To Orrin Hatch: Action matters, not name-calling

One thing is crystal clear about establishment figure Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch: his 39 years in office have made him a true creature of the institution and champion of the status quo, completely insulated and out of touch from the real life problems of his fellow citizens who foolishly keep reelecting him. Last January, with the country falling apart at the seams (a condition that has not improved since that time), he published a commentary in the Washington Times ('Restoring the Senate,' January 6) about reestablishing parliamentary procedures modified by Democrats to lock out then-minority Republicans from the deliberative process. Indeed, gentlemanly discourse of the Senate is such a priority for Mr. Hatch that a mere 24 hours after Republicans assumed Senate control -- a real rarity -- he was more concerned with “appearances:” publicly “making nice” with Democrats rather than governing. Fast forward eight months and nothing has changed. Now his concern is honoring decorum (Senate rules of “propriety”) rather than, once again, actually getting constructive things done for the American people. One wonders if Mr. Hatch has been in office for so long that he has forgotten his basic responsibility as an elected representative? In any case, he has no excuses: his party is now the majority.

Mr. Hatch has claimed, “We serve the people, not our own egos,” but Mr. Hatch serves little else. He is so enamored with language and procedural minutia that his focus is upon triviality. Metaphorically, he's so busy “rearranging the deck chairs” on the Titanic by publicly scolding a fellow senator, rising Republican star, and first-tier presidential candidate, Ted Cruz -- for the latter's so-called “unseemly” language -- that the feckless Iran Nuclear “deal,” ObamaCare, 18 trillion dollars in debt (and counting), or a habitual liar of a president, gets ignored. Mr. Hatch needs to stop grousing, acting like a dilettante and show some mettle. Specifically, he has no business criticizing fellow party members, something Democrats rarely do despite more than 6 years of greatly truth-challenged rhetoric and the clearly egregious nature of their anti-American sentiments and big government dystopian social engineering policies. (This week's under-reported gem: Obama's plan to put low-income, Section Eight housing in high-income neighborhoods.) Indeed, Mr. Hatch's renderings address none of the above; nothing remotely of any significance to an American “average Joe.” Last time I checked, isn't he there to help us and not wring his hands as the victim of circumstance à la Obama?

Like a time loop from Groundhog Day, Mr. Hatch myopically pens another editorial on a related theme, this time how calling someone out as a liar somehow is “tough talk,” misconstrued as bad manners, which (to his mind) somehow further disrupts an already do-nothing, wholly dysfunctional Senate (with record low approval ratings as proof.) This “why can't we all get along” refrain is something a neophyte senator might reflect upon, but after almost four decades in office one would hope Mr. Hatch would be wise to the bareknuckle realities of American politics by now.

The divisive nature of progressive Democrats like Barack Obama (and his likely successor Hillary Clinton) is the Chicago way, epitomized by a famous line paraphrased from the gangster movie The Untouchables: “never bring a knife to a gun fight.” Unfortunately, this dynamic does not permit much of Hatch's lamented “reasoned” deliberation. In the flowery, conciliatory tone of his writing pegged squarely at appeasing Democrats, Mr. Hatch disregards the greater interests of the electorate to do the people's will and get Republican-themed legislation passed. 

This is not a grade school playground and Ted Cruz is not a bully for calling things as he truthfully sees them. Is it any wonder that a bombastic Washington outsider, Donald Trump, leads in the Republican polls? Frankly, we need more of the plain-speaking that Mr. Hatch finds so objectionable. If he can't abide it then he should retire. America does not need any more patty cake-playing Republicans of Mr. Hatch's ilk. His continued hysterical blindness -- an unwillingness to play hardball -- underscores the fundamental problem of today's Congress: weak-willed Republicans can't govern and radical Democrats do all the wrong things. Therefore, is it any surprise why America -- the greatest country in the world -- is chin deep in the muck and drowning?

David L. Hunter blogs at davidlhunter.blogspot.com.

