Ben Sasse: What happens on January 6?

"Since Election Day, the president and his allied organizations have raised well over half a billion (billion!) dollars from supporters who have been led to believe that they’re contributing to a ferocious legal defense. But in reality, they’re mostly just giving the president and his allies a blank check that can go to their super-PACs, their next plane trip, their next campaign or project." - Sasse

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josh p's picture

Ben Sasse is a disappointment. At times he is so thoughtful and correct and at other times he seems to just tow the party line even when it seems inconsistent with his previous statements. At one time I was hopeful that he would run for president. Now I doubt that I'd vote for him. I still think he is one of the better Republican politicians though. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

When it comes to politicians, I'm happy to see even the smallest moments of clarity and courage. It's got to be a hard thing to try to balance "what's good for my constituents" with "what my constituents want." It's like parenting. You want your kids to not hate you but you also know they often want what isn't good for them. So you accept their displeasure to do the right thing... but not always. Human weakness.

Kinzinger's video is also encouraging (https://youtu.be/X8LtmYEQpuk), though he seems a bit more interested in praising his own courage. Biggrin But there's something to be said for guys who are willing to take the risk of making their base angry.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

M. Osborne's picture

@josh p: I'm curious where you disagree with Sasse's reasoning as he explains it? Do you think that his statement, linked to here, is an example of towing a party line? And if so, which party line?

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

M. Osborne's picture

@Aaron:

Whether or not it's historically accurate, the musical 1776 portrays Dr. Lyman Hall of Georgia as conflicted about whether to vote for independence (his judgment) or against it (the prevailing opinion back in Georgia). At a critical juncture, he brings out this quotation from Edmund Burke, which strikes me as fundamentally sound:

"Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays you instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

I have no desire to go into government myself, but I think it would be intolerable for me if I had to make decisions based on the whims of the constituency. They would have every right to work to persuade me. And they would have every right to vote me out next term if they didn't like what I did. But I couldn't see it as good governing before God to pay attention to the brute volume of letters and phone calls, and the brute volume of demonstrators outside my office. Not when I answer to God for my decisions.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

josh p's picture

M. Osborne wrote:

@josh p: I'm curious where you disagree with Sasse's reasoning as he explains it? Do you think that his statement, linked to here, is an example of towing a party line? And if so, which party line?

Sorry I should have been more clear. I'm speaking about his career in total. At times, like his first speech, he is excellent. At other times I don't get his allegiances at all. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

But I couldn't see it as good governing before God to pay attention to the brute volume of letters and phone calls, and the brute volume of demonstrators outside my office. Not when I answer to God for my decisions.

Yes. So, some have said that democracy is the worst form of government--except for all the others.

Elected reps have to have a supporting majority to stay in office, so there is constant pressure to pander. The leader who can balance that with doing the right thing is someone of both unusual wisdom and unusual moral courage. This is the kind of leadership Christians should pray for.

Sasse: I can't recall specifics now but I do recall times when he seemed to cave and I was disgusted with him. But he at least seems to have a way of making good, strong course corrections from time to time. I appreciate that. I'd take him over our Ron  Johnson any day. (RJ will probably never get my vote again.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

josh p's picture

Yes I was perhaps too strong in my criticism of Sasse considering he is a politician after all. I do get the impression that he is generally trying to be consistent when he can. I believe he used to be the director of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals in California. He is the one politician that I can name that probably knows Christ (there are likely others). Not necessary to be a good politician but great if it’s true. He is also something of an academic which always makes for an interesting senator. I also think it’s cool that he and his wife have chosen to homeschool and that he brings a kid with him when they are in session.

G. N. Barkman's picture

I can't disagree with Sasse's conclusion that the likely instances of illegal votes is insufficient to change the results of the election.  The evidence supports the verdict that Biden won the election,  

But we are left with troubling irregularities that need to be thoroughly investigated, not swept under the "it won't make enough difference" rug.  I ask, once again, why do all these irregularities favor Biden?  The fact that they all seem to favor Biden is itself a very troubling pattern.  It must be investigated and dealt with legally, or it will never stop.  Also, if this many irregularities are known, how can we be sure there are not additional ones that are not yet known?  Failing to investigate known irregularities results in failing to uncover additional irregularities.  If there are more, is it possible that the results of the election have been changed?

I am disappointed with Trump for failing to address these irregularities in a sensible manner.  Once again, Trump and his supporters have shot themselves in the feet.  But the insistence that there is no fraud is premature.  We have evidence that there are instances of genuine fraud, albeit in insufficient measures to affect the outcome.  Serious investigations will either uncover additional fraud, or certify that none exists.  Either way, serious investigation is the only way to bring this to a conclusion.  Let the investigations begin.

G. N. Barkman

Joeb's picture

GN there is no fraud.  Your barking up the wrong tree.  All irregularities are resolved and gotcha evidence has gone by the wayside. 

G. N. Barkman's picture

That's not what the Sasse article says.  It declares the irregularities to be too small to change the outcome, but clearly points to several instances of irregularities that could well be labeled fraud.  Why are some so nervous about "barking up" this particular tree?

G. N. Barkman

RajeshG's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

That's not what the Sasse article says.  It declares the irregularities to be too small to change the outcome, but clearly points to several instances of irregularities that could well be labeled fraud.  Why are some so nervous about "barking up" this particular tree?

Was there fraud large enough to change the outcomes? Take a look at this video that was presented before legislators in GA in an official hearing and keep in mind that similar things have also been documented to have taken place elsewhere:

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/ignored-media-data-scientists-t...

dgszweda's picture

There were irregularities in this election.  In fact, they are in every election.  And every election cycle, they are investigated and corrected in subsequent election cycles.  Where fraud exists people are arrested.  This happens every four years.  They are not forgotten.  In fact, it is a big part of the work that election boards doing in between elections.  I think we can legitimately say that there was no widespread fraud, and no fraud or irregularities that would meaningfully impact any of the election results.  This has been proven by numerous recounts and over 60 law suits, all of which failed to show any cases of fraud or irregularities that met any form of a legal "bar".  The most interesting view is Georgia, which did two recounts to prove not only the machines were correct, but that the actual count was correct.  They also did a sampling of 15,000 envelopes with the GBI and Georgia Tech to confirm that signatures were accurate.  14,998 were.  The two that were not, were 1) signed on the front and not the back, but confirmed under oath with the voter, and 2) the individuals spouse signed for their spouse, also confirmed under oath with the voter.  This indicated a confidence ratio of all signatures of 99.99%.  Pretty good in my opinion.

The real fraud, was Trump asking Raffesberger to "find" the votes that he needed to win the election.  This was not about fraud or irregularities, but overturning an election somehow so that Trump could win.  This recorded conversation with Trump really shows the pathetic and said state of affairs for someone who wanted to "drain the swamp".  It is clear that he broke federal laws in this phone call and in my opinion, he should be prosecuted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-georgia...

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Yesterday, I posted the audio and full transcript of Trump's disgraceful and evil call with the Georgia Secretary of State on social media. I said Trump was a moral disgrace.

A Christian, a former friend, then declared on social media that Trump had a "Christian worldview," and that living in WA had turned me into a "Marxist Communist." She then assured me "I really feel sorry for you."

This is a mental illness. I have now blocked 10 people over the past 12 months, ALL CHRISTIANS, because they have each personally insulted me. Each insult has stemmed from their worship of Trump. This includes my own uncle, who had the nerve to declare my dead father was looking down from heaven (note: my father was an unbeliever) and was very angry with me for doubting Trump. 

I repeat = this is a mental illness.

Further, any GOP politician who abets this disgrace, in any form, is a fool.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

T Howard's picture

Trump has done more to destroy the future of the Republican party than any Democrat could have dreamed up.

It's insane what Republicans have allowed (and continue to allow) Trump to get away with.

Mark_Smith's picture

But, why is it anything with Trump's name on it is released to the media, in full transcript form? Meanwhile, we are still waiting for one Democrat to rat out Bill Clinton from 20 years ago... let alone anything Obama did, or any more recent Democrat.

Does that make you curious at all?

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

But, why is it anything with Trump's name on it is released to the media, in full transcript form? Meanwhile, we are still waiting for one Democrat to rat out Bill Clinton from 20 years ago... let alone anything Obama did, or any more recent Democrat.

Does that make you curious at all?

I'm sure many rabid Trump supporters will claim a deep state conspiracy against Trump. I just think Trump is too egomaniacal / stupid to cover his tracks like other politicians. Instead, when caught, he doubles down or get others to lie for him.

John E.'s picture

Mark, Raffensperger's people recorded the call as insurance. It wasn't until Trump slandered/lied about Raffensperger (a republican, mind you) on Twitter that the recording was turned over to the media. And can anyone blame him?

Whataboutism is especially ill-conceived in this instance.

Mark_Smith's picture

Nope. A clear eye on something is rotten in DC and politics.

My point was, the only way we know anything about Hillary Clinton's campaign maneuvers and the FBI's investigation into Trump is from wikileaks. In the four years since not one thing has been released from the FBI. We're still waiting on the "investigation" report from Durham!

That is not "whataboutism". Its plain observation.

