The Politico reported last week that "GOP Pressures Bunning to Quit" and named two "GOP sources" as authority for a story full of false accusations and rumors. These sources implied that Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) had not made clear his intentions to run for another term and had not raised enough money to win the 2010 Kentucky Senate race. In a story linked on Bluegrass Politics, "Bunning expressed frustration that McConnell hasn’t publicly backed his 2010 re-election bid and said McConnell 'had a lapse of memory' last week when he told reporters that he didn’t know if Bunning planned to seek re-election." Senator Bunning was the first conservative to be chucked under the bus by unnamed sources in GOP leadership and we now know our second conservative victim - Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC). Who is next?
Today, the Politico ran a story using unnamed sources to make the case that "some Senate Republicans say privately that DeMint has done plenty to humiliate himself." Why are Republican staffers, presumably part of the GOP Senate leadership team, leaking stories attacking Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina? They are both solid conservatives and do not deserve the treatment they are receiving from hidden sources who have proven to not be brave enough to go on the record to level attacks. Bunning and DeMint are honorable members of the United States Senate and they deserve the support of every conservative.
From the Politico:
As Republicans seek a way forward after two disastrous elections, social and fiscal conservative activists off Capitol Hill are rallying behind DeMint because of his unrelenting style to force his party to return to its small-government, free market roots. DeMint, 57, said in an interview that he’s not dwelling on his previous battles with the GOP leadership and sees areas where his party’s leaders and the Obama administration can work together to solve the country’s problems.
The leadership sources attacked DeMint for not showing enough "deference" to leadership and for forcing a vote on term limits for leadership positions at a meeting of the Republican Caucus. Don Stewart, a McConnell spokesman, called DeMint a “valuable member of our conference and among the strongest advocates for the American taxpayer.” It is an old adage in Washington that the most likely unnamed source in a story is the guy quoted on the record in the story saying something nice about the victim hit piece. I would not think that a McConnell spokesman would ever stoop to that level of disrespect to a member of the Republican Caucus, so I would rule out Stewart as a source for this story in this exceptional case. Whoever dropped the gloves under the cloak of being an unnamed source to knife DeMint in the back should be ashamed of him or herself.
Both Jim Bunning and Jim Demint are conservatives up for re-election in 2010. Which conservative members up in 2010 are next to be stabbed in the back by unamed GOP sources? Senator David Vitter? Senator Tom Coburn? Who?
Jim DeMint - Jim Bunning - Keep up the good work!