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Jim DeMint's Lonely Quest



Sen. Jim DeMint is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

In his first decade in Congress, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) sought to convert his colleagues to his conservative beliefs through "gentle persuasion" and the sort of go-along-to-get-along collegiality that dominates Capitol Hill.

No more.

"I've found no one listens," DeMint said of his old approach during a recent interview with the Fix as part of our "Rising" series. "My role in the Senate is to come up with the right ideas and take them directly to the American people."

The Rising

The leading edge of the more combative DeMint can be found in his new book -- titled "Saving Freedom" -- in which the South Carolina Republican castigates his Republican colleagues for "betraying the trust of the American people," and abandoning their core conservative principles in favor of "Democrat-lite" policies.

"I will go after Democrats and I will shame Republicans," promised DeMint.

DeMint believes that many Republicans have lost a sense of what having an "R" after their name means, citing as an example those within his party who are backing the Travel Promotion Act, which would involve the federal government in tourism promotion.

"Any Republican who votes for that bill doesn't belong here," said DeMint. "People who vote for it have no clue."

DeMint practices the conservatism he preaches. Since being elected to the Senate in 2004 (he spent six years previous in the House), DeMint has had the most conservative voting record twice (2006 and 2007) and the fifth most conservative in 2008, according to the invaluable ratings by National Journal.

The question for DeMint, however, is whether or not his call for true-blue conservatism is the answer to what ails the Republican party or an appeal to the declining number of people who identify with the Grand Old Party.

DeMint insists that re-asserting the party's conservatism is the best way to build the party because it will allow the GOP to have a message again -- a gaping hole in recent years. "The tent is large if we really insist on more choices and freedom for everyone," argued DeMint.

Whether anyone within his party -- particularly its leaders like former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty -- buys what DeMint is selling remains to be seen. (Regardless, DeMint's place in South Carolina politics will make his endorsement coveted in the 2012 primary process.)

DeMint casts the choice not as one that will determine the future direction of the Republican party but rather one that will directly affect the future direction of the country.

That belief has imbued DeMint with a sense of urgency that he believes is in short supply with many of his Republican colleagues, and inspired him to grow more combative in defense of his views.

"I am not going to spend another ten years of my life waiting for some slot on some committee," said DeMint. "I don't think the country has that long."

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 14, 2009; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  The Rising  
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Comments

Jim DeMint told a special-interest attack group that if they're "able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." The party of "NO" has once again spoken. It has now become "YES" at any cost to stop President Obabama.

Ok, America...put on your thinking caps. Lets leave the present day and focus if you can (well, you can..but will you)8 long arduous tortuous years ago.

The prescription drug plan for seniors, remember that bute? Anyone out there other than me that had to sit down with a loved one to explain the over 50 drug plan options to a loved one in their twilight years? What a flippin joke! What about the Prez. not allowing competing bids on prescription drugs? Want more of that..then it is part of NO 2010. Remember the Clinton health care plan, how they visorated it. Back then the Clinton administration said something to the effect that if a health care plan WAS NOT passed now...future generations would have to pick up the cost and health care costs would double. Party of NO be happy to know they were partialy right on that one.
Yes, future generations will pick up the cost, true. WRONG on the part where they predicted health care costs would double. They have TRIPLED! And the party of NO through the FOX network continues to maintain that the status quo is the way to go. What do you guys say, "If we (we being the party of NO are able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." 2010 readers..It is time for NO to GO. I am having bumper stickers printed now.

Posted by: dpi2Dan | July 20, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

What about people who just like crappy advertising?

==

BY THE NECK UNTIL DEDD OF COURSE

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

AND FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 14, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"@Gator: don't mean to be disagreeable with you since we're far more often on the same side than not, but I mean what I say. I'm comfortable with regarding the opinions of some people are beneath consideration. There really are people in this society who think that we should allow people to starve to death as a consequence of being irresponsible, even once, or even let them starve because they had a bad run of luck. If you want to treat people like that as part of the range of individual variation, knock yourself out. If you want to regard me as conceited for dismissing people like that, ditto. But that's my opinion."


What about people who just like crappy advertising?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

That happened when I maligned DeMint with whom I may only infrequently agree.

==

I don't think anyone needs to disagree with someone else all the time anymore than one needs to agree with someone else all the time.

To disagree with someone all the time is to be like the trolls with Obama.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives are only about conserving what money and guns they already they have. It is obvious. They are profligate in all other ways.

They can never put the mask on again.

The party of greedy white bigots became irrelevant when Obama was elected.

