One of the stories coming out of CPAC this year is the embrace of the tea party movement not by the Republican Party, but by the conservative movement.The issues of spending and smaller government are shared across the board.But while conservatives are embracing the tea party movement, Republican Senators continue castigating tea party activists and hoping they shut up and go away. The latest is Senator Orin Hatch who is petrified that tea party activists might elect Mike Lee and defeat Bob Bennett in Utah.The Hill reports:
Speaking to constituents at a town hall, Hatch warned Tea Partiers not to split the Republican Party."If we fractionalize the Republican Party, we are going to see more liberals elected," Hatch said, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
This is in line with the GOP talking point that we who are here at CPAC should be perfectly fine with moderates. But we know that is not the case. In a state like Utah, we can legitimately move the state right by electing Mike Lee over Bob Bennett.But Hatch gets even more disingenuous than that. Dan Riehl notes Orrin Hatch gets his history wrong. Hatch blames tea party activists for gordon Smith's defeat in Oregon. As Dan notes:
Not only did Hatch lecture people he'd better start listening to, instead - he didn't have the slightest clue what he was talking about. The Tea Party movement didn't even exist in 2008. It's out of touch Republicans like Hatch, presumably living in some elitist echo chamber who can still snatch defeat from victory for the GOP in 2010 if no one fills them in. Based upon this nonsense, Hatch doesn't seem to have a clue what's going on at street level in America today.
If Conservatives win in Utah this year by beating Bob Bennett with Mike Lee, Orrin Hatch will be on notice to get with the program or shove it — a fitting taste of his own medicine.