Comments about ‘Letter: Seniority overrated in the political field’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, April 20 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
JMH
Provo, UT

To suggest that seniority in the US Senate is not important is to be completely ignorant of the facts. If you are the Chairman of a committee you get to set the agenda, the legislation considered is the draft that you prepared and you control the votes to pass things. Senator Hatch may become the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and he will wield that gavel to protect the people of Utah. Sen. Mike Crap will become the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, something he wants to do and that is why he strongly endorsed Sen. Hatch. I find it amusing that those who lack seniority always deride it until they get it. As a young man I always wondered why the old guy had the nice sports care, that it was wasted on him and would be better put to use by a young man like myself. Then I got a bit older and realized that he had in fact earned that car with his hard work. To turn over both Utah Senators to very junior members at this time would be foolhardy for the people of Utah.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"the opportunity Utahns have to defeat Obamacare and other socialist programs"

Wouldn't Medicare Part D be one of those "socialist programs"?
Didn't Hatch and the GOP vote soundly for that program?
Wasn't that a Bush Initiative? Wasn't that the largest entitlement expansion program since medicare?

How about No Child Left Behind? Wouldn't that be considered a "Socialist Program"?
Wasn't that supported by Hatch and all but 6 of his GOP counterparts?

And Obamacare? Isn't the insurance mandate the real issue here?
That same mandate idea that was Hatched (pun intended) by the Heritage Foundation (extremely conservative) and supported and championed by Senator Hatch along with MOST Republicans?

Look. The dems are no picnic, but it is clear that the GOP, including Hatch, has pushed many of the now described "socialist programs" that they claim to disdain.

So, fine. Bash the Dems over "socialist programs" as they are complicit. But it is dishonest and unsupportable to think that the GOP is not equally guilty.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

Hatch touts the supposed benefits of seniority, but never mentions the substantial and enhanced risks that accompany old age (he is, after all, 78): dementia, senility, Alzheimers, decline in cognition and memory, fatigue, failing physical health of many varieties, and death. Why in the world would anyone want to elect someone who is subject to such risks, on the slim chance he might head the Senate Finance Committee--a position of dubious and insubstantial benefit to Utahns? As the writer points out, there are any number of conservative senators who could ably fill that position in the unlikely event of a Romney victory.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

The thing I find most disturbing, is he runs on the fact he would chair the committee, but has never said anything he would do, or accomplish.

Balanced budget ammendment? (I hope not) good luck getting two thirds of both houses on board with that. If it is crucial we balance the budget, pass a balanced budget!

I would like to see a quantifialbe, specific plan, Mr. Senator. Otherwise, you are just a part of the problem in DC that needs to go!

JWB
Kaysville, UT

The seniorty issue is not the only thing that Senator Hatch mentions. It doesn't come default it comes from winning elections in the State a Senator represents. People vote for the people they elect. Seventy-eight years is not old. In the LDS Church alot of the General Authorities may serve for years beyond that age and very reliably and honorably. Age doesn't stop people for serving and Senator Hatch is choosing that task before him. Healthy problems occur for many people but has not been sitting idly by while others serve him. He has served our state well in the past and within his abilities, he will serve us in the next six years tutoring our junior Senator who is still learning his job. In the year and 3 months that Senator Lee has been serving about half of that time is spent learning his job and how to do it well. However, with two junior Senators representing us, I don't believe they will have the ability to work with others as a senior Senator can.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Great letter. Well said. I'll take fresh leadership and conservative principles over seniority.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

As usual, those who make the rules tend to make them to benefit themselves. All Senators and Representatives should have equal influence in the legislative process within their respective houses. Instead, all the rules are written to make it harder for the incumbent to be voted out.

It's a shame that voters should have to consider the seniority of their current Senator instead of just voting for whoever has the best leadership skills and whose policies are most in line with the electorate.

Instead, Congress has set up a system where the longer you stay, the more power you gain. The result is...well you look at the national debt and draw your own conclusions.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Everyone one of these assumptions [Orrin Hatch or any other SENIOR Republican chairing any Senate Committee] are based one simple and always forgotten FACT –
NO Republican will chair ANY committee unless the Republicans can regain the Majority of the Senate in November….which is most likely not going to happen.

Deal with the facts.
You are being used and duped.

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

Very true. People like Hatch, Barney Frank, Reid and all of these other old fossils have got to go. they will never change and will always do things exactly the same way expecting positive results. But they don't do things the same way out of ignorance, they do it because they are corrupt.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "JoeBlow" let me tell you a secret. Bush is a Progressive, just like Obama. What you show through your examples is how Obama and Bush have the same policies. Conservatives didn't like it when Bush pushed the Progressive policies, and they don't like it when Obama makes those same policies bigger and more expensive.

VST
Bountiful, UT

The latest polling (Mason-Dixon) of likely Republican voters released Wednesday shows Hatch leading by 62 percent over Liljenquist (20 percent), and Herrod (6 percent). Additionally, Dan Jones polling of State Convention delegates this week showed similar results indicating that Hatch, at worst, would face a Primary against Liljenquist and possibly win outright (60% or more) and not have to face a Primary.

Granted, these polls are just one snapshot in time, but it indicates that this 'fossil' is far from dead on arrival.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Conservatives didn't like it when Bush pushed the Progressive policies"

And WHO were those conservatives of which you speak? Cause they darn sure were not GOP congressmen.

Bush might have pushed them, but virtually all of the GOP congress was happy to vote for them.

How many of those same GOP Congressmen are still in office today? MOST.

So, it was Bush who was progressive? Lets look at those socialist, progressive programs I listed.
How did the current GOP leadership feel about those programs?

