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Three Term Republican Senator Robert Bennett Loses Primary: Tea Party Demonstrates That Business As Usual Is Over In Washington

Utah Republican Senator Robert Bennett was denied a fourth term in the United States Senate today when he failed to overcome objections to his nomination from Tea Party activists, according to the Washington Post:

By Amy Gardner Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, May 9, 2010

The national "tea party" movement toppled its first incumbent Saturday as long-serving Sen. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) was defeated at the Utah Republican Party's nominating convention, the most powerful demonstration yet of the anti-Washington tide that is altering the nation's political landscape.

Bennett, seeking a fourth term after 18 years in office, became the first sitting senator to fall in the ideological battle being waged in his party. Although he has long been viewed as a reliable conservative with deep Mormon roots, Republicans instead rallied behind two candidates -- neither of whom has held political office -- who will compete for the nomination at a June primary.

National tea party organizers embraced the victory as a major first step toward returning the Republican Party to its conservative foundations of limited government and low taxes. At the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, tea party activists cheered and celebrated after Bennett lost.

"This is a symbol that the tea party movement and the broader limited-government agenda is huge," said Brendan Steinhauser, grass-roots director for the national tea party organization FreedomWorks, which set up a booth at the convention to herald Bennett's defeat. "It's the center of American politics. It's everything that we've been saying it is. It's not just a protest movement; it's a political force."

Steinhauser said Bennett's defeat represents a critical first win that will help build momentum in other contests across the nation. Next up is Kentucky, where tea party candidate Rand Paul is running hard in a GOP primary battle against Trey Grayson, the handpicked candidate of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Some tea party activists suggested they may seek to oust Utah's other senator, Orrin Hatch (R), whose term expires in 2012.

As I mentioned in the post below, voters are angry and few incumbents are safe in the 2010 mid terms.


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Comments (20)

Good, incumbents have to go... (Below threshold)
ken:

Good, incumbents have to go. All of them, starting with our own. The party system is corrupt and has to be rebuilt.

Few incumbants are safe?</p... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Few incumbants are safe?

OK by me, Hugh.

By the 1860's the Republica... (Below threshold)
Deke:

By the 1860's the Republican party had fully supplanted the Whig party in American politics, I'm hoping this is another step along that path.

We don't need a 3rd party, we just need to replace the current Republican one so that people have a clear choice to choose from. The people needed that clear choice during the chaos of that time. We are at the same junction now.

In the 1860's the issues of the expansion of slavery, states rights etc., had come to a boiling point and the Whigs were the great "compormisers" yet, in truth, these issues were too important to compromise on. Today the Dem's have shown they are controlled by a Facist/Socialist agenda determined to controll every aspect of Americans lives. We need a clear choice of political leaders who are strong and vocal advocating smaller, less intrusive gov't. This, along with Rubio in FL and other races across the country are sending a clear msg that the days of "compromising" are over and that Conservatives want more than lip service. Good on you Utah, good job showing the way.

The most important race of ... (Below threshold)

The most important race of the year is the KY Senate seat. Jim Demint vs. Mitch Mcconnel's hand picked former-Clinton supporter RINO.

Rand Paul is a true constitutional conservative. It would be a total blow to the GOP insider RINOS to have Paul win.

Paul is endorsed by Palin, Bunning, James Dobson, Steve Forbes, Jim Demint, and Red State.

Find out more:

http://www.randpaul2010.com

stand with the American peo... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

stand with the American people for FREEDOM or get the hell out of the way!

2010 is our last chance to do this in an orderly fashion.

But I will NOT yield!

Dear Mr.Bennett, don't let ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Dear Mr.Bennett, don't let the door hit you in the ass, this time there's a boot following it.

"Don't get cocky!"... (Below threshold)
han solo:

"Don't get cocky!"

Bennett is certainly expend... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Bennett is certainly expendable despite his lifetime 85 rating from ACU because Utah isn't going to be electing a Democrat to the Senate under any reasonable scenario.

Some of my conservative pals forget, though, that the proper time for an ideological purge is once we have a firm grip on power, not while we have a slight chance of taking control. They think they are pulling out the long knives when, in reality, all they are doing is organizing a circular firing squad facing inward.

Backing isolationist kooks like Paul or wacko crooks like Hayworth in states where Democrats might have some shot at taking the seat is just plain nuts.

Bennett is not out because ... (Below threshold)

Bennett is not out because he is an incumbent. Bennett is out because he voted for the TARP, proposed liberal progressive health care reform, and is a person who believes in big government as the answer to issues.

Every State should be like ... (Below threshold)
poptoy:

Every State should be like Utah. Just got to love Utah for telling it like it is.

It races my pulse a bit, bu... (Below threshold)
Don L:

It races my pulse a bit, but I try not to confuse winning a battle with winning a war.

There are far too many people in America that are unaware or unconcerned about loss of freedom and potential destruction of the primary source of good (a nation under God) in the world, and they are far too willing to give it all away for - at minimum- the nanny state - at worse, the most potentially cruel times in history. With an un-guided secularized world divided into "give me mine, or else" groups, and the present absolute distain for human life and moral structure, since Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, we are in for severe difficulty ahead.

People who casually kill babies out of the womb, and seek civilian armies, sending their goons to beat up old citizens exercising their God-given rights are capable of anything. All their cards aren't on the table yet.

Frankly - I think it's time to double up on the prayers. Pessimistic or observant? Who knows till it's over.

This is a good start. At t... (Below threshold)

This is a good start. At the very least it sends a strong message that things are going to be different now. The people are taking back America. I hope we don't throw the good incumbents out with the bad, but we may have to to get rid of the rampant corruption.

I think the worst thing you... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I think the worst thing you could have as a 'label' this election cycle is the word "Incumbent" next to your name.

This used to be an almost iron-clad guarantee of re-election.

Throw the bums out. Clean h... (Below threshold)
914:

Throw the bums out. Clean house.

3-terms? As in, 18 years? <... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

3-terms? As in, 18 years?

Yeah, that's enough. Time to move on Senator. It shouldn't be a lifetime appointment.

Some of my cons... (Below threshold)
Some of my conservative pals forget, though, that the proper time for an ideological purge is once we have a firm grip on power
Like between 1994 and 2006? Yeah, that worked.

You let the rent-seekers in the door of power at all and you're just never going to get rid of them. Better to risk being "out" a little longer than to give those rats another taste of the cheese.

We're still celebrating in ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

We're still celebrating in our little town in southern Utah. Bob Bennett has been a boil on our butt for too long. His votes on the bailout and his pro-illegal immigration stance a'la John McCain are finally paid back in full.

A great first step. We must... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

A great first step. We must NEVER allow republican party elitist types to bask in the "lesser of two evils" argument again. RINOs should be GONE, PERIOD. And Bennett is now a GOOD RINO...gone!!!

Would liberals be smart eno... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Would liberals be smart enough to dump Nancy Pelosi?

Hahahahahaha!!!!!!

#16Amen. The time ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

#16

Amen. The time to purge the poseurs is now when we have the most leverage. I pray that the GOP finds its roots. And I pray they don't win another election until they do!

I don't know how Bennett scored an 85 with the ACU. All I know is that his votes on illegal immigration alone were pathetic.

He outlived his time, and we Utahns are glad to be shed of him.




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