As we wrote at the time, DeMint’s decision to walk away from the Senate — long considered the pinnacle of power and influence in American politics — was, in and of itself, a potent symbol of the broader shift away from traditional political parties and toward outside interest groups.

And, DeMint’s opinion piece represents a broader sentiment within the conservative movement, that its establishment leaders simply lack the ability to point a way out of the political wilderness. …

It’s not just on the ideas side where the center of the GOP is moving. The rise of American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS as well as Americans for Prosperity — and a slew of other conservative-minded outside groups — have made them the major financial players in campaigns. Unlike political party committees, which are limited in the sort of donations they can accept, these outside groups can take unlimited checks from individuals. (Democrats, too, rely on outside group spending but not nearly to the extent of Republicans. That may be due to the fact that one party controls the White House and the other doesn’t but only time will tell.)