Usually the way of things in D.C. is a scandal breaks out and then (if they’re Republican) they lose their seat in office. Instead, Senator Bob Bennett of Utah lost his Senate seat in the primary and then had the scandal.
U.S. senators or Senate employees received 30 loans—far more than had previously been known—under a controversial lending program at Countrywide Financial Corp. that provided cut-rate terms to favored borrowers.
The information is contained in a letter sent to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), who has been spearheading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation into Countrywide’s so-called VIP mortgage program.
No specific loan recipients were named in the letter. But Mr. Issa’s letter said borrowers on a dozen loans listed their place of employment as the office of “Senator Robert Bennett.” Available public records don’t indicate that Sen. Bennett, a Utah Republican and member of the Senate Banking Committee, received a Countrywide home loan.
This offers a lesson. People have to get past simple numbers. The GOP has 41 Senators in Congress…but do they really? They have liberals like the Maine girls and Graham and sometimes McCain and Scott Brown…and then they have establishment types like Bennett and Cornyn and Grassley. So how many Senators do they really have…somewhere in the 30’s maybe. It’s the same with these “vote rankings” where they trumpet, ‘I have a 96% conservative rating!’ This is always misleading as not all issues/votes are equal. A vote for Obamacare carries more weight than a vote for a bridge in Syracuse, New York.
This is why the removal of Bob Bennett in Utah is so important. On paper, when Mike Lee presumably wins in November, it will be put down as “unchanged,” but that’s not even close to true. The GOP doesn’t just want 51 Senators with an (R) next to their name. They need quality people. Bennett is an establishment-crook. Replacing him with a true conservative/libertarian is a bird in the hand versus two Lindsey Grahams in a bush.
You have to get past this desire for a candidate with “electability” and find quality people to run for office. If they lose this time around, you try again in two years. Gotta think long-term.