Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Wild West Hanging Party

Voter vigilantes are out for blood, and they can't wait for November to get it.

That was the message yesterday from Utah as a Tea Party posse took over the state Republican convention and convicted three-term Sen. Bob Bennett of not being conservative enough.

It was like a scene from the 1940 movie, "The Westerner," in which Hanging Judge Roy Bean metes out summary justice to suspects in a saloon. Mitt Romney showed up to plead for the accused, but the rowdy jury convicted Bennett as a horse thief for such specific crimes as voting for the TARP bank bailout and the general malfeasance of being an incumbent.

For months now, John McCain, the former "Maverick," has been saddling up and racing to the Right for the Republican primary in Arizona, but yesterday's Utah result suggests he may have trouble outrunning his angry pursuers, who this year won't listen to arguments about the advantages of seniority in Senate and yesterday dropped the 76-year-old Bennett in favor of two relative newcomers under 50, who will vie for the mantle of being more outsider-than-thou.

Walter Brennan won an Academy Award for playing the irascible Bean, the self-appointed "Law West of the Pecos," but this year the crowds of extras are taking over the spotlight and pushing all the well-known faces out of camera range.

The demographics of next year's Congress are sure to be different. The newcomers are going to be younger, but will they be any smarter?

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