going to start hearing about how really all the old house needs is a new coat of paint. Oh, and all you people standing around cheering for the bulldozer? Get the hell off Donald’s lawn.

      1. Compare the platforms.
        The GOP wants men with guns to force women to reproduce and Big Pharma to have a monopoly on drugs (like thalidomide and other teratogens).

        Wondering what a teratogen is? A teratogen is anything that causes offspring to become hideously deformed monsters, such as republicanism, televangelist brainwashing, ku-klux mysticism and laws that ban natural drugs to subsidize thalidomide and ritalin.

        The Dems are entirely taken over by communists and econazis. Communist vote share went from 0.13% in 1924 to 0.04% in 1984 after which it melded with the econazis. The two leading factions of the entrenched kleptocracy are decaying like Strontium 90, whereas the Libertarian party market share is on the upswing. The Whigs, Federalists, Nazis and Fascists are being joined in the dustbin by their intellectual plagiarists.

        1. The GOP wants men with guns to force women to reproduce…

          They are all rapists? Or do you mean that they don’t like murdering those already created?

        2. “The GOP wants men with guns to force women to reproduce”

          Abortion is still reproduction, by any definition of that term.

          “and Big Pharma to have a monopoly on drugs”

          You don’t know what a monopoly is.

          I can’t even parse the rest.

        3. I agree with the gist of your post (both parties suck), and I’m open to Harry Browne’s opinion that government regulation of abortion probably isn’t a good thing.

          But when you say things like “The GOP wants men with guns to force women to reproduce”, you just sound crazy. Being libertarians, everyone here knows what you mean; making *anything* illegal requires force, or men with guns. But overblown hyperbole really isn’t helping your case.

          It is *very* easy to avoid pregnancy (and no, I’m not talking about abstinence). I wish more people would focus on making on that even easier for women, specifically by making birth control available over-the-counter.

          I mean, come on: Would a state in which abortion was illegal after the first trimester but birth control was widely and cheaply available over-the-counter really be so terribly unjust?

          Again, I’m open to the case that government regulation of abortion isn’t a good thing. But I think a more practical focus would do a lot more good and have the added benefit of not alienating people who might eventually be won over to a more libertarian way of thinking.

  5. … “There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than” either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the two current presidential frontrunners.

    Yeah but not giving off more heat than Trump. This general election goes to the Democrat.

  6. “None of the above.”

  7. The major parties might be worth saving, but not in their current forms.

    Sasse then goes on to say we need to return and save the Republican Party of Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain and Romney.

  8. “I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln”

    I never have understood this – Lincoln was a horrible president. He oversaw the complete disintegration of the country, turned it against itself into a war that resulted in more American deaths than all the wars before and after combined. He was a failed politician. Slavery, and the desire to limit it, was the prevailing cause of the war, despite some of my fellow southerners’ revisionist history, but Slavery was a dying institution already. Imports of slaves had been banned, states were one-by-one outlawing slavery on their own, the supermajority of southern citizens did not own slaves at all. While hindsight is 20/20, there were numerous political solutions that would not have completely devastated over half the country and wiped out a generation of young men. This guy should not be held up as a good leader.

    1. Lincoln was a horrible president.

      Sasse aspires to be a terrible senator.

    2. What I don’t get is the bullshit racial crap coming out of the right. Jonah Goldberg said Trump winning would make the GOP into a white nationalist party. The reference to Lincoln here has nothing to do with Lincoln but is just a dog whistle for the rest of Washington telling them Trump is racist.

      I don’t know know if Trump will win, but I would be a lot of money that Trump will get a lot more of the black vote than any Republican since Eisenhower. So if Trump is making the party into a white nationalist one, what the hell was it four years ago when Romney was getting less than 5% of the black vote?

      1. For all of his faults, Democrats like President Barack Obama.

        the same can not be accurately said about Hillary Clinton.

