Ben Sasse: We can do better than these two terrible candidates

“The people deserve better than these two terrible choices,” he tweeted last night. But why? The people nominated these two dial-tones (or will soon, in Hillary’s case). If the majority of Republicans who didn’t vote for Trump thought they deserved better, they would have coalesced behind Cruz or someone else earlier in the process.

Maybe what the people deserve is the match-up they ended up getting. Anyway, here’s his “Open Letter to Majority America.”

The oath I took is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. In brief, that means I’m for limited government.

And there is no reason to believe that either of these two national frontrunners believe in limiting anything about DC’s power.

I believe that most Americans can still be for limited government again — if they were given a winsome candidate who wanted Washington to focus on a small number of really important, urgent things — in a way that tried to bring people together instead of driving us apart.

I think there is room – an appetite – for such a candidate.

What am I missing?

What’s he missing? I’d start with the idea that “most Americans can still be for limited government again.” What evidence is left that that’s remotely true? If he got the third-party he wanted, one devoted to an anti-jihad natsec strategy, “honest budgeting” and entitlement reform(!!), leaving education to the states, and taking on career politicians and lobbyists, what share of the vote would that party pull? Twenty-five percent maybe? As a third-party vehicle this year, 15 percent would be a major achievement.

Sasse hinted (but didn’t flatly state) that he’s not the guy to lead a party like that this year, in case you think that’s his angle in trumpeting an independent candidacy. He mentioned Tom Coburn’s name, but Coburn told an Oklahoma paper last week that he planned to stay quiet about Trump and didn’t think a third party was possible. If Sasse really is just spitballing and not laying the groundwork publicly for something that’s quietly in the works, then … I’m not sure what the point is. He can be #NeverTrump without being “Hey, how about a new third-party?” But then, much like Tom Coburn actually, he strikes me as a guy who doesn’t worry much about paying a political price for his beliefs. If the “Shut up and unite with us, cuck” faction in Nebraska retires him when he runs for reelection, whatever. Sasse will be fine. In the meantime, he’ll speak his mind and gamble that if/when Trumpism flames out and the party becomes a conservative vehicle again, voters will have long memories about who played ball with Trump and who didn’t.