Republican Party Today: Greene vs. Sasse
The Republican Party is currently embroiled in confusion over how to deal with a newly elected congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Trump cultist who believes the 2020 election was stolen because Trump says so, that Jewish aliens are setting California wildfires with laser beams (I may have rendered that one slightly more sensible than the real theory), and that leading Democrats should face summary execution. The amusing thing, and the reason the GOP leadership is confused about how to handle Rep. Greene, is that her views are more or less in line with the views of tens of millions of voters the Republican Party has actively fostered, and now thoroughly depends on, for any hope of winning another election anywhere, ever.
On the other end of the GOP scale there sits Senator Ben Sasse, former university president and a rising star among the grassroots in the moment immediately before the inception of the Cult of the Wall, who has now been censured by his own state’s Republicans merely for having refused to kiss the ring of the demagogue moron Trump, or to defend Trump’s brazen lies and his deliberate fomenting of violent division and hatred in America in the name of protecting his own tissue-paper-thin ego from the shame of having had more votes cast against him than any man in American history. Sasse spoke to his fellow Nebraska Republicans in a video in which he criticized them for essentially rebuking him for having abided by the principles they themselves used to share, before they lost their minds to “the weird worship of one dude.”
I should note that I am not a fan of Ben Sasse, partly because I do not believe he is the kind of principled leader he pretends to be, and partly because I do not believe he senses how grave the political situation really is. Like all who succeed in the game on normal terms, he has a vested interest in believing the game is still more or less being played according to Hoyle. He cannot, therefore, be counted on to take any hard stands that might cost him anything in the long run, nor even to see why such stands might be necessary.
Having said that, being set in direct and opportune contrast with the Congresswoman Greene situation has certainly cast Sasse in the best possible light. In short, he looks rational and principled in the midst of a party of angry dullards and sweaty peddlers. But he is indeed in the midst of that party, and he remains there by choice. One must never forget that.