Bob Bennett’s TARP vote defended by … John Thune

posted at 7:02 pm on May 11, 2010 by Allahpundit

TARP is, of course, the prime (but certainly not only) reason offered by Bennett’s opponents as to why he had to be torpedoed in Utah. The problem, as Dave Weigel notes: A lot of Republicans voted for TARP and not all of them are notorious RINOs. Why, here’s one now…

RN: You’re not facing opposition in South Dakota. How have you finessed this issue — how do Republicans explain why they voted for TARP?

[JOHN] THUNE: There was a tremendous, broad support in South Dakota among the small business community, the financial community, the South Dakota pension funds, the governor — there was a tremendous amount of support at the time for taking the steps that we took. I think a lot of people would dispute or take issue with how it was used. But people felt like, even though many disagreed with it, we took the steps necessary to prevent the economy from a complete meltdown.

I’ve been watching the Bennett thing play out for the past few weeks and can’t figure out how he came to be seen as some sort of McCain/Graham/Frum/Brooks/Kathleen Parker hybrid who had to be purged post haste. I get the political logic of dumping him — the seat is entirely safe so there’s no risk in replacing him with a more conservative novice nominee — but the idea that Bob Bennett, who flew almost completely under the blogosphere’s radar until recently, is some sort of archenemy of the right is strange. Correct me if I’m wrong but what’s really going on here is (a) the grassroots wanted to flex some muscle by beating up an incumbent, (b) Utah’s caucus system gave them their best shot of doing that, and (c) in order to get people motivated, the resident Utah incumbent had to be depicted as the second coming of Nelson Rockefeller or something. Right? Again, it’s no big deal since the seat is safe, but if voting for TARP is a mortal sin, you’d better be prepared to excommunicate some people you like. Exhibit A: Enjoy the following video flashback from the C-SPAN archives. September 29, 2008.

Exit question: Is Bennett going to go the Lieberman route and run as an independent? If he does, he’ll do so without NRSC support. Looks like Cornyn’s finally learned his lesson.


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OUTRAGEOUS!

Cybergeezer on May 11, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Allahpundit….you pot stirrer!!!

portlandon on May 11, 2010 at 7:05 PM

git a rope!

Clownballoon on May 11, 2010 at 7:07 PM

How do you feel about pants creases , Allahpundit?

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on May 11, 2010 at 7:07 PM

I’ve been watching the Bennett thing play out for the past few weeks and can’t figure out how he came to be seen as some sort of McCain/Graham/Frum/Brooks/Kathleen Parker hybrid who had to be purged post haste.

Bennett was made an example of. the Brooks/Graham/Frum group understand the meaning?

Probably not.

portlandon on May 11, 2010 at 7:08 PM

It never prevented the financial meltdown only delayed it and eventually will make it worse.

trs on May 11, 2010 at 7:08 PM

E tu Thune?

MyImamToldMeToDoIt on May 11, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Again, it’s no big deal since the seat is safe, but if voting for TARP is a mortal sin, you’d better be prepared to excommunicate some people you like.

If given the chance, I’d be thrilled to replace all 535 of them with new blood.

KSgop on May 11, 2010 at 7:10 PM

South Dakota is actually a big state for the credit card industry. They have some laws that make it advantageous for them to be there. I used to mail the bill for one of my cards to a South Dakota address. So for a lot of voters there TARP might have been seen as a jobs issue.

Mark1971 on May 11, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Maybe voting for TARP was enough. There’s a lot of general anger out there and the argument that “Hey yeah I voted for an unpopular measure but I’m good on the other things” is no longer sufficient.

Bishop on May 11, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Again, it’s no big deal since the seat is safe, but if voting for TARP is a mortal sin, you’d better be prepared to excommunicate some people you like.

Oh trust me…. they are not worth my time, or America’s.

upinak on May 11, 2010 at 7:11 PM

In every race, we should push for the most conservative candidate possible for the local electorate. Bennett is not squishy in California, he’s squishy in Utah. It’s not that he should be run out of the party — he should just go to some other state and take a senate seat away from someone squishier there, or (better yet) a Dem.

cthulhu on May 11, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Again, it’s no big deal since the seat is safe, but if voting for TARP is a mortal sin, you’d better be prepared to excommunicate some people you like

I like Inhofe and DeMint. That is about it.

