I attended the Utah Republican caucus meetings on Thursday and listened to the arguments in support of Senator Hatch. After the meetings, it became apparent that the justifications I had heard were implemented state-wide. That comes as no surprise, but the justifications do raise some serious concerns.
This was the main argument employed by Hatch’s proponents. They noted that Hatch would take over the Finance committee assuming Republicans retake the Senate. However, this overlooks the fact that Olympia Snowe (a liberal Republican) is retiring which means Idaho’s Senator Crapo would be the next in line should Hatch lose. Crapo is a conservative and, unlike Senator Hatch, voted against TARP (the bailouts).
More importantly, however, is that support solely based on seniority is a terrible precedent. Carried to its conclusion, we should simply elect a Senator for life (barring gross misconduct); effectively, like a supreme court judge, undermining constitutional intents.
Others noted that we had to keep him in and press the Senate/House to change seniority rules (ie get rid of seniority-based appointments and then we will change elected officials). However, how do they expect such to occur when the very people they expect to change the rule have specifically been elected because of that rule?
Bringing Money To Utah
This is was the next most frequently heard argument. It is also another name for pork. People fail to consider who’s money he brings home – taxpayer money. What of non-Utah taxpayers? Do they also not deserve the same respect for their money as we do ours?
It appears we hate earmarks and pork…except when it benefits us. This seems to be a classic case of “good for me but not for thee.”
The main thrusts for retaining Hatch simply perpetuate the Washington politics and spending everyone rails against and sets an awful precedent. Here’s hoping delegates will reject these justifications and Hatch comes up with something much better.