For too long the Republicans in the Senate have clung to the senority system. This is the kind of system that results in giving people like Ted Stevens of Alaska the chairmanship of the Senate Approrpriations Committee and Arlen Specter the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Thankfully, Senator Jim DeMint, one of the most fiscally conservative US Senators, is asking Mitch McConnell for a seat on the Senate Finance Committee based on merit, not senority.
There are lots of Senate traditions that obstruct the nation's ability to meet its responsibilities. The attitude among many Republicans, unfortunately, is that "we've always done it this way." Given the problems that have resulted from doing things this way, we need some change we can believe in.
The fact of the matter is that RINO Republican US Senators should be placed on the Senate committee to investigate excessive salt use among teenagers while conservative Republican US Senators obtain seats on Judiciary, Appropriations, Finance and other important committees. If we do not do this we can not be surprised if the Republican party fails to make a difference when it does have majority control.
We talk alot about "moral hazard" and encouraging bad behavior when we bail out insolvent corporations. How about a discussion of the moral hazard of giving moderate Republican wimps plumb chairmanships while conservatives are told to sit on the back bench?
Mary Katharine Ham at the Weekly Standard discusses, briefly, the principle of the Future of the GOP.
Jim DeMint is angling for a spot on the seat on the finance committee, despite lagging several others in seniority. His argument? The spot should be awarded based on merit. Now, that would be some serious change in the Senate.
The Democrats are ready to boot Lieberman off of the Chairmanship of Homeland Security because Lieberman didn't fall in line on the Iraq War and in the 2008 campaign. It actually makes a bit of sense. If you want to be "Mr. Independent," don't come crying to the GOP when you want a chairmanship or a seat on a powerful committee.