(hat tip to Andrew Sullivan)
Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) has all the good reason to be bitter. In May he became the first incumbent Senator to lose his seat in a primary. He drafted the well-known GOP alternative health care proposal known as the Wyden/Bennett Bill. In an address yesterday he predicted the GOP will take back the House and (after Robert Byrd’s death) likely take back the Senate as well. He is not exactly complimentary of his party that just voted him out:
“As I look out at the political landscape now, I find plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas. If you raise specific ideas and solutions, as I tried to do on health care with Ron Wyden, you are attacked with the same vigor as we’ve seen in American politics all the way back to the arguments over slavery and polygamy. You are attacked as being a wimp, insufficiently pure and unreliable.
The pendulum will swing. And we will take control of the House — I think that’s going to happen — and frankly, with the death of Robert C. Byrd there’s a chance we will take control of the Senate as well. At which point, it’s ‘thank you for the slogans’ and ‘thank you for the election.’ But in the immortal words of Robert Redford in the movie, The Candidate, ‘What do we do now?'”
This man, a three-term Senator, knows Washington better than most. And here he crystallizes the problem of the day. Lack of Cooperation. And he says what many of us wake up thinking every day when we scratch our heads wondering ‘why does our system suck so much?’. The GOP isn’t cooperating – and they never plan to. Bennett co-wrote legislation that would change our health care system dramatically shifting government out of the way and focusing on individuals and the insurance carriers, and he was voted out. There seems to be a big crop of voters and activists who don’t want change or new ideas – they just want blood.