Monday, 3 October 2011

Player Hatin' And Legislatin'

This morning's episode of Good Morning Utah featured an amusing update from failed gubernatorial candidate Morgan Philpot on one of the more idiotic conspiracy theories I've heard lately. Given a 15 - 4 majority on the Redistricting Committee, a 55 - 20 majority in the House, a 21 - 8 majority in the Senate, the Governorship, and a 4-1 lead in the United States Congress, what would the logical appraisal of this situation be for the Utah Republican Party?

If you guessed "whine and bitch like a bunch of cranky toddlers," you are a winner!

As GMU has been telling us (with a little help from Carl Wimmer), Herbert is apparently afraid of a confrontation with Jim Matheson, the lone "Democrat" representing Utah in the House of Representatives. Matheson, you see, has threatened to run, or Senator, or something... if the current redistricting scheme puts him out of a job.

It has been reliably hilarious to watch political cannibals like Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett kick up a fuss about the ongoing insurgent candidacies of Jason Chaffetz and Mike Lee, and to see the fear that an emasculated, milquetoast moderate like Matheson apparently strikes into adult humans in the Utah Republican Party. I don't believe for a second that Herbert's job is in danger (at least at this point), and I certainly don't think that Matheson will send our children to Communo-Islamo-homosexual reeducation camps if he's reelected or elected to another office. What I do think is that hysterical fear-mongering is good for contributions, and that hard-line conservatives are a group that is pretty easy to freak out with Marxist boogeymen (see also: the career of Glenn Beck; the fact that Cleon Skousen is not considered a lunatic by many Utahns).

So now former Herbert opponent Morgan Philpot claims that "Herbert [is] trying to help his job by saving Matheson." Is this a credible enough claim that it merits statewide attention by a major news network? Maybe. Is ABC 4 in particular given to acting as a mouthpiece for conservative crackpots? Especially lately - while they do grant more or less equal time to Democrats, ABC 4 has definitely proved that they are a reliable loudspeaker for Utah Republican talking points (KSL is also very much a creature of Utah County).

In other weekend news of Utah's political parties, the Democratic Party launched a new caucus aimed at LDS Democrats just in time for conference weekend. I think that's great - the bigger the tent and the healthier and more diverse the discussion the better (no matter what party).

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