Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:44 PM
babylonsister (148,891 posts)
Joan Walsh: Jim DeMint, failure
Jim DeMint, failure
He's packing up his Senate office while Obama plans his second inaugural and Harry Reid enjoys a bigger majority
By Joan Walsh
In the Bizarro World of Beltway media, up can be down and down up, especially when it comes to what’s good for Republicans and Democrats. Most political developments, even positive ones, are spun as particularly challenging for Democrats; disasters can wind up being depicted as opportunities or even glory when they befall Republicans.
Such is the coverage of Sen. Jim DeMint’s departure from the U.S. Senate to take over the Heritage Foundation. So many words have been spent on this news. I hadn’t planned on weighing in, but after watching all the ways it’s being spun as some kind of victory for DeMint and the Tea Party, I had to say: Enough!
Bloomberg News pronounced: “Jim DeMint’s Heritage Foundation gig gives Tea Party new power over GOP.” BuzzFeed made a list of “The six members who should fear Jim DeMint.” (I’d like to see a BuzzFeed mashup of the six cats who should fear JimDeMint or the six puppies even Jim DeMint would raise taxes for, but I don’t work there.) Even Salon’s own Steve Kornacki, who’s smarter than I am, suggested this morning that “his influence on the party is as strong as ever.” (Of course you could take that two ways: DeMint’s influence may be just as minimal as ever, and there’s room to read Kornacki that way.)
But somebody has to say it: DeMint isn’t leaving the Senate in glory; he’s leaving with his most fervent goals unfulfilled. He dedicated himself to making Barack Obama a one-term president – remember, healthcare reform was going to be his “Waterloo?” – and ending Democratic dominance in the Senate with his Senate Conservatives Fund. Instead, Obama is getting ready for his second Inauguration Day while DeMint packs up his Capitol office. The Senate, meanwhile, is more Democratic than before the election, and Harry Reid can thank DeMint for the fact that he held on as Senate Majority Leader – and even that he held on to his own seat. Of the 15 far-right Senate candidates DeMint backed in 2010 and 2012, eight lost, and five of them lost to Democrats who’d been given up for dead, including Reid. So I hope DeMint doesn’t let the door hit him in the behind when he carries his boxes out of the Senate.
So I’m glad to see DeMint go, and I think it’s crazy to depict it as anything but a setback. Being one of 100 U.S. Senators represents real power, even if DeMint wasn’t known for passing legislation. Being the head of a “think tank” that’s nothing more than a talking-point tank is a big deal within the Beltway, but not beyond it. Let’s hope he at least got advice from outgoing FreedomWorks honcho Dick Armey on how to negotiate an $8 million golden parachute in case things don’t work out.
3 replies, 671 views
Response to babylonsister (Original post)
Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:49 AM
Berlum (7,044 posts)
2. DeMint = even more Republican FAIL
Minty, you may now join Mr. Chickenhawk Ryan and Mr. Chickenhawk Bush in the Chickenhawk Republican Hall of FAIL Shame.
Response to babylonsister (Original post)
Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:02 AM
KharmaTrain (31,706 posts)
3. He'll Be A Bigger Pain In The Ass...
Yep, Joan is right that as a Senator DeMint was a major fail. But as a shit-stirrer...especially in his own corrupt, inept and stupid party...he's just starting to make his mark. For a majority of Americans, we no longer will have to consider him as anything else but the political hack he's always been...even the "former Senator" label holds little imprint anymore. He won't have a say or vote on any future Supreme Court nominees and no matter whom South Carolina replaces him with they can't be as acerbic and ineffective as DeMint has been. Even Goober Graham was glad to see him go...
The thing Joan misses that we all will surely enjoy in the years ahead is how he'll continue to be a major pain in the butts to the rushpublican party leadership. He didn't announce his resignation on the floor of the Senate...he did it on rushbo's show. That shows you where he expects to draw his future power base. He'll be like Rove...play the big money game during the elections...and hopefully with much comic effect. There's no rushpublican who will be safe without DeMint's "seal of approval". The only thing that will prevent DeMint fro being bigger 800 pound gorilla within the rushpublican tent is DeMint's ego. If he uses this to be the Oz figure...the power behind the players, he could be a political force in the rushpublican party for years to come. If he uses this as a springboard to running for the White House in 2016 and further dividing that party...then we will enjoy watching his ultimate crash and burn.