South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the creator of the Tea Party Caucus in the US Senate, and one of the most right wing, reactionary members of the upper chamber, is resigning to head the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation for about ten times his Senate salary, and to continue to work to purge the Senate Republicans of anyone moderate, or willing to compromise with Democrats or President Barack Obama.
The members of the Senate Republican minority considered to be Tea Party oriented include:
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
Senator Mike Lee of Utah
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Also, new Senators joining the group include:
Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona
Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
The Tea Party Senate Republicans failed to elect the following to the Senate:
Christine ODonnell of Delaware
Sharron Angle of Nevada
Ken Buck Of Colorado
Joe Miller of Alaska
Todd Akin of Missouri
Richard Mourdock of Indiana
Josh Mandel of Ohio
One could say, therefore, that there are now EIGHT Senators in the group, with SEVEN others being successfully defeated in the past two Senate election periods.
One more is likely to be added, when South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appoints someone to replace DeMint, until the next Senate elections in 2014, with a tremendous edge for that individual to keep the seat.
Potential candidates for the replacement include:
Nikki Haley herself, who has national ambitions to run for President
Congressman Tim Scott, the only black Republican, and similar to Allen West in his views and attitudes
Congressman Joe Wilson, who infamously said Barack Obama was lying in his first State of the Union address
Many might say that the Tea Party is in decline, but in reality, it is far from dead, and there are still a large number of Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives, making life difficult for House Speaker John Boehner.
And one can be sure that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be having more sleepless nights, more so with DeMint able to work to make the Republican Party ever more right wing in his position as the head of the Heritage Foundation!
Any thought that the Republican Party might move toward the center of the political spectrum seems highly unlikely after this event of DeMint’s move out of the Senate!