Orrin Hatch and the Duplicitous Moderate Scoundrels

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

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The Madison Project is prepared to support any Republican who is willing to run on his big-government record!

OK – we’re not willing to go that far, but we will heap accolades upon those who run honest campaigns based upon their moderate record in Congress.

As we’ve noted a number of times, both moderate Republican challengers and incumbents run as red meat conservatives during the primaries, irrespective of their actual record.  We have people like Fred Upton who have pushed big government policies for decades, yet as soon as they are confronted with a legitimate primary challenge, they run to the right of the conservative challenger.

Nobody perfected this subterfuge more effectively than Orrin Hatch.

For years, Orrin Hatch embodied the prototype of a “go along to get along” Republican who supported bailouts, amnesty, and government-run healthcare.  But ever since Mike Lee tossed out former RINO Senator Bob Bennett at the 2010 Utah Republican convention, Senator Hatch has undergone a catharsis and has been voting in lockstep with Senator Lee.  He has engaged in the most rightward shift of any incumbent Republican on record and has made sure that there is no daylight between him and the conservatives in the Senate.

Hatch moved so far to the right during the election, that many conservatives felt he had reached the point of no return – the point to which he would irrevocably be attached to the DeMint/Paul/Lee caucus in the Senate.

Well, that was before he won his election against conservative challenger Dan Liljenquist.  Now that his election quagmire is safely behind him, Orrin Hatch is inching back to his old demeanor.

Throughout the election, Hatch was bragging how he’d become the next chairman of the Finance Committee if he wins reelection.  That was essentially his main selling point.  As chairman of that committee, he would be the most influential senator in crafting tax policy.  Yesterday, he told the AP that in an impending tax deal “neither side is going to get everything they want, but it is important that we move ahead, and that we do the art of the doable to pull this country out of the fiscal morass it’s in. And I think we can.”

As the Washington Post notes, Hatch is crying foul this morning, claiming that the AP took him out of context and drummed up a story about him willing to compromise.  That may be true, and we are the last ones to trust liberal media outlets, especially when they are trying to peddle a contrived narrative.  However, is there anyone who truly believes that Hatch would have said those comments – in any context – during the primary?

The scary thing is that if Hatch is willing to let his guard down this early after winning reelection, how do you think he will act over the next few years?  Is there any doubt that he would relapse into Senator Make a Deal?