Ben Sasse Criticizes Kavanaugh ‘Media Circus,’ Praises #MeToo Movement on Senate Floor


Sen. Ben Sasse (R- NE) spoke on the Senate floor tonight and got emotional as he made remarks about Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump, and the #MeToo movement.

Sasse said, “I’m here to talk about the false choice that is being repeated hour after hour after hour on television that this confirmation vote about one vacant seat on the Supreme Court, in that vote we are somehow going to be making a giant binary choice about the much broader issue of whether we do or do not care about women. That is simply not true.”

He lamented the “politicized culture” being fueled by cable news and social media as he revealed the advice he gave the President about a Supreme Court nominee:

“Although I’ve said many complimentary things about Judge Kavanaugh and his 12 years of record on the D.C. Circuit court, I will say that I urged the president back in June and early July to make a different choice before he announced this nomination. I urged him to nominate a different individual. I urged the president to nominate a woman. Part of my argument then was that the very important #MeToo movement was also very new and that this Senate is not at all well prepared to handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault that might have come forward. This was absent knowing a particular nominee.”

Sasse got emotional as he talked about the epidemic of sexual assault and people he has personally known who have been the victims of sexual violence.

“The #MeToo moment is a complicated movement,” he said, “but it has been a very good thing. Far too often many girls and women have been told that they’re meat, they’ve been told this in word and in deed that they are parts to be consumed rather than God’s children to be cherished and respected and partnered with.”

He said the movement may make mistakes, but praised it as “an important and needed development,” heralding the many brave women who stepped forward to “expose their abusers.”

At one point he took a moment to call out Trump for his comments mocking Ford, saying, “We all know that the President cannot lead us through this time. We know that he’s dispositionally unable to restrain his impulse to divide us. His mockery of Dr. Ford in Mississippi was wrong, but it doesn’t really surprise anyone. It’s who he is.”

He also criticized other comments from the President before concluding by saying this about the Kavanaugh vote:

“The #MeToo movement has elevated our consciousness and our awareness of sexual assault and sexual violence against women. And we must not give back the important ground in this movement by authorizing this media circus to stand in for generations of stories of tragic pain. And no matter how much cable news screams this, it would be an egregious offense against the cause of women to call this one up or down vote a proxy for the validation and validity of claims of sexual violence. We can do better than that, and we must do better if we’re actually going to care about women, and if we’re going to serve our constituents in this body.”

You can watch above, via C-SPAN 2.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac