One of the most difficult decisions a person must make in their life is to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask “Am I still effective at my job?” This decision is often made easier depending on the circumstances one finds themselves in; a professional athlete will know when it is time to retire when their body no longer is able to compete at the level they have become accustomed to; a tradesperson may realize their job is obsolete and must find a new career path.
However, how does a sitting United States senator who is currently serving in his seventh term in office know when it is time to retire? How does a senator who is now one of the longest-serving senators in the history of the U.S. Senate know when it is time to step aside and allow a new generation of conservative candidates to serve? How does a senator who has abandoned almost all of his core conservative principles know when it is time to focus on fishing and grandkids? Luckily for Senator Orrin Hatch, he has Conservative First to give him the answer to these questions: Now is the time.
Now is the time for Sen. Hatch to take that long, hard look in the mirror and realize that he has become the very object of ridicule that he lambasted over 40 years ago when he first ran for Senate in 1976. During that campaign, Hatch famously said of his opponent, “What do you call a senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”
There is hardly an issue or stance that Orrin Hatch now holds which is not 180 degrees out of phase from where conservatives are on those same issues. Sen. Hatch has turned his back on core conservative principles for the prestige of the United States Senate, allowing the trappings of his office to mold him into the ultimate compromiser.
Whenever Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate, directly over his left shoulder sits Sen. Hatch, framed in the picture quite possibly intentional, watching, listening, and nodding his head in agreement with what the leader of the establishment has to say. Hatch’s loyalty is now to his party and the establishment rather than to those conservative ideals he long ago espoused. Sadly, he is also now more reliable to Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer than to conservative members of his own party like Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul.
What makes Sen. Orrin Hatch’s conversion to the middle of the aisle so upsetting is that he was once so dependable to conservatives. He was a stalwart conservative in the Senate, a man whom conservative presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush could rely on to keep the progressive agenda and an over-reaching government at bay from the American people. Lamentably, that version of Orrin Hatch is gone, and so too is the support from conservative groups that Sen. Hatch used to enjoy so much.
So now the citizens of Utah, it is time to “call Orrin Hatch home”.