Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Fall of Bob Bennett

Utah Senator Bob Bennett has been ousted, or at least stripped of his party's nomination, after the Republican state convention. The party rules say that only the top two convention vote getters are put on the primary ballot, and Bennett came in third. His offenses, in the eyes of Tea Party-crazed Republican stalwarts, were supporting the bank bailout and working together with Democrat Ron Wyden to author a health care plan. The Wyden-Bennett plan was beloved of wonks but without any other constituency, so it never got any serious consideration, but it was strongly free market and would have insured more people than Obamacare.

What an awful idea. If the new standard for Republican nominees is that you have to be too contrarian to ever work together with anyone to accomplish anything, how, exactly, are Republicans ever going to run the country? Now Bennett was 76 and has already had three terms in the senate, so maybe it was time for some new blood -- as a general rule I think there should be more primary or convention challenges to senators and representatives. But everything I am reading says that Bennett was just not ornery enough for the Utah Republican convention, and I think to substitute anger for thinking is always a terrible thing.

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