This week, South Carolina Republican Senator, Jim DeMint, announced that he was leaving the Senate next January, to the chagrin of Conservatives everywhere. Senator DeMint was one of the few stalwart Conservatives in the body in which he serves. He was elected to the Senate in the 2004 mid-term elections, and was two years into his second term, when he made this surprising announcement. Mr. DeMint said he was leaving the Senate to assume control of The Heritage Foundation, the Conservative think tank which advised Ronald Reagan. He said he could affect more change running Heritage than he could executing his duties in the Senate. As good of an organization as The Heritage Foundation is, being one of only a hundred members of an exclusive body like the Senate of the United States, I think, is much more influential.
As a member of the Senate, Jim DeMint has the ability to vote on legislation which affects the entire nation. He can also affect the votes of other Senators by persuading them to vote in a manner which upholds the principles set forth in the founding documents of this great country. Leading Heritage, he will be lobbying his former colleagues from the outside, and will not have access to what bills may be proposed as early in the process as he does presently. As fine of an organization as Heritage is, it is just one of many Conservative think tanks and advocacy groups. Senator DeMint, in his current position, has the ability to vote on Supreme Court justices as well as other Federal judgeships. As a Senator he is one of only a hundred people who vote on treaties which can affect the way in which Americans live in the future. On balance, I can't understand how someone can affect more change heading a think tank than being a member of the United States Senate. But then I'm just a guy with a blog.
If the Republicans would have won the White House in the recent election and picked up a majority in the Senate, my guess is Mr. DeMint would not be making this move. Which tells me it's not about affecting change, but leaving an organization that is becoming more rigidly leftist and joining one filled with like-minded people. Whomever Governor Nikki Haley appoints to fill Jim DeMint's seat until the special election in 2014, the Senate is going to become decidedly less Conservative by one. And at a time when we have an out of control President and more members of both houses of Congress afraid to stop him, losing a Conservative voice like Senator DeMint is truly a sign of the rocky road that lies ahead.
Click here to watch my latest political song parody. Posted December 2, 2012.