I actually remember the way Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) used to be, back when he boasted about being a "square peg
" -- a label he used as a shorthand to say he doesn't always fit in.
The Utah Republican used to
actually see value in cooperating with people with whom he disagreed, working with Democrats, for example, on stem-cell research, the DREAM Act, and S-CHIP.
But then he threw it all away. As Amanda Terkel reported
, Hatch's remarks at the Federalist Society's annual conference are a reminder of the kind of politician he's become.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) came out swinging against Democrats Friday, telling a room of conservative lawyers that Republicans were ready to give the other party "a taste of their own medicine." "Frankly, I intend to win with our candidate for the presidency in 2016, and we will give them a taste of their own medicine," said Hatch. "And we're going to win. We're going to win. These next two years are extremely important. Maybe the most important two years in our history."
"I get a big kick out of them using the word 'progressive,'" the senator said of Democrats. "My gosh, they're just straight old dumbass liberals anyway."
It wasn't too long ago that Hatch was positioned to become a rare statesman in Republican politics. But that was before his partisan Memorial Day tantrums
, his occasional references to hitting people
he doesn't like, and his juvenile whining about "dumbass liberals."
Those looking for GOP statesmanship will apparently have to look elsewhere.
On a related note, did you happen to catch Hatch's remarks about immigration reform?
"Part of it is our fault. We haven't really seized this problem. Of course, we haven't been in a position to do it either, with Democrats controlling the Senate. I'm not blaming Republicans. But we really haven't seized that problem and found solutions for it." [...] "Frankly, I'd like to see immigration done the right way," Hatch added. "This president is prone to doing through executive order that which he cannot do by working with the Congress, because he won't work with us. If he worked with us, I think we could get an immigration bill through."
For goodness sakes, does Orrin Hatch not remember the events of the last two years? With "Democrats controlling the Senate," a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform bill passed easily, and garnered the support of the business community, labor, law enforcement, immigration advocates, and the religious community. Republicans then killed it.
"I'm not blaming Republicans"? Why not? They're the ones who chose to reject the legislation. They're also the ones who promised a more partisan alternative, only to break their word.
"If he worked with us, I think we could get an immigration bill through." President Obama did work with Congress, and helped rally support for a bipartisan bill. GOP lawmakers killed it anyway.
How is it possible Orrin Hatch doesn't know this? For that matter, given the circumstances, shouldn't he be slightly more circumspect about throwing around words such as "dumbass"?