The press pays tribute to former Senator Orrin Hatch for his courtesy and bipartisan agreement with Democrat Ted Kennedy. He was certainly a gracious man who represented a more civil era in politics. But we will remember the longest-serving Republican senator, who died Saturday at the age of 88, for the moments he rejected the Beltway Convention and took unfair abuse for it.
The first was his faithful defense of Clarence Thomas against the accusations of Anita Hill in 1991. Ms. Hill’s claims have gained totem status on the political left. But they arrived only at the last minute, midwives of democratic agents, and lacked documentation. In the Judiciary Committee, Senator Hatch duly substantiated the allegations. He helped confirm Judge Thomas, who has been a credit to the district court and the country.