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The Public Pulse: Censure of Sasse is fully justified; Senate, show leadership

The Public Pulse: Censure of Sasse is fully justified; Senate, show leadership

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Censure justified

On Feb. 9 the Omaha World-Herald published a smattering of smears, misrepresentations and outright inaccuracies about the Ben Sasse censure by the Sarpy County Republicans and others.

The editorial board found it ironic that we “hotly decry censorship” on social media, yet we “brook no dissent within (our) own party.” But there is a significant difference between censor and censure: The former takes away someone’s free speech; the latter is free speech itself. While Sen. Sasse has the right to his opinion, he must face the consequences. That is “act(ing) like an adult.”

Sasse is not as solid a constitutionalist as he claims. This leads me to the Herald’s gaslighting of readers on Trump-related topics. The riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was indeed shameful, but Trump was not grossly irresponsible — an opinionated statement the Herald declared as “truth.” Contrary to popular opinion, the Herald is not Omaha’s truth arbiter.

The Herald’s opinion on the election is concerning as well. Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution clearly leaves election law to state legislatures; however, many governors and activist judges unconstitutionally changed election procedures anyway. It is shameful for a self-proclaimed “constitutionalist” like Ben Sasse to ignore this glaring issue and find no fault with an election that, at the very least, had more holes in it than swiss cheese.

Sasse and Trump’s feud is not the only reason he is disliked by his own party: he belittles his constituents and calls a colleague a “dumb-***.” It is fair to accuse Trump of the same; however, it is a Tu Quoque (a logical fallacy) to ignore Sasse’s shortcomings merely because Trump may also be guilty.

This censure is not “misguided,” but it does “demonstrate loyalty to enduring principles” by calling out one of our own for disregarding the Constitution, brash behavior and a generally poor performance as our representative.

Robert Anthony, Papillion

Sasse failed public

“Representative” is defined as consisting of people chosen to act and speak on behalf of a wider group. Ben Sasse was elected to act on behalf of the people of Nebraska, not to vote his conscience. Conscience is only as good as what formed it. Maybe instead of hastily making a conscious judgment, he could have come back to Nebraska and discussed and debated it before he made up his mind on moving forward with the impeachment trial.

Jennifer Wilson, Omaha

Poor defense

After watching the painful, confusing and inaccurate opening statement of Trump’s defense attorney, it is obvious that the team believes no defense is needed. They are relying on Republicans for a knee-jerk acquittal based on their party affiliation, not on any evidence presented. I applaud the few Republicans, especially Sen. Sasse, for standing up for the Constitution. I urge Sen. Fischer to get on board and vote to convict. Nothing less than our democracy depends on it.

Cathy Lindmier, Omaha

Out of jail free

I am bewildered and quite disappointed that Sen. Fischer voted Tuesday in favor of a January exception which would allow a sitting president an exemption from prosecution and accountability for any crimes committed in the least month, or so, of their term. With her vote in the impeachment trial she is claiming that it is unconstitutional to prosecute any crime committed if the prosecution can’t occur during their actual term in office — effectively a Get Out of Jail Free Card for all future presidents.

I thought Sen. Fischer was for law and order. Apparently not anymore.

Thomas Rasmussen, Omaha

Need for leadership

When I was a college student, I was an intern in the U.S. Senate working for Sen. Zorinsky, a lifelong Republican, who switched parties to get elected. He always told me that people did not care about his party affiliation; they just needed help and that our job was to help them. The sense of pride of being a Nebraskan working in the Senate on behalf of Nebraskans and walking to and from the awe-inspiring Capitol dome every day stayed with me for more than 40 years.

Yesterday, watching Sen Fisher vote “No” on a procedural impeachment vote coupled with our congressional delegation ignoring Trump’s culpability for inciting an insurrection has certainly tarnished that sense of pride. My pride means nothing compared to those who died or were seriously injured in the riot. I don’t care if my representatives are Republicans or Democrats as long as they are honest, brave, tell us the truth and not look away when our democracy is under attack.

If our own leaders won’t hold the president accountable, how can we hold each other accountable in any meaningful way?

The impeachment is not about the wall, deregulation, Supreme Court nominees, immigration or tax policy. It is about standing up for us, doing what is right and holding a would-be tyrant accountable for trying to overturn a democratically elected government. If it is true that we get the leadership we deserve; God help us!

Patrick Barrett, Omaha

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