A letter to tack to the Tea Party’s temple door for the edification of it’s elders, Jason Chaffetz, Carl Wimmer, Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch.
First, Orrin, you’re so old that I could run against you as the “youth” candidate. What happened to “two terms and retirement?” What was that you said to Senator Ted Moss as you did to him what Jason Caffetz is about to do to you?
Mike, you’re a brilliant man, gifted with a brain by your dad, Rex, and mom, Janet. But Rex was no idealogue. He was witty, and as urbane as a cowboy can be. In serving as Supreme Court clerk to Whizzer White, he worked well with Democrats. Democrats here, certainly this one, could vote for Rex in a second. But Rex could never have survived, let alone have supported the rancid rhetoric of the Tea Party. I knew your dad far longer than you were permitted to do. I wrote the letter for Rex, to Justice White, as he applied as a Supreme Court clerk, over Rex’s signature, all not quite within the rules. He said I wrote better and I knew he knew more “downtown law practice” than I would ever know.
I don’t know Jason Chaffetz, but I get a great deal of joy watching him make great good sense, done with a winner’s sense of timing and theatre. Both Mike and Jason will go far. I have nothing to say about Wimmer, except what I would say to all our Tea Party darlings:
l. Do you promise in the first term of your election-for-life (this is, after all, Utah, the land off dinosaurs) to renounce your Cadillac health care, for life, since it’s provided, unconstitutionally you say, by the federal government?
2. Do you promise to pack heat in the Senate and the House, openly, as you demand we do at the University of Utah? An AK 47 and at least one six-shooter will do. Sooner than later, there will be killings when you combine volatile rhetoric, ramped up “facts” that aren’t, and guns.
3. Do you promise to defile your homes, offices, and the Capitol Building the way you all have defiled our state as lackeys of Energy Solutions, with among other goodies, depleted uranium? What is the aversion of ethical morons, however bright, to the morality of “not in my backyard?” In fact, you have no more regard for your own backyard than four pigs in a parlor, or more accurately, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
4. Do you promise to insure us against global warming, happening right now while your heads are in the ground and your hind parts where your brains should be? Is your only answer to global warming to assure a Nuclear Winter, which you do by your opposition to bipartisan nuclear weapons treaties? These have been endorsed by every Secretary of State from Ronald Reagan’s presidency through the administrations of Bush the elder to our nation’s worst president in a walk, George the Less? One way or the other, you fellas do pack heat.
5. Do you promise to continue to oppose Utah’s reception of federal aid to schools, highways, food banks, unemployment insurance, and health care, already paid for by our own income and other taxes?
This list, drawn from the Tea Party’s manual of destruction of our federal government in favor of the states, could go on. Do the Tea Partyers still think the South won the Civil War?
Ed Firmage, Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law, emertus, University of Utah College of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah.