In Support Of The 1st Amendment – Senator Ben Sasse

I am finding some things to like in some of the republican members of Congress these past few weeks.  Some of them are beginning to realize how dangerous the man in the Oval Office is, how inappropriate his words and actions are, and how he is sullying the office and all that it stands for.  And they are speaking up and speaking out.  Unfortunately, those who are beginning to realize what is happening are also some of the ones who are declining to run for re-election next year.  Figures.

ben sasse.jpeg

Senator Ben Sasse

I knew very little about Senator Ben Sasse until yesterday, though I had heard the name.  But yesterday, he impressed me … not once, but twice, both times in defense of freedom of the press!  It started when Trump fired off a series of ridiculous tweets claiming he might consider retaliation against NBC for a story they printed that Trump claims to be untrue, and then a general threat against all ‘network news’.

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” 9:55 AM – Oct 11, 2017

“Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” 8:09 PM – Oct 11, 2017

Ben Sasse responded in tweet with …

“Mr. President: Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment?” 9:03 PM – 11 Oct 2017

I cannot think of a more appropriate response.  Good job, Ben Sasse!

And then came Trump’s appearance on Idiot of the Week Sean Hannity’s program.  Here is a brief excerpt …

Trump: Media is bad. They are really dishonest people. These are very, very dishonest people in many cases, in many cases. And not all. Look, I know some reporters, I know some journalists that are phenomenal people, very straight, very honest. But there’s such dishonesty. I mean, you know, it’s interesting. If I was just watching television, you don’t know whether or not because, you know, you’re just watching a report. But when you’re the one being written about, you know if it’s good or bad and it’s always, they try and make it negative. So, the media — I call it fake media. It is fake. It is so much fake news. And we have to understand —

Hannity: Do you agree with that? Fake news?

Trump: You know, and I only say it, so when people read things, they can understand that so much of it is indeed fake.

After the interview, Hannity apparently saw Senator Sasse’s tweet and responded …

“One of the biggest mistakes in my career was supporting @BenSasse. Just useless,” 10:37 PM – Oct 11, 2017

And Sasse again responds with wisdom and without vitriol …

“Sorry, Sean — you changed, not me. Some of us still believe in the Constitution. No President should play with censoring news they dislike.” 5:29 PM – Oct 12, 2017

Now, I am not a fan of this back-and-forth tweeting.  I think the heavy reliance government leaders place on Twitter as their primary mode of communication is unprofessional and a deterrent to intelligent speech.  However, my point today is that here is a republican senator who is willing to stand for the 1st Amendment right to free speech and a free press, and that impresses me.

A quick trip to Senator Sasse’s Facebook page shows a letter to his constituents dated February 2016 in which he explained to them that he could not, in good conscience, support Donald Trump, and he very soundly stated his reasons.  I could question, of course, where he stood during the vote to repeal and replace ACA, for obviously his was not one of the much-needed ‘nay’ votes.  But for the moment, I will content myself with the fact that he is supporting the press rather than the ‘man’ who is seeking to constrain the voice of the free press, the voice of America.

I have created a new award that I will issue on occasion, when I feel it is deserved, and Senator Ben Sasse is the first recipient of Filosofa’s Golden Thumbs Up Award

golden thumb upPaul Ryan also came out in support of a free press when speaking with a reporter, though he sidestepped mentioning Trump …

“I’m a constitutional conservative. I’m for the First Amendment. I don’t always agree and like what you guys write, but you have a right to do it. And I’m a constitutional conservative, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s threats to revoke the broadcast licenses of NBC or any other legitimate news outlet are empty threats … at least at this time.  First, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) only licenses individual stations, not networks like NBC.  While station licenses can be questioned by community members, it has been more than twenty years since the FCC has refused to renew a broadcast license, and the odds of them doing so now are slim-to-none.

Even so, Trump’s threat must be considered dangerous, for Trump’s new FCC chairman, installed in January, is Ajit Pai, a man who is openly against internet privacy, a strong supporter of Donald Trump, and I do not trust that he might not be willing to tweak a few rules to keep Trump happy.  Interestingly, while criticizing the legitimate, mainstream press, Trump gives conspiracy theorist and purveyor of fake news, Sean Hannity, an interview.  Speaks volumes, don’t you think?

30 thoughts on “In Support Of The 1st Amendment – Senator Ben Sasse

  1. Donald Trump is like that obnoxious married in uncle that tries for 5 minutes to not say something ignorant or offensive, only to say something that dumbfounds the whole party.
    Paul Ryan, what can I say, I am impressed how a man can stand upright without a spine.
    I know there are plenty of conservative minded political officials who squirm just having to put up with a man like Trump, are they willing to put online losing the Whitehouse in 2020? I don’t think they believed he would be so difficult to control. Regardless, whether Trump completes his term or not, there is little chance of electability in the minds of voters maybe until 2024. By then there will be many new voters who probably will be able to think for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha … you hit the nail on the head when you compare Trump to that obnoxious uncle! And I love your comment about Paul Ryan. Sometimes he comes across as a human being, other times not.
      As to how the republican members of Congress who actually do have a conscience put up with Trump … it boils down to money and the mid-terms. They are in the pockets of the lobbyists such as the NRA, plus they think they have to keep Trump’s 37% of supporters happy. They don’t seem to realize that there are another 63% of us out here who wouldn’t vote for a republican next year if he offered us the world on a string. They are walking a tightrope, and I would say they are doomed next year … BUT … the DNC does not appear to be getting their ducks lined up, and unless they can put forth some viable and exciting candidates, they may not stand much of a chance either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, I highly commend the tone of these responses from Senator Sasse. I saw the first one, but was unaware of the back and forth with Hannity. What my former party needs to ask themselves is why so many of the better conservative pundits – David Brooks, Michael Gerson, Ross Douthat, George Will to name only a few have been against Trump from the outset. Even the staunch Charles Krauthammer is against much of what Trump stands for.

