BY BRYAN GRAY
The opinions stated in this column are those of the author and not ncessarily of The Davis Clipper.
This has been a week of apologies – including yours. I’ll comment on the other apologies first.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized for the systemic problems in the V.A. medical system. I appreciate his apology and his subsequent resignation – but he should have been fired by the President for his incompetence in not acknowledging the problems and the cover-ups in numerous hospitals.
Then we received an apology from the principal of Wasatch High School for the ridiculous “modesty editing” in the school yearbook. He never did say why it was okay to allow the boys to wear shirts proclaiming “You Suck!” or showing boys in their underwear while drawing sleeves on female clothing which girls could wear daily in class. I appreciate the apology, but I’d feel better if the yearbook advisor also apologized and if both of them were punished by requiring the two of them to reprint the yearbook at their own cost.
Then we come to your apology, Sen. Hatch. Honestly, I’m not sure I really buy it. Your Memorial Day tribute speech for veterans in Woods Cross got off to a bad start when your staff gave the emcee a biography proclaiming you led the fight to repeal the “unconstitutional individual mandate” in Obamacare. (Sorry, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, so your biography is filled with more rhetoric than fact.)
You made it worse by going off script at the end of your veteran tribute with comments about “liberal judges”, contraception, and an indirect appeal for the attendees to vote out Democrats. (Sorry, Sen, Hatch, but my father fought in World War II and found it perfectly patriotic to vote for Democrats and support decent medical care for all citizens. You demeaned his service through your rant.)
When veterans groups objected to your politicizing the event, you apologized. But Sen. Hatch, your appeal to partisanship wasn’t an accident. At the end of your Memorial Day speech, you admitted, “I shouldn’t talk like that, but I’ve reached an age that I can say whatever I want.”
Just because you can, Sen. Hatch, doesn’t mean you should. The D-Day beaches weren’t littered with Democrats and Republicans. They were filled with soldiers.
A few days later, you ruffled feathers again when you told a KSL radio anchor that “sooner or later gay marriage is probably going to be approved by the Supreme Court,” but then criticized the federal judge in the Utah case for his “failure to grant a stay.”
Let’s be real, Sen. Hatch. Some 1,000 Utahns were married in same-sex unions and you admit that gay marriage will one day be legal. If that’s the case, why deny these men and women what will soon be their constitutional right? Honestly, using your own prediction, the temporary non-recognition of these marriages seems more mean-spirited than principled.
Sen. Hatch, I have voted for you in the past and you have had a distinguished career. Chalk it up to a bad week. We’ve all had some of those. But May 2014 was not your shining moment.