        1. Yes. I can’t stand Obama and even I admit he can come across as a charming decent guy. If I had to, I could imagine spending a pleasant evening with the guy. I just wouldn’t talk about politics with him. I don’t think anyone says that about Hillary. I don’t like Obama but there is no doubt that a lot of people do and wanted him to be President. That is true of every President in my life time. If Hillary wins, she will be something totally different.

          1. Of all the current and former presidents I would choose and evening with Bill Clinton. That would definitely be the most fun. I never voted for the man but what a night that could be.

      2. You sure about the black vote? They were going overwhelmingly for Hillary in the primaries, what makes you think they’ll switch now?

        1. Poll after poll has Trump pulling 15 or more percent. Trump won’t win a majority or even close. But he will win a lot more black votes than Romney. I think 10% is reasonable. So how can he be a white nationalist and get twice the number of black votes than Romney?

          1. So how can he be a white nationalist and get twice the number of black votes than Romney?

            Because he vilifies Hispanics and foreigners, which a small portion of people who are black respond well too. That’s one way it could work.

            1. Democrats will tell blacks that Trump is racist and want to “put them all back in chains”, and they will happily believe it. Truth is irrelevant. They just need someone to blame and hate.

            2. When exactly did he vilify Hispanics? When he talked about criminals entering the country from Mexico illegally? He said he’d put a big golden door in the border fence.

    3. Well he WAS from Illinois after all.

    4. “I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln”

      Party like it’s 1864?

      1. Inner Party, as in 1984. The LP is the outer party, just as some animals are more equal than others.

    5. “Lincoln was a horrible president…. Slavery was a dying institution already….there were numerous political solutions that would not have completely devastated over half the country…”

      I’d like a large tub of popcorn, please.

      1. The problem was the slavery was the norm throughout most of recorded history, existing in all sorts of climates and circumstances.

        The medieval Christian consensus which, for the first time, got rid of European slavery, was already under strain in the Age of Discovery due to the mutual prisoner-enslavement in the wars with the Ottomans, and when Europeans found they could go to Africa and buy human beings from local rulers and slave-dealers, the consensus collapsed (despite Papal pronouncements without much follow-through). The 19th century British did a 180 and began fighting the slave trade, but that depended on naval power and the Confederates could spread slavery by land.

        The classically-trained Confederates, with their special strain of proslavery Protestantism, were in a position to make slavery the norm in the Western hemisphere, extending their system to new areas.

        The Union victory reversed this trend and put the West back on an anti-slavery track.

        1. The classically-trained Confederates, with their special strain of proslavery Protestantism, were in a position to make slavery the norm in the Western hemisphere, extending their system to new areas.

          I dunno about spreading it outside the South. The last slave state was Texas, I believe. There weren’t any other intensive agriculture/cotton states on the horizon after that. The micro-civil war in Kansas was over whether it would be a slave state or not, and the slavers lost. I think the slavery zone was pretty much set 15 years before the Civil War, with no real prospect of expanding.

          Would the slavers have been able to emigrate and set up slave states elsewhere? Who knows, but I seriously doubt it, since importation of slaves was a non-starter once the Royal Navy shut down the Africa trade.

          1. There was always Latin America – only recently abolitionized (with British pressure), and wracked with its own civil wars – William Walker had taken advantage of this to try and re-establish slavery in Nicaragua.

            Considering the pro-Confederate sentiment in Britain in the U.S. Civil War, can we automatically assume Britain would have gone to war to stop the Confederates spreading slavery into Latin America?

            (and there were still slave redoubts in Cuba and Brazil)

            1. “There weren’t any other intensive agriculture/cotton states on the horizon after that.”

              Slavery is adaptable. Slavers have used slaves to harvest sugarcane, to work in mines, even to work as philosophy tutors.

            2. So what happened in the rest of the world that made slavery end basically everywhere?

          2. The only thing worse than slavery is socialism.

            1. At least under socialism everyone is EQUALLY a slave!

          3. since importation of slaves was a non-starter once the Royal Navy shut down the Africa trade

            Congress banned importing slavery starting in 1808 (at the same time the RN blockade of Africa began), the USN began intercepting ships bringing slaves into the US in 1819, and the US began assisting the UK in the Africa blockade in 1842.

