Most Republicans in the state of Utah and around the country were expecting Senator Orrin Hatch to announce his retirement at the end of his term in 2018. Serving in the Senate since 1977, the 83-year old is now the longest serving Republican in Senate history. This is the same man whose first Senate campaign in 1976 targeted his opponent who had served 3 terms by saying “What do you call a man who has served 18 years? You call him home.”
Hatch also serves at the President pro tempore of the Senate, a post that makes him third in line to succession to the presidency after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. He also serves as the leader of the Senate when the Vice President is not president.
Following the passage of the highly unpopular tax “reform” legislation pushed through the House and Senate, Hatch, who helped engineer its passage through his position as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, continued his new-found love affair with Donald Trump by saying that “We are going to keep fighting. And we are going to make this the greatest presidency we have seen, not only in generations, but perhaps ever.’ according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Hatch can be self-deprecating about his age, but let’s face it. There are a lot of 83-year-old men out there who shouldn’t be driving cars, much less deciding on legislation.
To be fair, he’s the best President I’ve served “under” in terms of line of succession.
If we’re talking best Presidents I’ve served alongside, that list would also include Lincoln, Reagan, and James K. Polk, who really knew how to command a room.https://t.co/BTZn4osogs
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) November 29, 2017
The name most frequently mentioned as Hatch’s replacement in the Senate was the former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney who has been quite outspoken in his criticism of Trump, his policies, and most recently his support of Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. So recently Trump has been cozying up to Hatch, making a special visit to Utah, which thrilled the pants of Old Orrin.
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) December 1, 2017
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) December 5, 2017
Trump’s announcement about the major reduction in the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Parks was not met with universal rejoicing. In fact, the Navaho Nation announced its intention to sue the government over Trump’s decision to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Park.
On Christmas Day, the Salt Lake Tribune announced that they had selected Orrin Hatch as their “Utahn of the Year.” Needless to say, Old Orrin was absolutely thrilled and posted the following on his Twitter account.
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) December 25, 2017
There’s just one horribly embarrassing mistake he made here. Old Orrin obviously never read the article. Just like he probably never read the tax reform legislation. This was not an endorsement of Hatch, it was a condemnation in the strongest possible terms. Here is a link to the editorial they wrote.
To quote from the editorial:
“The selection of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch as the 2017 Utahn of the Year has little to do with the fact that, after 42 years, he is the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, that he has been a senator from Utah longer than three-fifths of the population has been alive.”
Oh, it gets better.
“It has everything to do with recognizing:
- Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and National 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 arises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”
Let’s look at that last point again.
His utter lack of integrity that arises from his unquenchable thirst for power.
While some might read the first two bullet points as possibly favorable to Hatch, there is no way, in any possible universe, that the last statement is not a complete and total denunciation not just of Orrin Hatch’s policies and politics, but his character as a man and a politician.
What makes Hatch’s response to the editorial even more remarkable are:
- It is obvious that neither he nor any member of his staff actually read the editorial from one of the major newspapers in his home state.
- His twitter response is still on his time line more than one day after he posted it.
People of Utah, it is now time to call Orrin Hatch home. If you are one of the two-fifths of Utahns who were alive when he first ran for Senate, you will remember he campaigned FOR term limits. You deserve better. Like maybe Mitt Romney.