Orrin Hatch is dead. He was my senator for while, when I lived in Utah, and I learned quickly to detest him. Even the Salt Lake Tribune was sometimes ambivalent about him: they called for his resignation in 2018, even after they’d propped him up for years, with this overlong and somewhat confusing headline: Sen. Orrin Hatch’s 42-year legacy includes passing sweeping legislation, working across the aisle while sometimes being sharply partisan and, for the past two years, sidling up to Trump. Not to mention his history of sidling up to Reagan.
I think this article in the Nation better summarizes his legacy.
Orrin Hatch Was Never a ‘Public Servant’. The retiring senator has always been a shameless tool of billionaire campaign donors and a partisan errand boy for the likes of Donald Trump.
Few, aside from President Trump, Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, and the lobbyists for the special interests Hatch served, will miss one of the most egregious hypocrites ever to serve in a chamber where mendacity has always been well represented.
That was written while he was alive, and the journalist could be honest. Brace yourself for a few days of slimy politicians and biased journalists to start vomiting up buckets and buckets of whitewash now.
Walter Solomon says
Nothing of value was lost by his passing.
Oh well, one less for the Gipper.
And a fair bit less air pollution.
Plus: helped fund AIDS research and care (the only positive I can think of).
Among the many minuses: Main author of legislation that exempted the supplement industry from meaningful FDA oversight.
Good riddance Orrin Hatch but the worrying thing is the regressive reichwing politicians seem to be showing a trend of getting ever worse. So will Hatchés replacement be worse yet?
I’m guessing that there will be no shortage of volunteers willing to insure that his grave is kept well-watered.
@david Yes, Hatch gave us the Dietary Health and Supplement act, which pretty much ensured that the supplement industry would avoid meaningful oversight. His family was heavily involved with the supplement industry.
Re: SteveR @ #4…
His replacement in the Senate is Mitt Romney.
Akira MacKenzie says
To paraphrase H.L. Mencken:
Has it been duly marked by historians that Orrin Hatch’s last secular act on this globe of sin was to catch flies?
Can we bury the Hatch Amendment along with him? You know a lot of the praises from the right will be for his anti-abortion crusade and sorrow that he did not live to see the end of Roe this summer.
Down the Hatch.
I’m really surprised no one said this before me.
Yes, Orrin Hatch was one of the co-sponsors of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. The other was Tom Harkin, a democrat from Iowa. And of course Bill Clinton was the president who signed the act into law.
The result, 28 years later, is a constant stream of ads for beet chews, fish oil, and whatnot that “support” the health of various organs and systems and come with disclaimers that “these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA” and “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease,” disclaimers that are always much smaller than the vague health improvements they tout.
The act was preceded by one of the more bullshit ad campaigns you’ll ever see, including the classic one where Mel Gibson gets arrested for taking vitamin C.
Any praise for the legacy of Orrin Hatch should come with its own disclaimers.
Young Living essential oils is a big MLM in Utah, and of course LulaRoe etc.
The below excellent, enraging podcast does a great job of showing how evil MLMs are. They prey especially on religious women who want to stay home with kids, and also want or need more money. And they have infiltrated to the highest levels of our government. (DeVos family made their money via Amway.)
Hatch was also one of the main killers of the Equal Rights Amendment. I wish there were a hell for guys like him, who created so much hell for others on earth.
bcw bcw says
The NY Times obit, for once, isn’t totally bowdlerized with sections like
“Throughout his Senate years, Mr. Hatch had been a gentlemanly conservative rock. He blocked labor law reforms and fair housing bills with filibusters, tying up Senate business for weeks. He voted against the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have enshrined gender equality as a bedrock civil right, and he proposed a Constitutional amendment to make abortion illegal…he held hard-right views on gun control, capital punishment, immigration and balanced budgets. He also opposed same-sex marriage, although he endorsed civil unions and laws barring discrimination against gay and transgender people in housing and employment.”
“he held hard-right views on gun control, capital punishment, immigration and balanced budgets. He also opposed same-sex marriage, although he endorsed civil unions and laws barring discrimination against gay and transgender people in housing and employment.”
“Senators, even Republicans, called him relatively humorless.”
“Mr. Hatch was occasionally criticized for potential conflicts of interest. He publicly defended the Bank of Credit and Commerce International before it was closed in 1991 in a massive fraud case, and later acknowledged that he had solicited a $10 million loan from the bank for a business associate.”
“During the opioid crisis in 2015, he introduced a bill to narrow the authority of government regulators to halt the marketing of drugs by predatory pharmaceutical companies. It later emerged that he had received $2.3 million in donations from the drug industry over 25 years…But there were no political repercussions.”
One thing they don’t mention is his role in preventing the huge nutritional supplement business, which has a large presence in Utah, from being regulated properly. Since most of the hard right podcasts like Alex Jones live off supplement advertising, Hatch is responsible for a awful lot of lies.
Akira MacKenzie says
Not to mention create a revenue stream for fascist media personalities like Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, et al..
Slightly (but not entirely OT), Kristjan Wager of Pro-science here at FTB, whom some were concerned about as he hadn’t posted in something like 6 weeks, has just put up a post motivated by Odious Hatch, The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a farce.
It later emerged that he had received $2.3 million in donations from the drug industry over 25 years…
US Senators are so cheap. We might as well get two.
People deserving of being much more missed : Actor Robert Morse has died. Rapper DJ Kay Slay has died of covid.
And that is just from the site you linked to.
Good news from the French election.
He should have died herebefore. DSHEA kills.
It’s little known that Utah is the supplement capital of the US. It is by far the state that manufactures the most supplements in the country. So of course Orrin Hatch was a pit bull in defense of the supplement industry. From 2011:
Eventually, as Hatch neared retirement, others took up the banner:
What I’ll always remember about Orrin Hatch is that whenever some candidate for some office or judgeship was before him, he’d always ask if they’d promise to target pornography through prosecution or legislation. What an asshole! Glad he’s dead.