Sass and Sense from Ben Sasse

We first took note of Ben Sasse two years ago before it was clear that he had a political career ahead of him, and this week Sen. Sasse delivered his maiden speech on the Senate floor. As we noted at the time, Sasse, Ph.D from Yale in history, knows how to challenge liberal narratives on a deep level.

His whole speech is worth reading, or viewing in its entirety below, but I especially note this passage in which Sen. Sasse takes aim at the administrative state and questions the core legacy of Wilsonian progressivism that is the foundation of Obaman progressivism:

I therefore propose a thought experiment: If the Senate isn’t going to be the most important venue for addressing our biggest national problems, where is that venue? Where should the people look for the long-term national prioritization? Or, to ask it of ourselves, would anything be lost if the Senate didn’t exist? Again, this a thought experiment, so let me be emphatically clear: I think a great deal would be lost if the federal government didn’t have a Senate — but game out with me the question of “Why?” Whatprecisely would be lost if we had only a House of Representatives, rather than both bodies? The growth of the administrative state, the fourth branch of government, is increasingly hollowing out the Article I branch, the legislature — and many in Congress have been complicit in this hollowing out of our own powers. So would anything really be lost if we doubled-down on Woodrow Wilson’s impulses and inclinations toward administrative efficiency by removing much of the clunky-ness of legislative process? (Emphasis added.)

Most liberals either could not give a coherent answer to this challenge, or would agree with the premise. In fact some liberals have called for the Senate to be abolished, or at the very least having it based on proportional representation so that small states don’t dominate it. (In other words, some liberals simply want a second House of Representatives. When they want any elected representation at all.)

Keep you eye on Sasse. I suspect he’s going to be an important national figure in the years ahead.  (Too soon to call out for “Cotton-Sasse 2024″?)

Here’s the entire speech if you have time—about 30 minutes long:


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