Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Senator Orrin Hatch bows to the Tea Party

A lot of people expect Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah to get a challenge from his political right in 2012. In fact, Rep. Jason Chaffetz looks to be the one who will take on the task.

And Chaffetz, should he challenge Hatch for the Republican nomination, will have some juice as the principle author of the "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation in the House.

Hatch's sin is mostly that he's been around too long. In fact, he's been around so long that he has a history of working with Democrats to actually pass legislation and govern the country in a responsible manner. Of course, that's not allowed if you're a Tea Partier. Working across the aisle is proof positive that you need to be replaced. Chaffetz intends to continue hammering away at Hatch for having done things like vote to increase the debt ceiling in the past and for supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

As Chaffetz has said:

Part of the reason we are in this debt crisis is because 26 times Sen. Hatch had an opportunity to vote no and he voted yes to raise the debt ceiling. Sixteen times a direct vote for yes, and 10 times allowed unanimous consent for the increase in the debt ceiling. That's why, in part, we're in this mess.

(And how many of those debt ceiling increases were under Ronald Reagan? Was it 18?)

Along with Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, who is also likely to face a Tea Party challenge, Hatch has just been around so long that there is too much history of his having worked in a bi-partisan manner for the good of the country, of actually having governed. And, like I said, that just won't do if your a Tea Party type.

It's all about right and wrong. They are right and everyone else is wrong and don't get caught so much as smiling at the enemy.

Having said that, there is a real sadness in what is happening to someone like Hatch who has served his country for so long, no matter what one might think of his politics. He's reduced to making cringe-worthy statements like "I'm a Tea Party person," or "The fact of the matter is I've been a Tea Party person I think since before the Tea Party came into existence."

Yeah, right.

How much do you want to bet that Hatch comes close to gagging when he says those words, that he hates what he's being forced to say and do by the insane ideological purity of what has become of the radical right of the Republican Party?

When Hatch says "I'm a Tea Party Person," it sounds very much in tone like what a social misfit might say to prove he is worthy of the notice of the supposed in-crowd, while knowing all along that he shouldn't lower himself in such a way, but he's just so damned terrified of being left on the outside.

This is nothing short of a purging of those who were once the most revered figures in a political movement because they have failed to keep up with the ideological requirements of the new regime. We've seen this before in history and it never ends well.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • I believe Sen. Hatch just said that he feels the Tea Party. He'd now like to raise the roof on the debt ceiling thing, dogs.

    By Anonymous toma, at 9:26 PM  

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