Friday, June 10, 2011

Senator Matheson, Congressman Shurtleff

It could be worse. The down side is that Utah could very well send four Republicans to the House with a new Congressional District and we need to figure how to balance that out a little. And it certainly won't help the National Democratic Party trying to capture back some influence in that body. But maybe, just maybe, there's a chance to send a Democrat from Utah to the U.S. Senate which hasn't happened for 40 years!

So, here's how it could play out. Chaffetz is looking more and more like he is going for Hatch's Senate seat. And Hatch is running scared, very vulnerable to another rightist storm in the Utah caucuses next spring and summer. If he survives, the Utah tea partiers, dogmatically pure as they are, will likely not be willing to go back and vote for Hatch in the general. If Romney is not the Republican presidential nominee, the broken-hearted Republican vote in Utah could be very suppressed. Matheson could just pull it off with a bit of luck. And he can run anti-tea party if Chaffetz did win out over Hatch. It's not like Matheson is some kind of radical leftist. He would become the most conservative Senator on the Democratic side - unless, he might feel just a little freed up having a full six years instead of having to run every two, the institutional advantage of being a Senator.

Shurtleff is the real interesting one. He's about as close to a sane Republican as we have in the state. That is, in the style of former Senator Bennett - still conservative but not bat-guano crazy. Shurtleff supports the Utah Compact which is a fairly moderate approach to immigration reform. And rather shockingly, his recent bout with cancer has given him a new appreciation for pain and suffering and he is willing to consider legalizing marijuana for medical purposes! Oh my heck! I'm not sure that's even my position, but it is a surprising move in a rather progressive direction. He is still a solid, conservative states-righter, but there is some hope.

The best part is, this blogging has given me a great chance to vent. I saw Congressman Bishop looking every bit the classic Congressman (in the roundish form of Tip O'Neil if you know what I mean) walking down State Street with a couple of aides the other day when I was coming back from a lunch-time run up City Creek. I didn't even yell at him.


  1. (Anon/M) "bat-guano crazy"...I need to borrow that one. Frankly, I don't worry too much about the crazy political climate in Utah, except that present Idaho politicos seem to come from the same asylum. One more reason I won't move to Logan. But I base that mainly on a better support system in Idaho, my abysmal winter driving, and oodles of smart and funny grandsons here, not politics.

  2. "bat-guano crazy" is not original with me. It did just pop in my head but I must have read it somewhere because I "googled" and found it as I usually do to check things that pop into my head - just to make sure I'm spelling or interpreting them correctly.

  3. (Anon/M) Sounds like a good thing to do, when you have the responsibility of writing a blog. I am, however, not sure I would want to "google" and find out where the things that pop into my head come from. Too scary to think about.


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