Hatch Scolds Cruz over Charge that McConnell Lied

In a Washington Times op-ed, Orrin Hatch criticizes Ted Cruz (without identifying him by name) for bringing “personal attacks,” “partisan messaging,” and “ideological grandstanding” to the Senate floor.

Writes Hatch:

Regrettably, in recent times, the Senate floor has too often become a forum for partisan messaging and ideological grandstanding rather than a setting for serious debate. It has been misused as a tool to advance personal ambitions, a venue to promote political campaigns, and even a vehicle to enhance fundraising efforts — all at the expense of the proper functioning of this body. Most egregiously, the Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them in personal terms and to impugn their character — in blatant disregard of Senate rules which plainly prohibit such conduct.

To bring personal attacks to the Senate floor would be to import the most toxic elements of our current political discourse into the well of theSenate, into the very heart of this institution. This would serve only to pollute our deliberations, to break the bonds of trust that are essential for achieving some measure of consensus, and to invite the dysfunction that so saturates our media and popular culture into this storied chamber.

As one who has had the privilege of serving here for the past four decades, I can attest from firsthand experience that the Senate can be and has been in times not too far past a distinguished and constructive body that does much good. I recall vividly times when this body was marked by good will rather than rancor and disrepute. In some respects, the Senate today is but a mere shadow of its former self, another casualty of the permanent political campaign. This is deeply disheartening to those like myself who were here to experience this body’s better days, and it has severely damaged the proper governance of our nation.