Skip to comments.Godspeed, Jim DeMint, and Thank You
Posted on 12/07/2012 4:50:47 AM PST by Kaslin
Just before announcing his departure from the United States Senate, Jim DeMint gave me one last reason to praise him in that job.
He had spent Tuesday morning pointing out the lunacy of putting revenues on the table, which by necessity involves the belief that government does not have enough of our money. He advised against Republicans dividing over the issue and treating the Presidents proposal like its serious.
He even delivered a twitter jab to the House leadership: "Speaker Boehner's offer of an $800 billion tax hike will destroy jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more."
For the umpteenth time, clarity and courage from Jim DeMint inspired me and galvanized my belief that this is no time for faint hearts and half-drawn weapons as we fight for the future of our country.
Then what does he do? He takes the exit ramp.
Just as I am praying for more rudders and compasses like his in both houses of Congress, he announces he will leave the Senate in January to become President of the Heritage Foundation.
I love Heritage. I always want them to have the leadership that serves their mission best. But did they have to land one of the most powerful voices in elected conservatism? Was there no one else who could have followed the proud record of Ed Feulner, whose stewardship nurtured Heritage from modest 1970s roots to its current perch of global renown?
I know, I know. The deal is done. Lets not waste energy with hand-wringing. Let us instead wish all parties well, and make clear what wed like to see on the path forward.
As Mr. Feulner maintains an important role at Heritage as Chancellor of the Foundation and Chairman of the Asian Studies Center, opinions are filtering in on what the addition of Jim DeMint will mean.
Ones view on this properly hinges tightly on ones view of the DeMint record. As such, I believe Heritage secures its place in conservative hearts as a think tank that is not to be trifled with, a home for bold, unapologetic conservatism that fearlessly addresses the challenges of the day and gladly informs all comers about the wisdom of limited government, low taxes and a strong foreign policy.
In other words, it embraces the values I want in every Republican member of the Senate and the House, and the attributes I will seek in President Obamas successor in 2016.
But this is not a unanimous view.
For any who have bristled at the DeMint ideology and style, there is some momentary relief as he departs, and a darker view of what Heritage has done in tapping him.
Blogging from the right for the Washington Post has got to be an interesting gig, and Jennifer Rubin is an interesting woman. I enjoy her writing, agree with most of it, and have enjoyed welcoming her as a guest in my Friday role hosting Bill Bennetts national radio show.
I noticed that there were voices on the right who viewed her as a major water-carrier for Mitt Romney during his ascendancy. This became a lesser sin the moment he won the nomination, when every Republican adopted a vested interest in seeing him win.
But with the Romney defeat now healing into scar tissue, everyone who led cheers for him on the way up now faces questions about whether he was ever the best standardbearer for the Republican party.
Ms. Rubin in particular has faced questions about the depth of her conservatism. Her Thursday Post piece on DeMint will not calm those critics.
Good riddance, Mr. DeMint is the headline of a post which blasts him as a damaging figure long on bellicosity and wholly lacking in legislative achievement.
And slapping DeMint is not enough. Ms. Rubin scolds Heritage for welcoming a new President that will banish them to the marginalized corners of untempered extremism.
While Ms. Rubin regrets that Heritage tapped a political leader rather than a serious scholar, whatever that is any more, it is clear that her hackles are raised most by DeMints views and tactics.
I expect she has company. DeMint has caused many a headache on the left, and a few on the right, where he has shown little patience for Republicans seeking to cut deals with the left in a search for common ground.
But that is why I loved him in the Senate.
To me, the Democrats are not offering $20,000 for my car priced at $24,000, so you meet at $22,000.
Democrats are your brother-in-law with a gambling problem. He asked for you 500 dollars and you gave it to him. He asked you for five thousand and you gave it to him. He has squandered it and now he is back, asking for twenty grand.
You dont meet in the middle. You tell him no and suggest he get his act together.
The Republicans seeking to curry favor with moderates or the press or the countless young women or people of color we will need in 2014, 2016 and beyond, are enablers.
What we need are messengers with boundless energy, willing to explain why lower taxes-- even on the wealthy-- are good for everyone, why small government is good for everyone, and why our way forward will save America as a land of opportunity and liberty.
That is hard work. Jim DeMint was the voice of that work ethic in the Senate. My own state of Texas has sent Ted Cruz to pull some of that weight, as will Kentuckys Rand Paul, Utahs Mike Lee, Pennsylvanias Pat Toomey and any others willing to see that this is a battle for the future of America, not a conversational interlude along historys highway.
It is to the Heritage Foundations credit that they have added DeMints name to their leadership legacy. All of us inspired by his fearless grasp of the stakes in our national crisis will miss him profoundly in government, and wish him well in the private sector he has fought so hard to protect.
So who will succeed him? There is substantial buzz around South Carolina congressman Tim Scott, whose plus side is huge, including a close friendship with DeMint himself.
A tax and spending cutter. An Obamacare repealer. A pro-life, pro-business voice unafraid to warn that our hasty exits from Iraq and Afghanistan are a gift to al Qaeda.
And he is black, which will drive liberals crazy. How do you not love this man?
But as the party that cares about ideas and heart without regard to race, our support of Scott should be based purely on the agenda he brings to the table. Look for Gov. Nikki Haley to feel a strong push to name him to fill the interim seat until a special election in 2014. If she does not opt for him, it had better be someone of similar passions.
