Tea Party icon and borderline fictional character Jim DeMint resigned from the Senate this morning, announcing that he would become the new head of the Heritage Foundation. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will appoint his replacement, and the balance of votes in the Senate is not likely to change. The balance of weirdness, however, is badly shaken. In an unusually conservative GOP, DeMint was extremely conservative. Earlier this week, he attacked John Boehner’s compromise proposal in the fiscal cliff standoff—which most analysts agreed offered too little revenue to stand a chance at acceptance—for raising revenues too much. Then he resigned.
Perhaps you’ve heard of him—the 32 year-old unemployed Air Force and Army veteran who lives with his father, doesn’t own a cell phone or a computer, and is now the South Carolina Democratic Party nominee for the US Senate. In the primary, he beat Vic Rawl—a former state representative who had the support of the SC Democratic apparatus—despite having no website, holding no fundraisers, running no ads and hiring no staff. The next day, the Associated Press revealed that he was facing felony obscenity charges. Green allegedly showed pornography to a female student in a University of South Carolina computer lab, then said “Let’s go to your room now.” Vic Rawl, understandably surprised to have lost by 20 points to such a tactician, called for an investigation into voting irregularities. The South Carolina Democrats upheld the results, while simultaneously asking Greene to withdraw. But Alvin Greene has not withdrawn, and in November he will face Jim DeMint in the general election.