The conservatives are

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

...it is just that you are more certain of your righteousness than I am.

==

More acciurately, I am more confident in my contempt.

I've made any number of hasty judgments in my life and regretted them later, happy that almost all of them were confined to my head and never expressed aloud. I've learned a lot of humility and distrust of my own confidence. But there remains the conviction that some people, maybe a lot of people, are simply cruel and unworthy.

I've seen people on the highways who try to set up accidents, like the one at the beginning of "Disturbia." Do you consider someone who would do something like that acceptable? Part of normal variation? Explained by some pain in their past?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I'll fight for what I think is right, I will ridicule someone who states something is contrary to reality. I do not even expect that everyone will be honest enough to evaluate my positions without labeling me but if there not honest with me I will torment them.

We share many similarity of positions, it is just that you are more certain of your righteousness than I am. I have always meant well but with age I have learned that my good intentions are not always appreciated and if I looked a little deeper I might have drawn a different conclusion. That happened when I maligned DeMint with whom I may only infrequently agree.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

@Gator: don't mean to be disagreeable with you since we're far more often on the same side than not, but I mean what I say. I'm comfortable with regarding the opinions of some people are beneath consideration. There really are people in this society who think that we should allow people to starve to death as a consequence of being irresponsible, even once, or even let them starve because they had a bad run of luck. If you want to treat people like that as part of the range of individual variation, knock yourself out. If you want to regard me as conceited for dismissing people like that, ditto. But that's my opinion.

And I mean what I say about freedom, and precisely as I say it. Perhaps this reflects my exasperation with Second Amendment junkies and with the cruel, but, well, there we are.

Pardon me, there I am.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"This hypertrophied reverence for individual variation is one of the big reasons my reverence for freedom diminishes as I get older."

"No, I used the plural because that's what I meant, if I had meant the magisterial "we" I would have used "I" because I'm not a magister."

I have read you before and I think your first statement is an honest expression of your thinking. The second is your response when you are confronted with your own conceit. Not that we all don't have some and you are entitled to yours.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

As the GOP becomes more and more conservative, it loses voters.

DeMint's answer? "We need to become more conservative."

Dickens couldn't make this crap up. Hell, Kafka couldn't make this crap up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"The tent is large if we really insist on more choices and freedom for everyone," argued DeMint.

----------

Surely he's kidding. The GOP has *never* been about choices and freedom for anybody but big business and people with money.

Posted by: sally1860 | July 14, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

As one man put it in a delicate discussion of racism between several black and white coworkers at lunch, "some people are just a**holes."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

As long as we live in a community there is nothing we will agree on. You may disagree with me on that one but if you use we, it will be as a magistrate.

==

This hypertrophied reverence for individual variation is one of the big reasons my reverence for freedom diminishes as I get older.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

When you say we you were not including me because I do not accept the concept that some people are weak and others are not. I am neither responsible or indifferent to my fellow man. Government must give its people the opportunity to reach self actualization. In the process it may do what people often interpret as helping out. I prefer to look at it as leveling the playing field. Empathy is a constructive human emotion sympathy is not. I have lived long enough that I do not realize what the best outcome will be. But as long as government does not take an intrusive roll and allows everyone an equal opportunity, it has done its job.

I do not like all of this generalizations though. Individual decisions require empathy, ordinary common sense and an understanding of what the problem is. It is sort of the Sotomayer approach to law used in other forms of human endeavor. But I will not codify anything as being right in every situation. Right is what we all decide on and each of us lobbies for our version.

As long as we live in a community there is nothing we will agree on. You may disagree with me on that one but if you use we, it will be as a magistrate.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

DDWAD Though I do not make it a habit to intellectualize or generalize about human problems I will say that in the case of health care too much money is wasted in managing the system when it is done by the private sector. Government has done a better job than the private sector. I think under Obama more will be spent by government in managing the system if it is to be done both fiscally and medically wisely. Since I believe no one has the solution to the health care problem but everyone does, I believe that a solution that is somewhat acceptable to the health care industry is the best solution as the starting proposition. If in fact the industry can not provide value to its customer the insured then the industry will lose out and the system will be reduced to a single payer system. In that case government fills a vacuum left by the private sector and government should remain in the monopoly position, until the private sector can create a niche for itself.

I do not believe in tilting the system to achieve the outcome desired but to allow people to create the system that they wish to have.

The health providers have usurped the system by allowing health care inflation to run rampant. They have made themselves necessary for the individual to get a market price for health care. It is corporate corruption at its worst. We need to create a system that allows the individual to get a market price for health care without being beholden to the private sector.

