Mormons Trying To Outflank Each Other On The Far Far Far Right
Powerful Mormon Beltway types-- not far right enough for the kooks back home
Although Utah is a theocracy, it is still playing along with democracy for appearance's sake. They even have a semi-Democratic congressman, Republican-voting Blue Dog Jim Matheson. But the action is always inside the Mormon Cult-approved Republican Party, which has won every Senate race since 1970 and every presidential race since LBJ beat Goldwater in 1964. This morning CQPolitics reports that all the political action in Utah this year revolves around the lunatic fringe far, far right faction going after the lunatic fringe far right faction. Target: far right Senator Robert Bennett.
First of all, for the sake of context, no one outside of really bizarre extremist politics could look at Robert Bennett as anything but a right-wing ideologue and loon. His lifetime Progressive Punch score on crucial issues is 2.93 (out of 100), making him one of the furthest right kook in the U.S. Senate. (Utah's other right-wing senator, Orrin Hatch scores a 3.05 lifetime voting record.) But with an election coming up and the real whackos in Mormanland screaming for ideological purity, Bennett (who faces the voters next year) and Hatch (who doesn't) have diverged. In the most current congressional session Bennett has been determined to never waive from out-and-out knee-jerk obstructionism. His 2009 score is a perfect zero. He has voted against every single proposal to stave off a full blown depression and fix the problems 8 years of Bush misrule have left Obama to face. Robert Bennett-- unlike Hatch who has a 10.53 quasi-cooperative score this year-- can now claim to be the worst die-hard obstructionist in the entire Senate, tied with the neo-Confederates and neo-fascists like Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
Is a zero good enough for the Mormon radicals? No, of course not. These people are dangerous sociopaths busy poisoning the American political landscape. Utah's radical right maniac Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, is challenging Bennett in the Republican state party convention/HateFest. The kooks and nuts have attacked Bennett because he supported Bush? Huh? Yes, now that the Bush presidency is widely viewed on the far right fringe as an abject and catastrophic failure they have re-written history to make him-- and his supporters-- moderates! Bennett, once beloved by Mormons for being a brain-dead rubber stamp for Bush (who won 72% of Utah's vote in 2004!), is now being portrayed as someone who supported Bush's Business-friendly immigration policies and catastrophic economic agenda. And the crazy Attorney General goes even further, pointing out that his fellow extremists believe the bailout was “not only fiscally irresponsible but immoral.”
Bennett has brought in the heavy guns: the Mormon cult's undying hope for capturing the American presidency, Willard Romney (AKA, "Mitt") is in Utah raising money for him.
Bennett noted that he has begun to “rehabilitate himself” with President Obama in office, saying he voted against automobile bailout package, the economic stimulus law, confirming Timothy F. Geithner as Treasury secretary-- and that he would vote no on the upcoming budget resolution.
Paul Rolly, political columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune, said Bennett has “really become obvious in catering to the right wing part of the party.”
Utah politicians and activists are well aware of the “Chaffetz effect” named after challenger Jason Chaffetz , who defeated Cannon by taking a hard-line conservative approach to fiscal and social issues. He had a shoestring campaign made entirely of volunteers and raised substantially less than Cannon. His strategy was simple: meet and talk to the delegates that control the convention nomination process for congressional elections. He worked them over and they liked his message and the fact he wasn’t a Washington insider.
Although he makes $176,000 a year, Chaffetz pleases the bumkins back home by sleeping on a blown up bed in his office and storing his clothes in filing cabinets. Bennett, who prefers to sleep in an area with amenities like a bed, a shower, a sink and a toilet, is viewed as someone who has "gone Washington."