In Bob Bennett's loss, accountability hits Congress
Staunchly Republican and staunchly conservative Sen. Robert Bennett (Utah) failed to win his party's nomination to run for a third term over the weekend. The stunning defeat was certainly a victory for the Tea Party movement, although folks seem a little split on the victory's significance. Ruth Marcus nicely lays out why Bennett went down in defeat. He had the nerve to vote for President Bush's Troubled Assets Relief Program (which helped save the economy, by the way) and the temerity to work with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on a health-care reform bill.
But Amy Gardner in The Post yesterday added this interesting tidbit. "[Bennett] is also a close adviser to McConnell," Gardner wrote referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), "and he sits on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which opened him to blame for ballooning government spending." That last line -- opened him to blame for ballooning government spending -- is what jumped out at me.
President Obama has been fond of reminding everyone that he inherited a wrecked economy and yawning deficits. In the past, he's dubbed the Republicans "the folks who created the mess" as he pushed and defended policies that added to Americans' financial fears. So Bennett's defeat is the first time that a powerful, entrenched, conservative Republican has been held accountable by other conservative Republicans for the profligate spending in Washington. And it's just more proof that the electorate is mad as hell and that incumbents on either side of the aisle should fear the November midterm elections.
| May 10, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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