Ben Sasse rises above the fray…

He and Kavanaugh seemed like the only adults in the room last week.

Not sure if that’s a benefit or a liability of being retired, but I had the TV on for much of the Kavanaugh hearings last week.

Save for the hilarity of Sen. Booker’s “Spartacus Moment”,  most of the proceedings were predictable histrionics and talking points (from both sides).

I was impressed with Kavanaugh’s ability to “take a punch”. (<= one of my highest commendations).

The only other “actor” who made me spin my chair around was Sen Ben Sasse.


I’d barely noticed Sasse before … but his opening remarks resonated with me.

Rather than laundry-listing political talking points, Sasse took Congress to task for failing to address difficult issues and “punting” rather than legislating.

Here are a couple of snippets from Sasse’s opening remarks…


Extracted from Ben Sasse’s opening statement:

We need a Congress that writes laws, then stands before the people and faces the consequences.

We need an executive branch that has a humble view of its job as enforcing the law, not trying to write laws in Congress’s absence.

And we need a judiciary that applies written laws to facts in cases that are actually before it.

In the U.S. system, the legislative branch is supposed to be the center of politics.

Why isn’t it?

Most people here in Congress want their jobs more than they want to do legislative work.

So they punt most of the work to the next branch.

Congress rarely finishes its work.

The legislative branch has kicked a lot of its responsibility to alphabet-soup bureaucracies.

We write giant pieces of legislation that people haven’t read, filled with terms that are undefined, and we say the secretary or administrator of such-and-such shall promulgate rules that do the rest of our jobs.

We don’t do a lot of big political debating here in Congress.

We transfer thorny issues to the Supreme Court.

And that’s why the court is increasingly a substitute political battleground.

The real reason Congress punts most of its power to executive-branch agencies and courts is because it is a convenient way to avoid responsibility for controversial and unpopular decisions.

If your biggest long-term priority is your own re-election, then giving away your power is a pretty good strategy.

Well said, Senator Sasse…


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One Response to “Ben Sasse rises above the fray…”

  1. Alex Says:

    Best senatorial statement I’ve heard in a long time.

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