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November 4th, 2008
Orrin Hatch: The Constitution is Hanging By a Thread
photo credit: CSE
Speaking on the Glenn Beck radio program this morning, Senator Orrin Hatch began by highlighting what he sees as “really, really outrageous legislation”: the card-check bill—a dishonest method for unionizing labor workers.
Ah, the Republic is crumbling around us!
Later in the conversation, Hatch agrees with his host that the Constitution is hanging by a thread:
You got that right. And I tell you what is really fearful to me besides — there are so many issues but I’ve mentioned card check. What’s fearful to me is the makeup of the United States Supreme Court. Obama has said that he’s going to appoint people who are more concerned about the poor and those who don’t have a lot of wealth. Well, that’s not what the Supreme Court should be doing. It should be concerned about the poor, the wealthy, everybody. It should be concerned about obeying the law and enforcing the laws of the Constitution.
Here we see Hatch shifting attention and blame: instead of discussing his own votes and their constitutionality, he points the finger at the judiciary—the weakest branch of government—and inflates the threat they can be to the Constitution.
This from the politician who voted for the recent bailout, ignores the Constitution when it suits him, misapplies the directives when his party stands to benefit, and apologizes for anything leaders of his party do.
The list goes on: Senator Hatch has received a pitiful score of 36% on The New American‘s “Freedom Index”. Few things the man does are in harmony with the document he claims to revere and obey.
But the Senator is correct: the Constitution is hanging by the thinnest of threads, ready at any moment to snap. What Senator Hatch failed to admit, however, and what Glenn Beck failed to point out to his listeners, is that Senator Orrin Hatch is one of the main proponents of pushing the Constitution towards historical oblivion. While speaking platitudes of praise, Hatch turns around and votes however he (and his party) pleases, the Constitution be damned.
Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing—Hatch calls issues like unionization “really outrageous legislation”, shifts blame and attention to the other branches of government, and admits a problem while not taking accountability. Perhaps it’s time to find a sponsor for those billboards after all…
37 Responses to “Orrin Hatch: The Constitution is Hanging By a Thread”
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Amen, Brother Boyack.
I don’t think I’ve said this to you before, but I agree with you on this one!
This is also the same Hatch that continuously votes to promote government-granted monopolies via the patent system. What a joke.
“What do you call a three-term senator? You call him home.” — Orrin Hatch, 1976
Gee, Uncle Orrin, that must go double for a six-term senator. Or does it compound by order of magnitude with each term?
I note that only 20 senators even break the freedom index’s 50% rating. Bob Bennett ranks about the same as Hatch. And he’s proud of all the pork he’s brought to our state.
If you study how Utahns actually act politically, you will see that they are quite conservative in some social matters, but that they are not opposed to Big Government. Quite the opposite.
Honestly, I was disappointed with the number of Utah and Idaho Republicans that voted for Romney. For the only religion that I know of that officially states that the Constitution was Divinely Inspired, how few people even voted for candidates that vote accordingly. Instead they voted for a man with a law degree who would have to check with his lawyers about going to war without Congress’ approval.
In Hatch’s defense, I believe he really does mean what he says about championing the Big C. But I also believe he has fallen into the same trap that representatives and senators have been falling into for over 100 years. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND IT. How can they champion something and vote for something if they don’t study it, its history, and its purpose?
Professor Obama believes the Constitution has been the biggest obstacle to redistribution of wealth. And he sees that as something he’s going to have to take care of when he gets to be President. Heaven help us.
Um, is there anyone in Washington who is not a traitor to the Constitution in your eyes (aside from Ron Paul)?
I hope this isn’t a throw-back to the “Enemies of the Constitution” thread.
Um, is there anyone in Washington who is not a traitor to the Constitution in your eyes (aside from Ron Paul)?
I’m with Judge Napolitano. The Freedom Index I linked to earlier spells it out pretty clearly:
Heck, I’d be fine with everybody in Congress getting a C or above. But a collective failing grade with only a couple of A students out of 535 is a dismal failure of proper Constitutional governance if ever there was one.
