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In the battle over funding Obamacare, everyone – Republicans and Democrats alike – is pretty darn sure that, should there be a government shutdown, Republicans will get blamed. Certainly the drive-by media is working to make that assumption a reality. There are two unspoken assumptions underlying this “blame” game. The first is that a government shutdown will cause widespread suffering. Some of us suspect, though, that it may be a big ho-hum, since essential services will continue unabated.
(Read More: Saturday Night Live Skewers Obamacare.)
The other assumption is that people would rather have government with Obamacare, than have no government and no Obamacare. An election in Nebraska might be shaking up this second assumption.
Ben Sasse is making his first run for office ever in Nebraska. He’s the president of Midland University, a small college in Fremont, Nebraska. He’s certainly a highly credentialed president – a Harvard undergraduate degree, and a Ph.D. in history from Yale. With those degrees, you’d assume that he’d be a fiery liberal. He’s not, though.
In fact, Sasse is a stalwart believer in the free-market. Before joining Midland University, he spent 2003 to 2005 as chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy. Then, from 2007 to 2009, he was U.S. assistant secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. In that role, he traveled throughout the country trying to get government out of health care, and a healthy marketplace back in.
Sasse has now thrown his hat into the ring for the Nebraska U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Mike Johanns. Despite the fact that he just announced his candidacy and that he’s never held elected office before, Sasse is off to a rip-roaring start: In just eight weeks, he’s raised almost $750,000. What the heck ideology is he selling that Nebraskans so badly want to buy?
It’s simple. As Sasse says, “I am the anti-Obamacare candidate.” Even better than that, he’s a knowledgeable anti-Obamacare candidate. “Not only have I read the 2,300-page bill, I have actually spent years studying it and I understand just how devastating this will be to American businesses, families and taxpayers.”
Nebraskans’ enthusiastic support for Sasse suggests that American distaste for Obamacare isn’t a lukewarm feeling that will quickly vanish if the federal government fades into the background for a few weeks. Instead, it is a white hot fire, that sees Americans pouring their heart, soul, and pocketbooks into defeating a legislative monstrosity passed through procedural chicanery, and over the protests of at least half the American people.