By Mark Thiessen
- The idea that DeMint and the Tea Party are threatening the GOP's chances for reclaiming the majority is absurd. Republicans wouldn't have a shot at taking back either the House or Senate were it not for the Tea Party movement, which has both energized the conservative base and attracted independents to the GOP by promising to reform the party and restore fiscal sanity in Washington. The best way to dispirit the conservative base and lose those independents would be to take back the majority and go back to business as usual.
This may be why DeMint is less concerned with changing who controls the Senate than he is with changing the way the Senate does business -- by electing outsiders who are committed to restoring the GOP's reputation as the party of limited government and fiscal discipline.
Regardless of the outcome in Alaska -- or who controls the upper chamber after November -- there is likely to be a wave of new insurgent senators arriving in Washington. The question is: When those insurgents arrive, will they remember how the Republican leadership fought them -- or how the Republican leadership fought for them?
Marc A. Thiessen is a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute and writes a weekly column for The Post.