August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010 | Commentary on

Will Solid Conservatives Run New Senate?

Roll this phrase around your brain: “Senate Majority Leader Jim DeMint.” Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well, Jim DeMint may not ascend to that position in the next Congress, but he should be the most important player in the Senate in determining the direction of the Republican Party. The Jim DeMint Caucus will be a strong, powerful deterrent to those in the Republican Party who will want to work with the most liberal President of our lifetime to preserve earmarks, elements of Obamacare and billions in wasteful spending.

The first shots of a conservative revolution have been fired in the Senate races in Florida, Kentucky, Utah and Alaska. 

Last February, DeMint told the assembled audience at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC):

“I’ve been criticized by some of my Republican colleagues for saying I’d rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in the principles of freedom, than 60 who don’t believe in anything. Let me make myself even clearer: I'd rather have 30 Marco Rubios in the Senate than 60 Arlen Specters. But, if that were the case I wouldn’t have to settle for 30, because strong conservatives who believe in a constitutional limited government like Marco Rubio will pave the way to a new Republican majority that will keep our promises to the American people.”

Not long after that speech, Rubio won the Senate primary in Florida when moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Crist left the party. In Kentucky, GOP insiders in Washington tried to squash Republican nominee Rand Paul’s candidacy for the Senate and they lost decisively. In Utah, Republican nominee Mike Lee beat sitting Sen. Bob Bennett and humbled establishment Republicans in Washington. In a final shot heard round the political world, Sarah Palin-endorsed insurgent candidate Joe Miller seems to have beaten Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R.-Alaska), a member of the Republican Senate leadership team. The Tea Party/conservative Republican revolution is winning at the ballot box.

This Senate rebellion against the GOP establishment could be supplemented by others. Sharon Angle, the Republican nominee in Nevada battling sitting Majority Leader Harry Reid, Ken Buck, Constitutionalist running for Senate in Colorado; Pat Toomey, former head of the Club for Growth and nominee in Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson, the Republican Senate candidate in Wisconsin. 

Although it’s unlikely DeMint would be chosen as the leader of the Senate Republicans, the conservative caucus in the Senate has the potential to flex some serious muscle in 2011. 

Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader

Just a year ago, few imagined that Republicans might win at least 39 House seats and make Speaker Nancy Pelosi just a footnote in the history books. Yet liberal Politico reported last week that “top Democrats are growing markedly more pessimistic about holding the House, privately

conceding that the summertime economic and political recovery they were banking on will not likely materialize by Election Day.” A switch in the party control of the House would obviously endanger President’s agenda. If they make up the leadership of the next Congress, conservatives should prepare a major push to repeal Obamacare, stop the remaining funds in the President’s $862 billion stimulus plan, end bailouts and reform the tax code.

Repeal Obamacare

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the left is planning a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign closely supervised by the Obama Administration to defend Obamacare. The blitz follows other administration use of government-funded propaganda to promote the President’s agenda in 2009. Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), ranking GOP member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has chronicled potentially criminal conduct by the Obama Administration’s propaganda team during the President’s first year in office. [See HUMAN EVENTS cover story last week.)

The Issa report indicates his administration is apparently willing to use government resources to engage in unethical conduct. At some point, though, the administration will realize that no matter how much taxpayer money it uses to talk up its “stimulus” plan and Obamacare, the Americans people are smart enough to see through Team Obama’s half-truths and fabrications.

Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) has the signatures of 170 House members on a petition to vote this year on a repeal of Obamacare.  King doesn’t have a multi-million dollar campaign for this effort, but he has something more valuable: the support of the American people.

Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation.

About the Author

Brian Darling Senior Fellow for Government Studies
Government Studies

First appeared in Human Events