Jim DeMint to Resign Senate Seat for Heritage Foundation

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Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

Sen. Jim DeMint arrives for the Senate Republican steering committee luncheon in the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 29, 2012.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, an ardent voice for conservative principles, announced Thursday that he is resigning from Congress to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a top conservative think tank in Washington.

Wesley Denton, DeMint’s communications director, told TIME the Senator made the decision to leave the Senate Wednesday, and would be addressing Heritage staffers today. He will leave the Senate in early January. Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s Republican governor, will appoint DeMint’s successor; a special election for the seat will be held in 2014. At least two members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation, Republicans Tim Scott and Mick Mulvaney, are thought to be eying a bid for higher office. The state’s senior Senator, Republican Lindsey Graham, is also up for re-election in 2014.

DeMint’s decision, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, was a surprise. The South Carolinian coasted to a second term in 2010, and while he had said he didn’t intend to stand for re-election again, his abrupt retirement sent shock waves around Capitol Hill and stripped the Senate of one of its most powerful Tea Party members. DeMint quickly emerged as a general in the conservative insurgency that rose up during Barack Obama’s first term. He became a hero to anti-tax conservatives, crusading against earmarks, helping to foment the Tea Party rebellion and bucking Republican leaders who wavered from the party’s small-government principles. DeMint also led efforts to recruit staunch conservatives to the upper chamber, using his political action committee, the Senate Conservatives Fund, to bolster the candidacies of such new Senators as Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey.

He became the Senate’s conservative scourge, prompting many Republicans to warn that his hard-right ideology and uncompromising approach could alienate many voters and consign the party to perpetual minority status.  DeMint was undeterred by such criticisms.”I’m blasting rock, and it’s hard to be graceful,” he told TIME in 2010.

Now he will play the same role a few blocks away from the Capitol, with a bigger salary and perhaps even more clout. “I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight,” DeMint said in a statement released Thursday morning. Warren Tompkins, a veteran Republican strategist in South Carolina, said DeMint, “who was basically anti-leadership in a lot of instances,” had a chances to play a more influential role as a conservative enforcer from outside the chamber. “I doubt seriously there’s another elected office on the horizon for him,” Tompkins said. “I think this is something he’s been thinking about and has wanted to do for a long time.”

The Heritage Foundation, where DeMint will replace outgoing President Ed Feulner, is one of the largest and most influential conservative think tanks in the country, and part of its role is holding elected Republicans’ feet to the fire. Earlier this week, Heritage blasted House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to avert the fiscal cliff, arguing that Boehner had “caved” on raising taxes. Never mind that Boehner had held firm against Obama’s insistence that tax rates rise for the wealthiest Americans — or that it was far more favorable to the GOP than any deal that is likely to be cut. For Heritage, as for DeMint, principle is more important than compromise.

97 comments
Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Amazing.  Dude managed to make himself more useless than when he was a United States Senator.

notsacredh
notsacredh

"Jim DeMint to Resign Senate Seat for Heritage Foundation"

.

From party over country to money over party. DeMint does believe in evolution.

Carlcid
Carlcid

Good riddance. De Mint and the Heritage Foundation deserve each other, viewing the world according to their extreme right-wing bias and cherry-picking their interpretation of events in order to conform to their fanatical outlook.

outsider
outsider

GOPocalypse: A Guide to Republican Purges

Between an electoral defeat that was wholly unexpected (by them, anyway) and a “fiscal cliff” that will compel them to support a tax increase, Republicans are experiencing present political reality as a sort of Apocalypse. That's how it feels, anyway; eventually they will adjust. But for now they’re channeling their resentment into internecine warfare, creating a tableau vivant of pitched battle and unending recrimination that Hieronymus Bosch could have set against a landscape of burning lakes and whirling locusts. It is deeply satisfying to behold. But there’s so much bile flying in so many directions that the uninitiated can find it difficult to keep track of who’s purging whom, and why. Here follows a guide to some of the more interesting enmities.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/110818/gopocalypse-brief-guide-republican-purges?utm_source=The+New+Republic&utm_campaign=ed84c8c389-TNR_Daily_120612&utm_medium=email#

jmac
jmac

I am so disgusted with the Heritage Foundation that I won't shop or buy from anyone or anything that has the name "Heritage" in it.   This organization embraced Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts and fought the same plan for the nation simply because it came from a Democrat.  It's not a "conservative think tank", it's a partisan Republican cesspool that hurts us as a nation.  

jsfox
jsfox

Running the Heritage Foundation. Well with DeMint's talent there his hope he will run it right into the ground.

jason024
jason024

Too bad the SC Governor is equally as crazy....I don't expect her to choose anyone but a younger carbon copy of DeMint.

MrObvious
MrObvious

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/tech/innovation/apple-made-in-us-cook/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

You know just how many companies will flee this nation when someone might raise the tax on CEOs personal take home salary?

It's going to be a bloodbath. Suddenly there might be high paying jobs everywhere and tax revenue increase, paying down deficit and other socialist things.

Keep kicking on minorities and defending the indefensible righties; seems like this ardent support of lack of sense have quickstarted enough half-comatose voters to actually pay attention and start thinking. And no, I'm not talking about Fox viewers. They're left in the fog.

jerallynt
jerallynt

This is a great loss to the Senate and a great gain for the Heritage Foundation. Now maybe he can speak the truth.  Washington is the most corrupt city in the Country with the biggest bunch of crooks anywhere. They make the mafia look tame. It must be very hard when you have morals and good Christian values to try to work with a bunch of corrupt freeloaders, leaches, I best stop there because I could really get ugly. I have little if any faith in the people (there are a few exceptions) that are put into office.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011 

Crazy survived the 2006 and 2008 flathand slapping by using a finance crisis to use voters angst in 2010 to get more crazy in; that should've been the time where GOP did some true soul searching and figured out that their job is to represent the broadest margin of citizens with the best values and ideas and not a very narrow sliver of people with their worst ideas.

