The Tea Party claimed its first major victim yesterday when it denied Republican Robert Bennett a chance to run for a fourth term in the Senate. An eighteen-year Senate veteran, Bennett finished in third place in a delegate vote at the GOP state convention, stripping him of his party’s nomination and forcing him into an early retirement.
Bennett was a target for Tea Party activists because of his support for the bank bailout and a bi-partisan health-care bill. He was also hurt by the amount of earmarks he brought back to his state, which went unappreciated by those who prefer reduced government spending to money. Not even the support of Utah’s golden boy Mitt Romney could help Bennett overcome his opponents. Bennett’s failure to even win his party’s nomination should teach Congressional Republicans an important lesson: Work with Democrats and you’re done!