May 18, 2020

I suppose Ben Sasse thought giving a depressing, downbeat, 'reality-based' high school commencement address would be amusing. And it might have been if given by a real comedian, with some better material than just the usual Trump-like blather about blaming China for COVID-19. Here though it just comes across as crassly partisan and mean, an insult to high school graduates everywhere. Republicans just seem completely divorced from reality these days.

Source: The Week

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) gave the virtual commencement speech at his alma mater, Fremont High School, on Saturday, and the reviews were not kind.

Caylin Choquette, who shared the video on Twitter, called it "the worst graduation speech of all time."

"Is this satire?" asked Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis. His colleague Noah Shachtman was on the same page: "Who is this actor SNL got to play Sasse? He looks JUST like him." Former New York Observer editor Elizabeth Spiers elaborated: "If you've ever been to an open mic standup comedy show where there's one guy who's so bad the whole room goes completely silent and starts scanning for exits because the vicarious embarrassment is too much — and you want to re-live that — here's Ben Sasse to oblige." "Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes," said historian Kevin Kruse.

The Omaha World-Herald described Sasse as "unshaven" and "wearing a loosened red tie and white shirt." He was certainly ... casual. "Can't say that I have ever watched a high school commencement address where someone suggests that they are overweight, repeatedly blames China for ruining their ceremony, and insults psychology majors and anyone named Jeremy," local state Sen. Adam Morfeld tweeted, but Sasse "pulls it off!" Sarah Longwell, who publishes The Bulwark, watched his remarks and wanted to know: "Who hurt Ben Sasse in high school?"

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