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Tilting at Windmills

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June 3, 2010

ORRIN HATCH ON GAYS: 'THEIR RELIGION IS POLITICS'.... Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke to about 300 constituents earlier this week at Dixie State University. His remarks included some advice for conservatives. (thanks to reader J.S.)

He said the Republicans need to organize and pull together just as unions, environmentalists, personal injury lawyers and gay rights activists do for Democrat candidates.

"Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics," said Hatch.

I'd love to know what that means, exactly. Gay people can't be religious? The LGBT community necessarily cares more politics than the rest of the country?

For a politician with a habit of making bizarre remarks, Hatch's comment was even dumber than usual.

The Republican senator also pretended to care about fiscal responsibility.

Hatch said in the 34 years he has been in the Senate, he has "never known a fiscally conservative majority," noting there are always a handful of Republicans who cast a liberal vote on economic issues because they come of traditionally Democratic states.

He said the best hope for Utah and the country to undo the liberal policies of the Obama administration and get a handle on fiscal responsibility is to hope Mitt Romney is elected the next president and that Hatch wins a seventh term in the same 2012 general election.

Yes, this from a senator who conceded that it was "standard practice not to pay for things" when the GOP was in charge. Indeed, Hatch voted for tax cuts that weren't paid for, wars that weren't paid for, and government expansion that wasn't paid for.

But his presence and Republican success is key to fiscal responsibility? Sure, Orrin, tell us another one.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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Comments

Dixie is a state now?

Posted by: Grumpy on June 3, 2010 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Every Democratic president since the end of WWII has been able to reduce the national debt when measured as a fraction of GDP. The only Republican presidents to do so are Eisenhower and Nixon. Republicans can't handle the economy.

Posted by: rk on June 3, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Unless things have changed since the last time I visited their lovely campus, that's Dixie State College. By reputation it's pretty good.

Dixie refers to the Southeastern part of Utah around Saint George and Cedar City where Brigham Young, ever in pursuit of self-sufficiency, sent some rather frustrated colonists, including the Leavitt family which gave us Mike Leavitt and Juanita Brooks, to grow cotton. For what it's worth, during the Civil War ol' Brig, like Karl Marx, was a Union man.

Posted by: Gene O'Grady on June 3, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

I know it's popular 'round here to dis people of faith, but as a factual matter there are a # of religious denominations in the US which welcome gays, e.g., most of the Episcopal church.

Since a high percentage of settled gay couples are DINKS (double income, no kids), I wonder if some bright bean counter knows the stats that might quantify how, in fact, gays and lesbians are MORE charitable on a per capita basis.

Seems like it might be worth knowing.

Posted by: theAmericanist on June 3, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Why isn't it the responsibility of the MSM to ask him these questions?

It's no wonder this country is being dumbed-down. The agencies charged with disseminating the truth are in the pockets of the wealthy. Nauseating....

Posted by: Stevio on June 3, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Hatch said in the 34 years he has been in the Senate, he has "never known a fiscally conservative majority . . . "

Since for many if not most of those years the GOP controlled Congress, this leads to the question of why anyone should support a party that consistently fails to deliver what it promises, even when controlling all the levers of Congress.

Say what you will about Democrats, but they are delivering on their platform.

Posted by: Jon on June 3, 2010 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

i love that some of the most reprehensible signifiers of the shadowy evil character of this nation come together in this story: hatch, dixie, mormonism... even mittens the zombie anti-christ smilie man...

nothing says amerikan theocracy quite like the 'exceptional' home grown christian cult of the 19th century that has beat out the business plans of the christian scientists, jehovah's witnesses, and seventh day adventists -- huzzah huzzah huzzah, praise the lordy-lord!

god damn these evil corrupt patriarchal, racist, homophobic, child molesters to hell -- and nothing says a nation of sheep better'n the wool-eyed mormon masses who follow these evil vampires down the road to nihilism.

Posted by: neill on June 3, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

@Gene: Yep, it's a university now. The Legislature here is bumping up all of the institutions of higher education in order to try to minimize the influence of That Great Satan on the Hill (aka the University of Utah, a "known" bastion of librul thinking).

And given that the LDS church is doing their (weak) best to reach out to their LBGT children, ol' Orrin's comments must be making a few church leaders squirm. Wonder how long it is before he's forced to walk that comment back here in UT?

Posted by: Michigoose on June 3, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

i mean, i know that orren hatch is not a very bright guy and all, but you would think he would at least remember the general fund budget surpluses of the late '90s: if that's not fiscally conservative, the term has no meaning.

