Tomorrow’s column is about how Utah Sen. Bob Bennett is falling all over himself trying to appear “conservative enough” to make the Tea Party happy, a doomed pursuit, I say, because there is simply no pleasing extremists who think that cutting government is desirable as long as that cutting doesn’t include anything that affects them.
Such as, yes, Medicare. At last week’s Weber 9/12 meeting I talked to a guy who, I swear, thought the premiums he paid into Medicare when he was working were what paid for his medical bills now.
Either that or he had paid for Medicare much like you and I buy a toaster and where it got the money to pay his medical bills, no matter what they amounted to, was not a matter of anyone’s concern.
“No, my taxes pay your bills,” I said. “Well, that’s your opinion,” he said, displaying an amazing lack of basic knowledge about how insurance pools work.
But, hey, he’s a Tea Bagger and, by gum, he’s angry and he’s going to fix that damn Sen. Bennett who supports federal spending in Utah.
Which is why I read with some amusement mixed with sorrow a couple stories about Sen. John McCain, former presidential candidate, who ran on a platform of being a Maverick, not following any party’s rules, now fighting for his life by denying that he ever was a maverick, hoping the perennially short American memory will forget all those drinking games during the presidential debates last fall where you had to take a shot every time someone said the word “Maverick.”
Maybe he’s hoping everyone was too plastered to remember just how they got plastered ?
Interestingly, he’s got Saint Sarah speaking for him and, according to these stories, she’s saying he was too a maverick. The stories paint this as her not getting the message, but I think she got the message plenty, but she’s working her own account here, reminding the crowds of what a doddering old fool McCain is to try to hide his former moniker, not to mention reminding her own acolytes in the Tea Party how non-conforming John was.
As I make clear in Tuesday’s column, the Tea Party doesn’t want independent thought, they want lock-step devotion to their interpretation of the Constitution and nothing else.
So one has to wonder if Saint Sarah is using her platform allegedly helping John to actually shoot him down. As I say Tuesday, the Tea Party in Utah is trying to do the same thing with Sen. Bennett.
They even brought in Rob Bishop, whose support for Sen. Bennett was so nuanced it almost disappeared.
I’m not a huge fan of Sen. Bennett, and I grew to really despise McCain during the campaign when he turned into a really mean person who would say or do anything to win.
But it bothers me to see them shooed out of office for the wrong reasons, the trumped up hysterical reasons of a fringe group. That kind of thinking has no place in politics if we want out country to be well run. It is a classic example of the Republican Party using the Tea Party as dogs of war, sending them out to do the dirty work, and then not being able to control them.
Sadly, even though absolutely everyone agrees we are too polarized, the solution of the Tea Baggers seems to be that we just aren’t polarized enough. It is hard to see how this is useful to anyone.