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Conservatives Need the “Good” Orrin Hatch Back

I wrote earlier this year speculating that maybe the scare of a Tea Party challenge meant that the “bad” Senator Orrin Hatch -- who was prone to compromise conservative principles in the name of getting a deal done with liberals like Ted Kennedy -- had been banished forever and the “good” Orrin Hatch who racked-up a 100% ACU rating for the past few years was here to stay.

Orrin HatchIn a recent FOX News article that you can read here, Senator Hatch was once again back touting the benefits of compromise and what he called “the art of the doable” as it relates to tax reform and other post-election items on the congressional agenda.

Our concern with Senator Orrin Hatch is not that he doesn’t have some conservative instincts – it is that what he calls “the art of the doable” always ends-up leading to the step-by-step growth of Big Government.

Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and federally subsidized child care that Senator Hatch proudly calls “compromises” in the FOX News interview each meant the growth of government and federal spending.

What the Senator, and other establishment Republicans, never seem to grasp is that growing government and spending more slowly isn’t a compromise – it just means the conservative position is losing at a slower rate.

My late friend Paul Weyrich laid out the case against Senator Hatch’s tendency to compromise and abandon conservative principles in a piece for NewsMax published in 2004.  Paul was rarely wrong about politics and in his assessment of Orrin Hatch, he was right on target.

(You can read the 2004 NewsMax article by Paul Weyrich here)

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Principled small government conservative Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina said that Senator Hatch survived the Tea Party challenge by engaging, rather than dismissing, conservative critics.  Said Jim DeMint, "He didn't go home and try to explain to people why they were wrong…He went home and listened."

I’d like to think, of course, Paul Weyrich was right, “As long as you are alive, there is always time to change your ways.” As conservatives gird for battles that will determine the future of this great country, we need Senators who can be counted on to stand for conservative principles – not just some of the time, but all of the time. That means we need the “good” Orrin Hatch and his 100% ACU voting record home to stay.

To read the late Paul Weyrich’s 2004 article on Orrin Hatch, go to and for my previous article on Senator Hatch, go to

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