Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Salt Lake City Tribune To Doddering And Trumpified Orrin Hatch: Time To Retire


A doddering fool, Hatch didn't understand the editorial was a put-down; he thanked the editors

On Christmas Day, the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah’s biggest newspaper, named the state’s senior senator, Orrin Hatch, Utahn of the Year— and told him it’s time to retire. With his head firmly up Trump’s ass of late, the 83-year old senator says he wants to run again, which would mean he would be 90 when his next term ends. The Tribune editors didn’t;’t mention it, but Hatch is already increasingly senile and increasingly dependent on his staffers to make him look viable. First elected in 1976— when Elton John and Kiki Dee were riding high with “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver,” inspired by Yogananda’ s Autobiography of a Yogi, had hit #1 on the singles charts— Hatch is the longest-serving Republican Senator inAmerican history (and, as President pro tempore of the Senate, 3rd in line for the presidency after Pence and Ryan). Ironically, the first time Hatch ran for office, he took on 3-term Utah Senator Frank Moss, with the campaign quip, “What do you call a Senator who's served in office for 18 years? You call him home." He vowed to support term limits and claimed that senators who live in Washington for that many terms lose touch with their constituents. He’s been in office more than double the amount ion time he denounced Moss for. In 2016 Hatch endorsed Jeb and then Rubio and didn’t endorse Trump until he had already won the nomination, calling his Access Hollywood revelations "offensive and disgusting… degrading,” although none of that has stopped Hatch from tying himself increasingly to Trump.

This week the editors of The Tribune went out of their way to emphasize that signs the Utah of the year label to the person who “has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill.” They made it clear that they were recognizing his role in 3 important events:
Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.
Each of these actions stands to impact the lives of every Utahn, now and for years to come. Whether those Utahns approve or disapprove of those actions has little consequence in this specific recognition. Only the breadth and depth of their significance matters.

As has been argued in this space before, the presidential decision to cut the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half and to slash the size of the brand new Bears Ears National Monument by some 90 percent has no constitutional, legal or environmental logic.

To all appearances— appearances promoted by Hatch— this anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch. A favor done in return for Hatch’s support of the president generally and of his tax reform plan in particular.

And, on the subject of tax reform: For a very long time indeed, Hatch has said that his desire to stick around long enough to have a say in what indeed would be a long-overdue overhaul of the nations’ Byzantine tax code is the primary reason he has run for re-election time after time.

Last week, he did it.

The tax bill that passed the House and the Senate and was signed into law by the president Friday is being praised for bringing corporate tax rates in line with the nation’s post-industrial competitors and otherwise benefiting corporations and investors in a way that backers see as a boost to the economy, even as opponents vilify it for favoring the rich and adding to the federal budget deficit.

No matter who turns out to be right about that argument, the fact remains that tax reform has been talked about and talked about for decades and only now has anything been done. And Hatch, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has his fingerprints all over it.

But perhaps the most significant move of Hatch’s career is the one that should, if there is any justice, end it.

The last time the senator was up for re-election, in 2012, he promised that it would be his last campaign. That was enough for many likely successors, of both parties, to stand down, to let the elder statesman have his victory tour and to prepare to run for an open seat in 2018.

Clearly, it was a lie. Over the years, Hatch stared down a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders who were fully qualified to take his place, Hatch is now moving to run for another term— it would be his eighth— in the Senate. Once again, Hatch has moved to freeze the field to make it nigh unto impossible for any number of would-be senators to so much as mount a credible challenge. That’s not only not fair to all of those who were passed over. It is basically a theft from the Utah electorate.

It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career. If he doesn’t, the voters should end it for him.

Common is the repetition of the catchphrase that Hatch successfully used to push aside three-term Sen. Frank Moss in this first election in, egad, 1976.

“What do you call a senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”

Less well known is a bit of advice Hatch gave to Capitol Hill interns in 1983.

“You should not fall in love with D.C.” he admonished them. “Elected politicians shouldn’t stay here too long.”

If only he had listened to his own advice.
The Tribune editors, like most voters in Utah, would like to see Mitt Romney become the new Utah senator, something Trump and Bannon are completely opposed to. And will fight hard to prevent.

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At 8:06 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

I doubt anything is going to change in Utah it's totally in the red even if Hatch retires they'll elect another yahoo GOP'er

At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

There should be term limits for ALL elected representatives. That is Democracy.

Entrenched power is not a hallmark of democracy - it undermines the whole concept. That is why George Washington stepped down after two terms.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, the voters already have to power to limit terms by NOT voting for someone more than once. That they don't only proves that the majority of voters are not sentient. To do anything else only invests power into unaccountable entities who would need that power to enforce term limits. Are you prepared to give even MORE power to the unaccountable who can be easily bribed?

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's not like the money to fix something that really stupid voters refuse to fix. There are hundreds of billionaires because voters are too fucking stupid to act in their own interests.

I have a hard time believing that hatch is even equally as doddering as Pelosi. I've witnessed Pelosi being led "Weekend at Bernie's"-style by staffers in the capital building. They must have a drug that works for her and trump that can make them temporarily semi-coherent. She was a Tourette's nightmare the day I saw her.

Even someone babbling like a over-caffeinated rhesus still knows how to lay on her back, though.


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