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Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:16 AM

Out With the New in South Carolina

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/out-with-the-new-in-south-carolina/?ref=opinion

Out With the New in South Carolina
By ANDREW ROSENTHAL
December 6, 2012, 2:31 pm

Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican and chief torch-and-pitchfork-carrier for the Tea Party, is resigning only two years into his second term to cash in on his public service with a high-paying job at that quintessential bastion of Washington establishment, the Heritage Foundation.

Does this represent the institutional co-opting of the Tea Party by the Republican base? Or are we watching the Tea Party snap up the last scraps of Republicanism that linger within any sort of proximity to the mainstream of American political thought?

Iím hoping for Option A, as that would neutralize the highly damaging threat that the Tea Party poses to American civil discourse. But based on Mr. DeMintís implacable hostility to moderation and his success at keeping it out of Congress lately, this is looking less like a victory for America and more like one for the Tea Party.

For a taste of Mr. DeMintís legacy, witness the lunacy on display in the Senate this week when it rejected the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesĖa treaty negotiated by a Republican president, George W. Bush.

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