Both voted no on TARP so I’m good.

clement on May 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Bennett was made an example of. the Brooks/Graham/Frum group understand the meaning?

Probably not.

portlandon on May 11, 2010 at 7:08 PM

Exactly, simply a shot across the bow. Now you sit back and take note of who corrects their course accordingly and who does not.

LastRick on May 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

My understanding is that Utah constituents also are angry that he co-sponsored a law to mandate the purchase of health insurance, is a porker, stayed beyond his promised self-imposed term limits and provides zero constituent services and/or responses to contacts. I don’t live in UT, but I’d look for a replacement for those reasons. Why settle for “doesn’t totally stink” if there are very good alternatives?

obladioblada on May 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Exit question: Is Bennett going to go the Lieberman Crist route and run as an independent?

I know, I know… it’s confusing when talking about McCainians, but really, what the D’s do in their primaries isn’t really what the Republicans should be worried about.

MeatHeadinCA on May 11, 2010 at 7:17 PM

The bottom line: you can count on one hand the number of people in Washington who don’t believe the sky was going to fall in late 2008 before Hank Paulson took over the economy. Thus, the TARP vote. Bennett wasn’t the main problem with Washington, but definitely a part of it. Like Winston Smith, he eventually learned to love Big Brother. Senators can hide behind their conservative voting record ratings all they want, but all votes are not created equal. On the big issues, Bennett went left. As for him being targetted…well, the UTAH GOP Caucus was next on the schedule.

Why are we the only group Washington won’t pander to?

Jim-Rose on May 11, 2010 at 7:17 PM

So what’s the big deal with replacing an incumbent who said he retire after two terms and then didn’t.

And if he’s such a big conservative how will replacing him with another conservative result in a more conservative Senator?

It’s their state. They can do what they want.

SlaveDog on May 11, 2010 at 7:18 PM

I’ve been watching the Bennett thing play out for the past few weeks and can’t figure out how he came to be seen as some sort of McCain/Graham/Frum/Brooks/Kathleen Parker hybrid

Bennett joined McCain and Graham in voting for amnesty in 2007. IMO he deserves to lose his job for that alone.

Jon0815 on May 11, 2010 at 7:19 PM

I like Inhofe and DeMint. That is about it.
clement on May 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Add Jeff Sessions, and I’m with you.

rrpjr on May 11, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Incumbents need to be voted out, PERIOD. Can you name one thing anyone in Washington has done to improve your life? The system was not set up for careers to be spent in DC and maybe Bennett will be the first of many to fall. I can only hope.

CTSherman on May 11, 2010 at 7:20 PM

People are simply tired of their Reps – Dems or Repub – spending money we ain’t got on crap we know ain’t gonna work.

If old standards weren’t wary of the electorate, would people like McCain be doing the type of pandering they are now to save their skins.

And then the guy basically stands by his vote instead of at least saying something like “Look, we were in trouble. We needed to do something so we did this. But I was wrong, mea culpa, etc.”

Another thing the electorate isn’t going to stand much for is arrogance and a sense of entitlement from their pols, at least not on the conservative side.

catmman on May 11, 2010 at 7:20 PM

I’ve been watching the Bennett thing play out for the past few weeks and can’t figure out how he came to be seen as some sort of McCain/Graham/Frum/Brooks/Kathleen Parker hybrid who had to be purged post haste.

BELOW IS VIA RED STATE

Ousting Bob Bennett had nothing to do with TARP per se. It had everything to do with Bob Bennett being one of those Republicans who hid behind the safety of an 80% American Conservative Union rating without realizing he was still the 8th most liberal Republican in the United States Senate, even though he’s from the most conservative state in the nation.

You can only keep crossing the isle for so long and then you get slapped down. Conservatives have been trying to express this for some time now, maybe now the message will be learned.

bluemarlin on May 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM

It wasn’t TARP….it was his “Yes” on cloture during amnesty debate that started Utah’s anti-Bennett ball rolling.

That, and his initial promise to run only for two terms (He was running for his 4th in 2010).

That, and he had ZERO constituent services. (no letters answered, no returned phone calls, etc).

