Jim DeMint Learns Putting Principle First Is Praiseworthy Except When You're ConservativeSep 16, 2010
Party or principle? Politicians are between that rock and hard place every time they must make a decision. However, in the mainstream media, the pundit class and to those inside the circles of power in Washington and state capitals — the "ruling class" — there seems to be a double standard for conservatives. It's really peculiar to hear liberal talking heads say what's good for the Republican Party. You hear them scoff when a conservative wins a nomination because, "only a moderate can win in" certain states. What they mean is that in nominating a "moderate" the Dems can't lose. Either their candidate wins, or they get someone who will "reach across the aisle" and help them push through their agenda. It's funny that we never hear about Democrats reaching across the aisle to help usher through conservative legislation.
Although the "ruling class" lionizes most office holders for making decisions based on principle over party, it's really ostensible praise. When a conservative Republican makes such a decision, especially when he shows true courage (in a certain case, being the only one in his caucus to stand up for a certain candidate), he is branded as destructive to the party.
Thus, the case of Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. He is not content to be in a Republican majority because, as he says, he was in one once before and the Republicans "embarrassed" themselves. He wants to be in a conservative majority. According to Senator DeMint, it's not good enough to be Democrat-light. It is an admirable stance but it brings with it the inevitable attacks — from both parties. The Left demonizes him as an extremist while establishment Republicans hammer him as divisive. But if you're not in it for power or to make influential friends, it's amazing how much you can do for your country. Senator DeMint's backing has led to the unheard of defeats of two GOP incumbent defeats in primaries and the victories of several more insurgent conservatives over establishment choices. It gives the lie, as explained yesterday, to the mantra that "conservatives can't win," especially in certain states.
Here's how he explains it in a mash-up from Politico.com:
Republicans "embarrassed themselves in front of the country" the last time they had a Senate majority.
Here's a more in-depth interview (5:09) yesterday on Fox News Channel.
DeMint: "Outside of Washington, Republicans have never been MORE united." While Washington tries to divide us, Americans unite over enduring Judeo-Christian, core American principles.