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Ear to the Ground

Tea Partyers Give Sen. Bennett the Boot

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Posted on May 9, 2010
Flickr / Center for the Study of Ethics

Sen. Bob Bennett says that, looking back, he wouldn’t have voted any differently on the issues that got him in hot water with conservatives.

Bob Bennett, three-term Republican senator from Utah, has been ousted from running for re-election by the conservative tea party movement after he was deemed unfit (he supported health care reform). Bennett came in third at the state Republican convention in Salt Lake City.

State law prohibits Bennett from pulling a Joe Lieberman and running as an independent. The senator’s only recourse is to run as a write-in candidate, as his name will not appear on the ballot. —JCL

The BBC:

The conservative Tea Party movement in the US has blocked a three-term Republican senator from Utah, Bob Bennett, in his bid for re-election.

Sen Bennett came third at a Republican Party convention in Salt Lake City.

The two challengers, one backed by the Tea Party, will face each other in a primary next month for the right to contest November’s Midterm elections.

It is the first major victory for the grassroots movement that objects to big government and opposes high spending.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Since Bennett is from Morman Glen Beck Conservative Utah, I suspect the whole situation was an engineered plan to give the Tea Party the appearance of being representative of the populace; they are all FOX Network Rupert Murdoch Wall Street Journal Republicans that do not and will not ever represent the populace at all with anything other than subjective representation and theatrics for show.  As far as the populace is concerned, Republican rubber never meets the populace road, because there is no Republican road to the populace.

There is a democratic road to the populace through the Democratic Party, if the populace will endeavor to get involved in taking control of the Democratic Party and reclaiming the party for the populace, instead of letting the conservative Republicans keep encroaching on the Democratic Party until there is no longer a Democratic Party for the populace to take over.  It is not too late as long as there is a Democratic Party.

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By Rachel, May 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to, in 2005, Kentucky received $1.51 in federal spending for every $1 it paid in federal taxes. In fact, nearly ALL Republican states receive some level of subsidy. Alaska received $1.84 in spending for every $1 of federal taxes paid in 2005. California received 78 cents in spending for every $1 paid. Isn’t this relevant information? Why don’t I EVER hear any of the folks on NPR CHALLENGE these “Tea Partiers” on this very relevant fact? If Republicans want to balance the budget, they can start by paying their own way.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 10, 2010 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

I agree with almost everything you listed, although few of them threaten individual liberty. I won’t bore you with the ones I don’t.

But, realize that the teapartiers are/were fed up with the Bush/McCain method, just like you are. Bob Bennett is a RINO and teabaggers have put them on notice that RINOs need not apply.

Who rails against corporate welfare louder than Glenn Beck? No one.

And now comes Obama’s defense department (you complained that Bush awarded “contracts that pay corrupt companies like Halliburton”) awarding a half-billion dollar NO BID(!!!) contract to KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, once run by the dreaded DICK CHENEY!!!

Who complains about Obama’s threat to restrict Miranda rights louder than Glenn Beck? No one.

And now comes Eric Holder saying indeed we ought to revisit and circumscribe Miranda in light of the Times Square episode. So, are we going to have two classes of citizenship? One for “natives” and one for “immigrants” who try to blow things up.

Would YOU have denied Tim McVeigh his Miranda rights?

Who worries about freedom of speech more than Glenn Beck? No one.

And now comes Obama worrying that “all this new technology (iPods, iPads, XBox, Playstation, etc)” is threatening the free flow of information and ideas. Right! What is threatened is Obama’s CONTROL of the free flow of information. (See Cass Sunstein for forther information.)

In the braodest sense, the teaparty is saying, “Leave me alone!” What part of that sentiment is code for “I want to control you”?

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By pundaint, May 10, 2010 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

That is very bad.  Now the Democrats will have to ratchet another two
clicks rightward.

If everyone who didn’t like their representative took action, we could clean
the whole place out. 

Liberals take note: it is possible to get rid of people who don’t represent
you.  You don’t have to buy in to the lesser of evils threat/lie. 

Representative government isn’t just for the conservative voters.

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By samosamo, May 10, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment



As a still standing independent, what tea means to me is they
are a break off from the standard republicanism. Off and on I
see comments or quotes from those people I wholly agree with
but other times, well, they come off as extreme nuts. Kinda of
like how the dem portion acts of the same 1 party system this
country is infected with today. Voting out incumbents I feel
would work but for the fact of trying to determine that the next
wannabe running for office only wants to get into to open the
door for lobbyist.

And I mean damn, what has o really done to satisfy his
campaign promise of ‘change to believe in’ or was it ‘chance to
quibble with’. Here I still don’t see a dime’s worth of difference
not just going from w & dick to o and his continuance of that
previous administration.

As for promoting far less government, careful, because it has
been because of a ‘deregulation’ which in a lot of people’s mind
means ‘fewer rules’ or ‘less government’ when that which started
with ronnie ‘nutinupmysleeve’ reagan’s deregulation up to the
protectionism of preserving the deregulation in the later
administrations just continues the financial terrorist attack we
still endure. Regulation is needed or you get what we got,
thieves wandering in and taking what they want without fear of
paying for their crimes

That would be far different from government intrusion from the
likes of the patriot act, fisa or any number of other ‘laws’
created to be on the look out for those ghost terrorists. That is a
very intrusive move into the people’s lives or should I say it
gives far too many reasons to pin the ‘terrorist’ moniker on

Taxes, I don’t see taxing the top 10% of the wealth holders an
abhorrent thing, after all I for one am sick and tired of paying
for corporate welfare while the aristocracy pretty much don’t
chip in a damn thing, especially when considering the amount of
wealth they ‘covet’.