Hatch, regardless of what you think about him, has impeccable constituent services and Utahn’s don’t despise him the way they did Bennett.

aquaviva on May 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Bennett has been there 18 years and wants another 6. Ask yourself, who in history ever ended his career in Washington being conservative than he was when he arrived?

Jim-Rose on May 11, 2010 at 7:24 PM

How about choice d. Allah? Bennett supported socialized healthcare complete with individual mandates.

farright on May 11, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Exit question: Is Bennett going to go the Lieberman route and run as an independent? If he does, he’ll do so without NRSC support. Looks like Cornyn’s finally learned his lesson.

I hope he doesn’t. This is why people hate politicians because they do only think of themselves and going third party would be a Crist move. He can get behind one of the other two candidates and help them out

deidre on May 11, 2010 at 7:26 PM

We gotta stop crying over TARP. It’s over and done, and there’s no way to measure one way or the other whether it was needed or not.

But everything else since then has been a disaster.

John the Libertarian on May 11, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Every Democrat’s TARP Vote defended by every Democrat.

fogw on May 11, 2010 at 7:27 PM

If given the chance, I’d be thrilled to replace all 535 of them with new blood.

KSgop on May 11, 2010 at 7:10 PM

We missed our chance 9 years ago.

agmartin on May 11, 2010 at 7:28 PM

I haven’t studied up on him, but I thought Thune was always on the earmark-y side, fiscally moderate side?

It's Vintage, Duh on May 11, 2010 at 7:28 PM

We gotta stop crying over TARP. It’s over and done, and there’s no way to measure one way or the other whether it was needed or not.

But everything else since then has been a disaster.

John the Libertarian on May 11, 2010 at 7:26 PM

TARP coming from an allegedly free-marketer was unprincipled … that’s not even going into whether or not it was needed. The way our “corporatist” economy is, it probably was needed…

MeatHeadinCA on May 11, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Chummy, yuk-it-up, go-along-to-get-along-with-the-Democrats incumbent Republican Senators should be looking over their shoulders.

Especially short little smiley Senators from South Carolina. This won’t be over in 2010.

SlaveDog on May 11, 2010 at 7:31 PM

On the flip side, I was watching CNBC this morning and some stooge Congressman was defending Bennett’s TARP vote and said that he and others who voted for TARP should be memorialized. TARP was such a bad idea, as was the ECB’s u-turn on the Eurozone’s bailout this past weekend. These pols aren’t actually solving any fiscal problems with these bailouts, they’re just trying to kick the can down the road until they get reelected. In this game of electoral/fiscal musical chairs, the music stopped, and Bennett didn’t have a seat. TARP was dumb, and it’s not a winning strategy for politicians to respond with a “You’re welcome, America”

Weight of Glory on May 11, 2010 at 7:31 PM

How about choice d. Allah? Bennett supported socialized healthcare complete with individual mandates.

farright on May 11, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Well that could have been a good enough reason!!!

I just don’t understand why sitting senators believe they have a right to that seat. Sorry, you don’t.

deidre on May 11, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Maybe the people of Utah, and the rest of America for that matter, are sick and tired of stories like this…

“T.A.R.P. started off as a plan to rid financial institutions of troubled assets that were holding them down. But it’s grown to include government investments in companies like General Motors and Chrysler.”

Seven Percent Solution on May 11, 2010 at 7:33 PM

If given the chance, I’d be thrilled to replace all 535 of them with new blood.

KSgop on May 11, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Yep.

davidk on May 11, 2010 at 7:35 PM

I’m a South Dakotan. In 2008, I called Thune’s office repeatedly to tell him to oppose TARP and was ignored. I also, at the same time, called the offices of the other South Dakota representatives, Democrat Senator Tim Johnson and Democrat Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. (Both of them were up for re-election in 2008.)

They promised to oppose TARP on the grounds of fiscal conservatism, and did. Thune supported it. Thanks, John! It’s hard to be to the left of Democrats, but he succeeded.

VidOmnia on May 11, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Thune has had too much Washington time. He values the opinions of “experts” above the opinions of those whom he represents.

Yeah, let’s put another Senator up for President. Because it works so well for us.

