Once, present and now future Sen. Lisa Murkowski should be congratulated on her ability to cobble together the needed collection of less-than-altruistic corporate types, lobbyists and seemingly endless $100,000 contributions to overwhelm Tea Party political neophyte Joe Miller and win her write-in campaign.
Along with making history, Alaska's Murkowski has proved to conservatives, the Tea Party and independent voters that the entrenched establishment is alive and well in our nation and is not going down without a fight. Dirty or otherwise.
While her victory is welcome news to her supporters and those who will continue to feed from the taxpayer-funded Alaskan trough, it's not such great news for people like Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
As Murkowski has with Sarah Palin, she made it very plain to a Politico reporter that she intends to hold a grudge against DeMint for daring to support the actual winner — Miller — of the Alaska Republican primary.
Said Murkowski in part: "I think some of the Republicans in the Congress feel pretty strongly that he (DeMint) and his actions potentially cost us the majority by encouraging candidates that ended up not being electable. ... Does he want to help the Republican majority, or is he on his own agenda, his own initiative? ... I think he's out for his own initiative."
Jim DeMint is a big boy and knows when shots are being fired across his bow. He also knows the politics of "business as usual" and that the power of that entrenched establishment won the battle in Alaska. Like Obama's Chicago, Alaska has its own machine, and it figured out a way to survive.
That's politics and DeMint knows it. What concerns him, however, is it's exactly that type of politics which has permanently alienated tens of millions of Americans.
In an age of suicidal public-employee pension plans, ticking debt bombs that will implode the finances of counties and states, and the growing risk of nuclear, chemical and biological terrorism, DeMint understands what Murkowski and her type fail to grasp: Americans cast their horrified eyes toward Washington and see 535 "leaders" fighting among themselves in the world's largest sandbox while putting political party and re-election well before the people's interests or the welfare of the nation.
DeMint understands that the "change" election of 2010 had nothing to do with electing Republicans, and everything to do with defeating the policies of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Period. He is betting his political future that the wave that just crashed upon Washington, D.C., and swept so many Democrats out of office was not the end, but just the beginning. That the energy that fueled the wave is not dissipating, but growing in power.
DeMint is betting that more and more Americans have passed that proverbial tipping point and are now determined to fight for traditional values, rule of law, accountability, smaller government, secure borders and lower taxes, while forcing out the entrenched establishment and those who do "business as usual" off the backs of the American people.
DeMint has repeatedly stressed that he'd rather have 30 Marco Rubios in the Senate than 60 Arlen Specters or, it seems, one Lisa Murkowski, and that if elected Republicans morph into liberal Democrats in rhetoric and actions, the antidote is worse than the poison. In his mind, that antidote is now heading back to Washington from Alaska.
Given the outcome, Southern Gentleman DeMint has said that his infighting with Murkowski is behind him and that he's ready to congratulate her and welcome her back. No doubt he will. That said, here's betting he now keeps his back to the wall when Murkowski enters the room.