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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

The GOP’s Senator Problem

Speaking truth to power makes you the enemy

The GOP really does have a Senator problem — a group of old kleptocrats who’ve been around for so long, they view themselves as entitled to power, prestige, and graft.

One of the Senators who is not willing to get comfy is Senator Jim DeMint. It must gall the other members of the Senate Republican Caucus that Jim DeMint thinks they should stand for something. After all, they must think, Senate rules do require them to stand when they want to speak. Clearly, then, they are standing for something.

Just not anything any one in America is interested in.

Jim DeMint is out to change that and Roll Call reports the geriatric brigade, clutching to power by fingernails, is having no part of it:

DeMint has suddenly found himself on the outside looking in — following what GOP sources said was an angry rebuke of his reform demands from party elders during Tuesday’s closed-door Conference meeting.

Publicly, Senate Republicans sought to downplay the tensions between DeMint and much of his Conference.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) — one of several Members who spoke out against DeMint’s proposed changes to the Conference’s leadership rules — said Thursday that while “there’s no feud here,” Republicans in the Senate feel that now is a time for unity, not for taking steps that could undermine leadership.

“I think there’s a realization within the ranks of the Republican Party that now Republicans are an endangered species, and that we should speak with one voice,” Roberts said. “To call for wholesale changes at a time like this that would limit the ability of the leaders to lead was really ill-timed.”

Riiiiggggghhhhhtttttttt. Because the status quo really helped you guys out last time, didn’t it Pat?

Now really, why are Republican Senators mad at DeMint? Let Roll Call explain:

Since taking over the RSC in the 110th Congress, DeMint has used the committee as a base for launching a series of conservative crusades, to varying degrees of success. DeMint’s first major feat came during the 2007 immigration battle when he, along with a handful of vocal conservative Senators, such as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), successfully rallied the party’s base to defeat a massive immigration reform proposal backed by the White House and eventual presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

. . . .

But DeMint also increasingly has used his position as the RSC chairman to take his conservative fight to other Republicans — most recently, his effort to expel Stevens for his seven-count federal felony conviction in October. Stevens has long been a target of DeMint’s efforts to reform the party, given Stevens’ extensive use of the earmarking system to pump billions of federal dollars into his home state.

So, he used his position to kill an unpopular piece of legislation and try to boot a corrupt Senator, therefore he is the enemy? The GOP really does need to be purged — purged of its present Senate leadership at least. Of course, they were all re-elected.

Sigh.

Oh, by the way, hat tip to Senator Shelby (R-AL) for giving DeMint advice. Yes, we want a Democrat turned Republican so he could keep his committee chairmanship explaining what’s best for the party.

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