VidOmnia on May 11, 2010 at 7:42 PM

For those who don’t understand Utah’s antipathy for Bennett, think of it the way much of the base disliked McCain.

There were always those who said “But, but, he has an 80% ACU rating!” Right, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

With Bennett, there’s TARP, and a slew of other votes that add up and become not very conservative at all. Which is inexcusable when you can do a lot better.

jjraines on May 11, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Well, there’s one campaign thats over before it started, Thune has been prepping to make a run for Prez in’12. Glad I didn’t take up an offer to go work on it when a friend from the ’08 election, that horse didn’t even get out of the gate.

Way to go Thune, you actually could have made a go of it, you had promise. Talk about not being able to read the TEA leaves.

Archimedes on May 11, 2010 at 7:44 PM

My understanding is that Utah constituents also are angry that he co-sponsored a law to mandate the purchase of health insurance, is a porker, stayed beyond his promised self-imposed term limits and provides zero constituent services and/or responses to contacts. I don’t live in UT, but I’d look for a replacement for those reasons. Why settle for “doesn’t totally stink” if there are very good alternatives?

obladioblada on May 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM

TARP wasn’t the only factor. His health care proposal with Oregon Dem Wyden, which would’ve (unconstitutionally) required individuals to buy health insurance, was a key ingredient. Also, it’s important to remember from whence he came–a conservative state. His constituents said enough.

What’s interesting is the slew of career politicians shocked by Bennett’s ousting. No politician is entitled to an office (John McCain). They serve the people who elect or reject them.

conservative pilgrim on May 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Can we make Kay Bailey Hutchison/Brooks/Graham/Dunne the next example?

rihar on May 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM

I’d vote against any Republican who voted for TARP in a primary.

taney71 on May 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM

But they should all still be replaced. Every last one of those who voted for TARP should be. There are always going to be potential disasters in the future. Did something need to be done, most likely there did need to be something, but as later analysis showed, the federal government did not even need 1/3 of the first $350B to settle the markets. $112 billion was used to fix the companies that needed fixing, another $125 billion was forced down the throats of companies that were perfectly solvent in order to spread the disgust with the financial sector so the real bad actors would not be targeted for acting badly. So what did the $850 billion bailout get us?

First is ushered in the sweeping election of overwhelming numbers of Democrats and Obama.
Second, it set the new benchmark for government “doing something, anything, except not acting”.
Third, it was bad legislation, that is obvious by the fact that is being used for things no one intended, this shows how stupid and worthless those who voted for it are, unless they are democrats, then it shows how smart and devious they are.
Forth, even if it helped the economy, it was the wrong thing to do. It is not government’s duty to pick winners and losers. The government should have found another solution such as fast tracked bankruptcy.

Thune should be replaced, McCain and every other person in congress who voted for this bill that has an R next to their name. Yeah, they are reliable conservative votes, until there is an emergency and they need to make quick decisions, then they are gullible spineless big government nanny state progressives.

astonerii on May 11, 2010 at 7:49 PM

So,I guess those that voted for TARP didn’t take the threat
seriously enough about being ahem,purged!!!!

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 7:50 PM

“Correct me if I’m wrong but what’s really going on here is:”

(e) The voting public finally understands that it was the government and the politicians that caused the economic collapse and the need for TARP in the first place…

Seven Percent Solution on May 11, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Can we make Kay Bailey Hutchison/Brooks/Graham/Dunne the next example?

rihar on May 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM

rihar: Let me check my Great Grand Purge List to see who
is next!(sarc).

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Without bothering to read all the comments before me:
No run as independent, could only do it as write-in.

TARP was only one reason, the other main ones are his tendency to pork, snuggling up to Wyden and his going back on his promise to only serve two terms. On a personal note I think he’s just to old.

I was a delegate to the county convention but previous commitments prevented me from being a state delegate. I was an Anybody But Bennett supporter.

SaintGeorgeGentile on May 11, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Thune will always have my gratitude for whom he initially defeated. That said, you can’t rest on that laurel forever.

Rhinoboy on May 11, 2010 at 7:57 PM

The only way to really clean house….is to throw ALL OF THEM….every single one of them.