Every move Republicans make should be a part of a master plan to address America with the heart of a teacher, eager to explain why we do what we do, and how it benefits Americans of every race and income.
Jim DeMints refusal to cave to the pressures of appeasement is a badge of honor he can wear forever. The Senates loss is the Heritage Foundations gain. Let us hope that Heritage can continue as a strong voice for conservatism, and that a Republican Senate can become one in 2014.
I am confused.
Just how does walking away from the Senate become a plus?
Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska’a governor and has made a lot of money since ,but I maintain that act was the end of any hope at elected office.I suspect the same for DeMint.Voters will not elect someone who they perceive as leaving in a snot,or running away.
DeMint may or may not do better personally but all the on and off air spokemen for conservatism don’t have one vote in the government;only those in office do.
Who will replace DeMint in the Senate?
At least he no long will feel the need to follow Reagan’s 11th Commandment and sounds like he is already getting started.
Although I am disappointed DeMint left the Senate...I believe his reasons to do so are genuine
This should send a message to all Conservatives: If you are not considering Third Party Conservative by now...you will be voting liberal later
I think DeMint just got tired of the Liberal PhonyCon RINOs in the GOP
I think you are right. There is so much corruption and caving in Washington right now - I believe it would be difficult to even go to work on a daily basis. Just look at the things a true conservative has to deal with - Harry Reid for one - and the Rs not having a Senate majority.
I wish him well and I guess like everyone else - there comes a time when enough is enough and hopefully, he can make more influential changes outside of Washington.
Sarah Plain steps down and is called a quitter.
Jim DeMint steps down and is called a visionary.
This has the stink of a typical Karl Rove "get him out of there, whatever it takes" move.
"Turd Blossom" Rove did this with the very effective Ralph Reed before the 2000 campaign, going to megacrook Ken Lay of Enron and getting "Kenny Boy" to offer Reed a very phat contract as a political fixer for a troubled power project Lay was pushing in the Southeast. Reed may have thought that he'd be able to politick in the interstices of his new job, but Lay's brief was actually to keep Reed away from politics while Rove led candidate Bush to, e.g., political dinners with the Log Cabin Republicans (I can hear it now: "Are you stupid? Those faggots have more money than God! They're at the table and they're determined to play! You either go with them or you get run over!").
So this is Ralph Reed Takeout II, same play, different day.
The RiNO/RNC/Yacht Club purge of conservatives rolls on through the congressional GOP, and it's ever more apparent that it's Karl Rove's fingerprints on the knife.
I was wondering the same thing. Why when De Mint quits is he a good guy, but Sarah was a quitter who wouldn't stay the course?
He offers a "take" on the DeMint takeout that is equivocal, muddy, lacking in lucidity and force, and stinking of equilibration and a lack of willingness to illuminate the vast gulf that the homosexual- and abort-ridden RiNO's are laboring night and day these last two years to open between social conservatives and the rest of the conservative movement.
The writer's take is framed so narrowly on so few issues that a fourth-grader could elucidate that this guy is an "economic conservative" (spit!) who thinks the Tea Party -- the Tea Party -- should purge its thinking of social conservatism and stick with pocketbook issues.
He deliberately refrains from noting that Originalism has remarked on the social conservatism of the Framers, and their insistence that only a moral society could long sustain the liberty interest by its citizens' good behavior, whereas a libertine mob must sooner than later lose their liberties to authoritarian corregidors of their own bad conduct and sociopolitical incompetence.
“Godspeed”? That’s what I would wish someone when they embark upon a voyage. I would never say it to someone abandoning ship.
There’s no mystery or controversy here.
DeMint told his supporters before he was elected that he would go to Washington as a citizen-legislator, and he had no intention of making the senate his career.
The Founders considered this view laudatory and correct.
He’s moving on to another career in the private sector. It’s the way things are supposed to be. Good for him, and I wish him success.
Follow Sen. DeMint on Twitter.
There are times in life when you evaluate your strengths, vulnerabilities, existing opportunities that utilize your strengths, and look at potential stumbling blocks for achieving your goals. He has already implied that the game is currently lost, but new opportunities will arise in 2014, etc. It’s a perfectly clear strategy. The exec and legislative branches of our government have become a mockery of their original purpose. He’s not running off and burying his head in the sand. He’s joining the other strategizers, making the best use of his strengths.
I am very disappointed in Sen. DeMint’s move at this point. He was needed in the senate more than ever. Please take me off your ping list.
Excellent analysis and post. You are exactly right
If you disagree, you might just go ahead and say so, rather than feigning incomprehension to imply the other poster is such a drooling idiot he can't communicate in English.
Or did I misread your laconic retort?
My huh was on you accusation that Jim DeMint is a RINO. He is far from being one
The article's writer poses as conservative, but there's this strong whiff of urban neocon and/or Yacht Club novitiate about him -- a RiNO-wannabee. (Did I write a good article, Mr. Karl, huh, huh? Can I come to the RiNO world-pie-cutting dance in January?) Maybe I should have been more explicit. Rove, RiNO no-doubt, writer, RiNO-probably. De Mint, conservative taken to the cleaners.
Gotta rush in to watch the last of The Newshour and listen to Brooksie and Shields gloating and chuckling and trading high-fives over DeMint's leaving the
RiNO Club GOP Senate Caucus.
DeMint clarified his actions in an interview with Glenn Beck today...it’s posted at The Blaze, and is worth reading.