Mark_Smith's picture

Trump is not asking Raffensperger to lie. Trump really believes that tens of thousands of votes were illegally run through machines in Fulton county. You might not, but he does. He is asking Raffensperger to look into it.

 

And by the way, GA did a full signature audit in some little county and found nothing... Duh. The signature count needs to be done in Fulton county.

Anyway, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do think some suspicious things happened. Its probably too late to do anything about it now.

Mark_Smith's picture

Not one mainstream media person has EVER been interested in looking into the astonishing investigation by the FBI by a president of the opposite political party candidate for President (Obama of Trump). It is all assumed to have been valid. Trump is evil and takes orders from Putin... That is what the regular media runs with to this day! No exaggeration there at all.

Not one leak out of the Obama admin about it. Imagine if Trump investigated Biden over his son. 5 minutes after the order was given someone at the AG or FBI would have called the WaPo or NYT about it.

None of this seems odd?

Mark_Smith's picture

Multiple stories of how several Republican reps and senators plan to challenge the Electoral College acceptance tomorrow. It is called "unprecedented." How many Democrats rejected Trumps count in 2017? Bush in 2001? None? Better think again.

Yet no mainstream media reports on it. Watched Meet the Press with Chuck Todd yesterday. Went on and on about how unique and crazy this is... To use a media term, that's a lie.

 

AndyE's picture

As a GA Republican who lives in Fulton County and voted for Trump and wished he could have been re-elected, I’ve been absolutely appalled at Trump’s actions since the election and especially his treatment of his fellow Republicans here in the State of Georgia. I want Republicans to get elected but more than that, I want elections that are fair and reflect the votes of the people.  Our governor and secretary of state both wanted Trump to get re-elected but they have too much integrity to overthrow the results of the election.  They have looked into it, they have done recounts, they have done audits and Trump still lost.  Trump is now saying that the GA runoff is unfair and illegal (or something like that) – and it is causing fellow Republican friends of mine to question if they should even bother to vote – I could quote you from a Facebook post if necessary.  This is so ridiculous.  If the GA run off goes to the Democrats, I’m going to blame Trump for depressing the Republican vote and making us Republicans look like a bunch of loonies.

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

And by the way, GA did a full signature audit in some little county and found nothing... Duh. The signature count needs to be done in Fulton county.

Anyway, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do think some suspicious things happened. Its probably too late to do anything about it now.

Cobb county is not some little county.  It was one of the counties of concern.  It has about 750,000 people in it on the north and east side of downtown Atlanta.  Fulton has about 1M people.  It wouldn't matter what they did, someone would be saying they need to do more.  Because the issue is not the signatures, the issue is that someone feels at the very bottom of their heart that something nefarious took place, and regardless of what is presented, it can't overcome that feeling for someone.

dgszweda's picture

AndyE wrote:

 If the GA run off goes to the Democrats, I’m going to blame Trump for depressing the Republican vote and making us Republicans look like a bunch of loonies.

I agree, this is the biggest risk right now.  If Republicans loose the Senate, we will have an interesting next two years, and not in a good way.  Raffensberger has done a great job in following up and auditing and doing recounts.  Were there some mistakes in votes?  Most likely.  Nothing is perfect.  But if there was rampant fraud on the scale as large as Guiliani or Trump are touting, there is not way it would not have been found by the Justice Department, GBI, Georgia Secretary of State, numerous local audits, 3 recounts including a hand recount and a 99.99% confidence rating on the signature audit.

The fact is, that Trump vowed to make elections safe and secure at the beginning of his term and he put an organization in place to facilitate this.  In the end, what he set out to happened.  This was a very secure election.  Now he is trying to shoot holes into something that he actually should have taken credit for.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I think we're probably all agreed that some irregularities occurred, that some of these are properly termed "misconduct," and that some might rise to the level of "fraud." Maybe JoeB's point is that these have all been handled, or are being handled, on the local level. Due process has happened or is happening. (I don't want to put words in your mouth: do I have that right?)

We're all probably also agreed that nothing happened on a large enough scale to make Trump the winner.

Also few, if any, would dispute that the media are generally quicker to jump on negative Trump-related information than they are info/allegations about leaders they like.

So, as far as this thread goes, it's about what we prefer to emphasize, and what we see as relevant.

None of the past or present unfairness of the media reduces the seriousness of Trump's misconduct or that of his radical right enablers.

Earlier--I think in this thread--I raised the question again of what does Trump really believe about all this. Is he a liar or deluded? I think the Raffensperger phone call answers that question pretty clearly. The man believes his own propaganda.

It matters because there are lessons to be learned here.

There really is such a thing as disqualifying poor character in leaders, especially leaders in very powerful positions. And disqualifying poor character doesn't become acceptable if the alternative candidate has an evil policy agenda.

