Ben Sasse will almost certainly vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. What he seems to be doing this week is making the case that he can do so and still be considered, at least by political reporters who need a narrative replacement for Paul Ryan and John McCain, a Serious-Minded Republican.
This is what that looked like on Wednesday evening. He even got a little emotional while doing it:
“I’m here to talk about the false choice that is being repeated hour after hour after hour on television that this confirmation vote about one vacant seat on the Supreme Court, in that vote we are somehow going to be making a giant binary choice about the much broader issue of whether we do or do not care about women,” he said. “That is simply not true.”
The speech was useless. Still, this part carried unintended weight (emphasis mine):
I urged the president to nominate a woman. Part of my argument then was that the very important #MeToo movement was also very new and that this Senate is not at all well prepared to handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault that might have come forward.
Sasse is right, though, that the confirmation vote is not itself a binary choice reflective of Congress’s disregard for women’s lives. All of his other votes have been that, too.