While we're all focusing on picking Charlie Crist off in the Florida Senate Primary, I think if conservatives really want to send the GOP establishment a message,
target number one a high priority should actually be Bob Bennett of Utah. Just to clarify for those of you freaking out that I said target number one should be Bennett: the Bennett race happens before the Florida race. That said, we should be targeting more than just Florida. Bennett is worth picking off because he is an incumbent troublemaker. Granted, it was a poor choice of words on my part, but I hope you get the drift — picking off an incumbent has added value.
Bennett is prehaps the pettiest, vainest, and most out of touch of all Republican Senators. He, an appropriator, has never met an earmark he did not like. He is quicker than either Lindsey Graham or Olympia Snowe to cut deals with the Democrats that cut the throats of his Republican colleagues.
Bennett and several Democrats are floating a healthcare alternative that explicitly pays for abortions and is considered by the Heritage Foundation to be to the left of what the Democrats are considering right now.
In short, I have said for a while now that where the right can win, the GOP should go right. The right can win in Utah. And the way to do that is to purge Bob Bennett.
Utah will have a convention. Last year, Utah Republicans threw one member of Congress out in the convention. Next year, we should encourage them to do the same and do it to Bennett.
A well-placed Utah GOP source said the conservative movement could really have an impact in the state, especially if the Tea Party movement, the 9/12ers and the Patrick Henry Caucus can settle on one candidate.
“This is tailor-made for those folks,” the source said. “This is a state where those people can make a difference, and quite honestly, they do not like Bennett.”
Another group that could join the cause is the Club for Growth. After endorsing Marco Rubio over Gov. Charlie Crist this week in Florida’s GOP Senate primary, the group will continue to monitor Utah.
The Club has already contacted potential delegates several times and run $100,000 worth of ads against Bennett’s healthcare plan.
Defeating Bennett in the Utah Republican Convention should be a high priority for conservatives considered about the leftward drift of the Republican Party.