Sen. Hatch confirms retirement plans; Mitt Romney expected to replace him

So, those of you who remember Trump downsizing some national monuments in Utah a month ago, this is connected to that.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/02/hatch-announces-retirement-320133?lo=ap_b1
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/02/trump-romney-utah-senate-hatch-320235

Orrin Hatch, a seven-term Republican senator for Utah, had been waffling late last year over whether or not he would retire in 2018 rather than seek an eighth term. If Hatch were to retire, then Mitt Romney - the former governor and presidential candidate - had made it known that he intended to run for Hatch's seat. Romney was expected to be a shoe-in, because of his resume and because Utah is like 50%+ Mormon, and Romney is one of America's most prominent Mormon politicians.

Donald Trump did not like that. Romney has been a very vocal critic of Trump, both as candidate and as president, and Trump is afraid that if Romney would be an obstacle if he gets to the Senate. So Trump started cozying up to Orrin Hatch, trying to get the 83-year-old to run for an eighth term. Thus, we see Trump deciding to dramatically reduce the size of two large geographical areas in Utah that had been designated as national monuments by Obama, and which are suspected to contain oil and coal reserves that Hatch and his donors would like to see un-designated. When this happened a month ago, everyone aware of the Romney/Hatch/Trump love triangle figured out what Trump was up to.

But Trump failed. Hatch announced his impending retirement today after much waffling, clearing the field for Romney to waltz through the primaries into what everyone expects will be a thoroughly winnable election. Apparently, even Romney didn't expect this; he hadn't spoken to Hatch in months and fully believed that Trump was succeeding in his bid to lock him out of Washington. But Hatch may have pulled a schwifty, leading Trump on to get the national monuments downsized and then turning around and doing what he had been planning to do all along.

So 2018 can expect to have a Senator Romney at the end of it, which may turn out to be very important if the Democrats can win enough of a majority in the House to start impeachment proceedings.

Unrelatedly - because I can't not bring this up - Donald Trump would like you to know that his nuclear launch button is very large and very powerful, and still works fine despite being 71 years old.

Just on his very large, powerful and functional...uh...button it would not surprise me that in the wake of Trump we see some official guidelines on how official persons should act on social media. Or if they already exist, rather stringently applied for a time.

Yeah I heard he was retiring, but I'm not sure Romney would improve the current situation even remotely. He can be as vocal as he wants about how much he dislikes the president, what matters is what he does if he gets put in Hatch's place. I imagine he'll follow the Jeff Flake guideline of doing a bunch of grandstanding, but then voting the way the president wants every single time. The Republicans clearly aren't comfortable with Trump, but they'll damn well tolerate him to get their agenda through. After all, they know he'll sign pretty much anything they put on his desk so he can brag and boast about how he's the greatest president ever. Also, even if it's against some of their own beliefs, they'll pass through legislation for the good of the party. Marco Rubio recently outright said that the tax plan wouldn't do what it was sold as doing. Hell he even said if he could, he'd change the thing. But he signed it anyway and said that it's still better than what we had before. He still voted with his party, despite knowing that it was flawed to high hell and had problems with it. I don't see Romney as being any damn different, unless he proves me wrong.

bastardofmelbourne:

Unrelatedly - because I can't not bring this up - Donald Trump would like you to know that his nuclear launch button is very large and very powerful, and still works fine despite being 71 years old.

I sat there dumbfounded for a few seconds looking at that tweet. It's not surprising to me that he said that, it's just.....that's something Saturday Night Live would portray him as saying. Or Colbert, or Meyers, or any of the late night hosts. That's something they'd joke about him saying. But he literally went and said it....are we in an episode of South Park at this point? To where a world leader is going on about how big his nuclear button is? About how much it works and how big and powerful it is? Are we even real anymore?

As a side note to that, I noticed that he also tweeted that he would be announcing, and I quote, "THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR". Because...because sure, why not I guess? Why the fucking hell not? Can't wait.

Major Tom:
Just on his very large, powerful and functional...uh...button it would not surprise me that in the wake of Trump we see some official guidelines on how official persons should act on social media. Or if they already exist, rather stringently applied for a time.