..since there are probably 350 Progressives in the House and maybe 75 true Conservatives what’s the worst we could do?

What about the Senate? Probably 80 big gov’t Progressives and maybe 5 real true-blue no matter what Conservatives so what would we have to lose?

Let’s have a RINO parade out of the party in primaries and in November.

PappyD61 on May 11, 2010 at 8:00 PM

conservative pilgrim on May 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Don’t forget Bennett was also pro-amnesty. Like you said, it was much more than just TARP. He was also a big earmark proponent and he and Hatch played a tag team game during election years (who ever was up for election would play conservative while the other went RINO on some controversial issues).

People here are fed up of the games and are, finally, becoming more aware of the Constitution (think Patrick Henry Caucus, which started in Utah etc). Bennett gave plenty of lip service to conservatism and the Consititution but ended up just being another “Country Club Republican”.

batter on May 11, 2010 at 8:08 PM

obladioblada on May 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM
I agree!
Bennett never answered one of my (polite) letters while Hatch always answered with long responses. However, Hatch suggested Ruth Bader Ginsberg to clinton and told him the repubs would vote for her. He voted for geitner, and sustein even though he was asked not to. Bennett by the way took pork, even though people in Utah were sick of all the money being spent. We need young blood who are willing to talk to the people who voted for him. We have Jason Chaffetz who is a congressman and who sleeps in his office because his family wanted to stay in Utah and go to school, and he isn’t rich so he can’t support 2 households. He is a conservative and I hope he runs against Hatch and takes his place. Our one dem jim matheson sat on the fence until he knew “o” had enough votes, so he could vote no for health care. But he waited until the last minute. He needs to go to a conservative repub.

Bambi on May 11, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Allah, Bennett promised to be a two-termer and then out; he lied. So along with TARP, the voters made sure he came closer to sticking to his promise than he otherwise would’ve (till he died there). Good riddance, Bob. Enjoy your retirement.

sabu on May 11, 2010 at 8:28 PM

P.S. Orrin Hatch deserves to go to. What’s with these “supposed” conservatives? Do the dems slip them a mickey at the first luncheon? Can’t wait to see Orrin go buh-bye when his turn’s up.

sabu on May 11, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Bennett is gone – more to follow.

Deal with it.

HondaV65 on May 11, 2010 at 8:51 PM

I’ve been watching the Bennett thing play out for the past few weeks and can’t figure out how he came to be seen as some sort of McCain/Graham/Frum/Brooks/Kathleen Parker hybrid who had to be purged post haste.

What part of D E M O C R A C Y do you not get?

There was no purge here. There were three candidates – and he DID get votes. He just happened to have gotten the less votes than the other two – so he’s off the island. It’s really as simple as that.

Anyone who argues this has been some kind of grand “mistake” is really arguing for some kind of oligarchical party structure – where the VETO of the people can be overridden by elites.

That’s not the way this works.

Everyone speculates he went down due to TARP – but who came up with that reason? Is it the only reason? Is it the major reason?

How about this – maybe Bennett was just too damn old and lacked charisma and the UTAH Grassroots GOP voter thought there were better choices?

Does it have to be any more “complicated” than that?

No.

But then again – if we just let this slide and write it off as “democracy in action” – then we really miss an opportunity to smear the Tea Party and paint them as confused extremists don’t we?

HondaV65 on May 11, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Allah, he’s an APPROPRIATOR. And that bunch (Thad Cochran being another one of them) are symptomatic of everything that we think is wrong with government and the GOP in particular. These idiots have bankrupted us in the pursuit of votes and we’re sick of it.

DocinPA on May 11, 2010 at 9:05 PM

The composition of the Senators on the Republican side of the aisle in 2011 is going to look A LOT DIFFERENT…

GOOD!!

Khun Joe on May 11, 2010 at 9:06 PM

I just don’t understand why this should be perceived as some kind of “big deal”?

Is Bob Bennett OWED a job in the U.S. Senate? Don’t the people get a say in that? Why are the people being questioned here? The people don’t need a reason to get rid of this guy – they just did it. End of story. Conservatives who complain about this – no, strike that, nevermind – NO REAL CONSERVATIVE would object to this.