Abortion? I would think that belongs to the woman’s concern.
Unless it interferes with dire need to increase the population of
humans to about 20,000,000,000 people, no matter how foolish
that would be.

Religion, thank the lucky stars there hasn’t been a bill to
establish the ‘national’ religion, yet.

Back to tea. Tea isn’t revolution, it is an agreeable beverage to
drink so to enjoy and calm oneself.

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By purplewolf, May 10, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

rfidler: Where were you when G.W. was in office or have you already forgotten that when he who wasn’t elected obtained control of the country that there was a surplus at the start of his reign of terror and after 8 years of illegal wars, tax breaks for the rich-which did not make jobs in this country as he claims, highest increases/profits for the medical insurance industry and oil industry,erosion of personal rights, the retracting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, stolen freedoms and personal liberties, spying on all Americans, perks and privileges for his cronies, even though unqualified for positions handed to them, less than above board elections-proven, but never corrected to actual results, out of control spending on illegal wars whose cost was hidden and not in the budget so it never was counted as actual debts of his administration,the bailing out of Wall street part one and part 2(completed under Obama, even though it was a Bush thing), laws set up against Americans and the right to protest against what they feel is wrong that Bush deemed would cause his war in Iraq to fail and the jailing for up to life with no lawyers or charges against those he felt went against him in his term as potus-it’s in the laws done during the Bush years,look it up yourself,more job losses, not seeing that the electric grid was fixed, contracts that pay corrupt companies like Halliburton, allowed medical personal the right to refuse or sabotage a womans medicine like birth control medication to pregnancy care in the favor of anti-abortionists view of things and not necessary that of the patient or doctor,not following the rule of law, more big corps writing bills which favor them over the American people and people in other countries are being victimized by bid agricorp in Iraq also, the trying to force American,or as G.W. puts it Christian and western values onto people in other countries, just to name a few things.There are so many other things far to numerous to even go into done during Bush that intrude into the personal lives and freedoms of people of the world and bigger government.

Yep, you betcha!

It has been proven, if you actually look that during, Rep. rule the biggest debts are wrung up, bigger and not less government, less taking care of America and more wars and interference with other countries and their peoples always happen. So where were the teabaggies then?

You know what happens when you steep tea(bags) too long? The tea becomes bitter and nasty and it has to be thrown out. Well, this is the case we have now with the teabaggers, bitter and nasty, yet they don’t know why or what they are really complaining about when you ask them, they are totally confused and give vague answers or wrong answers to questions when asked directly what do they think certain words means when they are using it.

As some would quote the heresy of Jesus,“forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 10, 2010 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

“both of whom promote
draconian measures of control”

You’ve got it exactly wrong. Republicans, and especially teapartiers are promoting LESS, FAR LESS, government control. That’s the whole point. The “Don’t tread on me” flags mean exactly that.

I know. You’ll ask, “What about abortion? What about religion in the public sphere?” I’ll concede that libertarians have their work cut out for them trying to solve those issues, but generally, it’s the Obamaites who are after control, not teabaggers.

Unless you define “control” as freedom to fail, demand for less government intrusion into your daily life, less taxes, FAR less spending, demanding more personal responsibility and less handouts. Which definition would shock even Orwell.

What can possibly be wrong with that?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 10, 2010 at 3:48 am Link to this comment

I’m happy that an 18 year professional politician is getting sent down.

We need to change out our politicians more frequently and the lobbies that influence them.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Since Bennett was for health reform, the Democrats may take him in.

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By samosamo, May 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment


Well, if it helped to disengage the republican party, it seems
nice. But I don’t think I am that dumb to think the republicans
are just going to go away. There can just about only be a
consensus when there is one person, when there are 2 or more
people, forget the word even exists.

And of course, the break away tea partiers are just another
reorgainization of the republicans both of whom promote
draconian measures of control as long as EITHER of them are
not held accountable to those measures.

But what I don’t see is why the uproar? o seems to have carried
on that good old tradition of corporate cronyism just as they all
have ever since the military financial industrial congressional
complex was a newly conceived embryo in the hopes in dreams
of the combined republocrats/demblicans party that love
feigning over each other about how horrible the other is, but
when the world ‘reconciliation’ is used, that is the undeniable
clue that they are both one and the same, no difference.

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By Tobysgirl, May 9, 2010 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

I heard on the news this morning that Maine’s Republican Party has just adopted a new platform which calls for withdrawing from the treaty on the Rights of the Child; abolishing the Department of Education; allowing coal, nuclear, oil, and gas development with no restrictions; and of course the good ole marriage amendment. This is pretty hilarious considering that Maine Republicans have considered themselves moderate, whatever that means, for a long time.

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skulz fontaine's avatar

By skulz fontaine, May 9, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Utah Republican’ts not only gave Sen. Bobby the boot yesterday, they changed the
Utah Party’s name. Yup. Utah Republican’ts are now officially,
“Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.”
Cause when you’re ‘right’ of Bennett, you are in serious brownshirt territory. It is
more than delicious to watch Utah Republican’ts tear themselves apart. Oh yeah.

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