The Republican Party of Utah has sent Bob Bennett packing after 18 years in the United States Senate (Washington Post). This long-time conservative lawmaker was given the boot because he followed the wishes of a president in his party, and the leaders of his party’s Congressional delegations, and voted for TARP.
To this I can only say, Well Done, Utah. Very well done.
According to the WaPo, anti-Bennett delegates to the Utah GOP convention shouted “TARP, TARP, TARP” as he tried to claim that he was a good limited-government legislator – making it abundantly clear what angered them.
A whole bunch of establishment Republicans will join Democrats in wailing and gnashing their teeth. Don’t believe them. This was the Utah version of the roiling battle within the Virginia GOP two years ago. In the end, the establishment did a remarkable 180-degree-turn, and abandoned big-government, tax-increasing “pragmatism” for straight-up smaller government. The result was last year’s landslide – the best Republican election performance ever in the Old Dominion.
One of the witnesses to this was Tim Kaine, now the DNC Chairman and the fellow who was desperately using the company line in the WaPo piece. He’s seen “Republican civil wars” like this before, and he knows what happens when the limited-government side wins.
As for me, I will simply (and happily) remind myself that I don’t have this problem. My Congressman voted against TARP.