The people can fire their politicians without so much as a “by your leave”. The people can kick out a pink slip and they don’t have to justify it – just … “Thanks for your service – no don’t let the door hit you in the rear”.

That is what Thomas Paine wrote about. That is the American way. Politicians aren’t owed jobs.

And – even if Bennett was a good Senator (which he wasn’t) – but even if he had been – the people can still fire him if they think someone else is equal or greater prepared for the task. Who is out there saying that Bob Bennett is indispensable? It would be a silly argument – because NO ONE is indispensible.

This tells me one thing – that the voters in UTAH are NOT ASLEEP at the wheel – they are engaged – and they’re willing to do the hard work. I’m not worried about them – they will find a better Senator than Bennett was.

It’s the other 49 States that I’m worried about.

HondaV65 on May 11, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Bennett sucks as a senator. People don’t like him. What else do you need to know?

n0doz on May 11, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Allah – just because the blogosphere didn’t catch wind of the issues, don’t mean there weren’t any. I’m out here in Utah now – have been for 2 years. The grassroots was gunning for Bennett for years and figured out it was doable 2 years ago after Jason Chaffetz beat Chris Cannon.

Others have said it – poor constituent services, no connection at all (his primary residence is in DC) to Utah and a series of bad votes including Amnesty all contributed to Bob Bennett losing on Saturday. It had little to do with TARP as the campaign to replace him started before that vote was even taken.

LL

Lady Logician on May 11, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Bennett joined McCain and Graham in voting for amnesty in 2007. IMO he deserves to lose his job for that alone.

Jon0815 on May 11, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Right back at ya. Tarp pales in comparison to a vote for amnesty. Every one of them that voted for amnesty should be run out of town.

TxAnn56 on May 11, 2010 at 10:02 PM

That was nice of Thune to out himself as a TARP guy. thanks for the warning.

Has John Thune ever held a job in the private sector? What is his background,besides profession pol?

james23 on May 11, 2010 at 10:04 PM

I honestly don’t get all the hand wringing and navel gazing. The voters in Utah have the ultimate say on who represents them, and for whatever reasons they judge to be relevant.

Let’s please not fall into the trap of assuming the senate seat belongs to Bennett (or Kennedy, or anyone).

Elective office is a privilege, not a right. We have the right to revoke that privilege at any time, for any reason.

azkag on May 11, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Elective office is a privilege, not a right. We have the right to revoke that privilege at any time, for any reason.

Or for no reason whatsoever other than “just because.”

thirteen28 on May 11, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Bennett got what he deserved, McVain is next.

And can we please forget about Thune as a 2012 contender?

No. More. RINOs.

Norwegian on May 11, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Republicans “conservatives” who say they voted for TARP because they bought the “sky is falling” arguments of Bush, Paulsen, etal. are just as culpable for the mess that we’re in as “conservative” Democrats who voted for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.

The GOP TARP voters helped start the domino of big government and “conservative” Dems. who voted for Pelosi kept it rolling.

mizzoujgrad on May 11, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Good Job Utah,
NEXT…..the old pandering fool,
MCCAIN!

We don’t want go along to get along on down the road to socialism!

Tarp was a distruction of free market principles and free market remedies for bad behavior in favor of Govt’ bailouts and control,
The Fannie Mae and Freddie Macinization of the financial industry,
prop up the losers by confiscating taxpayer funds!

Anyone who voted for TARP….GONE…. NEXT MCCAIN!

dhunter on May 11, 2010 at 11:03 PM

AP, you should be on the WSJ Board. You’re as totally clueless as those blue nose intellectuals on the most important domestic issue in the West, illegal immigration. You’d have thought the Poizner/Whitman post would have put you on the scent.

NOTHING is more indicative of the disconnect between law-abiding Americans and the elected crooks who presume to be our “leaders” than their total disregard for the laws they swore to uphold. They are liars and cheats. Bob Bennett is one of the most prominent pro-Amnesty Republicans in the Senate. He was a dead man walking when he went to that convention. Thank God.

Romney’s support of this gas bag has only further demonstrated he is a GOP brahmin totally ignorant of what the average American wants or needs.

