Why I Will Not Support Bob Bennett for Senate

In my presentation speech at our Republican precinct caucus meeting, I described why I wanted to be a precinct chair. One of the reasons I stated is that a precinct chair is also a state delegate, and I wanted to be a state delegate so that I can cast a vote AGAINST Bob Bennett.

I have since received some e-mails and phone calls from voters encouraging me to vote for Bob Bennett in the state convention.  I feel I owe it to them to clarify why no amount of persuasion or money in the world will ever influence me to vote for the sitting Senator.

When I expressed in the caucus meeting my desire to be a state delegate in order to vote against Bob Bennett, I received much more than just a smattering of applause. A member of the caucus asked me who I did support and why.  I told them that I support Mike Lee for Senate for exactly the same reasons that I cannot support Senator Bennett.  Mike Lee has an understanding and devotion to the United States Constitution that is nearly the inverse of our currently sitting senator.  I won the office of precinct chair by a vote of 44-17.

In the fervor that occasionally arises, and has arisen now, to "throw the rascals out", a general throwing out of the bathwater might unintentionally include the baby (i.e. good leaders).  A handful of caucus members approached me at the end of the meeting, and others have communicated with me that they think Senator Bob Bennett is a good man.  Although Bob Bennett is a good man, he has not been a good Senator.

I want to make it clear that I do not dispute that point--I think Bob Bennett to be a very upstanding man.  I suspect I would thoroughly enjoy him as a co-worker, as a Sunday School teacher, and even as a next-door neighbor.  I have had enough experiences in my life, however, to know that being a good friend does not qualify someone to perform a particular skill. 

First let's look at the one way that Bob Bennett has been helpful to the citizens of Utah. Then I'll explain, with several examples, why this is not enough.

Besides the undisputed claim that Senator Bennett is a good man, the only other positive trait I have heard described by Bennett supporters is that he has "gotten a lot of good things for Utah".  It is poignant to consider that, because many of the "good things" he has gotten for Utah are violative of the Constitutiton, Mike Lee (or most any of the other candidates for Senate) will likely not bring these same good things to Utah.  To take a stance against receiving money handouts from the federal government is difficult, but it is the correct stance.  With minimal thought, it becomes clear that attached to the good things brought to Utah by Senator Bennett are the debilitating and devasting strings of long-term debt and legal and cultural malaise.

I now list a series of things, almost any of which to me, if taken by itself, disqualify Senator Bennett from being a Senator.

Declaration of War.  In 2002, when the Bush Administration made claims that the United States needed to pre-emptively attack Iraq, Congress voted to Authorize the President to Use Military Force (AUMF) in order to accomplish whatever he deemed necessary to protect us from the ogre Saddam Hussein.  Congress, according to the Constitution, (except to repel immediate invasion) must make an official declaration of war before long-term military force can be used.  That never happened.  Instead, Bob Bennett and a majority of both houses of Congress granted a blank check to George W. Bush to exercise whatever military force his administration desired.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
.  Prior to the empire building of the Bush Administration, the surveillance of any kind of foreign intelligence required a search warrant obtained from a court.  During the manufactured frenzy of the War on Terror, George Bush persuaded Congress to remove the requirement for a warrant, making it possible for law enforcement offficials to eavesdrop on essentially anyone, anywhere, anytime.  Telephone companies have since been compelled to turn over entire sets of data for NSA, FBI, and CIA operatives to examine. This violates Americans' constitutional rights to not be subject to illegal searches and seizures, and to not be searched unless a warrant is issued based on probable cause to believe that a crime has been or will soon be committed.   Bob Bennett voted to take away this fundamental Constitutional right.

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). 
Not in the wildest imagination of anyone on earth can the $700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street in 2008 be considered to be in the general welfare of the United States, another constitutional requirement that Senator Bob Bennett ignored when he voted to pay off the tycoons in the financial sector.

Government Health Care.  The United States has had some form of government-controlled health care scheme since 1964, so it does not occur to most Americans that such control is beyond the limits of the federal government's constitutional authority.  Although Senator Bennett voted against the recently passed "Obamacare" health care regime, he recently sponsored increased government control of health care in the United States in the form of a bill that was touted as "Obamacare Lite"

Hundreds of Millions in Earmark Spending.  During his tenure as Senator, Bennett has voted consistently to apply your tax dollars toward the funding of items that are for the welfare of specific groups of people. The United States Constitution requires that any law or appropriation done or made by Congress must before the general welfare of all Americans.

