The Hill: Democrats seized Thursday on remarks by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in which he appeared to suggest the poor should have a greater responsibility to contribute to government coffers.
Hatch, during a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, seemed to say that the poor could do more to address the deficit.
….The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) pounced on Hatch, who faces a potentially difficult reelection next fall, as well as a possibly difficult primary challenge.
“Republican priorities are completely out of whack, and Orrin Hatch’s comments prove that point,” DSCC spokesman Shripal Shah said. “It’s bad enough that Republicans are doing everything they can to protect tax breaks for millionaires and special interests, but the fact that the Republican idea of shared sacrifice means going after the those who are struggling the most is completely reprehensible.”
Steve Benen: Less than two months ago, Sen. Dick Lugar (R) of Indiana was still touting his support for the DREAM Act … one of the strongest Republican supporters of the bill not only boasted about being a co-sponsor of the measure, but said he hoped it will actually pass this year.
And then he got a primary challenger.
“As the politics of the 2012 election heat up, GOP Sen. Richard Lugar declined today to join Democrats in reintroducing an immigration measure he’s long supported. Lugar has for years co-sponsored with Sen. Dick Durbin a bill to let illegal immigrants who grew up in the United States earn legal status through college or the military.”
….The senator wants to do the right thing, and understands how worthwhile the legislation would be, but suddenly can’t be responsible because right-wing activists in his home state will kick him out of work unless he panders to them shamelessly.
We’re starting to see the same thing with Olympia Snowe (R) in Maine, who’s moving to the right, and Orrin Hatch (R) in Utah, who’s already dropped his strong support for the DREAM Act and is quickly becoming one of the institution’s most buffoonish hacks. Both are facing credible primaries, and so both have given up their decency. Now, we see Lugar starting to do the same thing. It’s quite sad.