The junior senator from the state of Nebraska just couldn’t hold it in one more second.
Wednesday marked day three of the Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to join the United States Supreme Court. Since Tuesday, senators on the Judiciary Committee from both parties have been interrogating Barrett on her judicial philosophy and methods — though most of its Democrat members have wasted their allotted time by making speeches about Orange Man Bad, or bloviating about election narratives designed to rescue the flailing Joe Biden campaign.
Not exactly a recipe for lighthearted or humorous moments.
But that changed in a bigly way, when Republican Sen. Ben Sasse got on the mic this afternoon. During part of his exchange with Judge Barrett, he threw out a curve ball no one could have expected…not even the unflappable judge. He decided to “pivot from constitutional structure” to…the Houston Astros.
Sasse said, in part:
“I’d like to talk about the Houston Astros, who are miserable cheaters. Sorry, [Sen. John] Cornyn. And [Sen. Ted] Cruz. Both of them, Texas senators, sit on this committee. But, I think that all baseball fans know that the Houston Astros cheat. They steal signs. They bang on cans. They’ve done a whole bunch of miserable things historically and they deserve to be punished probably more than they have been.”
Around this point, Sen. Cornyn piped up:
“Thank goodness the First Amendment protects that right, for him to express that erroneous opinion.”
Sasse counters that believing the Astros aren’t cheaters is “the senior senator from Texas’ prerogative.” But, at that point, the junior senator from Texas, Cruz, returns to his committee seat.
Then the committee chairman, Lindsey Graham, gets in a quip of his own about the day’s hearing: “It was going so well.”
At the end of his rant against the Astros, who play in Game 4 of the MLB American League Championship Series tonight, Sasse even got Judge Barrett to comment.
While disliking the Astros might be one of the few, bipartisan issues left in D.C. during this election year, as even a member of the Trump campaign admitted, a few Texan Americans besides Cornyn and Cruz seemed to take umbrage with Sen. Sasse’s jabs:
Warning: the following tweet is NSFW (contains coarse language)
Tell you what, I had sworn off the Astros this year after their racist manager made them walk off the field for BLM but Sasse’s bullshit comments have me right back with them. Don’t mess with Texas. Especially if you’re from Nebraska. GO @ASTROS
— Heidi (@HeidiTxRN) October 14, 2020
My colleague Sister Toldjah wrote Monday about Sen. Sasse’s masterful explanation on what is and isn’t “court-packing.”
But don’t get me wrong. Sasse remains an inveterate Never Trumper. As Conservative author and lawyer David Limbaugh commented on Twitter during Monday’s hearing, Sasse also used his opening statement to launch a “gratuitous swipe” at his apparent nemesis these days, President Donald Trump, on how the administration has handled the China virus.
“Why does Sen. Sasse have to preface his smart comments about the Constitution with an implied gratuitous swipe at Trump on handling Covid? So disappointing. Maybe I misunderstood but that’s the way it seemed to me.”
Why does Sen. Sasse have to preface his smart comments about the Constitution with an implied gratuitous swipe at Trump on handling Covid? So disappointing. Maybe I misunderstood but that’s the way it seemed to me.
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) October 12, 2020
He didn’t misunderstand a thing. That kind of behavior, especially during a high profile, historic Senate hearing, doesn’t fly with me. Until Trump’s no longer POTUS, the president is the leader of the Republican party. And the last I checked, Sen. Sasse still has an “R” after his name.
Watch the full exchange below:
Ben Sasse and Amy Coney Barrett talking baseball. Sasse, correctly, called the Houston Astros "miserable cheaters." pic.twitter.com/8GDiVzYpOb
— Scott Whitlock (@ScottJW) October 14, 2020