Jim DeMint Could Destroy the GOP

Democrats love his with-us-or-against-us conservatism
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2010 11:37 AM CDT
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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(Newser) – Jim DeMint might just be the Democrats’ secret weapon. For starters, the senator from South Carolina is making good on his declaration that he’d rather have “30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in principles of freedom than 60 who don’t,” endorsing lots of far-right candidates around the country, many of whom are unelectable. But the damage he’s doing to the party could stretch well beyond 2010, writes Stuart Rothenberg forRoll Call.

DeMint’s seemingly betting that American voters are strongly ideological—and strongly conservative. But “anyone who has watched or studied American politics since the Vietnam era knows that American voters are not an ideological bunch,” says Rothenberg. By “demonizing conservatives who he says aren’t conservative enough,” DeMint is making it easier for Democrats to paint his caucus as uncompromising, arrogant, and doctrinaire. “Style doesn’t matter to true believers, but it does to the American people.”

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