They have a point.
Utah’s largest newspaper is taking aim at Senator Orrin Hatch and desperately trying to convince him that the Senate wasn’t meant to be a retirement community.
Hatch is 83 (soon to be 84) years old, and has served in the Senate for 40 ridiculously long years.
Rumors were that he would retire and not seek an eighth term in 2018. He’s now saying that he never suggested retiring.
The Salt Lake Tribune skewered Hatch for clinging to power, when the time for new blood is long past.
The editorial board named Hatch their “Utahn of the Year” for 2017. That’s a distinction they give the Utahn who has made the biggest impact on the state, whether good or bad.
The newspaper said Hatch earned the title based on “his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”
“It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career,” the Tribune’s editorial board wrote. “If he doesn’t, the voters should end it for him.”
There’s a point: Has there been nobody in the past 40 years that Utahns couldn’t get behind to drive Hatch out?
The paper further went after Hatch for siding with President Trump, regarding shrinking two national monuments in the state, noting that there were no legal, constitutional, or environmental logic to the move.
“To all appearances — appearances promoted by Hatch — this anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch,” the editorial states.
Speaking of favors, there’s also a belief that Hatch is hanging on to keep Mitt Romney from running for his vacant seat.
Hatch may very well have thought of retiring, but at some point, Trump tweeted out that he hoped he wouldn’t. The last thing Trump wants is Mitt Romney as a senator. The Tribune pointed that out.
“Once again, Hatch has moved to freeze the field to make it nigh unto impossible for any number of would-be senators to so much as mount a credible challenge,” the paper said.
“That’s not only not fair to all of those who were passed over. It is basically a theft from the Utah electorate.”
A poll from earlier this year found that three-quarters of Utahns want Hatch to retire.
Then let Utahns move to oust him with those three-quarters of the voters. Hatch couldn’t be where he is, for as long as he is, without their vote.