Jim DeMint shocked a lot of people when he announced his resignation from the Senate late last week. There’s a lot of talk about DeMint resigning, and there is definitely a down side to him resigning. But while some aspects may not be optimal, there are some points to consider that make his resignation a little easier to handle.
He can now oppose Republicans in primaries.
As a Republican senator, he couldn’t really oppose Republicans in the primary elections. He’d have to sit quietly while his guy fought the primary election and then could jump on the bandwagon once his guy won. Not any more. When the time comes, he can call out Republicans in a primary and side with the better qualified challengers.
He will remain in the forefront of policy discussions.
As the head of The Heritage Foundation, he will stay in the midst of all the discussions on policy. Sure, he raises Heritage’s profile by being in that spot, but it also lets him interject his often-libertarian point of view into discussions. He won’t be discussing anything from the floor of the Senate, but most of those other senators never really paid much attention to him anyway.
Lawmakers should start caring what he thinks.
As a senator, his colleagues could just roll their eyes and ignore him, but as the guy at the helm of the The Heritage Foundation, his points of view should be taken more seriously by lawmakers since The Heritage Foundation is one of those groups legislators work hard to keep happy.
Overall, I am saddened a bit by his departure, but it was already widely known that DeMint wasn’t going to run again in 2016. The question then becomes whether he can do more good as a senator for 4 more years or as the head of The Heritage Foundation. As much as I hate to see him vacate his seat, the best place for him to have an impact for the cause of individual freedom and limited government may not be in the Senate.