And every one of those guys in Congress have taken a sacred oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. They have all broken that oath, except for Ron Paul, and that makes them all liars.
Orrin Hatch spoke at the state Republican convention, and I was absolutely shocked at how very condescending he is. He obviously feels that he knows more than his constituents, and that they just don’t understand. “I have been in Washington for ? years,” he said, touting his superior knowledge.
When the Senate was working on passing the porked-up bailout so they could then pass it to the House for a vote, I heard a reporter say something like, “What about the fact that according to the law this bill needs to originate in the House?” And Orrin Hatch said, “Well I think we can get around that with a plan that I have proposed.” There he goes, disregarding the Constitution again, because ORRIN KNOWS BEST.
Not to spoil the indignation here, but that is an index regarding whether people vote in a manner that that organization approves of; not an index regarding the constitutionality of voting. Seriously, where does it mention entangling alliances in the Constitution?
Hatch sure has contributed to making the Constitution hanging by a thread.
John C: Yes, The Freedom Index was created by the John Birch Society, an organization AND it is most definitely based on whether the representative voted Constitutionally. The JBS does a good job at describing each vote and why or why not it would have been a Constitutional vote. If you understand the Constitution and analyze it against the JBS Freedom Index you’ll see that it’s the most accurate voting analysis index out there.
Here is a breakdown of the freedom index as I calculated it:
Oklahoma scored best state in Senate (67%)
Idaho best in house and overall (60% and 55% respectively)
I had to take out a couple states with just one representative. I didn’t feel that was a fair sampling. If I did include those, Wyoming (67% and 59% for house and overall respectively) would have replaced Idaho.
House: Rhode Island (5%)
Senate: Virginia (0%)
Overall: Arkansas (6.67%)
Democrats scored 10.8%
Republicans scored 53.0%
Highest Republican in House: Ron Paul (Texas) 100%
Highest Republican in Senate: DeMint (South Carolina) 90%
Highest Democrat in House: Filner (California) 50%
Highest Democrat in Senate: Reid (Nevada) 30%
Lowest Republican in House: Gilcrest (Maryland) 13%
Lowest Republican in Senate: Tied (0%) Snowe (Maine) & Warner(Virginia)
Lowest Democrats in both House and Senate: Too many to list all tied at 0%.
The amount of respect I have for the esteemed opinions of the John Birch Society, speaking generally and not specifically, could fit into a very small place. Invoking their name as authority does not move me.
Once again, if you could find the point discussing the entangling alliances in the constitution, I would be slightly more open to the index. Alas, you cannot, as it isn’t in there.
Hey, look at that – the esteemed LDS Senator from Nevada got the best score of all Democratic Senators. I’d like to see a similar analysis on how all the LDS congressmen match up against their counterparts. It looks like Jeff Flake scored pretty well though he still is far from Ron Paul.
John, You are correct. The constitution does not specifically mention entangling alliances. However, it does specifically mention that congress MUST have a declaration of war before we mobilize the troops. Furthermore, the Founding Fathers were clear in their stance against entangling alliances (specifically Washington and Jefferson). That’s why we are encouraged to read what they had to say about government.
The founding fathers were obviously not united in their opinion of entangling alliances. That would be why they gave the congress and the executive branch the power to engage in and regulate alliances and treaties. You can’t pick one movement amongst the Founding Fathers and treat it like the only movement.
Point taken. I would further add that the Founding Fathers were not united on most issues. Many of the Founding Fathers didn’t even support the ratification of the Constitution. I tend to go with the Jeffersonian approach to the Constitution since this movement appears to be the most consistent with what was sold to the states during the ratification conventions.
Back to the issue at hand – specifically what issue on this Freedom Index scorecard are you disagreeing with? JBS is pretty clear in all their descriptions on how the bill violates the Constitution.
