Sen. Orrin Hatch bizarrely thanks Utah newspaper for editorial calling on him to retire


The Salt Lake Tribune blasts the senator's "utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power." And he thinks it's a compliment.

Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who is the longest serving member of the Senate, forgot to read the fine print.

On Twitter, he thanked the Salt Lake Tribune for naming him "Utahn of the Year."

"Grateful for this great Christmas honor from the Salt Lake Tribune," he tweeted on Christmas day.

If he had actually read the editorial, perhaps he would not have felt quite so honored. The editorial is a blistering condemnation of Hatch's record in the Senate, describing the White House's "anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments" this year as a favor to Hatch in exchange for his vote on the tax bill.

Hatch got what he wanted, and after the passage of the tax bill, he delivered a thoroughly humiliating speech heaping unqualified praise on Trump and even suggesting Trump's would be the greatest presidency "we’ve seen not only in generations but maybe ever."

But that's not all.

The Tribune calls out Hatch for his "utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power," and specifically what appears more and more to be a broken promise not to seek re-election after the 2012 race.

For that "lie," the Tribune declares, Hatch should retire, as his stronghold over that seat — essentially blocking would-be replacements from launching bids for next year's re-election — amounts to "a theft from the Utah electorate."

The Tribune bestowed the title of "Utahn of the Year" on Hatch not as an honor, but rather, as it explains in the second paragraph, because he "has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill."

Clearly, the paper's editorial board does not consider his impact for good. But at least Hatch feels honored — even if he shouldn't.