Nah, this is just the beginning. I expect to see live streamed rap contests, presidential mud wrestling to resolve international disputes and official First Lady VR porn sims within the next few years, at the very least.

Nedoras:
Yeah I heard he was retiring, but I'm not sure Romney would improve the current situation even remotely. He can be as vocal as he wants about how much he dislikes the president, what matters is what he does if he gets put in Hatch's place. I imagine he'll follow the Jeff Flake guideline of doing a bunch of grandstanding, but then voting the way the president wants every single time. The Republicans clearly aren't comfortable with Trump, but they'll damn well tolerate him to get their agenda through. After all, they know he'll sign pretty much anything they put on his desk so he can brag and boast about how he's the greatest president ever. Also, even if it's against some of their own beliefs, they'll pass through legislation for the good of the party. Marco Rubio recently outright said that the tax plan wouldn't do what it was sold as doing. Hell he even said if he could, he'd change the thing. But he signed it anyway and said that it's still better than what we had before. He still voted with his party, despite knowing that it was flawed to high hell and had problems with it. I don't see Romney as being any damn different, unless he proves me wrong.

bastardofmelbourne:

Unrelatedly - because I can't not bring this up - Donald Trump would like you to know that his nuclear launch button is very large and very powerful, and still works fine despite being 71 years old.

I sat there dumbfounded for a few seconds looking at that tweet. It's not surprising to me that he said that, it's just.....that's something Saturday Night Live would portray him as saying. Or Colbert, or Meyers, or any of the late night hosts. That's something they'd joke about him saying. But he literally went and said it....are we in an episode of South Park at this point? To where a world leader is going on about how big his nuclear button is? About how much it works and how big and powerful it is? Are we even real anymore?

As a side note to that, I noticed that he also tweeted that he would be announcing, and I quote, "THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR". Because...because sure, why not I guess? Why the fucking hell not? Can't wait.

Newspaper or online political satirist and/or cartoonist has been the easiest job in the fucking world for the last six months because almost all of their intended targets of mckery seem hellbent on doing their sodding job for them. I mean how does one satirize President Trump when he does shit like this? I mean buggering Christ on a bike.

Nedoras:
Yeah I heard he was retiring, but I'm not sure Romney would improve the current situation even remotely. He can be as vocal as he wants about how much he dislikes the president, what matters is what he does if he gets put in Hatch's place. I imagine he'll follow the Jeff Flake guideline of doing a bunch of grandstanding, but then voting the way the president wants every single time.

At this point, it's about thinking ahead to "which Republican senators c. 2020 would be willing to vote yes in hypothetical impeachment proceedings?" Flake and Corker are both retiring; McCain, sadly, probably won't live that long. The establishment Republican wing was vindicated in spectacular fashion in Alabama last month, and as time goes on, impeachment-minded Democrats will have to start eyeing potential turncoats across the aisle.

The Democrats do stand a small chance of winning a slim majority in the Senate this year - if they can pull off another two difficult wins in Arizona and Texas, of all places - but it's mathematically impossible for them to win enough Senate seats to meet the requirements for impeachment. They would need a significant chunk of Republican senators to cross the floor. Can Hypothetical Senator Mitt Romney be one of those senators? Maybe; it will largely depend on how badly Trump alienates him, on what hard evidence comes out of the Russia probe, how many critical Republican policy goals are on the line, and how preferable Hypothetical President Pence would be.

The thing is that the Republican policy agenda gets very hazy once you move past tax cuts. And with tax cuts out of the way, suddenly carrying water for Trump doesn't seem worth the effort.

Gordon_4:
Newspaper or online political satirist and/or cartoonist has been the easiest job in the fucking world for the last six months because almost all of their intended targets of mckery seem hellbent on doing their sodding job for them. I mean how does one satirize President Trump when he does shit like this? I mean buggering Christ on a bike.

