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DeMint Starts His New Job With a Lie

Jim DeMint, who abruptly left the Senate to take a much higher paying job as head of the Heritage Foundation, has an op-ed column in the Washington Post spelling out his plans for the conservative think tank. Those plans apparently include passing on long-debunked lies to a credulous public:

This is how the foundation helped pioneer welfare reform. A Heritage scholar was a primary architect of the 1996 welfare law that President Bill Clinton was eventually forced to sign after vetoing it twice — a law that later, ironically, became a hallmark of his presidency.

Heritage was also the early promoter of missile defense and the belief that you could hit a bullet with a bullet, which proved so useful in defending Israel just two months ago.

Unfortunately, welfare reform and missile defense have something in common beyond Heritage’s intellectual paternity. They both have been gutted by President Obama. Always faint-hearted about missile defense, the president in his first year dismantled our programs in Poland and the Czech Republic. He disabled welfare reform last year, when he took away the work requirements that were at the heart of that law’s success.

That lie was told by many Republican candidates for president last year too. When Rick Santorum made it a standard part of his stump speech, PolitiFact rated it a pants on fire lie. The same outlet that allowed DeMint the space to repeat that lie gave it four Pinocchios. And even one of the Republican architects of the welfare reform law said it wasn’t true. To paraphrase The Princess Bride, DeMint is not a man of honor; lies do become him.

Comments

  1. Michael Heath says

    Last evening Anderson Cooper stated, “he’s clearly lying” and, “he’s been real jerk to others”. Mr. Cooper’s use of these words were both accurate and warranted. However they were directed towards someone in the middle of a relatively trivial scandal – Lance Armstrong.

    Politicians lie with far more impunity and on issues where not only are their lies not about trivial matters, but matters that often impact the lives of hundreds to billions of humans. Yet we don’t observe even those with either access to the powerful or the public in general use such language for more egregious behavior. Even those like Anderson Cooper who distinguish themselves in journalism.

  2. says

    The individual mandate was proposed in 1989 by the Heritage Foundation. Is he going to make sure it’s known that the core of so-called Obama Care was a Heritage Foundation proposal?

  3. says

    …of the 1996 welfare law that President Bill Clinton was eventually forced to sign after vetoing it twice…

    Hey, everybody, remember when people were told us that it would take welfare “off the table” forever?
     

    Heritage was also the early promoter of missile defense and the belief that you could hit a bullet with a bullet, which proved so useful in defending Israel just two months ago.

    Who knew that knocking down multiple, multi-mach speed MIRVs was the same as exploding some unguided, non-spoofing rocket some guy made in his garage?
     

    “To paraphrase The Princess Bride, DeMint is not a man of honor; lies do become him.”

    Oh, please! Everybody knows that the Heritage Institute is a non-partisan thinktank. They are objective, only wanting the best for everyone.*
     
    Dr X “The individual mandate was proposed in 1989 by the Heritage Foundation. Is he going to make sure it’s known that the core of so-called Obama Care was a Heritage Foundation proposal?”
    You know damn well that was a liberal plant to make FutureConservatives look bad. Cap & Trade, too. Also, everything else they used to believe that Obama ruins by being for.
     
    * YMMV.

  4. machintelligence says

    Is it worse to have him in a think tank than in the senate? I suppose it depends on his replacement.

  5. eric says

    While the ‘pants on fire’ rating only concerns the welfare comment, Heritage is also being disingenuous about their missile defense support. The systems in the middle east are systems against short-range missiles. Scuds and unguided rockets. Yep, those systems work, and the current administration is NOT opposed to them. However, what Heritage was pushing in the 1980s (through now) is for a long-range ballistic missile defense. I.e., something to stop Rusian and Chinese ICBMs. THAT sort of system does not work now, has never worked in the past, was always fairly urnrealisitc given the sheer number of missiles involved, and is considered by a lot of people on both sides of the political fence to be a complete waste of money..

    So this is a bit of a shell game on their part. Heritage supports antimissile systems A and B. B has proven successful. Everyone likes it. But their PR is designed to make you think this administration is dismantling working system B, when in fact what is actually happening is that the USG is reconsidering A – because in 30 years we haven’t been able to make it work.

  6. says

    valhar2000 “Was the 1996 Welfare Reform actually successful?”
    Yes, although a bunch of that was reducing welfare rolls by dropping people off them, in effect saving money by ignoring the problem.*
     
    * I don’t have my links with me, though, so no cite provided.

  7. Shawn Smith says

    Michael Heath @1,

    Lawrence O’Donnell, who was recently called someone who is in a contest to see who can be the biggest asshole on cable news, calls politicians who lie “liars” at least twice a week on his show. I’m not sure if the asshole designation is because of that, or the fact he pimps “The West Wing” clips every chance he gets, but there is a national program that doesn’t have a problem with calling liars out.

  8. slc1 says

    Re eric @ #6

    It should be pointed out that the Obama Administration is an enthusiastic supporter of the Israeli built Iron Dome system.

  9. jnorris says

    We all know that Lying is an Evangelical Christian sacrament. Mr DeMint was just seeking a holy blessing on his new administration.

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