Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mr. Hatch, You've Overstayed Your Welcome

Back in the days when Democrats seemed to have limitless control of Congress, conservatives took up the cause of "term limits" for House and Senate members, just as they had done previously for the Presidency in the post-FDR era.  Of course, this advocacy over time became little more than another way of illustrating conservative hypocrisy.  When Saint Ronnie won two terms in the Oval Office, they wrung their hands and demanded the undoing of their constitutional handiwork limiting Presidents to two terms.  TS, guys.  You have to take the good along with the bad.

Perhaps they learned a lesson from this after the end of the era of Democratic Congresses, because, mirabile dictu, their term-limit advocacy for members of Congress ended at this point.  At least, their verbal advocacy ended.  But that doesn't mean their ability to stumble into the argument by way of example.

Consider the recent case of Orrin Hatch, the senior U.S. Senator from the Beehive State of Utah. Senator Hatch recently had an op-ed piece published in a prominent Utah newspaper describing a recent meeting with Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.  According to the text of the piece, the meeting did not change his mind regarding his "conviction" that the next (hopefully Republican) President should nominate Scalia's replacement.

Just one problem.  The op-ed piece was a canned job, written well in advance of the meeting (and doubtless by someone other than Hatch).  The newspaper accidentally published the piece prematurely.

I don't fault the newspaper for its mistake, and I'm hardly shocked by the idea that Hatch had made up his mind about the outcome of the meeting before it actually happened.  But come on, Senator. Would it have been so tough to hold the meeting and then give the newspaper the canned piece?

You have not been a rebel against the Establishment for a long time, Senator.  You are the worst aspects of the Establishment's corruption, and your participation in the Garland blockade merely underscores that point.  Do us all a favor and go.  Now.  Before Democrats like me change our minds about term limits.

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