Hatch’s Senior Moment

Sen. Oren Hatch wrote in an article in a newspaper in his home state of Utah that he left a meeting with Judge Merrick Garland convinced that nothing happened in the session to change his opposition to President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

There was just one problem with that conclusion. The 82-year-old senior Senate Republican had not yet even met with the Jewish nominee to the high court. 

After 40 years in the Senate Hatch is starting to remember things that happened tomorrow.   Maybe he's been there too long.

His explanation was that he wrote the article well in advance of the meeting and it was prematurely published by the Deseret News.

Now he was either confused, forgetful or had made up his mind in advance about blocking the nomination of a man he called "an honorable public servant" and voted confirm in 1997 for his present seat on the federal appeals bench.

Hatch made clear he is not only opposed to Garland's nomination but wants to make sure he doesn't even get a fair hearing much less a fair vote.

I wonder if he'd have felt the same way if he'd realized his own longtime desire to be named  to the Supreme Court.

He was said to be on Ronald Reagan's short list but the nod went to Robert Bork, Douglas Ginsburg and finally Anthony Kennedy.  More recently he was reportedly on George W. Bush's short lists but lost out twice to John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

How would he have felt if he had been nominated and the Senate refused even to give him a hearing?

It would have been interesting watching the hearings and see him explain how he once compared homosexuals to Nazis.

Maybe it's time to retire from politics and devote his dotage to his song writing hobby. Or writing op eds about things that are yet to happen.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.