By Henry Decker

DeMint Returns To Obamacare Roots With Move To Heritage Foundation

December 6, 2012 3:56 pm Category: Memo Pad 12 Comments A+ / A-
DeMint Returns To Obamacare Roots With Move To Heritage Foundation

South Carolina senator Jim DeMint announced Thursday morning that he will be leaving the Senate in January to run conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

Although he said in a statement that “I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight,” adding that “the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas,” his departure from the Senate could be a significant blow to the right wing. DeMint, who holds extreme far-right positions on virtually all social and fiscal issues, has been the unofficial Senate leader of the Tea Party. As founder of the Senate Conservatives Fund, he has helped nominate far-right candidates in several Senate races, and has not been afraid to break with party leadership in primary battles. While some DeMint-backed candidates (like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul) won their elections and helped swing the Republican caucus to the right, others (like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell) blew winnable elections for the GOP — helping Democrats maintain their majority.

Between his extreme rhetoric and his flat rejection of ideological dissent within his caucus, DeMint is in many ways the perfect embodiment of the modern Republican Party. Despite his laughable claim that he left the Senate “a better place” than he found it — as Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski points out, the American public disagrees — in truth, his legacy is better summed up by New York senator Chuck Schumer: “Certainly his effect on the political system may have been more beneficial to Democrats than Republicans.”

For DeMint, the move to The Heritage Foundation represents the closing of a full circle with regards to the issue that made him and the Tea Party a household name: Obamacare. Although he famously declared in 2009 that “this health care issue Is D-Day for freedom in America,” and that defeating the law would be Obama’s “Waterloo,” the senator was actually for individual mandates before he was against them. Back in 2007, DeMint praised the mandate in Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law for “making freedom work for everyone.”

His new job will be a return to those roots; after all, the individual mandate was originally developed in 1989 by Heritage Foundation health care expert Stuart Butler.

Of course, just like DeMint, the Foundation now believes that the law “must be repealed.” In fact, if Heritage Action for America’s post-campaign video dramatically declaring war against President Obama is any indication of the Foundation’s priorities, then DeMint’s hyper-partisan brand of politics is a perfect fit for the think tank.

Heritage may be a perfect fit for DeMint, as well. Despite winning huge headlines as a senator, his actual legislative record is close to nonexistent. Additionally, as Kaczynski notes in Buzzfeed, DeMint is currently one of the poorest members of the Senate; his new job represents a significant pay raise, and if he plays his cards right — perhaps following Dick Armey’s example at FreedomWorks — then DeMint’s work in the right-wing private sector could set him up for life.

Photo credit: AP/Patrick Semansky, File

DeMint Returns To Obamacare Roots With Move To Heritage Foundation Reviewed by on . South Carolina senator Jim DeMint announced Thursday morning that he will be leaving the Senate in January to run conservative think tank The Heritage Foundatio South Carolina senator Jim DeMint announced Thursday morning that he will be leaving the Senate in January to run conservative think tank The Heritage Foundatio Rating:

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Comments

  • Sand_Cat

    Joining the Hypocrite Foundation? Well, at least he isn’t hiking the Appalachian Trail that we know of.

    He’d have left the Senate a better place if he’d left it alone, but his leaving now will make it a better place, at least until his goose-stepping replacement is picked by the great governor of the great,great state of South Carolina, where every day is a good day by Nikki’s decree.

    I should have called the morning after the election just to hear them have to say it!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y4ZDB2PEBKOYCFTDDMIFZVRU4E ANN

      It would be a “Greater day in South Carolina” if Nikki was not here. And yes even the morning after she did say it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JMT6C3LHLJDD4RX4NB4KY5ICAE gargray

    Dirty tricks and bad thoughts, he can’t change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    What a lot of people don’t know is that the concept of a healthcare mandate to ensure all Americans shared the burden or personal responsibility came from the Heritage Foundation, one of the most far right organizations in the world. The idea behind the mandate was two-fold, they saw a need to protect the insurance industry from the inevitable changes that were about to happen – including the elimination of the draconian pre-existing condition clause and caps – but because, ideologically, the idea of forcing everyone to get coverage from for profit insurance companies is the epitome of capitalism. Why did people like Rush Limbaugh call it socialism? Because they are unscrupulous and cynical opportunists that become rich and wield power by exploiting the fears and ignorance of their followers.

  • 1guy2

    I never believed this guys sincerity,nor his christian claims,that he so blatantly wore on his shirt sleeves. I suppose that with more money coming in,some of those claims are not as important as they use to be.

    • DwaininAztec

      As long as you don’t read the Holiness Code, the prophets, or Jesus you can believe as he does.

  • 1guy2

    But, that’s all changed now, because Obamacare, put wrinkles all in their scheme.
    This reply is in the wrong place,it was a reply to Dominick’s well said comment.

  • kanawah

    Some of his antics should have him set ofr life,…..in prison.

  • howa4x

    It is oxymornic to say that the he led the tea party in the battle of ideas,since they don;’t have any.
    What tea party ideas can anyone talk about? They were against Obama/Romney care but offered no alternative. They were a group that knew how to say no but offered no new ideas on how to solve anything. They constantly drew attifical lines, and refused to compromise. They blocked every attempt that Obama made to create jobs, and are ignorant about science,and can’t even comprehend climate change. Demint led revenge of the idiots, elected officials that dispute evolution. Of course he couldn’t get anyting done if all you do is oppose everything. I think the Heritage Foundation is taking a giant step backwards having him as the head of it. This man is devoid of any ideas except cut cut cut

  • adriancrutch

    Another worn out bag blows out of washington. The Hermitage Floundation is just a retirement home for old racists,homophobes,charadists of christianity.

  • http://twitter.com/LostAnarchist S-3

    I hope violent revolution removes scum likme him from power in my state of South Carolina some day. I’ll be right there, helping this revolt along, too.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RFEPMKNCBVGJYV2X7LBNDGRUEY William

    What Obama Care needs is a public option, the GOP got that dropped and still did not vote for it, just another way they suckered America. All the GOP wanted was another plan like their drug plan written Drug Companies for Drug Companies.

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