Connor, You had me worried there for a minute when I saw the title of this post.
I listened to Orrin’s pontifications to Mr. Beck yesterday on the way to work. As though my respect for Orrin Hatch could get any lower–it did markedly.
Orrin Hatch is personally at fault for a great deal of the malaise this country is experiencing. It aggravates me to no end that Hatch stands in so many people’s minds in league with Jesus, all the while blaming the other party for his personal and his party’s failures. He might be a good Sunday School teacher, but for just this one case I am SO glad that the LDS Church encourages us to think for ourselves when it comes to voting. I hope in a couple years (is it really still 4?) when Hatch comes up for re-election that the changing political scene will encourage Mormons to think with their brains instead of giving heed to their faux ‘still small voice’ named Orrin Hatch.
Although I personally don’t think politics as usual in Washington is going to change much in the coming days, the Republican party deserves everything that it’s going to get.
A few years ago, I heard rumors that one of the anonymous authors of the PATRIOT Act was Orrin Hatch. Intrigued, I attempted to verify this.
I felt it could be possible he could author portions of it, since by logic no 800+ page bill could have been authored by one person in the timeframe of between 9/11 and when it was passed some 4 weeks later.
To my horror, my searching showed me that no one was claiming authorship, and no one could cite me an author. Any research on my part was showing signs that the PATRIOT Act was written years in advance of 9/11, and was sitting on a shelf just waiting for the day when Americans would be afraid enough to pass it sight unseen.
I thought it fair enough to write a personal letter to Orrin, and ask him two simple questions: Who wrote the PATRIOT Act, and when was it written?
He responded to me by mail. He said simply that it was passed on such and such a date by the vast majority of voters.
I wrote back saying he had NOT answered my questions. He responded back to me again giving more jumbled spin, but in a word admitting the Act was written up before 9/11, but still not suggesting a single name of authorship.
Orrin is at the very least a King of Spin, at the most he is more likely an arrogant liar and a foe to the Constitution. At least that has been my experience in the letters I have written to and received from him.
Orrin Hatch is bad news, but don’t make him the scape goat. Utahans keep electing him. Shame on them, not shame on him. If we keep feeding the devil and he keeps coming around, whose fault is it?
You may try to link Colonel Oliver North to the Patriot Act.
It’s a good point, Jay (comment 19), that ultimately there is fault with the populace that votes for a certain representative, but that doesn’t mitigate the great responsibilities entrusted to said representatives.
When our elected leaders don’t represent us well – when they take lightly or even abuse the trust and responsibility given them – then it behooves those who notice to clearly explain to their fellow citizens in what ways that trust has been abused lest the general populace fall again for the shrewd campaigning of those who have grown used to an uniformed and unenlightened electorate.
I agree with most of the posters here that it seems hypocritical of Senator Hatch to try to drum up patriotic fervor for principles I don’t feel he truly espouses.
In all the years I’ve heard him speak (sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing) I feel like his long and tireless battle fighting desecration of our flag is the perfect example of his flawed service. It sounds patriotic, it is steeped in great media imagery, but at core it contradicts much of what I believe our nation was founded upon with regard to freedom, liberty, expression, and the reasonable powers of the State. Further, not only is it needlessly divisive but his attention to the issue comes at the obvious expense of his ability to address other issues of much greater importance to the people he was elected to represent.
JohnC (comments 10, 13, and 15)
I understand your point that certainly the Founders were a diverse group of thinkers with many on-record, unresolved disputes. I used to get more hung up on that, but the more I read of their writings the more I feel that citing that argument too often obscures the fascinating number of things that *so many* of those leaders popularly considered U.S. “Founders” were in near-complete agreement on — not the least of which was the rejection of the evils of meddling Empires in the affairs of people that they did not representatively govern (arguably the central basis for the Revolution and ‘Founding’) and the rejection of totalitarian regimes and measures. It is frightening that so many in U.S. Federal government leadership today try to argue *for* both of these things.
But, partly due to your comment, when I post in the future I’ll try to be less lazy and more specific in citing Washington or Franklin or Madison or Hamilton or whoever rather than glibly claiming general “Founder” philosophy. I happen to be of the opinion that lots of what those leaders ‘agreed to agree upon’ was marvelously inspired … and further that even when they vehemently opposed each that those disputes are often very insightful and enlightening. It doesn’t lead me to believe that their thoughts are pointless or outdated. It doesn’t convince me that you can claim general “Founder” agreement for *any* position you choose to espouse.
In a related vein, there are those that make masterful arguments about the absurdity of the Bible — showing how certain passages directly contradict each other and concluding it is useless to use it as guidance for anything. I’m of the opinion that there is more to the Bible than that and I’ve come around to thinking the same of the writings and documents of the Founders. They might be imperfect, they might sometimes contradict one another, but man! there is some good stuff in there if you are willing to take a look and give it a chance.
So, all that said, what is your actual take on ‘Empire’, ‘Entangling Alliances’, and the ‘Socialist’ bail-out. Simply trying to argue that maybe not *every* person considered a “Founder” would have 100% opposed these things doesn’t seem to further the discussion much . . .
Doug, you are absolutely right. I didn’t mean to say that I’m not disgusted with Orrin Hatch. I am. Especially because he is a member of the Church and should at least be honorable in his oath of office. But my frustration is that I live in California and even though Senator Hatch makes decisions that affect me, there’s not a darn thing I can do about it. I can’t vote him out. All I can do is what I do–I tell my family, most of who still live in Utah, to study the Constitution and to open their eyes and see how he has shredded it. There have been many votes of his that I’ve been particularly disgusted with, and when I point them out to my family, it falls on deaf ears. I’m frustrated that Utahans keep reelecting him.
In my district in California, we have congressman Jerry Lewis. He’s a republican and a snake. He also voted in favor of the bailout. And he got reelected. Congress supposedly has a 10 percent approval rating, but when it comes to cleaning up congress, nobody seems to want to start in their own yard. It’s everyone else’s congressmen who are the problem. Why doesn’t everyone just vote against the incumbent, if for no other reason, than because he (she) is an incumbent? I voted for the Democrat opponent. There were no other candidates. And Connor, I know . . . I voted for an evil, but in this instance, I feel justified. We need to clean house and this is one way to do it.
BTW, I totally agree with your post about choosing between the evils. You spoke my words exactly. I voted for Ron Paul in this election. He was an official write-in in California, as you probably know.
Doug and Jeremy,
I don’t claim that my views closely mirror those of the founders and, frankly, I’m sure you have all done quite a bit more research into the matter than I have (I read some of the Federalist Papers in High School, that’s about it).
It’s interesting that you bring up the Bible. In my discussions here and elsewhere regarding the Constitution and the meanings thereof, I’ve thought that the arguments made by strict constructionists remind me of the arguments of biblical inerrantists. There doesn’t seem to me to be one true interpretation of the Constitution or any individual clause. This speaks to me of the complexity and originality of the document and the genius of the men who made it. It also speaks to me of their foresight, in creating a document whose interpretation could change over time in some ways while maintaining its integrity. At least, that’s how I understand it all happening.
Regarding our expeditions into empire making, I can’t say I am for it; but its been our policy since the 1950’s. I don’t think the founders would be opposed to treaty making (since it is in the Constitution), but, of course, they would caution us about it.
Regarding the bailout, I don’t much like it, but the original National Bank (idea of Hamilton) provides precedent for it. That’s what Marshall originally invoked the elastic clause for.
(ps. I learned all that from Wikipedia. Your mileage may vary, but I am willing to be taught).
John & Jeremy,
The Constitution doesn’t mention entangling alliances exactly. It talks about what we as a country are allowed to do. But if the requirements of a treaty or an alliance would require the federal government to do something in a manner that does not follow the Consitution, then the treaty/alliance is unconstitutional.