Easiest? You mean hardest. The South Park guys were talking in an interview about how Trump winning the election basically made it impossible for them to make fun of him, because he'd beat them to it. And look! Last week, he outright lied about having repealed Obamacare, and thirty percent of America believed him! And now he's literally in a dick-measuring contest with Kim Jong-un! How do you make fun of that? You can't! All you can do is say it, and hope the laughter stops you from crying.

Basically all the good political comedy at the moment is in talk shows. God bless Stephen Colbert.

So I wonder if Trump will back another person whose going to lose in an election.

It'll be interesting to see if Romney will stand up to Trump, there's definitely been some rumbling from some republican that maybe Trump is taking them in the wrong direction (see poll number), maybe before the 2018 election they'll start standing up to him a bit more.

Meiam:
So I wonder if Trump will back another person whose going to lose in an election.

It'll be interesting to see if Romney will stand up to Trump, there's definitely been some rumbling from some republican that maybe Trump is taking them in the wrong direction (see poll number), maybe before the 2018 election they'll start standing up to him a bit more.

Seems unlike other Alt-righters Republicans, Romney has "I Cant Believe its Not Spine" with his breakfast. It may not make him a decent person, but anything that hinders Trump.

It would be nice if a state would avoid voting against their best interests for once.

Do I have to remind anyone that Romney has a reputation of flip-flopping?

PsychedelicDiamond:
Du I have to remind anyone that Romney has a reputation of flip-flopping?

You mean he is a Republican and republicans when push come to shove usually just fall in line?

*cough* McCain, Cruz, McConnel, Rubio, Bush etc *cough*

PsychedelicDiamond:
Du I have to remind anyone that Romney has a reputation of flip-flopping?

You might, people might equate "doesn't like Trump" with "good person". There's an overlap, sure, but it's not 100%.

Saelune:

PsychedelicDiamond:
Du I have to remind anyone that Romney has a reputation of flip-flopping?

You mean he is a Republican and republicans when push come to shove usually just fall in line?

*cough* McCain, Cruz, McConnel, Rubio, Bush etc *cough*

What about Rick Perry?

And honest question from you, is Donald Trump worse than McCain, Romney, Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain combined?

Samtemdo8:

And honest question from you, is Donald Trump worse than McCain, Romney, Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain combined?

Oooo...that's a tough one, actually. I mean, some of the names on that list would just make terrible goddamn candidates.

Palin didn't belong anywhere near a presidential ticket. Michelle Bachmann didn't belong in politics. Newt Gingrich, he was born to do politics, but he's a goddamn scumbag who helped ruin Congress by cutting its budget to a quarter of what it was in the 90s. He's the reason Congress can't afford to fund studies into employment statistics or the opioid addiction crisis.

If anything, McCain and Romney improve the mix. I mean, they're both hard establishment Republicans, and Romney in particular has - as was pointed out - the backbone of a jellyfish, but they can at least be trusted to be relatively competent. Like, they can steer the ship, even if they want to take it someplace shitty.

All things considered? Yeah, I actually think Trump is worse. Trump is like, the worst aspects of every politician in history all blended together into one guy with a complex about his bald spot. And he has zero upsides. McCain, well, he's a war hero. Romney is a family man. Palin and Bachmann - well, they're a lot less likely to molest an intern than Donald Trump is. Trump has jack shit going for him. He's not even a good businessman; his record shows that, and everything he's done since taking office has confirmed it. He's a toxic shitpile of radioactive knives and rats with AIDS. No conceivable candidate is worse than Donald Trump.

If you put a gun to my head and told me to choose between President Donald Trump and President Satan the Devil, I'd be like "well, I know he's Satan, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut..."

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:

PsychedelicDiamond:
Du I have to remind anyone that Romney has a reputation of flip-flopping?

You mean he is a Republican and republicans when push come to shove usually just fall in line?

*cough* McCain, Cruz, McConnel, Rubio, Bush etc *cough*

What about Rick Perry?

And honest question from you, is Donald Trump worse than McCain, Romney, Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain combined?

