Ben Sasse is a conservative Republican.
Donald Trump is not.
Donald Trump is an ideologically empty vessel, half of which is filled with his own fickle, narcissism-driven intuition, the other half of which is filled with poison dripped in by the morally bankrupt ne’er-do-wells surrounding him.
Indeed, many supposedly Constitution-obsessed, free-market-driven, conservative “libertarians” are anything but. They actually (hypocritically) demand moral conformism (you must believe in Jesus, you must not be gay, you must…). They demand that you can’t, actually, exhibit your freedoms that generally are enshrined in the Constitution. These people really don’t really believe in the Constitution in any meaningful way. They do when it’s convenient, they forget to mention it when it is not.
What these people are are cultists; the cult of personality is so strong with their dear leader, Donald Trump (who is ideologically vacuous, so they project into him all their fears and worst-laid plans), that they treat him as one of his own idols – a dictator like his best friends in Russia or North Korea.
And this is exactly what we saw exhibited yesterday when the right-wingnut, conspiracy theory hack Marjorie Taylor Greene was allowed to vent in public like the most expulsive pollutant outlet this side of Bhopal.
She was recently voted off a range of committees that she never should have been put on. Greene said three things of particular note:
- She now felt freed. What the hell does she think she should be doing in Washington if not serving her constituents by working on committees to create and enact policy? She feels “freed” and would be “a waster of [her] time” just showed what a fraud she is. She has no desire to do policy, she just wants to play politics. All she wants to do is fawn over her wannabe dictator in some show of sickening public obsequiousness.
- She declared that the US is victim to a “tyrannically-controlled government”. So Joe Biden, elected with the largest, safest, most democratic vote in American history, working really hard to solve all the huge problems the ineptitude of Trump and his administration left behind, is a tyrannical leader? Nonsense.
- The Republican Party “is his; it doesn’t belong to anybody else”. This is amazingly important. This is saying that ideology and politics are not important; personality and power are.
That crucifix sits proud on her chest but I can’t imagine Jesus would give her the time of day. If he knew this would be how his death ended up manifesting itself, I proffer that he would have had second thoughts…
This was her media run-in yesterday, and my, the whataboutery on show should win awards. Bad awards:
Which brings me onto the main point of today.
Republican Ben Sasse has been a vocal critic of Trump. He has incurred the wrath of Republicans for so doing. And for what? For having the strength of his political convictions.
Yesterday, he absolutely savaged these Republican voters, these Trumpistas who can’t see past the end of their Trump
/Pence flags they are using to hit people with. Though I disagree with his politics – at the end of the day (and the irony should be as loud as a bullhorn to his GOP detractors) he has voted more conservatively than Trump and many of his strongest allies over his political career – at least he is a politician who sits by his principles.
Because he actually has principles.
He is not a Ted Cruz. This is what the GOP is becoming. A person who should be so disgusted with Trump by rights, but who has ended up being his biggest bootlicker. A grifter, once so staunch in his moral proclamations and ideology, now so desperate for power that those ideals are mere whisps of memories lost in a fog of greed.
Trump’s opinions back before the presidential election were not hidden:
“This guy Ted Cruz is the single biggest liar I have ever dealt with in my life. I mean it. … He will lie about anything. I’ve met much tougher people than Ted Cruz. He’s like a baby. … He’s like a little baby. Soft, weak, little baby by comparison. But for lying, he’s the best I’ve ever seen. … A guy like Ted Cruz, he has no clue. He never employed anybody. He’s a nasty, nasty guy.”
“Ted Cruz is a total hypocrite and, until recently, a Canadian citizen who may not even have a legal right to run for president.”
“He’ll say whatever he wants to say. I actually think he’s a very unstable person. I really believe that. I think he’s a very unstable person. But I’ve never had somebody take something that you believe in and just say the exact opposite.”
“The State of Iowa should disqualify Ted Cruz from the most recent election on the basis that he cheated- a total fraud!”
“The evangelicals didn’t vote for him. And you know why? Because they don’t like liars. They’re really smart people. They don’t want to vote for a liar. … This guy Cruz lies more than any human being I’ve ever dealt with. He holds up the Bible and he lies.”
“Ted Cruz, he’s seriously — he’s got a mental problem. Ted Cruz is a liar. He’s got a problem, that he’s a liar. I’ve never seen anybody [lie] to that extent.”
On and on and on it went.
Cruz was no fan of Trump:
“I think in terms of a commander in chief, we ought to have someone who isn’t springing out of bed to tweet in a frantic response to the latest polls. I think the American people is looking for a commander in chief who is stable and steady and a calm hand to keep this country safe.”
“Donald comes from New York and he embodies New York values.” “Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, are pro-abortion, are pro-gay-marriage, focused around money and the media.
“Maybe it is the case that Donald, there have been multiple media reports about Donald’s business dealings with the mob, with the mafia. Maybe his taxes show those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported”
“Donald can’t defend his own record. Whenever you point out what he’s actually said, he just screams, ‘liar.’ He insults you. He attacks you. He makes it personal, and he gets very rattled. He doesn’t like anyone pointing to his actual, substantive record. And I think that’s a sign of weakness.”
Trump then retweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, next to a picture of his wife, Melania. The caption read: “No need to ‘spill the beans.’ The images are worth a thousand words.”
Source: Business Insider, March 2016
Cruz responded civilly that night on Twitter but erupted to reporters the next day: “It’s not easy to tick me off. I don’t get angry often, but if you mess with my wife, if you mess with my kids, that will do it every time. Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.”
“If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I’d push.”
Trump is a “narcissist” and “serial philanderer” and “morality doesn’t exist” for him.
“This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies — practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”
So on and so forth.
Now, Cruz has become a co-sponsor of the incitement to insurrection movement. He became Trump’s right-hand man and this has perhaps come back to nip at his posterior.
We watch the backpedalling with popcorn in hand.
The problem with the GOP is that the vast number of their voters and politicians appear equally to have no principles in this manner. Their main movers and lawmakers are grifters, ideology blowing in the winds fanned by Fox and their “friends”, OAN and Newsmax. It has been about the pursuit and maintenance of power for power’s sake. And when the electorate could see through this and rejected it, it was about the desperate clinging onto that power to escape existential apocalypse. Trump couldn’t handle being a loser. Cognitive dissonance, disinformation and confirmation bias kicked in, and in his head, he wasn’t this loser; he was a winner robbed. But he is also going to jail. Eventually. Somehow. One of the many, many cases will be the end of him.
Ben Sasse knows this, I’m sure, so that, even though he has principle on his side, he is also probably making a calculation, too. This Trumpian obsession for the likes of Greene, Cruz and Jordan is a short-term thing. It might seem to win the odd battle (but not the presidential one!), yet it won’t win the war. Or, if it does win, it will destroy the country in the process.
The Trump horse is a bad bet, either way.
So, to today’s main performance, I present an insider’s complete evisceration of the Republican Party, where its false-idol worship has it headed.
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