One thing is crystal clear about establishment figure Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch: his 39 years in office have made him a true creature of the institution and champion of the status quo, completely insulated and out of touch from the real life problems of his fellow citizens who foolishly keep reelecting him. Last January, with the country falling apart at the seams (a condition that has not improved since that time), he published a commentary in the Washington Times ('Restoring the Senate,' January 6) about reestablishing parliamentary procedures modified by Democrats to lock out then-minority Republicans from the deliberative process. Indeed, gentlemanly discourse of the Senate is such a priority for Mr. Hatch that a mere 24 hours after Republicans assumed Senate control -- a real rarity -- he was more concerned with “appearances:” publicly “making nice” with Democrats rather than governing. Fast forward eight months and nothing has changed. Now his concern is honoring decorum (Senate rules of “propriety”) rather than, once again, actually getting constructive things done for the American people. One wonders if Mr. Hatch has been in office for so long that he has forgotten his basic responsibility as an elected representative? In any case, he has no excuses: his party is now the majority.

Mr. Hatch has claimed, “We serve the people, not our own egos,” but Mr. Hatch serves little else. He is so enamored with language and procedural minutia that his focus is upon triviality. Metaphorically, he's so busy “rearranging the deck chairs” on the Titanic by publicly scolding a fellow senator, rising Republican star, and first-tier presidential candidate, Ted Cruz -- for the latter's so-called “unseemly” language -- that the feckless Iran Nuclear “deal,” ObamaCare, 18 trillion dollars in debt (and counting), or a habitual liar of a president, gets ignored. Mr. Hatch needs to stop grousing, acting like a dilettante and show some mettle. Specifically, he has no business criticizing fellow party members, something Democrats rarely do despite more than 6 years of greatly truth-challenged rhetoric and the clearly egregious nature of their anti-American sentiments and big government dystopian social engineering policies. (This week's under-reported gem: Obama's plan to put low-income, Section Eight housing in high-income neighborhoods.) Indeed, Mr. Hatch's renderings address none of the above; nothing remotely of any significance to an American “average Joe.” Last time I checked, isn't he there to help us and not wring his hands as the victim of circumstance à la Obama?

Like a time loop from Groundhog Day, Mr. Hatch myopically pens another editorial on a related theme, this time how calling someone out as a liar somehow is “tough talk,” misconstrued as bad manners, which (to his mind) somehow further disrupts an already do-nothing, wholly dysfunctional Senate (with record low approval ratings as proof.) This “why can't we all get along” refrain is something a neophyte senator might reflect upon, but after almost four decades in office one would hope Mr. Hatch would be wise to the bareknuckle realities of American politics by now.

The divisive nature of progressive Democrats like Barack Obama (and his likely successor Hillary Clinton) is the Chicago way, epitomized by a famous line paraphrased from the gangster movie The Untouchables: “never bring a knife to a gun fight.” Unfortunately, this dynamic does not permit much of Hatch's lamented “reasoned” deliberation. In the flowery, conciliatory tone of his writing pegged squarely at appeasing Democrats, Mr. Hatch disregards the greater interests of the electorate to do the people's will and get Republican-themed legislation passed. 

This is not a grade school playground and Ted Cruz is not a bully for calling things as he truthfully sees them. Is it any wonder that a bombastic Washington outsider, Donald Trump, leads in the Republican polls? Frankly, we need more of the plain-speaking that Mr. Hatch finds so objectionable. If he can't abide it then he should retire. America does not need any more patty cake-playing Republicans of Mr. Hatch's ilk. His continued hysterical blindness -- an unwillingness to play hardball -- underscores the fundamental problem of today's Congress: weak-willed Republicans can't govern and radical Democrats do all the wrong things. Therefore, is it any surprise why America -- the greatest country in the world -- is chin deep in the muck and drowning?

David L. Hunter blogs at davidlhunter.blogspot.com.