DeMint Leaving Senate for Heritage

In a bit of surprising news, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has announced that he’s leaving the Senate next year to become the president of the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank. This surprises me because DeMint’s political star has clearly been on the rise, despite his deranged views on many things.

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future,” he said in his press release.

DeMint’s change of career does not, however, indicate that he is leaving the fight for conservative values. He declared on his senatorial website: “I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”

DeMint is on the far right fringe of Senate Republicans. This is a guy who thinks gays and women with children should be fired as public school teachers and many other bigoted and stupid things. But in only 8 years, he had become a major force in the Senate. He was a fundraising powerhouse whose PAC had supported many conservative candidates, earning him a lot of chits to call in and giving him significant influence in the Senate.

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  • Chiroptera

    …DeMint’s political star has clearly been on the rise, despite his deranged views on many things.

    I think you meant because of his deranged views on many things.

  • Shawn Smith

    One of the more convincing explanations I have heard is that the current head of the Heritage Foundation earns more than $1 million, and that’s significantly more than his Senate job. Just another quitter (like Sarah Palin) who wants more money for doing less work after establishing their conservative batshit crazy bona fides.

  • Ed, slight correction. DeMinted has stated he does not want unmarried pregnant women to be allowed to teach, which is an incredibly mean-spirited thing to advocate, since it denies the woman the right to work in her field of choice and be able to afford to raise the child since he also would deny her the choice to terminate the pregnancy. Presumably, unmarried male teachers who impregnate women would not have to worry about losing their jobs.

  • abb3w

    It might be that he thinks the GOP’s market for whacko is a bubble close enough to bursting that given a good offer elsewhere, it’s time to get out while the getting’s good.

  • Michael Heath

    I’ve yet to encounter an analysis of the Heritage Foundation which is too critical of the damage the Heritage Foundation has done to the U.S. and humanity in general.

    The Heritage Foundation is not merely seeding conservative Christianity leaders with defective arguments, which then radiates from out to the targeted voting base; they’re also very effective at directly marketing their propaganda to evangelical and fundamentalist Christian voters.

  • tfkreference

    Any hope of a reasonable replacement?

  • tsig

    A reasonable replacement, from SC?

    They’ve been bringing the crazy since 1860, no hope of change now.

  • I’m all for guyz like DeMint (I see an opportunity for someone to market urinal deodorizer “cookies” with his name on them) being asked on to the talk shows as long as there’s some truth in advertising:

    “And now with his knee-jerk reactionary viewpoint, former Senator Jim DeMint, batshit KKKrazzee homophobe, misogynist and KKKristian fuckbag President of the Heritage Institute.”

  • “Any hope of a reasonable replacement?”

    Well, Steve Colbert has offered to accept the job. Now would be the time for all of the idiotz who think that he is REALLY a stealth conservative to put their belief into action.

  • Didaktylos

    Maybe he thinks about to be caught with his hand in a till …

  • okstop

    I’m with Didaktylos. Anytime I hear about someone who has put in long years to rise to political prominence abandoning the political game just before they hit the REALLY big time, I assume it’s because they’ve made a risk-benefit analysis on the media coverage that comes with that and decided to take the prizes they’ve already won and not open Door #3.

  • hunter

    De Mint stands to make a lot more money and have much more influence at the Heritage Foundation. He’ll also be somewhat more insulated from repercussions.

    And Nikki Haley, wingnut governor of SC, will appoint his successor.

  • tbp1

    Ross Douthat has a typically insane column about DeMint today:

    Mostly the commentary is incredulous that even Douthat could write something so stupid. I’d say at least 50 critical comments to each favorable one. This might be even dumber and more misinformed than the “Have more babies” column.

  • francis

    I see two options.

    1: He wants to become a lobbyist because that’s where the really big money is. This is the stepping stone.

    2: He’s plans to run in 2016 and thinks outside the Senate is a better place to do it.

  • Can we say, finally, that Ross Douchehat has jumped the C. Megalodon igneus bardus and he now has a reserved seat on the Batshit KKKrazzee tour bus?