Poor character is contagious. It's interesting to me that many of the same people who would claim leaders of various Christian ministries developed an ungodly, prideful, celebrity-worshiping culture in those ministries, think that the President of the U.S. isn't going to corrupt the political culture of his party and administration.

Naive. Wishful thinking. 

What we're seeing now, with many Congressman and some Senators backing this illogical and pernicious pandering stunt of rejecting the election results, is the fruit of putting in charge of the party and the country the kind of man who shouldn't be trusted to be in charge of anything

People who tell themselves lies about how great and unbeatable they are--and believe those lies (and all the other lies they have to invent to sustain the fantasy)--can't be trusted to be in charge of anything.

They breed the kind of fanatic followers who push the party and administration toward radicalism... think Lin Wood  (fortunately, some Trump backers are waking up) and Louie Gohmert.

As bad as a Biden administration might be--especially if he gains a majority in both houses--the end of Trump's presidency is divine mercy. (We might debate whether we're going from frying pan to fire or fire back to frying pan. I think it's pretty clearly the latter.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

T Howard's picture

Well, Aaron, for some here, character doesn't matter, especially when a democrat is going to take office.

Meghan Trainor wrote:

Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your character
She says, boys like a little more policy to hold at night
(That taxes, immigration, uh, that supreme court)
You know I won't be no angel, moral conservative
So, if that's what's you're into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm all about that policy
'Bout that policy, not character
I'm all 'bout that policy, 'bout that policy, not character
I'm all 'bout that policy, 'bout that policy, not character
I'm all 'bout that policy, 'bout that policy

JD Miller's picture

Aaron, I get your frustration with those who defend Trump when he is wrong because they agree with some of his policies. (I have to guard myself in this area because I did vote for Trump).  Still I can see how easily it can happen- kind of like you defending Joe B when you like what he says.  It is so easy for bias to creep into the lives even of godly people.  We all need to understand that and show grace to each other when we have different opinions on whether or not substantial fraud occurred.  I am sad how polarizing so much of this has become.  Let us all be careful not to speculate on the motives of those who have different views about this election.  Let us encourage each other that we should be able to have different opinions and still fellowship together. 

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

What we're seeing now, with many Congressman and some Senators backing this illogical and pernicious pandering stunt of rejecting the election results, is the fruit of putting in charge of the party and the country the kind of man who shouldn't be trusted to be in charge of anything

I agree with most of what you said, but I don't agree here. What these pols are doing is positioning themselves for the future. They can see where most of the Republicans are right now, or at least a significant portion of them. That is, there is a huge (yuuuge!!) block of Republicans supporting Trump. So these pols are trying to get out in front of these people either in their own interests of re-election in two years (Congressmen) or possible Presidential run in 2024. Cynical? Yes, but they are pols. That's what it's all about for them.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Joeb's picture

Good point Don but it's like getting a root canal every day waiting for Trump to be tossed.  My brother in law says Trump is going to have all sorts of tricks up his sleeve until he goes out the door. 
 

The only thing I don't want is anyone to get killed.  There has already been a report that Trump Thugs threatened to sexually assault the Republican GA Secretary of State's Wife.  He received death threats.  
 

Meadows us suppose to be one of us and other Christian Righties are involved with Trump.  Where are the Pastors protesting this.  If Meadows is a member of a church why hasn't his Pastor spoken to Meadows and asked him to tell Trump supporters to stop such threats. If I was meadow's Pastor with  any sense of right and wrong which many of these Christian Right Pastors greatly lack why isn't Meadows Pastor putting Meadows under spiritual discipline.  A Pastor no doing this in my mind is in sin.  It's the same behavior with the covering up of Sexual Assaults in the church.  

dgszweda's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

I agree with most of what you said, but I don't agree here. What these pols are doing is positioning themselves for the future. They can see where most of the Republicans are right now, or at least a significant portion of them. That is, there is a huge (yuuuge!!) block of Republicans supporting Trump. So these pols are trying to get out in front of these people either in their own interests of re-election in two years (Congressmen) or possible Presidential run in 2024. Cynical? Yes, but they are pols. That's what it's all about for them.

Don, I 100% agree with you here.  Unfortunately I feel that Trump shifted the party significantly from where it was under Bush.  I just wish the politicians had some more back bone to be leaders through this.  I am worried that the pols will try to model themselves after Trump to get the votes and the party will further shift.  At this point, I struggle with identifying as a member of the Republican Party.   I agree with many of the stances and positions, but the party has taken a significant turn over the last 4 years, and specifically in the last year.  We are seeing this shift in our churches as well.

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