    6. To be fair. Lincoln was swept into office after the second Tariff of Abominations absolutely guaranteed there would be a war of secession–nullification having failed when Jackson was prez. England’s naval bombardment of China to force the dumping of British Indian opium on a susceptible, enzyme-challenged population, had drained capital out of American securities markets to the point of making graft, boodle and political sinecures endangered species. Finally, Lincoln said in print that he would gladly preserve slavery (but not reduce tariffs) to end the war. Even the emancipation proclamation he copied from Lord Dunmore said, translated into plain English: “surrender by the deadline and you get to keep people in a condition of bondage and servitude.” Confederacy belligerents missed the deadline and the war was prosecuted to the hilt by the Executive Branch Commander-in-Chief just like it says in the Constitution.” Of course the GOP tried to make it look like the whole thing was about its concern for the slaves, and that lie worked for 148 years. Now they are having to fake other concerns to gull PACs and voters into prohibitionism, coercion of women, income tax collectivism and war.

      1. The thing is, before the war Lincoln was for “putting slavery in the course of ultimate extinction” by making freedom the norm while allowing it *only* where it already had been established (the slave South) and letting growth in population and moral advancement lead to abolition by, perhaps, the end of the century.

        He didn’t become an immediate emancipationist just because the war started.

        The sincere abolitionists had the devil’s own time getting Lincoln to commit to immediate emancipation during the war. He only did so when he believed that immediate emancipation would help win the war. If not for the war, he would have confined his efforts to what the Cold Warriors called “containment” – preventing slavery from making new advances.

        And that was precisely why the Deep South seceded – because they thought Lincoln’s containment strategy meant a slow death for slavery as the free-state population got bigger, and as poor Southern whites (encouraged by the end of postal censorship and the appointment of white Republicans to Southern federal offices) began to separate politically from the slaveholders. To avoid that risk, the Deep South tried to set up its own slave republic.

        1. Doesn’t make sense. As the proportion of slave owners in the popul’n decreased, wouldn’t that give them a competitive advantage?

      2. What book is all this from? Or books? Sounds interesting.

    7. the supermajority of southern citizens did not own slaves at all

      While that might be true on the face of it (and it’s not true for Mississippi and South Carolina where nearly half of households owned slaves), the number of households the number of households that utilized slave labor is higher than ? because people who didn’t own slaves would rent them from slave owners. Smaller non-slaveowning farmers would rent slaves from slaveowning farms to harvest after the slaves harvested the slaveowner’s farm. A farmer without a carpenter could rent a carpenter slave to perform repairs on his building.

  9. These guys are so out of touch. They are basically making campaign ads for Trump. The more Washington people shit their pants over Trump, the more the rest of the country is going to like him. If they were not retarded and really wanted to stop Trump, they would embrace him and be out campaigning for him. That would totally take the fun out of voting for him for a large part of the country. Of course, they were not retarded, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in and Trump would still be doing reality shows.

    1. The more Washington people shit their pants over Trump, the more the rest of the country is going to like him.

      … revealing how incapable they are of thinking for themselves. “That guy hates Trump? Trump must be good!” That’s moronic thinking. It’s the whole: “Nazi Germany had libraries, therefore libraries are bad.” It’s really stupid.

      1. No. More likely revealing how reviled our political class is. When the entire political class is awful, it is perfectly rational to take an unknown. Chances are very slim the person will be worse, might be better and no matter what at least punishes the political class.

        Just because someone takes an action you don’t like doesn’t mean they are unthinking. You are not the only person in the world who thinks about things.

        1. When the entire political class is awful, it is perfectly rational to take an unknown.

          Unknown… except for all of the stupid shit he says. Give me a break.

          1. Like what? Because every allegedly stupid thing Trump has said turns out to be taken out of context or deliberately misunderstood and mischaracterized.

            1. Because every allegedly stupid thing Trump has said turns out to be taken out of context or deliberately misunderstood and mischaracterized.