NATO (which I think is actually a bunch of good countries) is an example. The NATO alliance requires that if one of us are attacked, we must all go to war against the aggressors. This seems like a reasonable requirement.
But the Constitution clearly states we cannot go to war without a declaration from Congress.
So, if one of the NATO countries is attacked (say, Poland) we go to war without a declaration from Congress and we have violated to Constitution.
And John, the idea that the interpretations change as society changes began with The New Deal (FDR). It was just an excuse to get around the Constitution to institute socialist ideals. We do not allow the Constitution to grow and change through interpretation. We change it through amendments.
But politicians find it too difficult to get their own agendas pushed through by amendment, so they just “interpret” it away.
We’ve had this discussion on other articles on this site. My opinion is that there is “honest difference of opinion” and there is “malicious interpretation” which means that if you spin it right and sell it to enough people, then you can do anything you want and you don’t need to worry about the Constitution.
Unfortunately, in most cases only God and time can tell the difference.
You do realize that people tried cases before the Supreme Court prior to the New Deal, right? And the Supreme Court had to interpret the meaning of the Constitution in those cases, right? And that they interpreted those cases in light of current events, right? You seem to be skipping a lot of history in order to lay everything bad and socialist at the feet of FDR.
FWIW, Abraham Lincoln, arguably our best president, didn’t appear to think the Constitution was sacrosanct.
Senator Hatch is still working hard to help the sever that last little thread:
Hatch needs to be sent home in shame.
See the video documentary: Evidence that the Constitution is Hanging by A Thread
Though in rough draft form, & more sections to this on going series are on the way, it has a lost of historical sources to consider.
I disagree that the Supreme Court is not powerful. Remember in the Book of Mormon the secret combinations changed the laws to fit their wickedness. Enemies of the constitution know the courts are an important battlefield.
Oh, man. Connor, are you a Ron Paulite?
I mean, I don’t want to be outgunned intellectually by a 20 something, but doesn’t Paul want marijuana and prostitution legalized? Isn’t he kind of isolationist? I also heard he thinks our government blew up the twin towers. Maybe you could educate.
I’d like Connor to respond to your questions specifically but in the mean time I’d like to clarify whatever it is that you’ve heard. As far as Ron Paul thinking the government blew up the twin towers… He’s never said or implied that. Whenever he talks about the events about 9-11 he specifically points out that terrorists did the job, not the government.
Moving on… First let me say that I’ve never once put marijuana or any other illegal drug in my body. Heck, I’ve never even had a sip of coffee. (I say this in case people try to accuse me of doing drugs). Ron Paul points out that the federal government has no Constitutional authority to have a drug war or make any drugs illegal. He’s right. I challenge anyone who reads this to cite which of the enumerated powers that congress has to legislate what we put into our bodies. Hint… read Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (they don’t have the power to legislate drugs). Ron Paul points out that the drug issue should be dealt with at a state level (look at the 10th amendment if you don’t understand). He also points out that alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana and yet society has been led to believe that alcohol is ok legally while marijuana isn’t.
Ask yourself this question- Should alcohol be legal? If you answer yes to this then logically you’ll have to answer that so should marijuana. While it’s true that in some cases marijuana is a gateway drug to other, more serious drugs- why draw the line there? It’s not like people under the influence of marijuana are going out driving recklessly or being uncontrollably abusive. It’s not a physically addictive drug like alcohol or nicotine (also gateway drugs). Yet, oddly, society (more like the government) decided to draw the line there. Also, does it make sense that doctors can prescribe serious drugs like morphine to their patients but will be tried as criminals if they prescribe a mild drug like marijuana???
My own choice and opinion is to leave any potentially unhealthy substance out of my body. But I don’t believe it’s the role for government to force others to live by a dietary code- prescribing what they may or may not put into their bodies. In my mind for someone to do drugs or drink is a crime…but it’s a crime against themselves. They shouldn’t be punished unless they violated someone else’s life, liberty or property by committing that act. I’d like it if everyone ate organic and ate meat sparingly but I’m not trying to pass laws to enforce my dietary code on others. That would be immoral.
