by Chris Haire
Jim DeMint is a quitter and a coward and a persona non grata.
There's really no other way around it, so please ignore the spin, especially the schwat being tossed about proclaiming that Jim DeMint is now more powerful than ever.
The truth is DeMint saw that his brief little reign as a Republican kingmaker was over. Any influence he had on Capitol Hill or on the nation at large has disappeared like Antonin Scalia's ability to see his Harry Houdini over his ever-bulging belly. In part, it was because DeMint continued to support Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Richard "God Condones Rape" Mourdock well after his fellow Republicans had abandoned that sinking ship.
But in reality, it was really because Jim DeMint hated his fellow Congressmen and they hated him back. He wanted to leave and they wanted him gone. This should come as a shock to no one, since on more than one occasion, DeMint proudly proclaimed that all of his fellow Capitol Hill cohorts were on the take and that simply being around them saddened him.
So please, forget what you hear about this being a bold new era for the so-called liberty movement wing of the Republican Party. With DeMint pulling a Palin and Ron Paul ambling off into the senior-moment sunset, this libertarian-lite push within the GOP is done. Yes, Rand Paul is still around and Ted Cruz got himself elected, but Marco Rubio jumped ship on day one and you can be damned sure that Tim Scott — DeMint's rumored heir apparent — will do too. After all, he's a party man above all else. He will do what the GOP leadership wants.
And this is a shame. The GOP needs a dose of libertarian-minded liberty loving. The Republican Party has spent far too long appealing to the fundamentalist set — staking its Election Day hopes on opposing gay marriage, abortion, hate crimes legislation, marijuana legalization. Worse, they've spent even longer courting Deep South bigots and angry white men with their four-decade long Southern Strategy. If the GOP hopes to succeed in the coming years — at least on the national stage — it has to say so-long to the Bible beaters and the sheet heads.
Of course, Jim DeMint never could.
See, as much as folks might want to proclaim that DeMint was the leader of the liberty movement — the more conservative wing of the GOP — he really didn't believe in liberty at all. In fact, after following him for years, I don't even know if he really knows what the word means. The nearest I can tell, for Jim DeMint, freedom only applies to the free market not to individuals. Big business and small business alike are free to do as they please in his world, but when it comes to the everyday citizen, there should be limits on what they can and cannot do.
The reality is, DeMint is a theocrat, who believes that only those who adopt a Judeo-Christian worldview can truly be Americans. Anyone who follows a different religious tradition — or perhaps even no tradition at all — can never be a real American in the senator's opinion. I didn't come up with this on my own. DeMint says it in his 2009 manifesto, "Saving Freedom."
DeMint also doesn't believe that unmarried women should be able to teach public school, you know because they are sexed-up sexpots who are having sex outside of marriage. However, he has no problem backing Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Tim Scott, two life-long bachelors. Make of that what you will.
DeMint also hates gays. Now, you might think that statement is too strong, but you would be wrong. It's not strong enough. Not only does DeMint believe that gays shouldn't be able to teach public school and has repeatedly opposed hate crimes legislation, making the laughable claim that such laws would make some Americans more equal than others, he has gone on record saying that he could never ever vote for a gay man for president.
DeMint also believes that African-Americans — and other minorities — remain loyal Democrats solely because they are "government beneficiaries" who depend on the gifts that the Dems dole out to them — you know, things like food stamps and subsidized housing and Medicare and free public education. Like many of his Republican ilk, the senator refuses to see that it is the GOP's long history of racism and discrimination that prevents many black Americans from voting for conservatives. They are the enemy and forever will be until they finally give up the race-baiting Southern Strategy for good.
Make no mistake, Jim DeMint has not become the philosophical leader of the Republican Party by quitting his job and taking over the Heritage Foundation. His are not the views of a man who will guide the GOP into a bold new future. They are the views of a relic from the age of American bigotry. And with Jim DeMint leaving office, that era is even closer to coming to an end.