  • Michael Heath

    tbp1 writes:

    Ross Douthat has a typically insane column about DeMint today

    One of the most interesting conundrums for papers of record who actually care about honesty, like the NYTs, is hiring conservative columnists. The NYTs hiring of Bill Kristol failed spectacularly. Ross Douthat’s attempts to honestly defend Republican behavior and policy is an exercise steeped in absurdity; he simply can’t square that circle. At least he tries to be honest, but that then requires absurdly illogical rationalizations; as opposed to his conservative peers in other venues who simply make shit up in order to present a seemingly logical argument.

    There are damn few conservatives who are even capable of making a logically coherent and honest argument and then are brave enough to take on issues which matter headfirst. And for those principled smart conservatives who can and will, they’re now all apostates to the political party where conservatives now almost wholly congregate.

    And while it’s predominately necessary for ideological columnists to keep an arm’s length distance from the party which most emulates their positions in order to serve as a voice of conscience, the conservatives who have the necessary capabilities and principles speak for no one in their ideological camp. Respectable conservative principles and positions have long been overtly abandoned by the wingnuts that now comprise the conservative movement. So it’s not like there are capable conservative columnists laudably serving to keep their partisans consistent as we encounter on the left, GOP partisans are operating in a paradigm which has long since rejected those arguments made by principled smart conservatives. So they don’t read the very people who are fellow conservatives putting forth worthy arguments, in fact they openly ban them from the conservative cocoon.

    So the Times has conservatives who appear to have almost no influence on the public square; Douthat and Brooks, where the latter has far more in common with the Obama wing of the Democratic party than the Republican party – even its plutocratic wing. The Times’ keeps its integrity, but doesn’t seem to influence anyone from the conservative perspective.

    The Washington Post has taken a very different approach to this condundrum – they’ve sold their soul. They happily employ conservative writers who are eager to misinform the Post’s readers in order to beat the drum for the conservative movement and GOP. In spite of the consequences of those arguments, their dishonesty, the idiocy of their columnists’ arguments, and the standards of journalism which the Post knowingly and purposefully violates on a daily basis.

  • wilsim

    Completely off topic, but I (googled, browsed FTB) searched and couldn’t find your contact email Mr. Brayton.

    Your link to “older posts” is broken, at least on the mobile version the site.

    Thought you might want to know since the new format, I am sure, has a few kinks that need to be ironed out.

    On topic – he is probably going to be making quite a bit more money now, with his new job. Is he still able to collect his senator’s pension forever?

  • @17:

    Short answer for will DeMint get to collect his senate pension is “maybe”.

  • eddarrell

    Here’s my take on the mechanism to be used to replace DeMint as South Carolina’s U.S. Senator; this might work better than any other method, really:

    First, take a pecan tree . . .

  • Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven

    Don’t you mean “React Tank?”

  • Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven

    What the fuck is up with all the quotes on this page?

  • godlesspanther

    # 12 — Hunter makes a point that I agree with. The Heritage Foundation can operate below the radar. Which makes a psycho like DeMint possible a little more dangerous that he would be serving on the US Senate in plain sight.

  • barrydecicco

    “earning him a lot of chits to call in and giving him significant influence in the Senate. ”

    To extend Shawn’s remarks, a million dollar salary can be considered to be the cashing in of some chits.

  • jamessweet


    OT, but I am not sure how else to contact you. You are probably already aware of this, but at least some of the “Page 2” links are broken in the new design. e.g.:

  • Michael Heath

    Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven writes:

    What the fuck is up with all the quotes on this page?

    In the old format, there was no space between paragraphs. That made for difficulty reading. To create a space you could add a blockquote open and close tag. The use of that tag was invisible to readers while providing the necessary space. However in the new format, the use of blockquotes adds a left quotation mark, which is why those exist between my paragraph breaks above. I’ll repeat immediately below to illustrate here.

    What’s interesting is when writing multi-paragraph comment posts and then previewing, the need to add a break still exists. There is no space between paragraphs unless one uses some sort of tag.

    However, when the comment post is published, a break exists. I can’t see the above break in Preview, but trust it will appear in the published post given my seeing this work in another comment post I published earlier today. Which I just noticed earlier today after becoming sensitive to your beef above. I’ll re-post this comment in the blog post thread announcing the new format.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    My first thought about DeMint’s departure was that somebody with a great deal of leverage in the Get Obama Party really was carrying out a teabagger purge.

    So far, I haven’t found any evidence to support this idea. Does that matter any more?