As faithful readers of this blog know, I was reporting on the Tea Party movement long before it was even called the Tea Party movement — and long before a legion of Johnny-come-latelys in Washington had grabbed their fiscal conservative costumes and joined the parade. I can remember not being able to get mainstream media coverage on the day of one of the first taxpayer protests in Denver in February 2009. We’ve come a long way, baby. From day one, I emphasized that the grass-roots activists leading the Tea Party charge have been as opposed to Big Government Republicans as they have to Big Government Democrats. They and I have not forgotten that bailout-mania began under the Bush administration, which pre-socialized the economy and handed it on a silver platter to Barack Obama.
Which brings me to GOP Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The other day, he had the unfathomable audacity to proclaim himself a “Tea Party person.”
“Look, I think the tea party people deserve a lot of credit,” he said in response to a question about Democrats and Vice President Joe Biden reportedly calling freshman GOP members of Congress terrorists.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without them. The fact of the matter is I’ve been a tea party person I think since before the tea party came into existence.[emphasis added]
Are you freaking kidding me?
Orrin Hatch is the antithesis of the Tea Party spirit. He is a mascot for big-spending Beltway entrenched incumbency who has consistently joined hands with destructive Democrats.
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.”
How do real Tea Party people feel about Tea Party pretender Orrin Hatch?
The same way they feel about his former big-spending entrenched incumbent in Utah — former Sen. Bob Bennett — who got the boot in May.
As I noted back in April 2009:
If only the condescending cable TV anchors at CNN and MSNBC had paused from wallowing in gutter puns about tea bags, they might have reported an even more significant phenomenon: Tea Party protesters were as vocal in their criticism of Republicans as they were of Democrats. In Salt Lake City, Utah, a crowd of 2,000 repeatedly booed GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, who both supported the $700 billion TARP bailout, and protested GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman’s decision to accept $1.6 billion in porky stimulus funds.
Refresh your memories of how Utah Tea Party activists booed Hatch, Bennett, and McCain 2.0 presidential candidate and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman (at 1:24 in the video):
Now, the six-term Hatch — first elected in 1976 on an anti-entrenched incumbent platform (Hatch’s campaign line then against his opponent Frank Moss: “What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home”) — wants to stay in Washington yet another term after FOUR DECADES in government. He has been lining up some big conservative names. And now there is some sort of pro-Hatch, anti-Freedomworks website using my words to support Hatch.
I don’t know what the beef is between Dick Armey and Orrin Hatch. But I will tell you this: While Armey’s pro-amnesty stance bothers me, bailout Swamp Creature Orrin Hatch’s desperate bid to cling to power by morphing himself into a Tea Party cheerleader aggravates me far more.
I will do whatever I can to support Hatch’s challenger — likely the staunch conservative GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is a fiscal warrior, tough on illegal immigration, and has a terrific record taking down the GOP establishment.
Forty-two Thirty-six continuous years and untold trillions of dollars in expanded government is enough — 42 is too much.
It’s time for Orrin Hatch to go.