Mitt bought a real nice home in La Jolla after the ’08 election. It has a wonderful view north of Bird Rock. I suggest he retire now and enjoy the sunsets.

rcl on May 11, 2010 at 11:24 PM

This is one of many fecal versus fan incidents scheduled for 2010.

platypus on May 11, 2010 at 11:54 PM

John McCain had a team of economic advisors when he was running for President. Mitt Romney was on that team. Mitt advised John McCain to vote yes to TARP, and still defends that decision. This decision by McCain was a turning point in his election, and his vote FOR the TARP was his downfall.

Mike Huckabee has ALWAYS been against TARP and every other Stimulus money.

VFT on May 12, 2010 at 12:38 AM

…if voting for TARP is a mortal sin, you’d better be prepared to excommunicate some people you like.

OTOH you’re probably used to that, assuming you were against TARP when it was proposed. Especially if you were reading/commenting here or over at Ace’s.

Not sure I’m up for “excommunicating” but I definitely got in some serious disagreements with what I considered some (otherwise) very intelligent people (and with any luck, vice-versa).

I didn’t see any way the Government could appropriately spend a trillion dollars without doing something stupid. And from my read of how it played out, I wasn’t surprised at the levels of stupid they reached.

As for the quote, I’m actually wondering if this helps him or not…

I think a lot of people would dispute or take issue with how it was used. But people felt like, even though many disagreed with it, we took the steps necessary to prevent the economy from a complete meltdown.

Take that backwards to see where I get confused.

1) People felt like … we took the steps necessary to prevent the economy from a complete meltdown.

2) A lot of people would dispute or take issue with how it was used.

So his constituents are people who think the proper steps were taken and necessary; AND it was done wrong and used incorrectly?

Man, it’s got to be difficult to represent constituents who (if his read is correct) are insane and internalizing contradictory viewpoints. Does he just vote random crazy?

gekkobear on May 12, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Allah, by Utah law Bennett cannot run as an independent. The most he could do is to wage a write-in campaign. Once you’ve registered to run in one party, you are prohibited by law from running in another party in Utah, to the best of my understanding. (Utahans, correct me if I am wrong, thanks!).

From following this race, I think we have an anti-elitist sentiment going (Son of a Senator — the Bennett seat) (Grandson of a Mormon prophet — not easy for a mainly LDS Republican electorate to throw out). This is coupled with the anti-incumbent, know what is best for my constituents so don’t need to listen to them sentiment (Bennett promised when he originally ran that he would not serve more than 2 terms — He was running for his 4th term this year) (Bennett is 76 years old — a lot easier to justify getting rid of an older man than had he been in his prime) (Bennett would not hold town halls last fall and hid out from the constituents) (Bennett bucked the sentiments of voters who wanted no Republican working with Dems and tried to craft the Bennett/Wyden healthcare bill) (He begged to be kept in office because the unknown alternative was too scary).

All in all, the idea that Bennett went down solely for his vote on TARP is ridiculous. It is just the easiest reason to conflate.

Greyledge Gal on May 12, 2010 at 1:31 AM

To Gekkobear @ 12:52 p.m.:

TARP was sold by a Secretary of the Treasury pleading on bended knee and telling, along with the Fed Chair, that the world would all melt down if the Senate did not ok the legislation.

I don’t hold any of the Congress critters who voted for it out of fear responsible since they believed it was needed to save the country. I do hold them responsible for not nailing down provisions. I hold them responsible for giving the money carte blanche without restrictions and repayment terms.

Any Senator or House member who did not know what was going on with Fannie, Freddie, and CDS at that point is a true fool. We are paying for their folly. The money was supposed to buy up the defaulting mortgages. Instead, we just keep pumping money into the bad debts and never fixing the underlying problem as we continue to push people who can’t afford mortgages into home ownership.

Fannie & Freddie must go. Break them up into a bunch of small private companies and let them compete. It’s cheaper and ends the government control and redistribution of wealth.

Greyledge Gal on May 12, 2010 at 1:44 AM

Thune needs to shut his mouth. The entire freaking R. establishment is nuts. Nuts nuts nuts. This kind of talk will kill the momentum that we need to be building on going into November.

Although even more disturbing that he said it is that he believes it in the first place. Term limits really are the best answer. Of course, the R. establishment hates term limits just as much as the D. establishment.

dczombie on May 12, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Sorry, but voting for TARP is not a forgiveable offense.

