Sen. Bob Bennett, a conservative who fell out of favor among even more conservative Republicans in an anti-incumbent rage, failed to get his party’s nomination in Utah Saturday, making it very difficult for him to seek a fourth term.
The gangly, bespectacled senator finished third in the second round of balloting at the Republican state convention in Salt Lake City, sealing his fate, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Businessman Tim Bridgewater and lawyer and Tea Party favorite Mike Lee finished first and second respectively and will face off in a June 22 primary.
When results were announced there were shouts of "he’s gone, he’s gone," as some GOP delegates waved "Do Not Tread On Me" flags — a favored symbol of the aggressively conservative Tea Party movement.
Bennett became the first incumbent Utah senator to be deprived of his party’s nomination since Democrats ousted Sen. William King in 1940. King opposed the New Deal.
Tea Baggers oppose any deal.
The radical and destructive polarization of American politics ushered in by Ronald Reagan continues.