Eric at RedState is a blog friend and fellow conservative I like and respect, so I emailed him before engaging this debate regarding his post on targeting Bennett in Utah.
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.
Let’s briefly consider some facts that can help in making this decision. As regards “we should be targeting more than just Florida,” I thought we were. Was NY – 23 merely a bad dream caused by the terrible candidate Scozzafava was for us? For starters, we have to fight Owens at least to some degree in winning back a previously reliable GOP seat we’ve lost.
Does anyone believe defeating Crist in Florida is going to be a walk? Are we already throwing DeVore in California under the bus because the energy, cash and focus is needed to take out a popular state-level incumbent – never an easy thing in the first place, by the way?
Did Dodd concede to Simmons and does Toomey now have PA locked? Will Harry Reid continue to lead the Senate for the Democrats, or are those votes counted already? When are Portman and Kasich in Ohio sworn in, they both beat liberal Dems? Or haven’t we taken back Ohio, yet? There’s at least the possibility of some low hanging Senate and Governorship fruit in Illinois thanks to Blago. Are we going to wait and see if it falls to the ground so we can just pick it up? And I haven’t even mentioned any Blue Dogs we might want to take out while the timing is good. That’s especially true in parts of the South, where some GOP incumbents we like are going to face serious challenges, too.
The GOP was thrashed in the House in 2008. Was it only due to Obamania and are all those Dem incumbents going to do the right thing and simply step aside without a fight? Sorry, I don’t think so, friends. There’s a heck of a lot more than Rubio on our plates. And there’s an out of control Leftist WH destined to take apart much of traditional America by 2012 without a Republican majority in Congress to stop him. Is now the time to take out a Republican who won with about 70% in 2004 only to gamble on someone who has never run statewide, let alone won, and hasn’t been seriously vetted? Meanwhile, the Dems are looking at a moderate to run that Obama knows and said he would support.
Now, given all that, let’s have a quick look at this scourge of liberalism, Bennett, we need to purge. I’ll bullet point it to make this quick. Frankly, if this guy is such a threat to elements of the base it warrants putting a seat at risk in a year where we absolutely need to gain them, some of us conservative bloggers better get our resumes ready. It won’t be long before we aren’t welcome either. Or, maybe it’s time for people to slow down and think before they go a Bennett too far. Always did like the similarly named war movie, though!
His record is solidly Pro-Life, Pro-Gun and Anti-Tax
Voted against Bush on No Child Left Behind on states rights grounds.
Voted against Obama stimulus bill
Voted against “Auto bailout”
Voted against “Cash for Clunkers”
Voted against the second round of TARP after pushing to break Bush’s extreme emergency $700 billion request into two parts. He felt the $350 billion was enough and wanted to limit it.
Introduced an amendment to the Budget Resolution requiring additional TARP funds to be authorized by Congress and offset with reductions in discretionary spending.
Bennett introduced legislation with Thune to strip the Treasury Secretary’s authority to extend TARP beyond Dec. 31, 2009. The Bennett-Thune bill allows TARP to expire at the end of the year so Dems can’t keep using it as a slush fund.
Voted against Hate Crimes legislation
Voted against the closing of Guantanamo Bay
Voted against the Obama budget
Voted against FY 2009 Omnibus bill
Voted against Sotomayor
Voted against Geithner
Voted against Sebelius
Will be voting against David Hamilton
Blocked David Hayes, deputy secretary of
Interior out of domestic energy concerns.
Passed an amendment to protect the charitable contribution deduction from being used to pay for health care to save American charities $9 billion per year.
Passed the Washington County Land Bill to set the precedent for how Utah and the West manage public lands issues. This was firm push back on extreme environmentalism
Introduced legislation requiring the Census Department to include a question on citizenship in census forms for purposes of apportionment and worked with Vitter on an amendment to restrict funding to the Census Department until the citizenship question is included.
Voted to prohibit funding to ACORN
Net Neutrality – Opposes efforts to regulate, or impose industry-wide rules based upon speculation about what may occur in the future of the Internet. He believes that government regulation will only threaten the innovation that continues to thrive through the internet.
Opposed the fairness doctrine (voted in 2/09)
Opposed the “Medicare Doc Fix” or Medicare Reimbursement bill proposed by the Democrats this year because there was no offset or plan in place on how to pay for it.
Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009
The Guns in National Parks Legislation (passed on cc bill)
Amendment restoring gun rights to DC
He supports a Federal Marriage Amendment to keep marriage between
a man and a woman.
If someone with the record above can’t fit under the tent, maybe it’s time to learn to enjoy the feeling of fresh rain myself. There’s no way my libertarian streak would make the cut, whether I live in Utah, or not. And it’s a potentially disastrous strategic move no matter how you slice it given the serious challenges we already face. I’m strongly backing Bennett out of nothing more than the principle of the thing at this point. There won’t be that many left in the conservative base if these are the types of standards allowed to be employed.