New Order: Future Members of the Conservative Majority

The Wall Street Journal has profiles of three up and coming conservative politicians whom many in the media and political elite are happy to dismiss as "fringe." Keep telling yourselves that.

Sam Meas was born in Cambodia, escaped the killing fields and is now running in the GOP primary for Congress in MA-5, presently represented by Nikki Tsongas, the widow of Paul (which should give you an idea of how liberals have developed a political quasi-aristocracy):

Sam Meas isn't your typical congressional candidate. For one thing, the Cambodian refugee doesn't know his birthday.

"I tell people I am 38 years old— plus or minus two years." In 1973, Mr. Meas's father was sent to be "re-educated" by the Khmer Rouge and was never heard from again. During the chaos following the regime's collapse in 1979, Mr. Meas was separated from his mother. He never saw her again. Marching night and day toward the Thai border with a cousin, Mr. Meas recalls stepping over corpses and watching bloated bodies float down jungle waterways.

Unsurprisingly for a victim of communism, Meas is a big Reagan fan and a near-fanatic libertarian besides. He is also not expected to defeat the (gag) moderate Jon Golnick, who is Meas' opponent in the primary. Here's hoping Meas comes out on top. The GOP needs about a million Sam Meas, but keeps ending up with an endless supply of Jon Golicks.

Joe Miller is, of course, the Alaskan attorney who "came out of nowhere" (hey, maybe you would have heard of him if you listened to Mark Levin's show once in a while) to defeat Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary for Alaska's Senate seat.

The final vote tally is expected within two weeks, after the state finishes counting 11,266 absentee ballots. With 100% of precincts counted, Mr. Miller currently leads by 1,668 votes. Most political watchers expect a Miller victory, and observers in Alaska and across the U.S. are taking a closer look at a man who, even in Fairbanks, maintained a low profile before he jumped into the race against Ms. Murkowski last April.

"He just came out of nowhere," said Richard Fineberg, an economics consultant in Fairbanks. "Not a lot of people know him."

Mr. Miller attributes his voter appeal to what he calls discontent over expansion of the federal government. "This country is in crisis and doesn't have much time to turn itself around," he said in an interview Friday at his law office and campaign headquarters in Fairbanks.

Mr. Miller—a graduate of West Point and Yale Law School, a combat veteran and former state and federal magistrate—advocates dismantling some federal agencies, saying many of their functions, such as the federal welfare system, should be handled by states. "The age of the entitlement state is over," he said.

OK, we get it. He's "low profile." He is also absolutely emblematic of the sort of politicians voters are screaming for this year: modest, unpretentious, with real-world accomplishments on his resume. Maybe the public would take journalists more seriously if they took candidates more seriously, too, instead of deriding them for being insufficiently prominent in a "been on CNN" kind of way.

There was this odd detail, however:

Meanwhile, he is maintaining some connection to his old life. He was due to appear in a Fairbanks state court Friday for a civil case he is handling, but had to postpone after totaling his Chevy pickup in an accident he said wasn't his fault.

"Just a blip," he said.

Uh, OK.

Jim DeMint has emerged as one of the central figures in the Tea Party uprising, a sitting US Senator who has used his money and position to support conservative candidates, many of whom have gone on to knock off some of DeMint's colleagues, or his colleagues' preferred candidates.

Mr. DeMint's mission is to bring more Jim DeMints to the Senate—that is, people with an unfailing antagonism to big government. But his string of victories, often against establishment candidates, has many of his Republican colleagues grumbling. They say Mr. DeMint is pushing candidates through the primaries who are too far to the right to take back vulnerable seats from Democrats in November. Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott recently spoke for many in the party when he said it didn't need anymore "Jim DeMint disciples."

Over the past five years, Mr. DeMint has established himself as the pre-eminent conservative in Congress—he has a near perfect National Taxpayer Union rating—with Tom Coburn of Oklahoma a close second. As we eat lunch at Mr. DeMint's favorite restaurant in his hometown of Greenville, our conversation is often interrupted by well-wishers thrilled to see their senator in person and all with pretty much the same message: "Keep fighting those big spenders."

DeMint is, of course, virtually unknown to the public because the MSM has practically embargoed any coverage of his efforts. Part of that might be personality: DeMint is a soft-spoken modest man, rather than a ranting a**hole. But mostly it's because of ideology. DeMint is unapologetically conservative and quite forceful - but polite - in arguing that Democrats are little more than socialists. Still, DeMint, like Sarah Palin, is beloved where it counts: in the grassroots and the Tea Parties, where he is a powerful force.

And, it must mean something that, in a year when supposedly "no incumbent is safe," DeMint (along with his cohort Tom Coburn) is cruising to victory against an opponent who is literally a deranged liberal. Sounds like some incumbents are preferable to others.

These are the "fringe" people whom Democrats from the President on down claim are trying to bring back the era of pre-Civil Rights Act race relations, who want to turn the country over to the "corporations," who want Grandma to starve for lack of Social Security. You almost have to laugh, but they are serious. Lucky for us, it's no longer 1972.

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