Because of an irresponsible congress, every man, woman, and child in the United States owes to the government a debt of nearly a half million dollars, money that many of us will never encounter in our entire lifetimes.  This is not a per family debt--it is per person.  Along with several other profligate spenders and irresonsible shepherds, Senator Robert Bennett is to blame for this debt that has been incurred on your behalf.

Having lived an economically unsustainable lifestyle, America is at an economic and social precipice because of what we have allowed our national government to do to us.  If we expect to recover from our malaise, we must start over by rebuilding our national government. In order to recover, members of both houses of Congress, with very few exceptions, must be replaced with men and women who possess fiscal and Constitutional integrity.

Over the course of the last several years, Bob Bennett has consistently displayed to his constituents that he does not have such integrity.  To show that we understand the necessity of the principles of good government, it is imperative that Utahns set the example for the rest of the nation and remove Senator Bob Bennett from office.

Because I have faith that Mike Lee will have the wisdom and the courage, where Senator Bennett did not,  to vote as the Constitution of the United States requires, I support Mike Lee for Senate.


  1. The title of this blog is an incomplete sentence, and as such doesn't make any sense.

    Have you been driving around and drinking with Sheldon Killpack Frank, or do you just sometimes forget to read what you have written?

  2. Interesting thoughts, Frank, and I enjoyed reading the article. And while I understand your points, I have to ask, what makes Mike Lee different from Bob Bennett. While I have enjoyed Lee's speeches, I have my doubts to whether or not he will be anything different than we have already seen.

    After all, Jason Chaffetz ran a similar "Constitution" and "Conservative Values" campaign, and now we are left with a politician who does little more than appear on Late Night talk-shows.

    Washington is a not simply a place, it is a system. I think most politicians cannot resist adapting to the system. Bennett ran a very different campaign when he first stepped into the arena, and then he adapted to the system. Whether we like or hate the system, it is what it is. Can Mike Lee still be Mike Lee after a number of years in the Senate? Or will he simply become another Bennett once he develops clout and gains experience?

  3. Senator Bennett (77) and Senator Hatch (76) have been in office so long they are in danger of fossilization. Even if their replacements will be just as conservative, somebody else deserves a chance to go to Washington.

  4. I'm with the Farmer on this one. Time after time Americans elect people who claim to support the beliefs and ideals of their constituents and almost without fail we are disappointed in the person once they are in office. You can read the interviews with various Congress members and Senators and discover that they spend most of their time raising money for their next campaign rather than doing the people's business.

    It takes a great deal of money to run for the US Senate, and with the recent Supreme Court ruling greasing the skids, the next elections will cost even more. Candidates who oppose the beltway consensus (more military, more spying including on Americans, more giveaways to Wall Street, etc.) find themselves facing very, very well-financed opponents. Since most Americans don't even bother to vote, and a big proportion of those who do haven't taken the time to educate themselves on the issues, the constant barrage of commercials carries a lot of weight with voters.

    If I lived in Utah, you wouldn't catch me voting for Bennett either, but I wouldn't kid myself that Lee or another viable candidate would be any better once in office. If we don't get money out of elections and fix the media in this country, we aren't going to be able to change Washington

  5. Mike Lee has done an excellent job so far of distancing himself from his famous (though now deceased) father, President Rex E. Lee and the silver spoon he (Mike) had in his mouth at birth. You kid yourself -- ALL OF YOU -- if you believe it would take longer than two seconds for Mike Lee and his family to take abundant advantage of the "system" and "perks" in Washington.

    His parents were pros at it and came to BYU expecting to be treated the exact same way. They took advantage of the BYU system and expected their children to be treated like princes and princesses while Rex was President. The children expected the same thing. They pulled every string imaginable. Mike was the worst of them. Don't think he has changed or would change for Washington D.C.

    If you are looking for a "Mr. Smith goes to Washington, this is NOT the guy. He is masquerading and apparently doing a good job of it because a lot of you are buying it. I don't want to vote for Bob Bennett either, but I will not vote for Mike Lee. I have seen his underbelly and it is NOT PRETTY.

  6. Not surprising that "anonymous" wants to remain that way. Not an ounce of courage in that dude's remarks, and they reek of something other than reality. He's exactly the kind of guy who writes on restroom walls.


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