Bennett was booted by machine politics

Tim Bridgewater has a rather gloating op-ed in the Washington Post today (click!) in which he, rather condescendingly, gives us all a Constitutional lesson and then says that his near-election proves that Utah leads the way in a massive uprising against Washington Politics As Usual.

Of course, should he survive the primary and win in November, he will promptly go to Washington DC and become part of the political game, an insider, a wheeler-dealer doing his darndest to get reelected. Why should he not?

Everyone else has — Bishop, Bennett, Hatch, Matheson. They have to. It’s that or lose their jobs. Why do you thing Bishop has been so agressive about getting earmarks? Why do you think he’s so willing to compromise his usual anti-federal spending ardor when that spending will be for jobs in his district?

People running for political office in this country remind me of rebellious teenagers. They hate their parents, they hate “the establishment,” they hate and despise the world as it is and, by god, when they get old enough to get out of this dump they’ll show us a thing or two.

That’s what my kids said. 10 years later they’re married with mortgages, jobs and a kid on the way.

They are that way because they discovered that rebelliousness if fine, for a while, but eventually you like the idea of regular meals and a roof over your head. There are specific things you have to do to acquire those things. That is how life works. Absent a complete cultural change, that is the way it will continue to work.

An article in Slate Magazine (click!) discusses this in Congress. Essentially, Mr. Bridgewater will become part of the Washington establishment he so dispises because, if he does not, he will either serve one term, or he’ll spend several terms being useless.

What I find distasteful about his op-ed is his completely ignoring how he got where he is: Machine politics. Tammany Hall could not have done it better. His Tea Bag fans crammed the party caucus meetings, taking advantage of apathy by the majority, and made darn sure their guy got picked. Rep. Rob Bishop said it best at his own meeting with the Tea Bag types, “The decisions are made by those who show up,” and this time, yes, they did.

In this respect, Mr. Bridgewater has no fitting in to do — he won at the convention, not through democratic principles, but through cramming the ballot box and manipulating the system. This will garner him a lot of professional admiration when he gets to DC, if nothing else. 

But if his fans think Mr. Bridgewater will be able to drastically turn anything around, I advice them to keep their expectations low, and I advice Mr. Bridgewater to be careful what he promises.

President Lyndon Johnson is famously remembered, among other things, for complaining that he had trouble just getting anyone in the White House to turn the lights off. He was using that as an example of how limited his power really was, and he was President.

Mr. Bridgewater will be the junior senator from a minor state that nobody in Congress gives a crap about. If he wants to accomplish anything but being a darling of the Glenn Beck talk circuit, he would be advised to start figuring out how things work now.

The rest of h is op-ed is too ridiculous for words. $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities? Health Care with no input from the opposition party? And his little lecture about the true meaning of the Constitution is paternalistic at best — the Supreme Court and Congress spend more than 200 words figuring that document out, and HE has the truth?

Well, his truth, such as it is.

The man babbles. In that regard, too, he’ll fit right in.

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18 Responses to Bennett was booted by machine politics

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    He does seem to be pouring salt in Bennett’s wound … There is nothing too impossible for a candidate in office to claim that he can one day achieve.

  2. Zane says:

    The only thing distasteful is Mr. Trentelman’s derogatory description of the tea party group in this blog. I am quite confident that he does not represent the views of this reputable publication. It’s just a shame that this blog has to make derogatory references to get his point across. As a reporter, you would think he would access spell check before this blog goes live.

  3. Joe Puente says:

    Zane, if you’re offended, it’s only because you choose to be. Get over it. The term “tea-bagger” was originally used by the Tea Party folks themselves. It originated with the tea bags being mailed to politicians as a protest. Check it out, here’s an example of Neil Cavuto of FOX News using the term back in May 2009:,2933,520899,00.html

  4. Doug Gibson says:

    Joe, when you say tea bagger you are deliberately using a homophobic sexual slur. It’s disgraceful. You know that tea partiers who used the term long ago did not mean that. Be honest.

  5. Charles Trentelman says:

    Actually, if you guys would learn to read, I said “tea bag types,” in memory of those first protestors, including many in Ogden, who showed up with tea bags stapled in rings around the brims of their hats.

    The original tea in Boston that got tossed in the harbor was not in bags. It was in pressed bricks. “Tea bricker” doesn’t really sing, does it?

    Homophobic slur? Actually, if you look it up (and i did, because until Tea Bag types started pretending they were offended I’d never heard the term, and I like to think I get around) it merely describes one particular and rather odd act, shall we way. Disgusting or at least weird, but not homophobic, any more than coitus is heterophobic. I didn’t even see where it is preferred by one or the other, actually.

    Leave us not go there, except to advise those who would form beverage-themed political groups (coffee beaners?) that it is to their advantage, in the future, to ponder all uses and derivations of their chosen name before they go public. Maybe run it by their teenagers to see if there’s any wierd ways it can be made fun of.

    Kodak had similar problems, as I recall, and wasn’t there a car name which, when spoken as Japanese, meant “No go?”

