Saturday, April 21, 2012

Doggone Offended? Now How Does Hatch Feel?

It's been widely reported that Senator Orrin Hatch doesn't much care for our brand of Republicanism. From NPR:

"These people are not conservatives. They're not Republicans," Hatch angrily responds. "They're radical libertarians and I'm doggone offended by it."

Then Hatch, a former boxer, turns combative. "I despise these people, and I'm not the guy you come in and dump on without getting punched in the mouth."

Today, Hatch avoided Robert Bennett's 2010 fate in being denied the Republican nomination for the Senate in Utah. Hatch did not put down a tea party challenge in the person of Dan Liljenquist, a former state senator, because he fell short of the 60% needed to avoid a primary. Note to Hatch, real conservatives don't support bigger government and amnesty for illegal immigration.

Michelle Malkin lists some of the reasons that getting Hatch out of office is important.
He slobbered over corruptocrat Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd.

He co-sponsored the $6 billion national service boondoggle and dedicated it to his good friend Teddy Kennedy, with whom he also joined hands to create the ever-expanding SCHIP entitlement.

He supported tax cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner from day one, lavished praise on Joe Biden’s balls, and embraced and defended Attorney General Eric Holder’s nomination because, he said, “I like Barack Obama and I want to help him if I can.”

He was an original sponsor of the open-borders DREAM Act illegal alien student bailout and voted for the massive TARP bailout.
Meanwhile, Liljenquist has done some great work on issues near and dear to my heart. From Governing magazine.
Shortly after Dan Liljenquist was elected to the Utah Senate in 2008, he was named chair of the Senate’s Retirement Committee. . . But when the state retirement fund lost nearly a quarter of its value in the market downturn, Liljenquist changed that.
. . .
He ultimately became the architect of Utah’s pension reform, which closes the existing system to new workers and instead offers them a defined-contribution plan in which the state contributes 10 percent of a worker’s salary -- and no more. The move wasn’t popular -- thousands of state employees protested it -- but it eventually passed, and it removes the possibility of the retirement fund ever bankrupting the state in the future.
. . .
Liljenquist created a plan -- which passed by huge margins -- to switch from traditional fee-for-service payments to a managed-care approach [for Medicaid]. The idea, which is gaining traction in other states too, is that medical professionals should be financially rewarded for positive outcomes, not for racking up costly tests and treatments. The plan tries to slow Medicaid growth by limiting increases in per-member spending to the rate of general fund growth. It also includes small -- though controversial -- increases in Medicaid co-pays, to give patients more of an incentive for efficient care.
The larger lesson here is that the tea party can force the Republican party to fully renounce the position it achieved under George W. Bush of being the party of big government. Nick Gillespie at Reason magazine discusses the issue of changing the GOP on his Hit and Run blog on Reason.
we specifically discuss how change will come to electoral politics. A huge part of that is precisely what's playing out in Utah.
Libertarians need to stop going along with a feckless GOP that takes limited-government partisans for granted; they need to start ransoming their votes for candidates such as Rand Paul and Mike Lee who will actually work to deliver lower spending and less government intervention into everything under the sun.

To the extent that Hatch - who supported Medicare Part D and TARP and various other bailouts, and never met a debt-ceiling increase he didn't like until last year - is now talking about cutting government by co-sponsoring a cut, cap, and balance law with Lee, it isn't because he's always been this way. It's because he's feeling the heat from those "radical libertarians" who are starting to tell pols to go small or go home.

Even though he uses the term libertarian, I would say tea party, because we are united with true conservatives in our fight to reduce the size of the federal government. Medicare Part D and TARP were both signed into law by George W. Bush, so long time GOPers shouldn't be too smug about their small government chops.

I admit to being a little late to the game on covering this race. But it's important to the progress of the tea party to push the Republicans in the direction of consistent support for limited government (see the masthead). The alternative is Medicare Part D and the election of far lefties like Obama when the GOP is tagged as the party of big government.

Next up Richard Lugar.


  1. The sooner we dump weasels like Hatch, the better.

  2. In a safe seat like Utah..this is a good thing. However, we should remember the lessons learned 2 years ago in Alaska, Nevada and Delaware. We threw 3 good Republicans under the bus for 3 "I woke up yesterday, and thought I could get elected by joining the Tea Party train' Republicans.

    What did we get, a rino and 2 Dems.

    Hatch's seat will go Republican, and Liljenquist is better than Hatch, as he has a legit record. However, is there any doubt, in anybody's mind, that as the Party moves right, Hatch wouldn't move with it. How exactly does Hatch constitute a threat to New Republicanism? Would there be any bill in the next Senate the party supports that Hatch won't?

    Anyway, having a party of perfect 10's would be great..however it would be a small party. There are plenty of great 7's, 8's and 9' out there, and if we make them our enemy, and they have nowhere else to go but to the left...we will doom ourselves to failure.

    You can only advance an agenda by winning elections, and to win elections consistently, you must hold a consistent majority. The Tea Party is not a majority, much less a consistent one, and there is no real evidence given the political history of the world that it ever can be. Even in our Founding, the Fathers, the Revolution and the Constitution did not hold a clear majority among the colonists.

    To win consistently, we need the Orrin Hatch's of the world on our side, and we should be very careful about when we leave them behind. In this particular case, it makes sense as Liljenquist is a better choice, but 1n 2010, they weren't, and we were beat.

  3. KT, agreed.
    Steve, you should check out Right Klik's take on the issue, at the Left Coast Rebel blog. He is basically agreeing with your position and has some data from Nate Silver top back up this position.