Senator Mike Lee of Utah has supported Ted Cruz’s historic stand. But while Texans have Cruz’s back, the media thinks (or wants us to think) that Utah is more likely to stick a knife in Lee’s.
Mike Lee may have plenty of Tea Party pals on Capitol Hill, but back in his home state of Utah, the GOP senator is growing decidedly less popular. Since the government shutdown, approval ratings for Ted Cruz’s strongest ally have fallen, and his fellow Republicans are some of his strongest critics. “Among the Tea Party, Mike Lee is a rock star,” says a former Republican state lawmaker, per the Wall Street Journal. “Among everyone else, not so much. There’s real unhappiness about what he has done to Utah and to the image of the Republican Party.” (One complaint: That Utah’s economy suffered with the shutdown-fueled closure of its national parks.)
One simple fact about our Federal imprisonment is that businesses of all kinds can be made to suffer. When Moses confronted Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, Pharaoh made the Israelites work harder as punishment, so that the Israelites hated Moses (Exodus 5). Obama’s government shutdown was an attempt to force people to “make bricks without straw.”
Will the Pharaoh strategy work in Utah? It might. The Washington Post writes,
Lee’s approval ratings in Utah have cratered, and prominent Republicans and local business executives are openly discussing the possibility of mounting a primary challenge against him. Top Republicans are also maneuvering to redesign the party’s nomination system in a way that would likely make it more difficult for Lee to win reelection in 2016.
To hear grievances with Lee’s no-compromise, no-apology governing style, just head to the executive floor of Zions Bank, founded by Mormon settler Brigham Young. Bank President A. Scott Anderson, who raised money for Lee three years ago, sat in his corner office this week harboring second thoughts.
“I think people admire him for sticking to his guns and principles, but I think there are growing frustrations,” Anderson said. “If things are to happen, you can’t just stick to your principles. You have to make things work. . . . You’ve got to be practical.”
If you’re a Tea Party Conservative in Utah, you need to work hard against this. But everyone needs to realize that, whether in Utah or elsewhere, businesses and especially banks are often going to be the first to try to stop populist resistance to federal corruption. It makes them money. Getting to the place where everyone can prosper in freedom will sometimes not seem worth the risk to them.
The only thing we can hope is that enough people really see the disaster ahead, and become desperate enough to cut spending and cut the national debt, that the big spenders are no longer able to buy candidates.
Right now it seems like the Big Money in the Utah GOP is out to purchase a new senator. Utah Tea Partiers are going to have to recruit enough voters to outbid them.