I think they're finally going through the convulsion they should have in 2008. But the question is if they go through the actual purge - meaning paradigm shift within the movement or think that if they only make it harder for some to vote and get the base out better they will somehow sell their current message enough to win.

If that's the case no amount of top level crazies being thrown into well paid 'thinking' jobs will change their plight. And I'm not sure they're getting it yet. Sure - they know that the whole tax cuts over everything is a dead end, but is there anything in their demeanor that will change their long term goals?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@nflfoghorn 

He's also going to become even more slimy and dishonest now that he can say whatever he feels like with complete inhibition.  

Sue_N
Sue_N

@jmac And don't forget that Heritage actually came up with the individual mandate back in the 90s. ObamaCare is their idea.

Of course, it was better when it came from people who weren't Democrats and weren't blah.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@jason024 We'll be pointing and laughing at South Carolina for generations.

AlexVallas
AlexVallas

@MrObvious The difference in the tax structure is very, very little under Obama's proposal.  . 

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@jerallynt 

You've shown all the ugly already, and we have seen it before, yea of little faith.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@jerallynt Now maybe he can speak the truth.

The day Jim Demented starts speaking the truth is the day his lips and tongue catch fire.

jsfox
jsfox

@jerallynt Hold on I'll get back to you on this after I stop laughing.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@jerallynt 

If he wanted to speak the truth why is he joining the Heritage Foundation?

*rimshot*

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jerallynt And yet its guys like Demint that are the biggest leaches of them all, sucking money out of the Yankees up north to support the bible thumpers in his home state.

NP042
NP042

@jerallynt I wasn't aware that "good Christian values" included war mongering and cutting the social safety net.

roknsteve
roknsteve

MrObvious, a real purge would be telling Rush to take a dose of bleach and get lost.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

I deleted this by accident : ( but the gist of the comment was that DeMakeaMint will make more $ outside of government than he did under the table*

*presumably!

jmac
jmac

@Sue_N @jmac Heritage reminds me of watching Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network one morning.  Pat was red-in-the-face angry at something that was happening on Capital Hill that Democrats were doing.    He was livid.  As the day progressed it turns out it was Republicans that were the culprit, so I watched the night repeat to see what they would do with the issue.  They simply took Robertson's rant off the tape and didn't mention the incident at all.   Something that made him so angry all of a sudden wasn't worth reporting because he would have had to attack Republicans.    

jerallynt
jerallynt

I think all of our being suck out of Money not just the Poor Yankees. They aren't the only ones paying taxes. And if these guys in Washington were legitimate they would do something about the Fiscal Cliff. Which shows there are to many special interests groups.

bobell
bobell

Is the associated verb "DeMonize"?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@roknsteve 

You can cure a lot of things with modern medicine but sometimes you have to drain the abscess, but just like the boil that kept Rush out of Serving I think his type of syphilitic thinking have advanced to far that nothing can stop the outbreak.

 How do you get rid of something as loud and obnoxious that enough people pay to stick around?

Remember the Chick-a-fil spat? Funny story - so they built one locally where I live and I'm all for trying something once. I mean it's not the franchise owners fault that the CEO of the corporation is bonkers so I took the family there and tried it.

You know what; it's some bland boring shit. We all tried something different and all of us had a very meh experience.

That CEO probably saved his stale fast food alternative from doom by sparking outrage and righties circling their wagons by increasing their business because they food is nothing special.

I know I'm throwing out a lot of weird analogies here but what I'm trying to say is that the fringe have always been there and there's enough on the right fringe that is willing to pay to keep the slop warm enough for people to eat it some time from now.

Just like a boil will come back unless you drain it all out.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011 @MrObvious 

Did GOP lose any of their upper crust people in 2006 and 2008? Not really. Most of their leadership is still there minus a few. But the fact that they're trying to kick out their bomb throwers is a good sign.

And this should be followed by the archaic McCain etc all the way up the petrified aging rung. Get rid of turtle neck, get rid of every single well established party of 'NO' and the young punks waiting in the wings and figure out that politics while being a blood sports through elections should be a matter of leadership once the dust is settled. Tribalism is ruining GOP.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@jerallynt 

Very vague comment with no backbone proof of what you are talking about. I get red faced everytime I talk about Washington-Republican or Democrat.

That's pretty telling isn't it. Maybe if you separate your values from your emotional troglodyte self, you'd see that solutions comes from a pool of best ideas and not who can stomp their feat the loudest and hold their breath for the longest time.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@jerallynt 

I think you're red faced because all the blood in your head is suffocating your brain.

jmac
jmac

@jerallynt We just gave you proof - embracement of a plan when enacted by a Republican and a rejection when enacted by a Democrat.  What part of "double-standard" don't you get?  Neither Heritage nor Robertson fight conservative values - they both fight simply to get Republicans elected.  That's the only "standard" they support.  It's like listening to Rod Dreher.  His bottom line is abortion, it doesn't matter what he spews as "crunchy con".   

jerallynt
jerallynt

Very vague comment with no backbone proof of what you are talking about. I get red faced everytime I talk about Washington-Republican or Democrat.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@jmac @Sue_N If it weren't for the double standard, GOPers wouldn't have any standards at all.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jerallynt And how many of those special interest groups do you think DeMint has allegiance to? I'll give you a head start, he is becoming president of one of the biggest and most influential of them.