Boehner? Voted FOR NCLB
Canter? Voted FOR NCLB
McConnell? Voted FOR NCLB

Boehner? Voted FOR Medicare Drug Program
Canter? Voted FOR Medicare Drug Program
McConnell? Voted FOR Medicare Drug Program

I am unsure if they all supported the Heritage foundations plan to mandate insurance.
But, as a betting man, I would give odds.

So, Blame Bush and Obama if that makes you feel better, but the facts indicate that replacing Obama with Romney will not address the real issue.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"let me tell you a secret. Bush is a Progressive, just like Obama. What you show through your examples is how Obama and Bush have the same policies. Conservatives didn't like it when Bush pushed the Progressive policies"

They did? Really? Says who? Just because you now claim that Bush was a Progressive doesn't mean that "Conservatives" didn't like it. In fact, as JoeBlow proved, most of the Republicans in office (still) voted for programs or policies that are now considered as "progressive." Did things really change that much in just a few years? Or are Conservatives really just playing partisan politics to regain power? Would Medicare part D, NCLB, and even the individual mandate be considered "socialist" or "progressive" if they were suggested by a Republican right now? Or is it because the individual mandate was included in the health care reform of a black demo is it now considered progressive?

I think we all know the answer to this....

Besides, I'll let you in on a secret, being Conservative or Progressive is subjective. Right now many policies that are deemed as "progressive" today would have been described as "conservative" a decade or two ago.

Henderson
Orem, UT

@ Redshirt

Let me tell you a secret, what you call is "progressive" really is not. What you describe as "conservative" is not.

Wanting to run our country off a cliff is NOT conservative.
Playing games is NOT conservative.
Plunging our country into default is NOT conservative.
Flip flopping on nearly every single issue such as the insurance mandate and Dream Act is NOT conservative.
Starting two preemptive wars is NOT conservative.
Saying NO to any tax increase EVEN IF it is about closing loopholes is NOT conservative.
Turning surpluses into deficits is NOT conservative.
Running roughshot over the Constitution and declaring it a mere piece of paper is NOT conservative.
Attacking Muslims for wanting to build a rec center while also attacking the Mormon religion and the religion of the President is NOT conservative.
Wanting to privatize everything is NOT conservative. The public sector and regulations certainly has its place and role in our country.
Wanting to rid the economy of safety nets and regulation is NOT conservative.
Continuing with subsidies to Big Oil and Pharm is NOT conservative.
Attacking women, minorities, or the poor is NOT conservative.

I remember a time when conservatism had common sense.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

This will all be moot in a few hours (it's Saturday morning). My best guess is the delegates will prevent a 60% majority for Hatch at convention. There are enough disgruntled people in the precincts that the delegates, anxious to represent their wishes, might decide to deny Hatch the outright nomination at convention and give the voters a primary where their voices may be heard.

Hatch faces a much tougher assignment in the general primary - and Liljenquist will have an easier path to the nomination if he has a little more time to make his case.

I'm not a Hatch supporter, fair disclosure. The reason is the unprecedented nature of his candidacy this time around. He's had 36 years in the U.S. Senate. He is not indispensable, irreplaceable nor immune from the ravages of old age. Never before in the history of the state of Utah has anyone his age EVER been elected in a statewide race, much less for a seventh six-year term in the Senate.

It's time to move on with new leadership, and Utah will be well-served by Dan Liljenquist.

The Republic will survive without Orrin Hatch.

tenx
Santa Clara, UT

Right on the mark Lauren. Our only hope is to get rid of the spendthrift politicians and get someone in that will actually do what needs to be done...STOP spending! The Chief Spender in Washington seems to have set the tone for most government employees..party time. Does Las Vegas and Colombia ring a bell?

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

Hatch is as much the problem as anyone in D.C.

If he's so influential, why are we in debt 15 trillion $$$?

Why wait till THIS term to use his "influence" that he claims to possess?

If we keep sending the same ones to D.C. over and over, - how can we expect different results?

swede1952
Smithfield, UT

I read with interest that some among us are of the bizarre notion that if Dan Liljenquist unseats Orrin Hatch, Utah will NO long have a senior Senator. Obviously, these mis-informed persons do NOT understand how seniority works. Once again, ALL states at ALL times, have a senior and junior Senator. If Hatch loses his seat, Mike Lee becomes Utah's new senior Senator, and Dan Liljenquist becomes Utah junior Senator. That's how it works, folks! One senior, one junior, at ALL times. If Dan wins,(and I hope he does) there will NOT be two junior Senators representing Utah. Where that insane idea comes from, I will NEVER know! Wise up, Utah! Read the Constitution, Article One!

Thank goodness for a Primary for the Republican US Senate race. Now, the people of Utah will MAKE the choice. Circle June 26th on your calendars! Please make a concerted effort to vote. Orrin Hatch has served well and needs to come home. Dan Liljenquist is intelligent, well-spoken, served outstandingly in the Utah Senate, and will be a strong advocate for Utah. He is young, robust, and will provide the energy to represent ALL of Utah's varied electorate.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

Swede you tout our current do,nothing but obstruct,junior Senator Lee as an example. Not an apt comparison. Garn as senior when Hatch was elected hadn't done much himself, but he did have the respect of his fellow senators. Lee doen't have that. We will have two innefective senators. Not something we want at this time. Hatxh's clout does mean something and we need it in Washington.

swede1952
Smithfield, UT

Flashback,

I don't share your belief that Liljenquist will be ineffective. I see him as young, energetic, and anxious to serve the people of Utah. By the way, I heard Liljenquist speak at yesterday's Republican state convention and he impressed me! Stand aside, Orrin! The people of Utah and the "baby boomer" generation want one of our own in Utah's Senate seat. Orrin, you've had your turn! "It's time" for a change! GO DAN! The people of Utah will speak on June 26th! Again, GO DAN !

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments