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What is wrong with this list of politicians seemingly affiliated with the Tea Party Movement?

  • Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
  • Representative Allen West (R-FL)
  • Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Wait – Orrin Hatch – the man known to jump the aisle in the same manner as Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Confusing compromise with democrat appeasement?

But there he was, on stage at a major Tea Party event – streamed live on the Internet for all to see. How did he manage to make the transition from RINO to Tea Party Supporter in a blink of an eye?

Some credit a Tea Party strategist, Sal Russo, who used to work for Orrin Hatch and who is doing everything in his power to prevent Hatch from suffering the same fate as former Senator Bob Bennett who, facing Tea Party opposition, declined to run.

Russo: Tea Party Express Will Not Challenge Hatch in 2012, Calls Senator an ‘Original Tea Partier’

One might ask, is Sal Russo a progressive Trojan Horse that will deliver Orrin Hatch to the heart of the Tea Party movement?  How can the man who is about Internet control and censorship in favor of the Hollywood entertainment industry be described as an “original tea partier?” Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

Quack, Quack …

It appears that Orrin Hatch is talking the talk. According to TPM, “Hatch rose to the occasion, offering up the kind of anti-tax, anti-big government, anti-Obamacare messaging that the tea party thrives on.”

– “I’ve been watching what the Tea Party does. I’m very impressed,” Hatch said.

– “I’m often accused of having been a tea partier before there even was such as term, and I’m okay with that.”

– “It’s time for America to take back America and the Tea Party will play a role in that.”


About that night …

After giving effusive welcomes to Paul and co., Kremer welcomed Hatch with all the enthusiasm of a PA announcer introducing the visiting team's starters.

Hatch, who's up for re-election in 2012, was eager to kiss rings. He laced his opening remarks with Tea Party keywords, bemoaning the "monstrosity" of the health-care law, stressing his record of seeking a balanced-budget amendment, plugging the Tea Party triumvirate of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets, and offering bromides about taking America back. Hatch has a diffident manner, and his dour remarks - "We are living in perilous times" - drew a polite but muted response, with only a smattering of cheers.

Bachmann, by contrast, entered late and drew wild applause when she warned that our ability to pass the torch of freedom to our offspring was "up for grabs on the table."

If the Tea Party hasn't embraced Hatch, their frostiness toward his candidacy has thawed considerably. That alone is an achievement. Hatch has been a senator for 34 years, which is itself a fatal flaw for the insurrectionists eager to purge the party's dinosaurs. (When he mentioned the length of his tenure, a man behind me muttered, "Time to move on.")

Since coming to Washington, he's committed enough apostasies to flunk any Tea Party purity test. Hatch voted for TARP, sponsored the DREAM Act, and has a record of forging alliances with Democrats like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, with whom he worked on broadening children's health-insurance coverage.

David Kirkham, the founder of the Utah Tea Party, says that when he organized the group's first gathering in the spring of 2009, he did so out of dissatisfaction with three people: George W. Bush, Bennett, and Hatch, whose staff got wind of the gathering and called to see about getting the Senator a speaking slot. "We basically told him to drop dead," Kirkham recalls. <Source>

From the press reports, it is still unclear if Hatch crashed the Tea Party event by inviting himself or if an official invitation to speak was actually extended.

According to former Hatch employee Sal Russo, “of course he was invited.”

But will this fool anyone who considers his long record of aisle-hopping and support for insider lobbyists in the Pharmaceutical and Entertainment industry.

And then there was this …

Hatch Explains Bennett’s Defeat: Tea Party Doesn’t ‘Have An Open Mind And They Won’t Listen’

But it appears the headline seems to have been somewhat taken out of context, see what he actually said for yourself …

“And I think these Tea Party people are doing the country a service. But when they don’t have an open mind and they won’t listen, that’s another matter. And that’s something anybody would find fault with.”

Bottom line …

Don’t get me wrong, Orrin Hatch appears to be a great guy, more conservative than many, who should have been nominated to the Supreme Court where his actual talent could shine.

But as a self-serving politician who appears to favor crony-capitalism, I think it is about time that he be retired in favor or a more conscientious conservative. If the Tea Party cannot see this, then perhaps there are cracks beginning to form around the edges which will lead us back to a GOP governed by Northeaster elites with a progressive bent – every bit as corrupt and destructive as the last GOP effort --  joining the democrats to spend us into oblivion.

-- steve

Reference Links …

#InviteGate: Just How Did Orrin Hatch Make His Way To The Tea Party Tonight? | TPMDC

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