In the middle of the Warren brouhaha last night — in which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell selectively enforced Senate Rule 19 to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren — Orrin Hatch (R-UT) grabbed the microphone to give a long, emotional speech about manners, respect, decorum and how everyone in the Senate needs to hug it out and love one another.
Oh, and don’t say anything bad about another senator, even if it’s in the context of a cabinet position and especially not if it’s true.
“We’re treating him [Sessions] like he is some terrible person that doesn’t deserve to be chosen by the current President of the United States to be Attorney General of the United States,” blubbered Hatch. “I think we ought to be ashamed of ourselves, I really do, on both sides, and frankly, we’ve got to get to where everything is not an issue here.”
“I think we have to grow up and I suggest all of us take stock of ourselves and see if we can treat each other with greater respect. But I’ve got to say, I resented, as much as I like the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts — I resent the constant diatribe against a fellow senator.”
Here’s the home-run line from Hatch that gets to his true message.
“Even if everything she said was true, it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
And that was the Kumbaya moment Hatch was almost tearfully pleading for last night — you know, after his party started all the fighting on the Senate floor because Warren had the temerity to quote Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King.
All of this is the staggering hypocrisy we’ve sadly come to expect when dealing with the Republican party. These are the same people who referred to former Democratic Leader Harry Reid as a “cancerous” influence on the Senate and who vowed, through their leader McConnell in early 2009 to do everything in their power to make newly-elected President Barack Obama’s life a living hell.
And yet here was Hatch last night, emotionally opening his heart to the Senate chamber to say… please… can’t we all just get along?
“I love all my colleagues. There’s not one person in this body that I don’t care for and love,” said Hatch, clutching his pearls. “I disagree quite a bit with some of my colleagues on the other side and even some of my colleagues on this side, but that doesn’t mean I have to treat them with disrespect.”
This is the Senator Hatch who, as a leader in his party, filibustered against President Obama more times than Jeff Sessions starches his white hoods. And this is the same guy, with a senior seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who went along with not letting a sitting President, with 25 percent of his term left, get so much as a hearing on his pick for the Supreme Court.
Needless to say, this little encounter session did not end without Brother Hatch getting in the requisite talking point about how all of this Democratic pushback lately is just because Democrats are mad that they lost the election.
“I admit I think some of this comes from the fact that they are very upset at Donald Trump, said Hatch. “And it’s easy to see why. He won a very tough, contested election against one of their principal people. That’s hard to take, maybe. That doesn’t justify what’s been going on against Jeff Sessions.”
“We ought to be proud that Jeff has a chance to become Attorney General of the United States.”
No, we’re not.
So please, Senator Hatch, stop with the whimpering, emotional appeals and hypocritical calls for unity. And while you’re at it, ask Senator Warren where she gets her political courage.