The GOP’s urge to purge

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Rick Horowitz
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

“All rise! All rise! Party Purity Panel No. 84110 is now in session—let all who have business before this court come forward and state their business.”

“Yes, Your Honors.”

“Who seeks recognition?”

“We do, Your Honors. We are the Purity Enforcement Committee for the district of Utah, and we…”

“A magnificent place, Utah.”

“We certainly think so, Your Honors. But the only way to ensure its continued magnificence is to be vigilant against deviationist behaviors on the part of our elected representatives.”

“And the deviant in this case?”

“Mr. Robert Bennett, Your Honors. Although he often goes by ‘Bob.’”


“A cynical ploy to make him appear less threatening to Utah values. Republican Utah values.”

“Which are one and the same, as we understand it.”

“Very true, Your Honors. Very true.”

“And the particulars of your complaint against this ‘Bob’ Bennett?”

“Numerous particulars, Your Honors, starting with the fact that Mr. Bennett is an incumbent.”

“An incumbent? And you can prove this?”

“Absolutely, Your Honors. Not only is he an incumbent—a United States senator, in fact—but he has occupied his current office for almost three full terms!”

“Reason enough to be rid of him, I’d say.”

“We couldn’t agree more, Your Honors. Incumbency is one of this country’s most serious problems. We need to replace incumbents with people who are not incumbents.”

“Although once these new people take office, don’t they become incumbents, too?”

“We’re still working on that, Your Honors—but first things first: Current incumbents must go. Then we’ll worry about future incumbents.”

“Fair enough. You said there was more?”

“Absolutely, Your Honors. Being an incumbent senator is obviously offense enough to warrant his removal, but Mr. ‘Bob’ Bennett also serves on the Senate’s ‘appropriations committee,’ where he…”


“Exactly! Which, as you all know, is just a fancy word for ‘spending.’ Spending taxpayer money!”

“Do you…”

“He even voted to spend money to bail out certain big East Coast financial firms just because they claimed to be on the verge of collapse.”

“And these bailouts failed?”

“Actually, they may have worked—but that’s beside the point. The point is he was spending our money! A real conservative would never have done such a thing!”


“And most egregious of all, Your Honors: Mr. ‘Bob’ Bennett has had deliberate and repeated contact with…the other side.”

“With Satan?”

“With Democrats! Consider, for instance, this recent attempt to reform the nation’s health care system, which I needn’t remind you is the best health care system in the world.”


“Exactly. But this particular bill attempted to alter that system in fundamental ways. It was called the ‘Wyden-Bennett bill,’ after its two principal sponsors.”

“And this ‘Wyden’ was…?”

“A Democrat, Your Honors! A Democrat senator! Mr. ‘Bob’ Bennett was working on legislation with a Democrat senator!”

“I think we’ve heard quite enough—quite enough indeed.”

“Thank you, Your Honors. If I could just…”

“There’s no need to continue. And no need for us to retire to chambers either. … Mr. Robert ‘Bob’ Bennett is hereby denied a place on the Republican Party primary ballot in the State of Utah, is required to end his Senate career at the earliest possible moment, and is further ordered to repent his recurring apostasy. Now…yes?”

“Sorry to interrupt, Your Honors, but are you guys almost done with the room? We’ve got a Purity Panel in here in a couple of minutes.”

“The Bennett panel? We’ve already taken care of that.”

“Nope—this one’s called ‘Liberals vs. Kagan.’”

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.

Last updated: 1:53 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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