It was a defining moment in which true conservatives stood firm to their principles and policy wonk Republicans capitulated to the intense pressure being exerted on them by the Bush Administration, the investment banking community, Warren Buffett and others.

TARP never purchased the “troubled assets” referred to in its name and, a mere 11 days after its passage, was converted to a program to purchase bank stock and warrants -not bad loans.

It then became the source for the $100 billion GM/Chrysler bailout and now serves as a $750 billion permanent Fed slush fund.

I suspect that it is the source of our share of the EU bailout.

In Tennessee, 8 term Republican Congressman Zach Wamp aspires to be Governor and, notwithstanding 15 years of conservative voting, his vote for TARP will go a long way to causing the loss of his bid.

Their will, and should be, plenty more political carnage resulting from TARP votes.

25 Senators (split fairly evenly between parties) and 172 Congress members voted against it, so joining their ranks would not have been a true profile in courage.

The people who voted for TARP richly deserve whatever political consequences result from supporting that scam.

molonlabe28 on May 12, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I’m a Utah State Delegate – one of those who voted Bennett out. However, HondaV65 expressed very well my own thoughts on the matter. Why does everyone, or the media in particular, have to look at this as a humiliating repudiation of Bennett? We just thought we could do better that’s all. It’s not that Bennett was that bad, but if Utah can’t send a staunch, small-government, no-pork, fiscal conservative to the Senate, who can?

It was a little embarrassing to to see Bennett crying afterwards and saying “at least his family stuck with him through it all”. For Pete’s sake, why is it assumed that sitting senators (and congressman) are entitled to their jobs for as long as they want them – or until they die? That alone is enough reason to let them go and hire someone else to replace them.

Finally, the big argument Bennett used to convince us delegates to vote for him was that we needed him in the Senate because of his seniority. That really chapped my hide! Chaffetz is doing fine as a freshman. The system where sitting legislators reward each other for seniority is a stinking corruption and needs to be done away with. Besides, wouldn’t we be better off getting a new person in there sooner so they can starting getting experience and earning seniority?

If Bennett (and other senior senators of retirement age) were truly seeking the best for their state and country, they’d spend more time trying to help in a smooth transition to the next person we hire instead of clinging to their positions with their last ounce of strength.

robm on May 12, 2010 at 11:35 AM


Folks want em all out from dogcatcher on up. We had a little primary election down here and the choice was dem or dem and both the Trustee(tax collector) and the county executive were booted out by newcomers. Folks had it with a local wheel tax increase and entrenched incumbents. My guess the will vote in bigger numbers come August and Lincoln Davis is not all that hot the county will most likely go for the Rep Governor choice.Maybe? Nationally I think if Godzilla ran against some of the idiots we now have in DC he would get pretty good numbers and might even get elected. Remember Lester Maddox and Jessee Ventura?

Col.John Wm. Reed on May 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

(a) the grassroots wanted to flex some muscle by beating up an incumbent, (b) Utah’s caucus system gave them their best shot of doing that, and (c) in order to get people motivated, the resident Utah incumbent had to be depicted as the second coming of Nelson Rockefeller or something.

or…

Bennett sucks as a senator. People don’t like him.blockquote>

Sir William of Ockam, we await your opinion on this.

drunyan8315 on May 12, 2010 at 12:25 PM

(a) the grassroots wanted to flex some muscle by beating up an incumbent, (b) Utah’s caucus system gave them their best shot of doing that, and (c) in order to get people motivated, the resident Utah incumbent had to be depicted as the second coming of Nelson Rockefeller or something.

or…

Bennett sucks as a senator. People don’t like him.

Sir William of Ockam, we await your opinion on this.

drunyan8315 on May 12, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I’m on a couple small mailing lists that frequently turn political. I’m noticing a huge ground swell of sentiment to “throw them all out.” I try to counsel them that they need to use some rationality rather than blindly throwing the baby out with the bathwater, the real conservatives with the legislative riff-raff. It doesn’t seem to be taking on. I still hear sentiments to reelect nobody.

{o.o}

herself on May 12, 2010 at 2:00 PM