HATCH HOPES YOU HAVE A SHORT MEMORY…. Matt Yglesias and Matt Corley flag this very amusing exchange between Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and far-right media personality Laura Ingraham. Hatch was asked whether he understands the rage from Tea Partiers who helped drive his colleague, Sen. Bob Bennett, from Congress.

OH: Yeah, I do. And I’ll tell you why because I listen to these folks, I don’t disagree with them. They’re angry for good reasons. I mean, my gosh, these people in Washington are running this country right into the ground. And I think people are dog-gone angry about it.

LI: But aren’t you part of Washington?

OH: Hell no. I’ve never been. I’ve never considered this a job. I’ve had, people have asked me, they said, “Say, Senator Hatch, don’t you just love being a U.S. senator?” My constant answer is this. No, I don’t love it at all, but I’m good at it.

There are a few interesting angles to this. The first, which Yglesias noted, is that it’s pretty tough for Hatch to say he isn’t part of Washington — not only has he been in the Senate for 34 years, but his son is a highly-paid lobbyist in D.C., too.

But let’s go a little further. It’s also amusing because Hatch claims he shares common ground with the right-wing Tea Party crowd. What he neglected to mention is that he’s been bashing these same activists for months. Apparently hoping that the right wing of his party doesn’t have Google, Hatch argued in February that the Tea Partiers must do more to support moderate Republicans and stop being so dogmatic. More recently, Hatch said these activists too often “don’t have an open mind and they won’t listen.”

As for Hatch’s belief that “these people in Washington are running this country right into the ground,” it’d be easier to take the senator seriously if he weren’t just a transparent hack. When Hatch and his friends ran the government, they pushed the economy to the brink of collapse; racked up trillions of dollars in debt; expanded the size of government without paying for it (Hatch said “it was standard practice not to pay for things” when the GOP was in charge); bungled two wars, one of which was launched under false pretenses; and ignored and/or neglected nearly every area of domestic public policy.

But “these people” are undermining the United States? In Grown-Up Land, “these people” have spent 16 months trying to clean up the painful and humiliating mess Hatch and his buddies left for the nation to deal with.

Seems like a senator who’s “good at” his job would be aware of this.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.