DeMint at CPAC 2013
When former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint abruptly resigned his Senate seat to take a big cash-money job heading up the Heritage Foundation, his supporters were quick to proclaim that he would have far greater power as the leader of one of the nation's leading conservative think tanks. They were wrong, of course.
After the 2012 elections, DeMint, who had backed one stinky conservative candidate after another — see Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Richard "Rape Babies" Mourdock — the South Carolina senator's move was nothing more than a last ditch effort to exert some sort of control in D.C. According to a new Wall Street Journal story
, that ain't happening. In fact, all that the DeMint-led Heritage Foundation has done is to piss off fellow GOPers, including U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a Palmetto State politician who was once a DeMint acolyte.
The WSJ reports:
But since the foundation in 2010 created Heritage Action for America, a lobbying arm designed to pressure Congress, it has clashed with Republican congressional leaders over bills to fund the government and extend Bush-era tax rates. On immigration, the foundation has steered away from its past approach of emphasizing the economic advantages of allowing more potential workers into the U.S.
The latest dust-up arose earlier this month when Heritage Action opposed a revised version of the farm bill. Some Republicans were incensed because GOP leaders had bowed to the group's demand to strip out money for food stamps and other nutritional programs.
"We went into battle thinking they were on our side, and we find out they're shooting at us," said Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.), a conservative who also lobbied to split food stamps into a separate measure in hopes of enacting changes to the programs. He said Heritage Action's refusal to back the farm bill even after food-stamp funding was removed "undermines the credibility of the organization."
Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. DeMint's final years in office were spent doing, well, anything but legislating. When he wasn't fund-humping his SuperPAC and barebacking Tea Party nutters like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle, DeMint was moaning and groaning about how much he hated his fellow legislators — on at least one occasion he said his everyone in Congress was on the take — and doing everything in his power to make sure that no legislation got passed. This is just more of the same from Jim DeMint. It's good to see that he's taking his second act role as the Beltway's leading persona non grata so seriously. With a little more time, he just might end up being forgotten entirely.