If you stand for nothing, Ben, what will you fall for?


Here is conservative writer and CNN commentator Matt Lewis at The Daily Beast:

Other Republicans—like Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse—voted with Trump for other, somewhat inexplicable, reasons.

Never Trumper Bill Kristol has been tweeting a 2014 video of Ted Cruz passionately arguing that “it’s incumbent on Republicans in Congress to use every single tool we have to defend the rule of law, to rein in the president, so that the president does not become an unaccountable monarch.” That was Cruz’s stance on executive overreach when Barack Obama was president. This is obviously hypocritical.

In the case of Sasse, voting with Trump is shockingly off brand. But, like Tillis, he’s up for re-election in 2020. And as I have previously observed, one of the problems with Trump is that he puts Republicans in the untenable position of having to choose between having relevance and influence or having dignity and integrity. Tillis, Cory Gardner, Sasse and others  chose the former, at the expense of the latter. I hope they sleep well.

But far more Republicans than I would have imagined rose to the occasion and did the right thing.  It’s also arguably an even nobler vote when realize that after President Trump vetoes the bill there likely won’t be enough votes to override that veto.

Read the entire piece here.


I am glad that both of my U.S. Senators: Bob Casey (D)and Pat Toomey (R) voted against this national emergency declaration.

This reminds me of Alexander Hamilton’s critique of Aaron Burr, or at least how it is portrayed in the musical Hamilton song “Aaron Burr, Sir,”: “If you stand for nothing Burr, what’ll you fall for?

And their were these Republicans:

10 thoughts on “If you stand for nothing, Ben, what will you fall for?

  1. I’m still sickened by Tillis’ last-minute switch. For once I thought NC would have a few moments when it finally chose to do something right, and . . . well, I guess I should have known better


  2. Rick: is there a difference between a conservative and a conservative loyalist? Are there progressive loyalists?


  3. Exactly. Sasse votes with Trump because Sasse is, more than anything else, conservative, and he votes like a conservative loyalist. Some seem to think Sasse has built a mavericky brand, but nothing backs that up save a few silly thought pieces that the fine senator has authored.


  4. Unicorn,

    I like Chesterton but am guessing that the context of your quote/paraphrase of him was more universal and possibly even more eternal. I doubt he was thinking of a man who had just made a vote in Commons.


  5. John,
    I am pleased to see you supporting Pat Toomey and look forward to your indorsement of him if he seeks another term!


  6. “Voting with Trump.” Someone would need to demonstrate why it would be improper or hypocritical, on a case by case basis, for a conservative like Sasse (who has not hidden his distaste for the President’s personal conduct, or his disagreements with any number of policies) to “vote with Trump.” Unless the catch-all, reductive analysis is: Trump Bad. All Must Oppose.

    I’m opposed to Trump’s emergency declaration. I do not think his purported justification satisfies the threshold statutory requirements for taking such action. (Even though he is on more solid footing than was Obama on, say, DACA.) My objection further stems from the fact that even if a deferential court were inclined to buy the administration’s justification, this sort of thing sets a bad precedent and inevitably will be used by the next D president to justify all manner of emergency edicts, relating to gun control or climate doom or whatever the cause du jour is.

    As always, one must ask the rhetorical question: how did all these folks now allegedly outraged and deeply troubled by this executive overreach react when Obama pulled out his pen and phone when Congress wouldn’t act to his liking? (Note to John: I’m not arguing “Obama did it too!” I’m arguing, just as you did with Jeffress: the people most vociferously against this have no credibility.) Yes, exactly: most were cheer leading or had no qualms whatsoever. Because the noble ends justified the means. Most critics bleating about this are doing so not out of any high-minded commitment to a limited executive and “the rule of law.” No, their agita is because the current executive unbound is a guy they detest, with an agenda they despise, while the prior executive unbound was an audaciously hopeful Lightworker.


  7. John,
    I am pleased to read of you praising Pat Toomey…………..but I won’t hold my breath to see if you support him if he runs for re-election.

    As far as Romney’s vote, I realize that you did not comment specifically, however, I was interested in reading Matt Lewis’ remarks about Mrs. McDaniel indirectly excoriating her wise, kind, and sage Uncle Mitt. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest political chameleons within the GOP and has not given up on his own presidential ambitions. From what I can observe Senator Romney has been steering a center right political tac which will not alienate the Republican base but will position him as the non-Trump choice if an opening develops. I wish he had remained in Boston and accepted an ecclesiastical calling as an LDS stake president.



  8. “In the case of Sasse, voting with Trump is shockingly off brand.”

    That’s spectacularly lazy analysis by Lewis. According to fivethirtyeight.com, Sasse votes with Trump at an 86.0% clip.


Comments are closed.