Utah Senator Orrin Hatch was given the honor of “Utahn of the Year” by the Salt Lake Tribune over the holiday weekend. The senator is known for his controversial support of the Trump administration and his recent support of the Interior Department’s decision to shrink several national monuments. Hatch’s tweets confirm that he is just as combative as his reputation suggests.
On Monday, Hatch retweeted the sharply critical editorial with a tweet calling his title a “great Christmas honor.”
The Salt Lake Tribune designates their “Utahn of Year” based upon the newsworthy person’s impact in the state, “for good or for ill.” Much like Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, the winner may be impactful based on their controversial presence rather than positive contributions.
The editorial had particularly sharp words for Hatch based upon his support for the recently passed GOP tax reform bill, which marks the most significant transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in America’s history. The bill was pushed by Republicans mainly in favor of wealthy donors and is expected to result in widespread austerity measures as the national deficit rises. It will adversely impact already impoverished communities across America, and those who voted in favor of the bill arguably lack moral grounding.
Here’s why the paper’s rebuke of Hatch is so important: Utah is a deeply red state. The piece is yet another signal that Republicans face an uphill battle in the 2018 midterms. The article noted Hatch’s “utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power” and called on him to end his career.
“It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career. If he doesn’t, the voters should end it for him.”
Hatch appears to have taken the rebuke in stride and shared in his Tweet that he voted for Lt. Gov. Spence Cox and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz in the paper’s reader poll.
Here’s a stinging quote from the Tribune for your enjoyment:
“To all appearances – appearances promoted by Hatch – this anti-environmental, anti-Native American and yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch. A favor done in return for Hatch’s support of the president generally and of his tax reform plan in particular.”