The loyal opposition

THE LOYAL OPPOSITION…. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) recently conceded that Republicans can’t simply be “the party of ‘no.'”

There’s apparently some difference of opinion on that.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina is the kind of uncompromising conservative who can make the leaders’ life difficult. Mr. DeMint thinks, among other things, that some of his Republican colleagues are helping Democrats push America far to the left.

“We have to have a remnant of the Republican Party who are recognizable as freedom fighters,” Mr. DeMint said. “What I’m looking to do as a conservative leader in the Senate is to identify those Republicans, and even some Democrats, and put together a consensus of people who can help stop this slide toward socialism.”

Yes, Jim DeMint is anxious to lead the Contra contingent of the 21st-century Republican Party.

DeMint’s worldview is bolstered, of course, by the pressure GOP leaders will receive from its supporters.

Conservative strategist Grover Norquist said party leaders must draw a bright line against higher taxes and spending, and that Republicans working with Mr. Obama should be treated as “collaborators.”

It’s as if some are actively working to keep Republicans in the minority indefinitely.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.