I'm going to slightly differ from bastard on this one. Any one of those people individually, I would take in a heartbeat over Trump. Despite the many, many things wrong with several of them, they don't hold a candle to Trump. However, if the worst aspects of all of those people were combined into a single person, I'd sadly have to take Trump; God help us if such an abomination were ever to walk this earth.

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:

PsychedelicDiamond:
Du I have to remind anyone that Romney has a reputation of flip-flopping?

You mean he is a Republican and republicans when push come to shove usually just fall in line?

*cough* McCain, Cruz, McConnel, Rubio, Bush etc *cough*

What about Rick Perry?

And honest question from you, is Donald Trump worse than McCain, Romney, Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain combined?

His name was not intentionally excluded, I was just listing major Republicans who are claimed to oppose Trump...but dont actually oppose Trump. I honestly forget Perry even exists.

As for your other part, Palin really tipped the scales, as she is certainly as stupid as Trump. The one 'good' (at major cost to the US) thing about Trump is how much he has destabilized the Republican party. That list, Palin included, would likely all keep the Republican facade of not being the Nazi Party still going though.

I dont know the answer ultimately. None of them would have helped Puerto Rico though, Trump just made it more obvious, just an fyi.

Saelune:

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:
You mean he is a Republican and republicans when push come to shove usually just fall in line?

*cough* McCain, Cruz, McConnel, Rubio, Bush etc *cough*

What about Rick Perry?

And honest question from you, is Donald Trump worse than McCain, Romney, Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain combined?

His name was not intentionally excluded, I was just listing major Republicans who are claimed to oppose Trump...but dont actually oppose Trump. I honestly forget Perry even exists.

As for your other part, Palin really tipped the scales, as she is certainly as stupid as Trump. The one 'good' (at major cost to the US) thing about Trump is how much he has destabilized the Republican party. That list, Palin included, would likely all keep the Republican facade of not being the Nazi Party still going though.

I dont know the answer ultimately. None of them would have helped Puerto Rico though, Trump just made it more obvious, just an fyi.

This island is a lost cause no matter who is sitting in the office imo.

I may have to move to the states in the future, heck mabye I can move to Great Britain, I always want to be in an English Countryside.

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:

Samtemdo8:

What about Rick Perry?

And honest question from you, is Donald Trump worse than McCain, Romney, Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain combined?

His name was not intentionally excluded, I was just listing major Republicans who are claimed to oppose Trump...but dont actually oppose Trump. I honestly forget Perry even exists.

As for your other part, Palin really tipped the scales, as she is certainly as stupid as Trump. The one 'good' (at major cost to the US) thing about Trump is how much he has destabilized the Republican party. That list, Palin included, would likely all keep the Republican facade of not being the Nazi Party still going though.

I dont know the answer ultimately. None of them would have helped Puerto Rico though, Trump just made it more obvious, just an fyi.

This island is a lost cause no matter who is sitting in the office imo.

I may have to move to the states in the future, heck mabye I can move to Great Britain, I always want to be in an English Countryside.

How well do you like sheep? They can be right noisy buggers.

TrulyBritish:

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:
His name was not intentionally excluded, I was just listing major Republicans who are claimed to oppose Trump...but dont actually oppose Trump. I honestly forget Perry even exists.

As for your other part, Palin really tipped the scales, as she is certainly as stupid as Trump. The one 'good' (at major cost to the US) thing about Trump is how much he has destabilized the Republican party. That list, Palin included, would likely all keep the Republican facade of not being the Nazi Party still going though.

I dont know the answer ultimately. None of them would have helped Puerto Rico though, Trump just made it more obvious, just an fyi.

This island is a lost cause no matter who is sitting in the office imo.

I may have to move to the states in the future, heck mabye I can move to Great Britain, I always want to be in an English Countryside.

How well do you like sheep? They can be right noisy buggers.

I live in an island where you hear this sound every night:

And don't get me started on the Cocks and Roosters every morning.

Samtemdo8:
Snip

Saelune:
Snip

Not disagreeing with anyone here, just found a resource I thought you both might find interesting in light of the conversation you were having:

FiveThirtyEight have a resource which collects major votes, and makes a visual comparison between how a major figure has voted (such as McCain) and the Trump positions. It's by far the most easily readable resource for comparing voting positions I've seen.

