Jim DeMint (R-Secede) has announced he will leave the Senate to head the one of the most influential think tanks in the nation. The Heritage Foundation was created in part by uber wingnut trailblazers like Joseph Coors to offset what conservatives of the time saw as Nixon’s pursuit of liberal solutions (Yes, you read that right). The Foundation rose to prominence in the early 80s as one of the pioneering cheerleaders for ‘reducing government,’ by which they meant exactly what the teaparty means today, robbing from the poor and giving to the rich. They’ve done some other, more novel things too:
WSJ – Sen. DeMint said he is taking the Heritage job because he sees it as a vehicle to popularize conservative ideas in a way that connects with a broader public. “This is an urgent time,” the senator said, “because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections.” Mr. DeMint, who was a market researcher before he entered politics, said he plans to take the Heritage Foundation’s traditional research plus that of think tanks at the state level and “translate those policy papers into real-life demonstrations of things that work.” He said, “We want to figure out what works at the local and state level” and give those models national attention.
Good luck on that Senator. I’m sure it pays better than the paltry 200k plus you’re paid by the government you hate now and it’s true the Heritage Foundation has actually come up with a meaty idea or two over the years. In fact one of the really big ideas they came up with was first translated ‘into a real life’ demonstration at the ‘state and local level’ by a conservative governor, and worked well enough that it was later codified into law for the entire nation.
It’s now known as Obamacare and, alas, you and your conservative buddies missed the coup of a political lifetime by not crowing about your idea winning out over liberalism and socialized medicine. Instead, you clowns have spent the last four years comparing your own idea, and the president’s grudging acceptance of it, to a tyranny worthy of an up and coming Hitler. So yeah, good luck, because seeing the way your party is headed, you’re gonna need it.
Speaking of which, Gov Nikki Haley will appoint someone as placeholder until a special election in 2014 to serve out DeMint’s term through 2016. Given the nature of the GOP in South Carolina these days and the state’s prideful claim as First to Secede, that person will have to come out as a fire-breathing fundamentalist teaparty nutcase to have prayer in that special midterm primary.