As the political winds continue to shift left even Jim DeMint can see the writing on the wall, which is why the outspoken and completely ineffective senator is bailing on the Senate for the safety of the Heritage Foundation.
DeMint’s decision to leave the Senate is a surprise only in terms of timing. Since he had already pledged not to run for a third term, Sen. DeMint was going to be out the door sooner rather than later.
In a statement, DeMint said,
My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career. I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I’ve always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator. South Carolina has a deep bench of conservative leaders and I know Governor Haley will select a great replacement.
One of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the Senate is work with the grassroots to help elect a new generation of leaders who have the courage to fight for the principles of freedom that make this country so great. I’m confident these senators will continue the legacy of conservative leaders before them.
For DeMint, the movement is all that matters. He doesn’t seem to care that the lack of good governance by many of the people that he helped champion into Congress got them booted out of office almost as quickly as they were elected. Jim DeMint and his fellow movement conservatives occupying seats in Congress are a huge part of the reason why our legislative process is so dysfunctional.
The increased Democratic presence in the Senate, along with Harry Reid’s new filibuster rules, would have left DeMint a neutered conservative Senate presence who was certain to be full of sound and fury while accomplishing nothing.
Sen. DeMint clashed with Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between. He was a loud voice, but a completely ineffective senator. As soon as Barack Obama won reelection, and the Democrats strengthened their position in the Senate, the clock was ticking on DeMint. The country is moving left, and DeMint must realize that his tea party is dead and dying.
Heritage is a good outpost for his movement conservatism, but the move from a position of national power in the United States Senate to heading up a think tank symbolizes how quickly the Astroturfed tea party has come and gone.
Goodbye, Jim DeMint. The Senate will be a better place without you.
Image: Zaius Nation
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association