Jim DeMint: A U.S. Senator to keep an eye on

The next presidential race is still a ways off but one name that is being tossed around in a favorable way is that of South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint. This column has noted his work in the past and he continues to impress me. Other Republicans aren’t so favorably disposed.

Politico recently ran an excellent article noting how DeMint hasn’t exactly endeared himself to some of his colleagues – especially those he refuses to endorse for reelection. On his PAC website is this quote:

“After watching my party betray its conservative principles and lose the trust of the American people, I started the Senate Conservatives Fund to help elect true conservatives to the U.S. Senate. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for a conservative comeback.”

The word “conservative” there is key. Sen. Jim DeMint evidently believes in the radical notion that public opinion matters. The Politico article notes that he believes the best way to move his colleagues is “by exerting public pressure from activists and the media to bear on his colleagues.”

Here are three of the DeMint quotes from that Politico article:

“I’ve found that most of the people in the Congress are here to get money for their states or their congressional districts – they think that’s what their role is. The reforms we have to make to save our country – like getting rid of earmarks, balancing the budget, tax reform or fixing Social Security or Medicare – you can’t get these folks to sign up for a bill.”

“I’d rather have 30 Marco Rubios than 60 Arlen Specters.”

“I’ve been here with 55 Republicans, many of which were short some principles, and you just can’t govern, you can’t lead and you don’t keep the majority…”

In a fundraising email DeMint recently sent out, he wrote:

“As one of the few conservatives in the U.S. Senate fighting each day to stop President Obama’s radical agenda, I know how critical it is to elect true conservatives this November.

Democrats currently have 59 seats in the Senate and can count on a handful of moderate Republicans to help them pass bills that increase spending, grow our nation’s debt and reduce our freedoms.

Electing true conservatives to the Senate who will protect and defend the Constitution is the only way to take our country back. But we can’t wait until November to get started. We must act right now or it will be too late.”

After this year’s important elections – a new team will be on the field and we can start thinking about 2012. But not yet. Many important primaries are still taking place around the country and there is much work to do here in Illinois in advance of the general election. It’s heartening to see leaders arising like Sen. Jim DeMint, a man who is setting a standard for Illinois Republicans to follow.

Click here to visit his campaign website, and here to visit his Senate Conservatives PAC website.