Memo From Middle America | Will Senators Lugar And Hatch, Both Immigration Duds, Be Sent Packing?
May 08, 2012, 03:29 AM
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The MSM seems to thinks Indiana Senator Richard Lugar will lose the GOP nomination to state treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is backed by Tea Party elements, on May 8. The Christian Science Monitor is even trying to incite him to make a third party run. (Tea party set to topple Sen. Richard Lugar. Could he try third-party run?, by Mark Trumbull, May 7 2012).

What a coincidence!—Lugar entered the Senate the same year as Utah’s Orrin Hatch, another Establishment Republican senator now being targeted in a primary.

Lugar has an appalling Career Grade of D- from Numbers USA, so it’s hard to see how Mourdock could be worse. But we’ll know that result soon enough. Let’s look at Orrin Hatch—and consider what lessons all this holds for those of us in the patriotic immigration reform movement.

Orrin Hatch has been in the U.S. Senate since 1977. He’s also under attack from the right, and could possibly be defeated by challenger Dan Liljenquist.

The way the Utah GOP does it is to have the candidates for Senate contend in a runoff at the state convention. That happened in April. Hatch faced off against nine challengers.

Hatch got the majority of votes. But according to the Utah rules, a candidate needs 60% for an outright victory. Otherwise, it goes into a primary. And that’s what happened to Orrin Hatch. With almost 4,000 delegates voting, in the second round of voting, Hatch failed by “fewer than three dozen votes” to secure the nomination.

Considering how long Hatch has been a senator, that’s not exactly a vote of confidence.

So Republican voters choose between Orrin Hatch and Dan Liljenquist in the primary on June 26th. Utah hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since 1970, so it’s likely whoever wins the GOP primary will be the next senator. I wouldn’t count old Hatch out, though; he’s still got a pretty big war chest. [Orrin Hatch Forced Into Primary Fight For Utah Senate Seat, by Kevin Freking and Josh Loftin, Huffington Post, April 21st, 2012]

And, although Liljenquist has been touted as a Tea Party candidate, he does not associate himself with the movement. [Liljenquist Not a Tea Party Candidate, UtahPulse, April 29, 2012]

But, to a lot of Utah Republicans, Liljenquist obviously looks like a better alternative for senator than Hatch.  Anyway, Hatch has been in the Senate a long time. Maybe voters just feel it’s time to retire him.

Ironically, way back when Hatch first ran for the Senate, in 1976, he opposed an incumbent Democrat who had been in the Senate 18 years—and that was one of Candidate Hatch’s arguments against him. Now, Hatch has been in office for going on 36 years—but now his argument at the convention was his own seniority, that he could get things done in Washington DC.

From a conservative point of view, Hatch has his good points and bad points. But he’s part of the GOP Establishment that has provided such poor leadership for so long.

Here at VDARE.COM, we don’t endorse candidates, but we can point out what is going on.  We can look at Hatch’s record from a National Question perspective. And there is a lot there to question.

Let’s take a look at Orrin Hatch’s record on the National Question. Numbers USA gives him a C+ Career Grade on immigration. His is the lowest score in the entire Utah delegation.

Numbers USA breaks it down further, see here. The organization gives Hatch

  • A+ in “Reduce Illegal Jobs and Presence”
  • A+ in “Reduce Visa Lottery”, but
  • D in “Reduce Illegal Immigration at Borders”
  • F- in Reduce Unnecessary Worker Visas”
  • B in “Reduce Illegal Immigration Rewards”
  • C in “Challenge Status Quo”
  • “failed to act” on “Reduce Anchor Baby Citizenship”
  • minimal action” on “Reduce Refugee and Asylum Fraud”
  • “minimal action” on “Reduce Chain Migration”.

More perspective on Hatch’s C+ Career grade: two-thirds of Senate Republicans do better.

I appreciate what Numbers USA does, and I understand that you need objective criteria to make these ratings. But I don’t know. I might have given old Orrin an even lower overall rating.

After all, Hatch is one of the guys who proposed the original “Dream Act” proposal, back in 2001.

The “Dream Act”, ostensibly designed to help young  illegal aliens to go to college, is just another move to legitimize illegal immigration. In its various forms, it keeps coming back to threaten us.

And, as Peter Brimelow has pointed out sadly, despite all his efforts when he worked for Hatch (1979-1981), the Senator long since abandoned the potentially decisive Affirmative Action wedge issue.

Doesn’t Hatch’s record paint a picture of the typical Republican leader—at best useless, and at worse destructive, on the National Question?

Senators such as Hatch and Lugar have done some good things, they’ve done some bad things, but overall they have not provided the leadership America needs. The GOP needs leaders who will fight for principles and not let the Democrats set the agenda. And on the National Question, we need more senators who will actually take a stand.

The U.S. Senate is of the utmost importance. It only has 100 senators. One good senator is 1% of the Senate vote right there. Plus, Senators have six year terms and often wind up staying for decades.

How would it be to have more senators like Rand Paul, one of the few Republican politicians who gets the demographic question? (See Mexican Immigrants Vote Democratic – Rand Paul Gets It.)

In Utah, Liljenquist could start hammering Orrin Hatch specifically on his immigration record. Hang the Dream Act around Hatch’s neck and keep reminding Utah voters of it.

And if the challenger really wants to get bold and original, he could start talking about legal immigration. Why should we continue to import immigrants if millions of Americans are out of work? 

There’s been some bad, and arguably unconstitutional, Treason Lobby legislation in Utah. But immigration enthusiast Rep. Chris Cannon was eventually primaried out by Jason Chaffetz in 2008. NumbersUSA reports an impressive 8,300 activists in the state.

Dan Liljenquist is now challenging Hatch to a series of debates. The challenger says “I am willing to debate Sen. Hatch, anytime, any place. If he can't leave D.C., I will go to him and debate him there.”

In such a debate, could Liljenquist not use the immigration issue to his advantage?—whatever his professional campaign consultants say.

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual.  In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here ; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here