All about ideas…

The Case for Orrin Hatch

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Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah I disagree with Hatch on most everything he says lately and well before, but if very conservative Utah is to vote another Republican into the Senate, I’d rather have deal-making Hatch than some bomb-throwing, economy destroying Tea Party-right wing evangelical.

Until the GOP chooses to either educate the Tea Partiers, et al, or push them off into a small, irrelevant corner, as Wm. Buckley did with the Birchers in the ’60s (regardless of their modern day GOP inclusive comeback), they will continue to create political and economic havoc, mostly as a result of fear caused by a rapidly changing environment (global and otherwise) and their own lack of knowledge regarding macroeconomics.

As Bruce Bartlett, a senior Reagan economics adviser, has stated in his numerous columns and interviews over and over again, the GOP has been taken over by an angry mob which has an irrational hatred of President Obama combined with an irrational hatred of anyone they perceive as an “other” as well as a complete failure to understand macroeconomics. His criticism of the current GOP lays somewhere between sarcasm and complete contempt. However, this fiscally responsible, libertarian leaning independent (he gave up his Republican credentials when the GOP endorsed GW Bush/Cheney policies), who voted for Obama in ’08 and will vote for him again in ’12, does not believe in the Progressive policies espoused by the far left. He, like many others (myself included), believe that to get the nation back on track means throwing out the voices of the extremes in both parties and working towards the balanced approach that is necessary to instill confidence in the business and consumer communities as well as increasing the necessary revenues not only to decrease the deficit in the medium to long term and to increasing buying power, via good paying jobs, of the middle class. Yes, Larry, there is both long term structural unemployment as well as business cycle unemployment!…and underemployment. Regardless of the rhetoric, the financial crash of ’08 laid bare the structural inefficiencies within the economic system that left so many out, or decreased their economic ability, while increasing the financial viability of those who already had so much.

Let’s face some facts. Seventy percent (70%) of the US economy is based on consumer demand. What that statistic means that is 70% of the nation’s 15 trillion dollar economy – the largest in the world – depends upon the middle class buying power. Yet, since 2000, middle class buying power has consistently decreased. Median wages now equal the mid-1970s after inflation adjustments. It is a truism that America’s middle class that has been the engine of growth for the entire world. Without Americans opening their wallets, the rest of the world would dramatically suffer economically. That’s how strong and powerful the US is. We should never forget this fact.

It is unfortunate that President Obama has not utilized the methodology and rhetoric of the Presidency as FDR used it to describe a better America (FDR in 1936 – his second campaign – won all but 8 electoral votes) in speaking to the American people facing equal and even worse economic troubles, caused by almost the same circumstances. Yet, Obama’s challenges are far greater in some respects than FDR’s simply because of globalization and the monetary and fiscal mess in the Eurozone which its leaders seem incapable of resolving as our nation did in 1798 by creating both a fiscal and monetary union.

Nevertheless, Obama has the right instincts and knows what needs to be done to right our economic ship of state, even while facing an intransigent GOP that deliberately chose to block his every policy on the very night of his inauguration celebration.

Regardless of the hyperbole that Hatch has been forced to state as a result of an economically ignorant insurgency, Hatch is not stupid nor has he ever shown himself to be an economically insipid radical. He most certainly does believe in a small federal government and low taxes. But he has never shown himself to believe in the Norquist too small as to be irrelevant, “drown the federal government in a bathtub,” insipid value of the federal government to make a positive difference in average American lives.

Would I like to see Hatch lose to a Dem, of course. As long as the Tea Party-religious right control the GOP, the nation will not be safe or grow. Unfortunately, Hatch may be hog-tied to their radical, economically ignorant dogma which will limit his ability in the Senate to create long term solutions to meet the country’s needs. In other words, as long as the those people, along with their self-concerned corporate sponsors, dominate the GOP of which Hatch is a part, the nation will go from one crisis to another while the rich grow richer and the middle class shrink even further…and poverty will continue escalate. As it stands right now, American poverty equals that of the early 1960s, prior to Civil Rights and the inclusion of dynamic women in the workplace.

Nevertheless, if Utah is to elect another Republican Senator as seems likely given the state’s conservative majority, that Senator should be Orrin Hatch rather than some idiotic, bomb throwing, economically irresponsible Tea Party-religious right extremist who has chosen to use the nation’s fears to escalate his own finances and to glorify himself at the expense of the country as a whole.

Orrin Hatch is not my favorite Senator by any means, but I’d rather him than the economic and socially regressive radicals that have infiltrated the GOP over the last several decades. The GOP has lost not only its historic fiscally responsible mind (in the ’60s when JFK advocated reducing marginal tax rates the GOP revolted, saying doing so would increase the nation’s debt and deficit) but it has lost its ability to govern as the progressive party of Lincoln or TR that serves all of the nation in the 21st Century. If Utah is to elect a so-called conservative – which to my mind is far different from the GOP’s historical roots – then Hatch may be the better of the bunch.


Written by Valerie Curl

July 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

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