(now, since it's hatch who said it, i must admit it's possible the term does have no meaning!)

Posted by: howard on June 3, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Orrin, you must get out more - Try perusing the 476 photographs in the Marriot collection of WPA works throughout Deseret, er, Utah, which were neither built by tithing nor working one weekend a month in a cannery. Ye olde "Thanks, Feds, now, get out of our lives", eh? Oh, by the way, don't shut down any military facility in Utah as we need the money to remain "fiscally responsible".

Posted by: berttheclock on June 3, 2010 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

OK, just fired off a letter to the local newspaper about Hatch's comments. I'll let you know if (1) it makes it into print and (2) what the reaction is (the comments section on the Trib's web site will be most interesting, I'm guessing. . .)

Posted by: Michigoose on June 3, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Of COURSE gays and lesbians have religion! We worship Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Lady GaGa, Billie Jean King, K.D. Lang, and Melissa Etheridge.

Posted by: Eeyore on June 3, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Kinda of an odd attempt at a putdown by a career politician. Is Orrin trying to tell us something?

Posted by: crabgrass on June 3, 2010 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"He said the best hope for Utah"

Orrin, the best hope for Utah is to give it back to the indians.

The best hope for the other 49 is for and your ilk to STAY in Utah. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 3, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

i suspect pretty much the whole country other than the mormon zone "doesn't pay tithing." and i always thought gays and lesbians treated sexual orientation as religion...as a straight man, i know i do...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on June 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I heard several times through the years that Orrin Hatch and Teddy Kennedy were very close personal friends.

Is that in any way true?

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on June 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks neill (10:22) for your predictabe comment. It wasn't really a record but it came close. It took only (7) commenters before we heard the usual ignoramous, hate-filled bigotry from those who know nothing about Mormonism and yet feel obliged to spew their ignorance on these "progressive" pages. Pull your head out of the sand (or whatever dark hole it might be in), do a little research and maybe you won't look like such a jackass with your next comment. Orrin Hatch may be a member of that church but he does not represent the thoughts and actions of its members any more than your stupid comments represent the average thoughtful folks who frequent this blog.

Posted by: Vandal on June 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Hatch just equated being religious with being Mormon. He said gays didn't "pay tithing". That's basically a Mormon practice. Many Christians don't tithe either, so I guess in Hatch's world they aren't religious.

Posted by: g. powell on June 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I am 73 years old. Hatch is the most despicable, detestable asshole to set in the senate during my lifetime. His arrogant hypocrisy, his willingness to be a serial baldfaced liar is incomparable. the shamelessness with which he displays his utter partisanship and obvious lies is astounding

Posted by: grandpajohn on June 3, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Vandal, you are ever so correct, so, I suppose I should spare you the joke which was often heard in State and Main bars. About the gang banger who converted to Mormonism and stole a 30 day supply of groceries to be placed in his basement. Now, get out there and pick up some prime beach property on the Benches, as Lake Bonneville may return.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Orrin:

If you're trying to tout someone whose political career exemplifies the _opposite_ of "Republicans who cast a liberal vote on economic issues because they come of [sic] traditionally Democratic states," and you settle on MITT ROMNEY, the onetime pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-health-care-reform Governor of _Massa-freakin'-chusetts_, your concept might have a few gaping holes.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on June 3, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics," said Hatch.

"I'd love to know what that means, exactly. Gay people can't be religious? The LGBT community necessarily cares more politics than the rest of the country?" - Steve

Orrin means that homosexuals have money to spend on politics because religions that tithe are religions that exclude.

Posted by: Lance on June 3, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Steve and all,

Being a Utah native (and family here since 1847 in the North end of the state and earlier than that in the South), I can understand what is going on here. I think you are mostly missing what Urine - I mean Orrin - is saying. Translation: "Since they are not paying tithing, gays put their 10% into politics. Unions, environmentalists, personal injury lawyers and gay rights activists do the same."

This is not a dog whistle anti-gay religious thing, just an observation from a pol talking to a specific group of people. Historically, Utah Mormon Conservatism has not worked the same as the evangelical strain. There were not church affiliated PACs, the Mormon church did not produce voter guides, etc. ... . The evidence for this is actually how clumsily they handled their Prop 8 activities vs the Evangelicals and Catholics - who encouraged the Mormons do the dirty work for them.

All that Hatch was saying is "Give money to politicians." I just can't agree with you on this one. It does not mean Hatch is not an insane bigot.