Silvanus:

Samtemdo8:
Snip

Saelune:
Snip

Not disagreeing with anyone here, just found a resource I thought you both might find interesting in light of the conversation you were having:

FiveThirtyEight have a resource which collects major votes, and makes a visual comparison between how a major figure has voted (such as McCain) and the Trump positions. It's by far the most easily readable resource for comparing voting positions I've seen.

Wow, that's a pretty good source, and interesting as well. Why do I say it's interesting? Because of what Republican in the Senate is noted as having the most disagreements with Trump where it counts.

Seriously, a hand for Rand Paul, of all people.

ETA: Sorry, made a stupid mistake. I assumed the list was in order of highest to lowest percentage of agreement. The actually highest rate of disagreement for a Republican in the Senate is actually Susan M. Collins. That said, Rand Paul is still on the low end of the scale.

bastardofmelbourne:

Nedoras:
Yeah I heard he was retiring, but I'm not sure Romney would improve the current situation even remotely. He can be as vocal as he wants about how much he dislikes the president, what matters is what he does if he gets put in Hatch's place. I imagine he'll follow the Jeff Flake guideline of doing a bunch of grandstanding, but then voting the way the president wants every single time.

At this point, it's about thinking ahead to "which Republican senators c. 2020 would be willing to vote yes in hypothetical impeachment proceedings?" Flake and Corker are both retiring; McCain, sadly, probably won't live that long. The establishment Republican wing was vindicated in spectacular fashion in Alabama last month, and as time goes on, impeachment-minded Democrats will have to start eyeing potential turncoats across the aisle.

The Democrats do stand a small chance of winning a slim majority in the Senate this year - if they can pull off another two difficult wins in Arizona and Texas, of all places - but it's mathematically impossible for them to win enough Senate seats to meet the requirements for impeachment. They would need a significant chunk of Republican senators to cross the floor. Can Hypothetical Senator Mitt Romney be one of those senators? Maybe; it will largely depend on how badly Trump alienates him, on what hard evidence comes out of the Russia probe, how many critical Republican policy goals are on the line, and how preferable Hypothetical President Pence would be.

The thing is that the Republican policy agenda gets very hazy once you move past tax cuts. And with tax cuts out of the way, suddenly carrying water for Trump doesn't seem worth the effort.

I feel like that's a lot of wishful thinking though. As much as I would love for that walking, tweeting, embarrassment to be thrown out of the White House, he's still getting a lot of support from the Republican party. I don't think many of them want him in office, but I don't think those Republicans would want a member of their party to be impeached, whether they like him or not. In a logical world yes, they would want him out and would throw him out if the opportunity arrived. But that's not the world we live in. I realize I may be being overly cynical, but Republican politicians have given me little to no reason to have an ounce of damn faith in them. For example, you say that the establishment Republican wing was vindicated in Alabama when Roy Moore lost, but this is the same Republican wing that did a 180 and gave Roy Moore their support. They wanted him over Doug Jones, "values" be damned, they need votes. They don't care who their allies are, as long as their agenda gets through.

I don't know if it gets as hazy as you're making it out to be. After all they just pushed through that awful tax plan, which is going to add to the deficit and the Republicans HATE when that happens. I guess they'll just have to cut funding to social programs now to reduce it. Which, funny that, they were talking about doing that just today. Scaling back welfare is next on the agenda, and I imagine food stamps, Medicaid, and the like will closely follow. There's still plenty of things they want to do, and of coarse it involves screwing over the less fortunate for the "good of the country". They've wanted this for so damn long, and Trump is their key to doing so.

Granted they may not get anything done, as scaling back welfare will not be even remotely easy. But they've still got food left on their plate is my point.

Nedoras:
I realize I may be being overly cynical, but Republican politicians have given me little to no reason to have an ounce of damn faith in them.

