In a column at the Daily Beast, conservative commentator Matt Lewis stuck a fork in the presidential aspirations of Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) after the frequent Donald Trump critic gave the president the okay to bypass Congress and steal billions for his border wall.
A week after Sasse voted against a measure that would have halted Trump’s emergency declaration in its tracks, Lewis pointed out that fans of the so-called “Constitutional conservative” have turned on him — making his hinted-at plans to one day become president difficult if not impossible.
“Fresh off of voting to uphold Trump’s national emergency, Ben Sasse spent the weekend touring historic flooding in Nebraska and getting dunked on by Twitter trolls and former fans,” Lewis wrote before adding, “In my opinion, what has been revealed is actually a character issue. Trump, who set out arguing that Buckleyite conservatism was effete and elite, has, in effect, demonstrated this to be largely true. Sasse is the latest example.”
Lewis took pains to point out that some of Sasse’s conservative followers were also distressed by Sasse’s cowardice, noting the conservative senator was called “folksy Ted Cruz” and “the Marco Rubio of Jeff Flakes,” online with the columnist dryly explaining: “These responses were not meant as compliments.”
Lewis then lowered the boom on Sasse with his own words.
“If you had asked me a week ago who should lead the conservative movement if Trumpism was discredited, Sasse would have been on my shortlist,” Lewis wrote. “But in one fell swoop, Sasse was revealed as weak and phony. He undermined his brand and alienated his base. It proves he doesn’t comprehend Trump’s core lessons about toughness, authenticity, branding, and tending to one’s own base.”
“Sasse can talk about the Constitution and quote Tocqueville till the cows come home. But what does it matter if his deeds—when the pressure is on—do not comport with his aspirational rhetoric?” he concluded.
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