  6. Michael Trujillo says:

    Homophobic slur, Doug? Nah. Merely a description of one thing a man and woman can engage in if they do desire. It’s just a funny name that the tea partiers adopted originally until they found out its other connotation. It’s an ironically funny nick name in the same vane as college football fans calling themselves athletic supporters.

    You’re way too thin skinned about it.

  7. Michael Trujillo says:


    As I heard it, it was the Chevy Nova. No va in spanish means “no go”.

  8. Steve Davis says:

    Regardless of the ignorance with which it was originally used, I think all would be well advised to discontinue using the term, and call them “tea partiers” instead. Using the other term, it seems to me, is the same as calling someone a c**ks****r.

  9. What's a good name says:

    Steve Davis is right.

    If you choose to call us tea partiers a derogatory name, is it ok for us to return the favor?

    How about ni@@er? Can I use that one when referring to the jerk you stupid liberals elected?

    Just askin.

  10. What's a good name says:

    How about you puente and trujillo?

    Which do you prefer? Wetback or stupid mexican? Maybe spick is more appropriate. After all, you greasers all look and talk alike.

    Works both ways.

  11. Bob Becker says:


    In re “tea baggers” you wrote: “if you look it up (and i did, because until Tea Bag types started pretending they were offended I’d never heard the term, and I like to think I get around)”. Same here. Had never heard the term and had to look it up.

    And I hope “Whats A Good Names” two posts will end the claims here by tea party folk that the charge that their group appeals to racists is nothing more than a slander perpetrated by the liberal media.

  12. an old, old man says:

    There’s another beverage party moving up. If you’re a sensible person, disgusted with all the shenanigans of the ultra-left and ultra-right, come join the Coffee Party rally at Courthouse Square in SLC at 10 am next Saturday — May 22.

    The Coffee Party is seeking to give the present silent majority — the people who still believe that we can accomplish wonders in this country if we’ll just sit down and reason together — a voice.

    As the recent Republican convention proved, we are being drowned out by all the hysterical shouting and screaming.

  13. laytonian says:

    Steve Davis says “Using the other term, it seems to me, is the same as calling someone a c**ks****r.”

    Then you’re doing it wrongly.

    You cannot wear tea bags on your hat, mail tea bags around, CALL yourselves “tea baggers” ….and pretend to be offended. It’s YOUR dirty mind at play, not ours. Sex is not dirty. It consists of the various ways our God-designed body parts fit together, and God made it pleasurable so we’d reproduce.

    AND…to echo Charles: READ what he said. And get over yourselves.

    BOB BECKER: you got it. Thank you. But I don’t think “whats a good name” realizes the difference between what you choose to be (tea bag type) and what you are (your race).

    Dear “whats a good name” — your third grade English teacher just drowned herself in shame. There’s no sense in changing your screen name; we recognize your spelling and grammar.

  14. His Dudeness says:

    I have to laugh at the P.C. connocenti picking amongst the minutea of meaning in tea bags, (or is it tea leaves?) while the real bad news of Bennett, who has some seniority and wisdom along with Orinn Hatch is being replace by minions of Glen Beck and Carl Rove. Utah is 49th or 50th in many yardsticks of good education and Republicans want only less taxes and less Federal Government until we are left with big boats, ATV’s and bigger houses, and a republic in anarchy (California is good example) Let us please watch, this week, the British model of democracy get on with with some bi-patisan reality.
    When the PM goes to the house of commons, you see some real government wrestling and they televise the reality, not just the sound bites that Wolfie and Anderson send out way between telling us about the “Best Team in News”

  15. an old, old man says:

    Sheeeesh! After reading all these posts I went and looked up TeaBagger. I may be nearly 70, but I’d never heard that particular term before. I must say, the definition I read is no more perverted than the followers of Beck, et al. Yup, it kinda fits . . . .

  16. His Dudeness says:

    I have to agree with Becker. “WhatIS a good name” has picked a very appropriate moniker,”A Good Name” he will never know.

  17. Dovie says:

    Shields & Brooks with Jim Lehrer on the Newshour make the Interesting point that Utah’s unique Republican primary system allows 3500 delegates to pick the candidate. (They refer to Utah as a closed primary “cubed” compared to other states – add that to the gerrymandering…..).

    Then they talk about how Utah is upset over the 17th amendment that allows direct election of senators. Many in the right wing Patrick Henry club want to have the State legislature pick them, per the pre-amendment system.

    I just find it fascinating that the right-wing of the Utah Republican party feels so darned comfortable corrupting the political process. The thing they are most afraid of is a free election.

  18. JJ Wilson says:

    In addition to what ‘an old, old man’ wrote – Ogden will also have its own Coffee Party meeting at (where else) Grounds for Coffee on 25th St also at 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 22nd.

    Too many posters on here are hung-up on names rather than trying to come together to resolve problems within the community, state and country. Find the candidate that most closely has your same opinions, values or what have you and support that individual. I am still looking for the candidate that I feel I can support – and so far it isn’t Bridgewater, Lee or Bennett.

    Zane – I hope I spelled everything correctly, heaven forbid anyone ever has a typo or two.

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