Cynical, yes. Unwarranted, no. The Republican party has no clear ideology beyond tax cuts for rich people and a poisonous win-at-all-costs attitude. That said, Republican strategists are warning about the mid-terms. Steve Schmidt has expressed a concern that "blue wave" is an understatement for what will happen in 10 short months. Consider the following:

-The party in power typically loses some seats in the mid-terms, especially when you've got approval numbers like Trump's.
-Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have fled the island for the mainland US where they and the PR governor have said they intend to get electoral revenge on the Republican party for abandoning them.
-Paul Ryan has wood over the idea of axing Medicare, Medicaid, social security TANF and other safety nets. But those programs also keep a lot of registered Republicans alive. Ryan is asking Republican voters to choose which they love more: their kids' being fed, or their mango messiah. Their favorite political party, or being able to acquire health care. The AARP is particular will be forced to choose between nationalist populism... or their money.
-A large crop of progressive candidates from across under-represented demographics are throwing their hats in the ring from local to federal races with platforms that include education funding, legal weed, student loan forgiveness, free college, net neutrality, law enforcement reform, and a shitload of other things that Bernie Sanders proved a lot of people want.
-Republicans are hesitant to seek out Trump's endorsement because his picks keep losing. Not great optics.
-Demographic shifts mean that more millennials and people of color are voting than ever before, displacing the self-proclaimed Greatest Generation and the boomers who are starting to shuffle off the mortal coil in greater numbers.

None of this is to say that a blue victory is a sure thing. But it's probably the best shot progressivism has had in the US in a long time.

Silvanus:

Samtemdo8:
Snip

Saelune:
Snip

Not disagreeing with anyone here, just found a resource I thought you both might find interesting in light of the conversation you were having:

FiveThirtyEight have a resource which collects major votes, and makes a visual comparison between how a major figure has voted (such as McCain) and the Trump positions. It's by far the most easily readable resource for comparing voting positions I've seen.

Yeah, now I am sure anyone who thinks McCain is some sort of anti Trump 'Maverick" is wrong. But I mean, all I really needed as proof was the R next to his title.

Hey, Trumpy. Quit confirming Kim Jong Un's daily dose of paranoia.

Saelune:
Yeah, now I am sure anyone who thinks McCain is some sort of anti Trump 'Maverick" is wrong. But I mean, all I really needed as proof was the R next to his title.

Depends if you equate "anti-Trump" with anything. Someone could be anti-Trump in that they want to be the one making all the big mistakes, not much of an improvement for the general public.

Thaluikhain:

Saelune:
Yeah, now I am sure anyone who thinks McCain is some sort of anti Trump 'Maverick" is wrong. But I mean, all I really needed as proof was the R next to his title.

Depends if you equate "anti-Trump" with anything. Someone could be anti-Trump in that they want to be the one making all the big mistakes, not much of an improvement for the general public.

Pro-self is not the same as anti-Trump.

BeetleManiac:
SNIP

I also want to add that this year, which is only 6 days in mind everyone, has put a serious dent into the Republican Party almost immediately, thanks to Wolff and Trump. A lot of Republican Voters hate the Mainstream Neocon 'RINO' group, and were almost always going to vote for the Challengers that would mostly be Alt-Righters and backed by Steve Bannon. Then 'Fire and Fury' released, with the revelation that Bannon has bad mouthed almost all of Trump's Kids (if not Trump himself), and Trump decides to call Bannon out on it.

Now Bannon is a pariah to the Republican Party, so much so that we already have the Challengers distancing themselves from Bannon. The Problem is, hating Bannon now doesn't mean these voters will all of a sudden support the RINO's, who are already pariahs to these people. So where are the Republican Voters going to turn? Barring the few candidates who a) are complete political outsiders and b) do not get Bannon and the Alt-Right's support (and Bannon has no intention of not supporting outsiders, even if they don't want it), the Republican Voters are in a massive bind.

We're probably going to see a massive depression in Republican Voting all across the Country, not just in November, but in each and every Primary.

The best news about this, though, is that it effectively destroys the Alt-Right, as the few who care more about Racial Purity then Trump will have to go hide in the shadows again, as the masses drop Breitbart and go back to Fox News.

 

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