Ladies and Gentlemen, Jim DeMint

From the moment Jim DeMint first ran for the Senate on a platform of banning teachers who are gay or pregnant, I knew he would be one to watch. He may even be the wingnut equivalent of the Chosen One, the one who is foretold in ancient tales who would say things so breathtakingly stupid that it would cause a black hole to open up and swallow the earth. Enjoy this idiotic diatribe from an interview he did with Jerry Newcombe:

DeMint: This progressive, the whole idea of being progressive is to progress away from those ideas that made this country great. What we’re trying to conserve as conservative are those things that work. They work today, they work for young people, they work for minorities and we can change this country and change its course very quickly if we just remember what works.

Newcombe: What if somebody, let’s say you’re talking with a liberal person and they were to turn around and say, ‘that Founding Fathers thing worked out really well, look at that Civil War we had eighty years later.’

DeMint: Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.

Uh, Jim, allow me to make a few key points. First of all, Wilberforce was British, not American, and he died more than 25 years before the Civil War started. Secondly, are you seriously claiming that the federal government played little role in freeing the slaves? Do we need to send you back to junior high school for a refresher course in American history? And thirdly, you quoted the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Other than that, though, you were spot on.

Seriously, if you turned in that statement on a high school history test you’d get an F. This was said by the president of the most prominent and influential conservative think tank in the country. The mind boggles.

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  • sh3baproject

    lets see if he can name any republic that was around before the US. i can name a few: roman republic, republic of venice, republic of ragusa…

  • Chiroptera

    Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government.

    lol

    Did he really just claim that slavery was maintained in the pre-Civil War USA because the Supreme Court interpreted into the Constitution?

  • Larry

    And Sherman’s march through Georgia was, of course, just a courtesy detail.

  • Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Jim “I bailed on my Senatorial Seat so i could make the bucks at the Heritage Foundation” Palin DeMint.

    Oh how I loathe that man who thankfully no longer t represents us in SC (not that we’re doing much better).

  • colnago80

    Some of the strongest support for the Northern States in the Civil War in England came from Charles Darwin, an agnostic by that time, and his influential father-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood, possibly an atheist.

  • sinned34

    History, like words, means whatever they wish it to mean for these people. The Crusades were self-defense from the Evil Mooslims. The Inquisition was just a mistake made by some overzealous Spanish folks who had their hearts in the right place, wanting to protect their faith. The religious right freed the slaves while the government just twiddled its thumbs. MLK would agree that modern welfare is worse than slavery.

    No actual studying required. You just have to state that some dead person with universal appeal would have supported every policy you’re pushing. Nobody who supports you will bother to look it up, and anybody who does is just trying to oppress your right to free speech.

  • coffeehound

    Nice. Of course the fact that from his home state, being a conservative(you know trying to conserve all those good things that work so well) he would have been a Southern Democrat at the time, working hard to preserve the system he now credits the modern day Republican party with ending. Is there any one who really thinks DeMint would have been on the vanguard of the abolitionists movement?

  • Mr Ed

    i firmly believe that if the founding fathers had written the Constitution at the time of the Garden of Eden man would not have fallen from God’s grace. It is no coincidence that as we move farther and farther away from the Constitution we have higher rates of obesity and type II diabetes. If we implement a strict Constitutional government base on solid conservative principles we can get rid of Obamacare because we will all be so healthy no one will need it. It also whitens teeth and cleans carpets.

  • whheydt

    As regards the Wilberforce reference…is he thinking of William or Samuel “Soapy Sam” (William’s third son), both of whom were active abolitionists?

    Samuel is rather better known for the Wilberfoce-Huxley debate over evolution.

  • sh3baproject

    @6

    4th crusade: the byzatines werent true christians.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Seriously, if you turned in that statement on a high school history test you’d get an F.

    NOT IN SOUTH CAROLINA MISSISSIPPI FLORIDA ALABAMA GEORGIA LOUISIANA TEXAS VIRGINIA ARKANSAS NORTH CAROLINA OR TENNESSEE!

     

    sinned34 “The Inquisition was just a mistake made by some overzealous Spanish folks who had their hearts in the right place, wanting to protect their faith.”

    THEY WERENT OVERZEALOUS. THEY WERE ADEQUATELY ZEALOUS! BESIDES IT WAS THE EVIL SECULAR STATE THAT EXECUTED PEOPLE. ALL THE CHURCH DID WAS PUT PEOPLE TO THE QUESTION! HOW BAD IS JUST ONE QUESTION?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730511544 billdaniels

    “Seriously, if you turned in that statement on a high school history test you’d get an F. This was said by the president of the most prominent and influential conservative think tank in the country. The mind boggles.”

    In one of David Barton’s classes he would get an A++++++++++++=+++.

  • Erp

    @5 colnago80

    Actually I think Charles Darwin had mixed feelings about the Civil War until the Emancipation Proclamation came out which made it clear that the war would almost certainly end slavery in the US. His father-in-law, the second Josiah Wedgwood, died in 1845, well before the Civil War, though his brother-in-law, Francis, was quite active in trying to end slavery. The first Josiah Wedgwood, Darwin’s grandfather, was an active abolitionist (and the best known Wedgwood in that regard) and also a Unitarian probably leaning towards deism. I’m not sure where the third Josiah Wedgwood (who was Charles Darwin’s brother-in-law twice over being both his sister’s husband and his wife’s brother) stood on the issue.

