Maybe he can’t read that well. Maybe he’s way too long in the tooth to be a vital, active lawmaker anymore. Or, maybe Orin Hatch is just a moron who retweets stories based on headlines and not an article’s content. But whatever the reason, Utah’s Republican Methuselah, Senator Orrin Hatch, really made himself look like a Grade-A doofus on Christmas morning.
In case you missed it, Hatch proudly retweeted an op-ed from his home state, published in The Salt Lake Tribune. “Grateful for this great Christmas honor,” Hatch tweeted. If Senator Hatch was only reading the headline, that the paper’s editorial board named him “Utahn of the Year,” and wait, hang on. We need to just have a talk about what we call a group of people from Utah? Pretty sure you need another vowel in there.
Anyway, the headline of the article certainly looks like it’s giving Mr. Hatch one hell of a back scratch. So of course he’s going to tweet it out to all his followers. Makes sense, and you’d probably do the same if a big newspaper in your state said you deserve the honored as the very finest example of who comes from it.
— Orrin G. Hatch Foundation (@OrrinHatch) December 25, 2017
But that’s where this story takes a turn for the decidedly derpy. You see, the problem is that the headline was satirical as fuck. The actual content, the meat and potatoes of the article, is an absolute dressing-down of the geriatric lawmaker.
It had gems like this one…
The selection of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch as the 2017 Utahn of the Year has little to do with the fact that, after 42 years, he is the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, that he has been a senator from Utah longer than three-fifths of the state’s population has been alive.
It has everything to do with recognizing:
- Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
- His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
- His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.
Then you had this passage which is a clinic in satirical musings. That last bit is so good it’s almost poetry.
No matter who turns out to be right about that argument, the fact remains that tax reform has been talked about and talked about for decades and only now has anything been done. And Hatch, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has his fingerprints all over it.
But the editorial’s most scathing and pinpointed criticism of Hatch was saved for calling him an outright liar.
The last time the senator was up for re-election, in 2012, he promised that it would be his last campaign. That was enough for many likely successors, of both parties, to stand down, to let the elder statesman have his victory tour and to prepare to run for an open seat in 2018.
Clearly, it was a lie.
Maybe Hatch was trying to be tongue-in-cheek, to be fair. He did mention how he voted for his opponents in the last election. But it seems odd to draw so much attention to such a public smackdown as the paper’s editorial board gave him. If he did intend to share the article, and he did in fact understand that he was given an absolute thrashing, then it would seem Mr. Hatch has a Trumpian-sized ego. Maybe his hubris is well-placed. Maybe the people of Utah, Utahns if we really have to call them that, will elect him despite his lie about retiring. And if they do, then he’s obviously not wrong for being so sure of himself.
If you ask me, sharing this editorial with the world, whether in earnest or in jest, shows just how moronic Hatch is. The editorial slices and dices him into neat little bits, and calls him some pretty harsh things. It’s weird to me that someone would intentionally share an intellectually astute, factual takedown of themselves that includes adjectives like “unquenchable” followed by “thirst for power.”
Here’s hoping Utahzians — Utahians — Utahliens? — make the smart choice and kick this old man off the dole. He’s sucked enough off the peoples’ teats for six lifetimes.