During the past year it has been interesting to read the many letters to the editor, pro and con, concerning Sen. Orrin Hatch's campaign to win yet another term in the U.S. Senate. It's fair to say that most Utah Republicans think Hatch has been generally effective in the Senate and has represented Utah well. Although Hatch is now running his campaign hard to the right, he has not always been such a stalwart conservative. In fact, in years past he was perhaps best known as the Republican senator with whom liberal Democrats like Ted Kennedy could do business. This is hardly a ringing endorsement in the current era of tea party activism.
I believe it's time for Hatch to make way for the next generation of Republican leaders. Even the most indispensable of Americans, George Washington, retired from public service after eight years in office, and somehow our fragile young republic managed to survive his departure. Hatch's supporters make much of his seniority and influence in the Senate, which I simply think is political code for suggesting that if re-elected, Hatch can really "bring home the bacon" for Utah.
This may be true, but the problem is that hundreds of congressmen have made careers out of bringing home the bacon to their constituents, and this is largely responsible for our 16 trillion dollar national debt. What we really need are a host of new congressmen who will act more like statesmen and less like old-style political bosses, dispensing favors to ensure their stranglehold on office. I fear Hatch is too invested in the political machinations of the past to help usher in a new era of congressional restraint and soberness.