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January 10, 2006
RNC Blogger Forum: Senator Orrin Hatch

2:14 - If the Democrats were as interested in fighting terror as they are in fighting Alito, we'd all be safe.

2:16 - Very pleased with Alito's performance; says his demeanor and performance ranks up there with John Roberts.

2:17 - Kennedy and Biden blew the Vanguard issue out of all proportion. He reminded us that the agreement was that Alito would recuse himself from cases in the initial period of his service.

2:20 - Hatch, like Frist, expects a party-line vote.

2:22 - Abortion is the be-all, end-all issue that provides the main identity for Democrats.

2:27 - Hatch says the GOP is ready to counter a filibuster with the Constitutional option. He hopes that the Senate would move away from treating the Supreme Court nominations through a partisan filter. Republicans accepted Breyer and Ginsburg overwhelmingly because they were qualified, regardless of their personal beliefs. He recalled when the Democrats released medical records to smear Rehnquist.

2:32 - Do we just resign ourselves to this kind of partisanship? Hatch says it took us 40 years to take over the majority, and the Democrats don't know how to be in the minority. On the other hand, the GOP often doesn't know how to act like a majority, either. Hatch reminds us that the Senate rules require working across the aisle to get anything done at all. With the Democrats not offering much of anything as a legislative agenda, it makes negotiations difficult.

2:38 - We need 60 Republicans who can stand together, and we could change the world.

2:42 - "Principled conservatives with brains can win anywhere."

2:43 - Abramoff: "Not a good Republican ... I don't know what he was thinking."

2:45 - Hatch is not a fan of the BCRA. "That's gotta be one of the worst bills in history." It takes the money out of the hands of the parties, which can be held accountable for their actions, and into the hands of those who can avoid the accountability.

2:48 - Civil-Rights Act: The effects-test in section II has caused a number of problems with electoral processes. Hatch knew it would turn the South Republican through ridiculous redistricting but fought against it. Abigail Thermstrom joined us without us realizing it and spoke to Hatch's leading work on trying to get the CRA correct. She wants the penalty provisions of the bill lifted from the Act; "It's not 1965 any more, and Bull Connor is dead." (Thurston is the vice-chair of the Civil Rights Commission.)

2:54 - Mitt Romney: "An absolutely brilliant administrator ... what you see is what you get." Hatch points out that, like himself, Romney is Mormon; Hatch filed for the 2000 Presidential race in part to clear a path for Romney.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 10, 2006 1:19 PM

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