  • tbp1

    Off topic probably, but I had no idea Darwin’s family tree was quite that strange.

    He was also a great uncle of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the great English composer.

  • doublereed

    The Constitution??? The Constitution says that slaves are 3/5 of a person!

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    I’m glad he’s such a Lincoln fanatic. So I guess we can expect him to support this statement by the first Republican president: “Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    we can change this country and change its course very quickly if we just remember what works</blockquote?

    Remember kids – conservativism is all about change!

  • colnago80

    Re Erp @ #13

    Probably more accurate to refer to the Wedgwood family. They and Darwin were influential in persuading the British Government not to intervene in the Civil War. For various reasons, there was considerable pressure being brought to bear on the British Government to intervene, at least to the extent of breaking the blockade of the Southern ports.

  • Michael Heath

    We could be justly accused of sexism if we didn’t sufficiently ridicule Mr. DeMint of the ahistorical idiocy he presents here given how Sarah Palin-like it is coupled with the liberal propensity for calling Ms. Palin out for her own lies and idiocy.

    So, Jim DeMint just presented one of the most idiotic, delusional, ignorant defense of conservatism I’ve ever encountered. Mr DeMint illustrates how the leaders of the conservative party no longer cynically pander to their idiotic delusional conservative Christianist sheep, those leaders are now representative of the flock as vividly demonstrated here.

  • dmcclean

    Apparently he hasn’t read the importation clause either.

    Or the fugitive slave clause.

  • freehand

    DeMint: This progressive, the whole idea of being progressive is to progress away from those ideas that made this country great.

    .

    He seems to be saying that moving away from traditional American values is progress. Depending on how those values are defined, I might agree with him.

  • mikeyb

    Republican “think tank” is an oxymoron. They are in reality propaganda vehicles to advance the interests of corporations and the super rich at the expense of everybody else.

  • comfychair

    But but but… Abe Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN! Therefore, Democrats are the REAL racists.

    At least, that was their official version of events up until… what, two weeks ago?

    Also, it’s obvious DeMint was just pandering to the Colored vote with that interview, had he been talking to Real Americans he would have told the truth, which is that Lincoln was a Communist tyrant who nationalized the South’s private property. Or who the fuck knows, consistency isn’t these guys’ strong point, which is kinda ironic since their standard whine is that it’s the liberals/progressives/atheists who are ruining the country with their ‘moral relativism’.

  • http://www.themindisaterriblething.com shripathikamath

    So let me get this straight. The wingnuts used to complain that the Civil War was not fought over slavery, but over state rights. Now they are claiming that the federal government was not involved in freeing slaves. So who exactly was violating states’ rights? Lincoln the President? Has to be.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I think that we have a new candidate for S.C.’s “state fossil”. DeMint is an asswipe–one that would likely cause Toxic Shock Syndrome.

  • birgerjohansson

    @1

    Pretty much all the ancient Greek states were republics, but being pagan I assume De mint would not count them. Pre-Alexander, Northwest India also had some states without kings.

    More recently (the medieval period) we have the cantons that joined to form Switzerland, breaking off from the Holy Roman Empire.

    But nothing of this counts because Not Mercan.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Seriously, if you turned in that statement on a high school history test you’d get an F. This was said by the president of the most prominent and influential conservative think tank in the country.

    So if he’s from the most prominent and influential conservative “think”tank how appallingly bad must the rest of them be?

    In a way its strangely reassuring ain’t it? This i the best / worst they can offer?

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    StevoR:

    One has to consider their audience–it’s an exceptionally low bar.

  • blanche

    Don’t hate me, but when Jim DeMint guested on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. he interviewed terrifically. Granted, this illustrated what a masterful interviewer Jon Stewart is (and I have had repeated opportunities to observe this when comparing Stewart’s interviewing technique with, say, Stephen Colbert’s) but the fact remains that DeMint turned in an astonishing performance. The man’s got talent. Sure, his views are execrable, but who cares? Presentation is everything any more! Here – see for yourselves: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/v21i2w/exclusive—jim-demint-extended-interview-pt–1?xrs=share_copy

    Watching this again, I find my admiration of Jon Stewart perhaps inadequate, but I also find myself admiring DeMint in walking so boldly into the lion’s den. Jon Stewart does not pander to conservative nonsense; he nails DeMint to the wall again and again, and yet DeMint does not walk out! Wow!

    Oh, and look – DeMint guested again, and just a month ago! How did I miss it?? http://franklycurious.com/index.php?itemid=8029 When Jon Stewart paddles his fanny so thoroughly every time, why does DeMint come back? Jon Stewart is a wizard!!

  • blanche

    Did I link to the best Jon Stewart Jim DeMint interview clip above? Try this one, if you’re interested: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/ek24hi/jim-demint

    Sorry if it’s the same – connection difficulties :(

  • Michael Heath

    The first ten minutes of the link @ 30 is the same as the first link @ 29. However the last six minutes of the link @ 30 is different, it’s a continuation of the same interview.

    Thanks for the links, very enlightening.