Monday, June 25, 2012

Why I Won't Be Voting For Hatch

I wish I had made the time to create a more well-researched, well-referenced post on this subject. Since the primary is tomorrow, I'm going to just share a few gut level reasons why I'm resistant to Hatch.

  • He ran against Frank Moss in 1976 saying that 18 years was enough. He was right back then. After 36 years, it is well past time for Hatch to move on to other pursuits. 
  • He challenged Frank Moss to 8 debates back in 1976. He was right back then. Now, we only get Hatch to consent to a single radio debate for the primary voting public. It is shameful for a politician to hide from opportunities to answer questions. 
  • Last time he ran, he made light of the suggestion that he would run for a 7th term (as he is now doing) by saying it would be more important to spend his final years with his grandchildren. He was right back then. 
  • He was a co-sponsor of the SOPA legislation that so offended the technology community that even Wikipedia blacked out for a day in protest.
  • Hatch, citing his own role as a creator of music, is in favor of longer copyright terms. I favor radically shortened terms. 
  • Hatch famously made a passing comment about how he wished he could send a signal through the internet to blow up the computers of copyright offenders. Shortly thereafter it was discovered that his website was using an unlicensed JavaScript library. 
  • When the Tea Party was first rising as a serious force, David Kirkham emerged as a leader of the movement in Utah County. Hatch latched on to him and would phone him to get his pulse on the movement. It was even reported in the Deseret News that Hatch called Kirkham from the floor of the Senate as a controversial spending bill was up to hear what the Tea Party opinion was and ask how he should vote. Instead of seeing this as a laudable effort to stay connected with his constituents, I saw it as a cynical/pandering attempt to keep a clean record and avoid ticking off potential opponents. I understand others may view it differently. 
  • It feels like Hatch has become a creature of Washington rather than a creature of Utah.
  • Hatch touts his ability to bring home the bacon to Utah as a selling point. I view that as evidence that he's part of the problem. 
  • Hatch insists that without him, Hill Air Force Base would be closed. If it is the political power of one individual rather than the general merits of the base that keep it open, then perhaps it would be better for the country (as opposed to Davis County) if we let it close. I don't know if that is the right decision, but I can't believe that one senator is single-handedly holding back the tide of logic that would otherwise close the base.
  • In his radio debate with Dan L., Hatch all but admitted that he would have supported a government loan to a company like Solyndra as long as they were in Utah.
  • Hatch comes across as a cranky old man. I think the face of Utah in Washington should be more reflective of our cheer and optimism. Yeah, you'll think this is corny, but it is a gut level thing that is hard to distill in words. 
  • It is easy to discount the endorsements that sitting politicians receive. If Mitt Romney expects Hatch to be victorious (as seems most likely), then he is wise to forge the alliance that will help him get his agenda through congress after the election. That might be a good policy for Mitt Romney, but it isn't a good reason for me to vote for Hatch. 
If Hatch ever loses, I hope the person who replaces him will be able to learn from his great skill in constituent services. I've heard his office has been particularly helpful with Utahans in international travel situations.