DeMint, Kingmaker

Interesting piece in The Hill about South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the Senate’s biggest advocate of the Tea Party. Establishment Republicans are not surprisingly angry at DeMint for playing a role in Tea Party challengers knocking off more electable Republicans, notably in Delaware, Colorado, Kentucky and Florida. His actions could end up costing Republicans a chance to win the majority in the Senate.

Can you imagine the outrage if a Democratic elected – say Al Franken or Sherrod Brown – was running around the country, encouraging progressives to challenge incumbents and enact a real progressive vision?

I actually have a lot of respect for DeMint as a movement operative. What he is doing is what the Tea Party wants and what is needed for Tea Party candidates to win. That he’s doing it in the face of the insular, clubhouse rules of the Senate is even more remarkable. I just wish there were comparable progressive elected officials who dedicated their energies to not just electing Democrats, but electing movement progressives.

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