              Holy shit. That’s hilarious.

              1. Every allegedly stupid thing Trump has ever uttered is in the 2012 Republican platform, with one exception: Trump promised to water-down the Robert Lewis Dear plank on forcing all women to carry all pregnancies to term even if it means calling out the national guard and shelling Planned Parenthood with heavy artillery.
                Donald Trump said two weeks ago that he would “absolutely” change the Republican Party platform opposing abortion to include exceptions. He then beat the bloody stool out of the last fanatical antiabortionist. The odds against all fanatical antiabortionists winning are 800 to 1 or more.
                The Libertarian Party would be wise to keep this in mind. Individual rights for women is a winning plank. Menacing women and physicians with superstitious coercion is a losing plank in the 21st Century.

            2. I can’t tell if you’re serious.

            3. WHUTFOR BE U LYIN BOUT TURMP 4 U LYIN FAGUT

            4. I gotta say, whenever I dig into something supposedly beyond the pale that Trump says, it turns out to be grossly exaggerated (with the possible exception being his statement about Mexican rapists).

              The political class doesn’t hate Trump because of what he says. They hate him because of the way he says it and (mostly) because of the fact that they don’t have any hooks in him, and he shows little inclination of throwing sweet appointments and contracts their away.

              Sure, he’s a blowhard. But, we aren’t comparing him to Cincinnatus. We’re comparing him to the ingrown, neurotic parasites that have anointed themselves our masters.

              I have no doubt he will be a ludicrous President, but in these decadent times, I don’t see much better on offer.

              If half the slavering hatred directed at Trump were directed at equally deserving apparatchiks of any party, well, that would at least be fair.

              1. If half the slavering hatred directed at Trump were directed at equally deserving apparatchiks of any party, well, that would at least be fair.

                My slavering hatred is not directed at Trump nearly as much as his followers who use really idiotic arguments, worship him as savior, and defend his every word. I was merely pointing out another one of the idiotic arguments.

                I hate Hillary, Bernie, Trump, et al equally. I just find the Trumpers to be the most annoying supporters (mostly because I have friends who are Trumpers… otherwise I think I’d want to punch Sanders supporters more… I just know none)

          2. except for all of the stupid shit he says.

            If we eliminated all the stupid shit Trump says, and all the stupid shit Cruz says, and all the stupid shit Clinton says, and all the stupid shit Sanders says, there would be dead silence.

            Like it or not, stupid sells.

            1. Can’t disagree with that.

          3. They don’t give a damn about the “stupid shit he says” because nobody gives a damn about “policy” in this election except politically-obsessed spergs. The GOP base going for Trump wants someone that will give a big “fuck you” to today’s ideologically-driven progressive culture warriors and make them shit their pants in the public arena, instead of cowering in fear of them at the threat of being called “racist” for simply disagreeing. They may not want to admit it, but they like him because he’s such an effective troll.

            Look at Lizzie One-Drop’s meltdown yesterday. Trump’s triggered her so badly it’s the second or third time in the last month and half she’s had a Twitter-stroke over the man. You really think Trump’s support is going to wane the more people like her–who should ostensibly be above teenage-type freakouts like that–can’t control themselves from delivering extended diahrrea blasts about him on social media?

            1. You really think Trump’s support is going to wane the more people like her–who should ostensibly be above teenage-type freakouts like that–can’t control themselves from delivering extended diahrrea blasts about him on social media?

              Uh, no. I merely said that people were morons. I will hold to this. Please read what I write, not what you wished I would have written.

              1. No, you also said people were incapable of thinking for themselves. Just because you don’t like the conclusion they came to or their reasons for it doesn’t mean they didn’t think it through.

                And the question posed was a hypothetical related to the assertion that people are morons who can’t think for themselves. For a lot of people, chimpouts like Warren’s Twitter meltdown are going to be perfectly rational reasons for supporting Trump, because he makes people they despise completely lose their shit. You may not think that’s a legitimate reason to support him, but clearly your friends don’t give a damn if you do or not because they’re supporting him regardless.

