Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ready To Say Farewell To Dick Lugar and Orrin Hatch? (Plus: Say good riddance to Ben Nelson)


It's pure coincidence, but I sometimes mix Orrin Hatch and Dick Lugar up. They're both doddering Republican conservatives, but that has nothing to do with it. One of them sat next to me at a state dinner at the White House honoring Václav Havel in 1998. And whichever one that was danced in his seat while Lou Reed performed Dirty Blvd. The guest list indicates that Lugar was there and Hatch wasn't. So, I guess it was Lugar who was rockin' out while Lou sang:

Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I'll piss on 'em
that's what the Statue of Bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let's club 'em to death
and get it over with and just dump 'em on the boulevard

There's more than a good chance that soon neither of them will be there-- I mean in DC, unless they get jobs as K Street lobbyists. As teabaggers attack Lugar for being too much of a Lou Reed groupie not being far enough to the right, the 80-year-old senator is running to local Tea Party groups and begging them to let him keep his seat again, which he's held since 1977. (In 2006, a huge Democratic year, the Indiana Democratic Party didn't even bother running anyone against him. This year all they could come up with is a pathetic anti-Choice right-wing Blue Dog, Joe Donnelly, who was just gerrymandered out of his House seat.)

Lugar reacted to a report in the Moonie Times that he's probably toast by saying he's--
visited with many Tea Party groups. They have not pledged support, but they understand my position and some even are going to be voting for me. The point I'm trying to make is that it's, I think, useful to understand a Republican majority in the Senate is very important. And Republicans who are running for reelection ought to be supported by people who want to see that majority.
On CNN's State of the Union this past weekend he said, "If I was not the nominee, it might be lost."

The Moonies, mistaking him for a "moderate"-- apparently having never examined his voting record-- wrote that poor Lugar "finds himself in the crosshairs of the state’s growing and increasingly restive tea party factions. They question his conservative credentials and have made his ouster a top priority.", one of the group’s gunning for Mr. Lugar, slams his record, citing his stand on gun control (he earned a D+ from the National Rifle Association), his refusal to sign a legal brief challenging the constitutionality of the Obama health care law, his backing for the TARP Wall Street bailout in 2008 and what they claim is a poor track record on such issues as government spending, immigration and support for “liberal-minded” judges.

And not only do they want Mr. Lugar out, Indiana conservatives know who they want in.

Even though longtime libertarian candidate Andrew Horning signaled this week that he will enter the race, most see state Treasurer Richard Mourdock as the clear Republican challenger for Mr. Lugar in the primary after state Sen. Mike Delph announced last month that he would not run.

...“Defeating Sen. Lugar is and has been a priority for tea party activists,” said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the Cook Political Report in Washington.

“Tea party activists in Indiana are very united against Lugar, allowing Mourdock to consolidate that vote. But this race isnt over because independents can vote in the GOP primary.”

Unlike fellow GOP incumbent Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, who has moved to shore up his right flank to head off a primary challenge in Utah, Mr. Lugar has tried to float above the fray, touting his record and clout in Washington in recent trips around the state.

...Mr. Mourdock has been endorsed by GOP presidential contender Herman Cain as well as Steve Forbes, radio pundit Mark Levin and influential conservative blogger Erick Erickson of Other leading tea party and fiscal conservative groups are said to be considering an endorsement if Mr. Mourdock’s campaign proves to be viable.

A July poll by the conservative Club for Growth showed a tight race, with Mr. Mourdock leading Mr. Lugar 34 percent to 32 percent among likely GOP voters, but with 34 percent undecided. The senators own internal polling of 600 likely GOP primary voters, however, found him leading his challenger 45 percent to 31 percent.

Meanwhile, in Utah, Orrin Hatch, the same kind of elderly conservative establishment shill, is facing the same kind of teabagging. And there teabaggers have already ousted a senator and a couple of congressmen. Hatch is almost as old as Lugar. (He was also elected in 1977.) And the teababggers are also mad at him for having voted for Bush's TARP bailout. Worse for him, the fascist-oriented Super PAC funded by the Koch Brothers, the Scaife family, and tobacco and telephone corporations and operated by GOP rat Dick Armey's Freedomworks, is looking for Hatch's scalp. So far this year the only race they've spent any significant money on is Hatch's--over $100,000 in negative ads so far. (They spent around $16,000 against Lugar.) A Freedomworks darling and far right extremist, Utah state senator Dan Liljenquist, is the likely candidate against Hatch, and he's already pointing out that in 1977 Hatch voted to establish the Department of Education, a right-wing bugaboo.

Liljenquist not only wants to close down the Department of Education but also is gung-ho to privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, a key element to the program anyone who takes money from the Koch Brothers has to back. "People in my generation, we need a different deal," says Liljenquist. "I think people in my generation are willing to make that tradeoff. They'd rather have a free country and have the government do a little bit less for them than to be ensnared, entrapped and crushed by debt. The time for that debate has come, and that's exactly where I'm interested in stepping up."

This year Orrin Hatch had a 1.72 (out of 100) ProgressivePunch score. Lugar's is 5.08. Not good enough for the teabaggers? They're leaving Olympia Snowe alone with her 25.42 score, and they haven't been whining much about Scott Brown's 23.73 or Dean Heller's 16.67. They just smell blood in the water in Indiana and Utah, at least in part because Hatch and Lugar are so old.

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At 11:14 AM, Anonymous me said...

Orrin Hatch has been a flaming asshole for many decades, and I'm glad to see him go. I'm only sorry that the voters didn't have enough brains to get rid of him long ago.

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

Good Riddance.

And then I suppose any Republicant who will deny health care to the poor and jobs to the middle class will get elected?

Perry/Bachmann 2012
Because the Raped must Birth

At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would LOVE love love to see TERM limits set. Lugar was elected back in 1976, has served 36 YEARS in the Senate, and is now 80 years old. Why can't a person let go of the power to RETIRE? I believe IL has the right idea:

Regardless of Lugar's RINO politics, it's time for him to go. I believe that our nation would change dramatically, if we had a shift change of power every 4 - 6 years, and kept people on task, not just concerned for their continual reelection and hold of power, but would actually DO their job that they were sent to do!!!


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