Not only are factions of the Tea Party working to dump Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, but now they're attacking the movement's darling, Sarah Palin, for going all lovey-dovey over Hatch.
"Sarah Palin, say it ain't so," barks the Patriot Action Network's Eric Odom in an E-mail to supporters today spelling out the movement's strategy to put seven new Tea Party senators in Congress to help stall President Obama's agenda. [See political cartoons about Palin.]
"What is Sarah Palin doing showing support for liberal Republican Orrin Hatch?" he asks. Odom is responding to some Palin comments on Fox praising Hatch, who used to herald his friendship with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, before becoming a solid leader of the current conservative movement when it appeared he would face a primary challenge.
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz was looking at challenging Hatch. But the senator's turn to the right and advocacy of key legislation like a balanced budget bill seems to have scared Chaffetz off, according to the The Salt Lake Tribune. [See photos of Sarah Palin and her family.]
But Odom's target is Palin, who backers say plans to get into the presidential race by the end of the month. A Tea Party feud over Palin could hurt her chances. Below is Odom's email:
"As a disclaimer right up front, I'm not very objective on the subject of Orrin Hatch. In fact, I'll be donating a few bucks to Congressman Jason Chaffetz the second he announces he'll run against Hatch. With that out of the way… Sarah Palin… say it ain't so!
"'So people like Orrin Hatch, who now especially — he's rising up with quite aggressive talk about the balanced budget amendment and other things that he has seen for all these years need to be done,' Palin said Thursday on Fox. 'We need to be agreeing and embracing his idea and working with him to make sure that that happens, instead of shooing him away and shooing him out of a Tea Party movement, if you will, when he agrees with such a basic fundamental principle that we must see implemented, and that's just simply balancing the doggone federal budget!'
"First, we're not 'shooing him out' of the tea party movement. Orrin Hatch was never a part of the tea party movement to begin with.
"Second, of course he's talking about the balanced budget amendment. He's about to face an epic battle from the right and he MUST align himself with more conservative agendas. [Vote now: Will Obama be a one-term president?]
"Why should Orrin Hatch be booted from the Senate? Michelle Malkin provides a plethora of examples.
"...Why on earth would the Tea Party movement fall in line behind a liberal Republican like Orrin Hatch simply because he's done and said some good things in his political career? This is where I part ways with establishment Republicans. Most of them believe that if a Republican votes 'with us' 80% of the time that we should forgive the other 20% and move on. [See a collection of political cartoons on the Tea Party.]
"Therein lies the problem. It's the 20 percent that's destroying our nation!
"No thanks, Hatch. I won't support you and will actively campaign against you.
"Note: This post is my opinion and mine alone."