    There was a letter to the editor by a local conservative who said those Republicans who refuse to team with Trump are bad people. I strongly disagree. They are Americans first. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree … I thought it spoke volumes when George Will dropped the GOP. And I wonder … of course he does not read, so perhaps he does not know … but I wonder how he rationalizes the fact that even the conservative pundits do not support him? He probably has no idea who Will, Brooks and Krauthammer are.

      Gee … I guess that makes me a bad person then. Oh well … if it takes supporting that abomination sitting in the White House to be good, I will never be good. Yes, Americans first … well, no … actually, humans first, then Americans. Humanity is what is lacking in the current administration.


      • Jill, you might enjoy my latest post on whose bread he butters. He is celebrating screwing people between 1 and 2 1/2 times the poverty level. He is patting himself on the back while not moving fast enough to help and denigrating people in Puerto Rico and so on. Humanitarian is not on the list of words to describe this President. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just read it and it is indeed spot-on! I plan to re-blog later today. The comments were quite insightful, also! Good job on that one. It seems that the MITWH must lie awake nights thinking of who he can screw over next!


            • Yes, I read that last night. I respect Kasich, and he has good ideas. I believe he is a humanitarian. I don’t think he is presidential material, though. But then … what am I SAYING??? Look who’s sitting in the White House as we speak! Heck, compared to him, I am presidential material!!! 😵


              • Jill, he was the best of the 17 running for the GOP nomination. The one that won, was near the bottom of the list, just edging out Ted Cruz. He is not perfect, but he is sane and reasonable, which we need more of these days. Keith

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, I would agree with that. My only concern is that he seems to not stand as strongly as I might like, but you are right that he was the best of the bunch. And I would rank Trump at the very bottom, even lower than Cruz. Especially in hindsight. I cannot believe that a short year ago I was joking about the Trump candidacy, saying he hadn’t a snowball’s chance in hell. Somebody smack me upside the head!


  3. Dear Jill,
    He keeps ignoring the advice of experts around him to do what he wants to cater to his minority 37% base and the heck with the rest of us. After all we do not adore him. The establishment media does not adore him. Forget Puerto Rico because a mayor does not think he is wonderful.

    And because republican lawmakers need his 37% base, they are not doing their duty to protect this country as per the oath they took.

    The exceptions are the same few republican Senators Ben Sasse, John McCain, Bob Corker. Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have opposed his legislation to repeal Obamacare but they have not directly challenged him.And of course Senators John McCain and Bob Corker will not be running for re-election.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Honest to goodness, if DT is so smart and knows so many words I can only come to the conclusion he’s not using them because he thinks his base wouldn’t understand them. That’s not saying much for what he thinks of his base. Maybe he’s right as they haven’t seemed to catch on yet. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Since it’s the USA we are talking about and not a country inured to the official lying machine (its tame press) then Trump is simply fooling himself ( as in ‘you can fool some of the people all of the time’). If he tried to gag the whole system…Oh happy days for lawyers and busy times in the Courts. The majority of folk know what they have in The Whitehouse and they won’t be buying it.
    It’s an old tradition of politicians to complain about the Press (LBJ’s private comments during Vietnam are quite colourful), but this public whining does not become dignity of the office.
    It’s a good award Jill, and sounds as if man truly deserves it.
    Whereas they might not be running, retired politicians don’t fade away, their links, followers and influences still remain.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, if there is one profession where Trump has created job security for all, it is the legal profession. Lawsuits will be tying up the courts for years after he is gone, methinks. I wouldn’t be too surprised, however, to see him try to write an ‘executive order’ to make Fox News the official state-sponsored news station. No, it wouldn’t hold water, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him try.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have a way of reaching the nitty gritty I like. Yes, Trump is much more likely to grant a interview by a purveyor of fake news because he’s so deluded as to reality. To put it another way, He’s a lying asshole and this is the way to get his idiotic beliefs over to a less than adoring public.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David! I don’t feel much like pulling any punches these days. I’m not sure if Trump is delusional, truly ignorant, trying to be funny, trying to buy time, or something far more malicious, but he is costing this nation “bigly” and I, for one, am just about fed up with him, his minions and their antics. I just want him gone …

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

        • I agree that Sessions must ultimately go, but for right now we need Sessions to stay right where he is, for he is the main obstacle to Trump firing Bob Mueller. But, once that threat is neutralized, then yes, he must go, along with Scott Pruitt (EPA), Betsy DeVos (Education), Ryan Zinke (Interior) and so many more that I have lost count. It will all take time, though … time during which more and more damage is stacking up, both internally and in our relations with other nations, not to mention the high global stress level.
          xxx Cwtch xxx

          Liked by 1 person

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