        2. Jawn is snivelling because the antiabortionists’ odds of election are more than 800 to 1 against (including the GOP jerk from nationalsocialist Ohio) over at oddschecker.com. The Democrats, standing firmly and unequivocally for defending the rights of individual women (even when pregnant) against medieval torturers and whack-job gunmen. The Democratic Party’s abortion plank would suffice to win the election without the handouts clause. But to eliminate the handouts they would have had to give up Medical National Socialism, which, like most things, is to them unthinkable.

          The LP could learn from the Democrats the value of taking a manly stand in favor of individual rights for the other half of humanity. Republican mystical infiltrators have already driven away 16% of potential LP members.

      2. actually it’s not a bad proxy.

    2. John’s basically right here. Voters usually see “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

      1. That’s what they see, but it’s a logical fallacy. Just because X is an evil dipshit, and X hates Y, that doesn’t mean Y can’t also be an evil dipshit.

        1. Then by all means let’s require a “logical fallacy” test for voter registration qualification.

          1. All I was pointing out is that people are stupid. I was correct.

            1. And I’m all for an IQ test to vote. I’d also like to see an average joe selected from the phonebook each year whose sole job it is to repeal laws unilaterally that he thinks are worthless.

              Point being that what I think clearly doesn’t matter. We’re at the mercy of idiots.

              1. “I’d also like to see an average joe selected from the phonebook each year whose sole job it is to repeal laws unilaterally that he thinks are worthless.”

                We used to have a system like that. It was called trial by jury.

              2. I’d also like to see an average joe selected from the phonebook each year whose sole job it is to repeal laws unilaterally that he thinks are worthless.

                There’s desuetude ? the legal principle that a law that hasn’t been enforced for many years or a law “more honored in the breach than the observance” is considered automatically repealed.

                The “unusual” portion of “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” is interpreted by the courts as implementing desuetude for criminal punishment. Courts have struck down revived punishments (like dunking) on the grounds they were “unusual” because most States have long since abandoned them.

          2. I believe you’ve finally found a scenario where the Libertarian can win….

        2. So, if its evil dipshits all the way down, why not vote for the one who is at least not pissing in your cornflakes?

          1. Just vote for the one who wants to piss in my cornflakes?

            1. I’m still waiting for actual refutation of what I said.

      2. Yes, the Soviet Socialist v. National Socialist dichotomy that has defined all global politics since 1920. All else is fence-sitting to a blinkered totalitarian.

  10. has fought against amnesty and Social Security numbers for illegal immigrants

    Well now you’ve done it. COSMOOOOOOOOOO COCKTAIL PARTYS

    1. WHER MAH CUNTRY GON

    2. Who outside of Nebraska even knows who this guy is? What makes someone like that think they could run as an independent and win? There are 50 Senators. Most people are lucky to know who the President is. And this guy thinks everyone is sitting around going “if only Ben would run for President…”

      1. I’d never heard of him before now and I’d enthusiastically support him. I’d also enthusiastically support the dead raccoon I saw in the road this morning, but that’s neither here nor there.

        1. Dead Raccoon gets around, i saw him in my neck of the woods today too. DEAD RACCOON ’16

          1. Doing the legwork, kissing babies and shaking hands on his whistestop tour with his hillbilly band. Dead Raccoon is gonna kick out the interests.

            1. No, but if Dead Racoon had a party with a consistent platform and 2% of the vote, that would suffice change the Constitution and a huge chunk of laws over the span of a few decades. That is bacisally what the Libertarian Party is pulling off. We change the law of the land while the looters struggle to see their clown on teevee.
              To paraphrase Han Solo: Better us than the prohis, commies and econazis.