As far as prostitution goes-I don’t think Ron Paul has ever officially made statements about it (I could be wrong). I’m definitely opposed to it on a state level for moral and logical reasons. But the federal government has no authority making laws about prostitution (article 1, section 8 & 10th amendment).
Ron Paul is not an isolationist anymore than George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, or James Madison were:
These great statesmen all have one thing in common. They’re not isolationists (being opposed to friendship, trade or any relations at all with foreign nations) but they are non-interventionists. There’s a big difference. Right now, to the contrary advice of the founders and other REALLY SMART people, we have adopted an intrusive and aggressive foreign policy.
No, Ron Paul is not an isolationist. He wants to extend diplomatic friendship and trade with all nations but he doesn’t feel it’s right for our nation to police the world or nation-build.
It would be my recommendation that you load your intellectual weaponry with truth-piercing understanding of our Glorious Constitution. Otherwise, you may find the ammunition provided by media pundits will do no more than expose your unprotected flanks.
To Any one reading these comments,
I have a question or two about LDS belief about the U.S. constitution. Its been Ammended 27 times! Is this part of what makes the constitution ‘hang by a thread’? The LDS Doctrine and Covenants mentions the constitution being inspired by god in a few places. D&C 98, 101, 109. When these were written Amendments 13 to 27 had not been made.
Interestingly enough, Heber J. Grant 7th LDS church president opposed the 21st amendment which repealed the 18th amendment. (prohibition)
I know nothing about Orrin Hatch. I have never been a serious Utah resident (many, MANY years ago I went to college there, briefly)–
but there is something familiar about Hatch.
I had a life-altering experience, due to some very serious health issues–
don’t need to go into it, but let’s just say that my life did a 180 turnaround. No, I wasn’t doing drugs and committing adultery before this crisis, far from it.
But I was ‘asleep’. Fast asleep in a comfy culture, my inherited and much-loved LDS culture.
There are aspects of that culture that are dear to me, still–but I found when I woke up that many of the things I held to be valuable weren’t any longer.
Quite suddenly, the words of prophets that I had never considered so strongly before leaped out of the pages at me in neon. Even more suddenly, the Book of Mormon spoke to me as never before. I found myself hungering for it and for a deeper relationship with God than for that “comfort” I had found in the culture.
Then I discovered that there were many still sleeping peacefully within the culture, some of them very benign and gentle creatures, others less than benign and less than gentle–
and I saw people like Mitt Romney and Orrin Hatch and a member of my bishopric as . . . fatal saints–
people who say the right things; people who are gods unto themselves; people who simply want the rest of us to go back to sleep; they’re taking care of things.
This is a dramatic entry to make on a blog where nobody knows my name–
I live far from Utah, and I have nothing to do with Hatch, but I’ve seen his name and picture in LDS book catalogs; he does some kind of music thing with Janice Kapp Perry, correct? Or he did, before I woke up out of my slumber–
and I suspect he is one of those who has fallen asleep in Zion, lulled gently by the prosperity and the acceptance of those around him who reward him with votes.
Like a member of my bishopric who has his own doctrine for everything . . . but has figured out a way to backpedal quickly when the bishop (astute and not asleep) comes near–
scary person/people, these comfy, secure Mormons, these pseudo sleeping Christians.
I’ll face Lamanites myself–
or I should have said, he is one of those who fell asleep, was awakened by the wrong people–
and is now busily putting others to sleep–
so he can collect dividends while they are sleeping–
something like that–
I don’t know–
“I saw people like Mitt Romney and Orrin Hatch…. as…people who say the right things; people who are gods unto themselves; people who simply want the rest of us to go back to sleep; they’re taking care of things.”
You hit that nail right on the head.