Elliott Abrams writes about the recently announced retirements of Republicans Jim DeMint and Jo Ann Emerson from Congress:
It may well be that Ms. Emerson can do a lot of good at the Cooperative Association and that Mr. DeMint will serve the conservative cause well at Heritage. Nevertheless there is something deeply offensive about walking away from the job you so ardently sought from the voters. That act diminishes the significance of elections and indeed of representative democracy, for the citizen elevated to the legislature by his or her peers is saying the whole thing is just not very important. Certainly the two appear to feel no strong obligation to the voters, or to their district or state. It’s not as if they were going home to run for governor, and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that if these new jobs paid not one cent more than their congressional offices they would not have resigned.
Emerson said “I did not go seeking this opportunity, but I am excited about the new challenge it offers” and presumably DeMint did not go seeking Heritage either. In both cases the member of Congress realized this opportunity would disappear if he or she served out his term. That ought to have been the end of it, but in both cases they dismissed their obligations quickly and without apparent soul-searching.
Read the whole thing here.