Over the weekend, Utah Republicans defeated three-term incumbent U.S. Senator Robert Bennett at their state convention. Two more conservative candidates, both with support among Tea Party activists, now move on to a primary election to decide the eventual GOP nominee.
Senator Bennett’s defeat marks the first U.S. senator to be denied re-nomination in Utah in 70 years.
The strangest part of this, though, is the strange reaction of much of the media. The morning paper says Bennett was as conservative as any rational human being could possibly desire . . . citing Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine.
Kathleen Parker, the liberal Washington Post’s idea of a conservative, lectured before the vote that “Tea Partyers risk losing some of their strongest voices.” Tea Party supporters seem determined to decide for themselves which voices speak for them.
Parker also smeared Tea Party folks as an anti-intellectual rabble, characterizing Bennett’s long tenure in Washington to be “as disadvantageous as having an Ivy League degree. Those out-of-touch elites, you know.”
Touchy. Very out-of-touchy. Forgotten by the maven? Bennett’s old pledge to serve only two terms.
Bennett had been seeking his fourth term.
E.J. Dionne called the Utah result a “non-violent coup.” Yes, just exactly like a coup — except for that voting part.
For those counting coup right now, establishment folks are receiving a whacking. No wonder they bristle.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.