Also, my Hatch hating bona fides are impeccable. When introducing him at a large disability gathering in DC where he was receiving an award, I scolded him publicly for his actions with conservative judges and their potential for undermining the very work he was getting the award for. My friends and colleagues were mortified and impressed, Urine - I mean Orrin - not so much. Amazing how strong alcohol can make you.

Posted by: henryedward on June 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

just because this speech doesn't mean borin' orrin isn't an insane bigot doesn't mean he's not an insane bigot.
btw, eeyore, it's k.d.lang (as us people who always type in lower case have written for years.)

Posted by: mellowjohn on June 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Did it really say "Democrat candidates" in the story? What "news" outlet was this from?

Posted by: fry1laurie on June 3, 2010 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

@fry1laurie: probably just saving characters to fit in the story (snark) Re: "Democrat candidates"

Posted by: st john on June 3, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I have often wondered who the republicans actually like -
They hate black people
They hate hispanics
They hate gays
They hate moslems
They certainly hate the poor & the sick
They really don't like many people

Also they do not seem to mind mormons - I always thought mormons belonged to a cult, founded by a con man - who believed in adultery & abusing little girls!!

Posted by: JS on June 3, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

i gotta say, tho, that using "democrat" as an adjective makes a handy trip wire. anytime i hear someone say "democrat" this or "democrat" that, it's an automatic signal that they have absolutely nothing worth listening to.

Posted by: mellowjohn on June 3, 2010 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

anytime i hear someone say "democrat" this or "democrat" that, it's an automatic signal that they have absolutely nothing worth listening to.
Posted by: mellowjohn on June 3, 2010 at 3:34 PM

I do the same and call it "the icky factor"; whoever skips the "-ic" in that particular adjective has an icky mush for brains.

Posted by: exlibra on June 3, 2010 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

JS said "I have often wondered who the republicans actually like -
They hate black people....they hate gays..."


Now let's be honest, since most of them are Evangelicals, most of them also hate Mormons.

And you're right to say "They really don't like many people."

Posted by: Vandal on June 3, 2010 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

1) I'm gay.

2) I'm legally married in the State of California (our nation's most populous state--Utah is 34th).

3) Thanks to Turbo Tax, I know that I paid 80% more in federal income taxes in 2009 because I am required to file as "head of household" rather than "married."

4) Some of this "gay tax" goes to pay the salary of Senator Hatch.

5) I give at least 10% of my income to my (mainstream Protestant) church each year. I believe that is generally understood to be a "tithe."

6) [Unprintable comment regarding Senator Hatch.]

Posted by: gay dad on June 3, 2010 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Straight white males of the conservative stripe don't pay tithing either, they just carry out their bigoted agendas against the groups they hate.

Posted by: Doug on June 3, 2010 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Every United Church of Christ I've belonged to in my adult life (three) has had at least one gay couple among the members of our congregation. It's none of my business what they put in their envelopes, but they're always among the leaders in contributing their time and effort to the church.

Posted by: Joyful on June 4, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Hatch is discernment free political hack.

How good a judge of character is this small homophobic bigoted man?

Well, he introduced Sun Myung Moon's wife for her to speak before a bunch congressman at the Dirksen building in 1993. This was shortly after she officially admitted what any nitwit with half a brain already knew, that she and Moon claim to be the co-messiahs here to mold US society toward their right wing homophobic and theocratic agenda. Later that year Dan Burton (R-Indiana) pushed through a national holiday (Parent's Day) honoring Moon before most of congress knew what it was about.

See Orrin honor his "friend" the Messiah while Sun Myung Moon observes here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFZPJT8yMPE

Btw, Moon is the biggest homophobe in the world. Unlike most homophobic preachers who hide behind a claim of "hate the sin, love the sinner" - Moon - in his role as the arbiter of God's will - says being gay is the only sin God won't forgive. He says people with AIDS should be quarantined and made to where a big "A" on their backs.

Posted by: Tall Paul on June 4, 2010 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

I have often wondered who the republicans actually like -
They hate black people
They hate hispanics
They hate gays
They hate moslems
They certainly hate the poor & the sick
They really don't like many people

Posted by: JS on June 3, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

"{Hatch] said the Republicans need to organize and pull together"


Yeah, all 12 of em.

Orrin, buddy. Stick to massive media buys that sucker 50%+1 to vote against their interests. This grass roots thing... it's really kind of a Democratic thing. When your team tries it, it just gets embarrassing (e.g. Tea Party rallies.)

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on June 14, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK
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