            2. Dead Raccoon don’t take no SuperPAC money! Dead Raccoon is for (laying around on) Main Street, not Wall Street!

              1. Dead Raccoon ain’t gonna just lay down for ISIS! USA! USA! USA!

                1. DEAD RACCOON FOR PRESIDENT! MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN!

          2. Dumpster Fire/Dead Racoon ’16

            1. If you have a t-shirt with that slogan on it, i would spend upwards of $12 to purchase said t-shirt.

              1. Although, now that i think about it, Dumpster Fire/Dead Raccoon sounds like the title of a posthumous Sparklehorse album.

                1. Is Dead Racoon of the left or the right. I know Dead Skunk is in the middle of the road….. – Kevin R

      2. There are 50 Senators. Most people are lucky to know who the President is.

        Or who the guy is who whacked half of the Senate.

        1. Give him a break. It’s hard to remember stuff when all of your thoughts consist of “TRUMP” 24/7.

          1. Yeah. That is totally it.

      3. 50 Senators?

  11. Well sure, who doesn’t like a good dumpster fire?

    1. Epi, when he’s passed out in the dumpster after a long night of drugs and your mom?

      1. It cleanses him.

        1. He’s like Danaerys Targaryen, except that when he steps forth from the flames, he has hatched six tabs of oxy and half a tab of Special K instead of some dragons.

          1. This is what the GOP has done to ‘Murrikkka. Once upon a time it would have been six tabs of Owsley’s White Lightning… now its oxymorons.

            1. Jesus fuck. Lighten up, Francis.

            2. I loved that season of Justified where Raylon Givens went up against the big Oxymoron dealer.

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  15. I actually started to feel more cynical after reading Sasse’s post. It doesn’t take balls to oppose an extremely unpopular candidate like Trump. And he’s a Republican so I can guess with 100% accuracy what he thinks about Hillary.

    Once he waxed folksy about his Walmart experience and his river epiphany, he launched into a typical Republican platform catalog. It’s this kind of phony outrage that will produce more Trumps and Sanders.

    1. What ought he to have said instead? Serious question

  16. The federal government should stick to the big issues. “Washington isn’t competent to micromanage the lives of free people,” writes Sasse. Our next president should instead commit to “focusing on 3 or 4 big national problems,” such as national security, budgeting and entitlement reform, “empowering states and local governments to improve K-12 education,” and “retiring career politicians by ending all the incumbency protections, special rules, and revolving door opportunities.”

    If only; is this not what libertarians want, limited government that isn’t telling us how to educate our children, what to feed our children, how to manage our colleges and universities, and how to set up public restrooms [to name just a few]?

    1. THOSE ARE TEH BIG ISSUES THO

      /a majority of voters

  17. “Our Founders didn’t want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?” says member of entrenched political party.

  18. I’d be more impressed if Sasse had announced his departure from the Republican Party right then.

  19. Americans lining up to vote for Ben Sasse, film at 11.

    Oh wait, that was the lines at Chipotle getting back to normal…

  20. The complaint doesn’t make sense re Trump, because he comes from outside the party nominating him. Then there’s an apparent major contender for the other party’s nomination who’s also an outsider. So what’s the complaint? That the parties aren’t stuck in the mud deeply enough?

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  22. You really have to admire Ben Sasse. He is an insanely accomplished guy and he’s relatively young which means he still give a shite. He is a political newby who got p.o.’ed enough to run for Senate beating a couple of GOPe types to win the nomination.

    Most of the crackers on this board don’t have the C.V. to carry Ben’s messenger bag yet you complain about him?! Get a life.

  23. Well, if the only choices on the ballot were Clinton, Trump, and a dumpster fire, i know which one I’d choose.

    -jcr

  24. They resort to character attacks as step one because they think voters are too dumb for a real debate.

    Character attacks work. The Dems have been crucifying Repubs for decades, while the Repubs respond by apologizing for being born.

    That Trump actually fights back, *a little*, is promising. I wish someone would fight back for real, properly identifying Progressives for the theocratic thugs that they are.

  25. i think it’s a smart play by sasse. argue with the details if you want, but the politics of it are solid, and even a little ballsy.

  26. Sasse seems like an impotent shill trying to ingratiate himself with a certain crowd in hopes of boosting his own prestige.

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