AN UNEXPECTED MOMENT OF CANDOR…. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) talked to Fox News this afternoon, and reflected on his shameless obstructionism:

“What I’m trying to do is help run out the clock.”

Finally, we get the truth.

This is an unusually straightforward exercise — Senate Democrats have a list of things they want to do before the Congress wraps up for the year; Senate Republicans oppose those things. As a result, Dems keep trying to advance their priorities, while conservatives like DeMint make a mockery of the legislative process with nonsensical obstructionism.

If you approve of these priorities, you probably find this exasperating. If not, you might like DeMint’s antics, at least in an ends-justify-the-means kind of way.

But in either case, the players should at least be grown-ups about what’s transpiring. This has nothing to do with Christmas, winter breaks, overworked staffers, or “sacrilege.” This is simply about right-wing senators hoping that if they just make the legislative process a little more ridiculous, Democrats will give up and go home without having completed the people’s business. It’s a simple game of chicken, and irresponsible conservative senators think more tantrums will cause Dems to blink. So far, that’s not the case.

By his own admission, DeMint is trying to do is “help run out the clock.” If Jon Kyl and others want to know why they, like most of their constituents, are having to work throughout December, they need look no further than the junior senator from South Carolina.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.