A College President Who Is Running for the Senate in Nebraska Is an Over-Achiever Who Is Willing—Perhaps All Too Willing–to Be Perceived as an Idiot


Ben Sasse, the president of Midland College, is the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination to fill an open Senate seat in Nebraska. He has received the endorsements and financial support of just about every major national Republican group worth mentioning.

Nonetheless, opposition to his candidacy has become a unifying cause for Tea Party Republicans and Libertarian groups in the state, who believe that his views are not far enough to the Far Right. A few national figures, most notably Sarah Palin, have weighed in on the side of those opposing his candidacy.

To some casual observers, this backlash against his candidacy may seem somewhat surprising since his most memorable political ad seems pointedly designed to appeal to anti-government and, more specifically, anti-Washington sentiment. In that political ad, Sasse suggested that the nation’s capital has become so irredeemably corrupt that the only way to reduce the influence of entrenched special…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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