Obama's plan will allow a combination of socialism and free market economics be utilized in a uniquely American system. Don't prejudge how that will turn out. My guess is that a combination of both will be enduring, but learning that will be an education for all.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

As long as I do the regulating and you do the living in, I agree. I do not want to be regulated by a social elitist than I do by a conservative troll who thinks supporting a corporate agenda is advocating for individual freedom.

Maybe I misinterpreted your remark but if I have it correct then the last part of your quoted sentence should read " and regulate business toward the kind of society I choose to live in." If so good luck finding it.

==

No, I used the plural because that's what I meant, if I had meant the magisterial "we" I would have used "I" because I'm not a magister.

The kind of society that "we" choose to live in is one where the weak are not victimized, where the infirm are not forced to starve to death because they are unable to create wealth for others, where people don't suffer needlessly from treatable ailments. There are vast areas of social responsibility "we" can agree on.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"I want government to distort the hell out of the marketplace, to unapologetically steer and aggressively guide and regulate business toward the kind of society we choose to live in."

As long as I do the regulating and you do the living in, I agree. I do not want to be regulated by a social elitist than I do by a conservative troll who thinks supporting a corporate agenda is advocating for individual freedom.

Maybe I misinterpreted your remark but if I have it correct then the last part of your quoted sentence should read " and regulate business toward the kind of society I choose to live in." If so good luck finding it.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I know this isn't a thread about health A in America, but shrink2 is right. The medical industrial complex is fine with taxpayers paying for the terminally expensive (senior citizens and people with serious diasabilities) and for the indigent (because there is money to be made there too if you get someone else to pay). They just don't want anyone else getting well-defined coverage at a fair price. They'd rather leave you powerless to negotiate and clueless about what's actually covered. They make more money that way.

The next step is to make the federal employee's health benefit plans available nationally to anyone who wants it. People will find that they get coverage that really helps at a reasonable price (the total of what federal employee's pay and what the federal employer contributes). The Feds have the numbers to negotiate on an equal footing with insurers

If it's good enough for Congress, it's good enough for you!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 14, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

DeMint practices the conservatism he preaches. Since being elected to the Senate in 2004 (he spent six years previous in the House), DeMint has had the most conservative voting record twice (2006 and 2007) and the fifth most conservative in 2008, according to the invaluable ratings by National Journal.

Notwithstanding the "invaluable" ratings by National Journal, no senator who enabled George W. Bush to take the nation into the unconstitutional and immoral war in Iraq can be a true conservative.

Posted by: txpenguin | July 14, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Do you mean to tell me that the Mark Sanford debacle and THIS fruitcake don't let the nation know that the judgement of the Republic Party members in SC has passed the toilet straight into the sewer???!!!!

Why would anybody with half-a-wit think the the SC Republic Party primary should have any influence in nominating a presidential candidate?? Unless they want too nominate a fool!!

When is the MSM going to do an in depth on C Street, The Fellowship, The Family Cult that losers Sanford and DeMinted (as we call him in SC) are involved with???

Posted by: edismae | July 14, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Government as a payer monopolizes markets where there is no money to be made, like in the care of the chronically mentally ill and the care of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, cerebal palsy, meningitis, spinal injury survivors and so on.

This is another example of socializing costs when no profit can be made...and keeping private the profits from the health care delivered to those who have means.

We already have socialized medicine - except where the profiteers' interests are at stake.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Past a certain reasonable multiplicity of options, choice is tyranny.

Bought a bottle of aspirin lately?

Whatever happened to Bayer and Excedrin? Do we really need an entire supermarket aisle of choices?

When it comes to choosing our medical care options, do we really need pages and pages of choices? Who has time to understand them all?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Funny how all that conceit fell apart when Americans realized that their rugged self-reliant self-image didn't jibe with losing a major city to a hurricane.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh yay, someone arguing for libertarianism on the internet, complete with nameless government strawmen bureaucrats. Never seen this before.

You know what I would do if I was in a libertarian utopia of no government? I'd join with other people in starting one. Because I want to know that there's police, roads, militiary protection, fire departments, NIH research, FDA regulation and other life saving services. And when the inevitable corporate oligarchy takes controls of natural monopolies like electricity and water, I for one would want there to be something to prevent their price gouging.

Everyone, communist, conservative, liberal, libertarian or other, enjoy the benefits of civic governance. However some of us are capable of appreciating it.


But what about Jimmy boy and the excellent argument Chris has provided us with? "The tent is large if we really insist on more choices and freedom for everyone," argued DeMint.

In this he perfectly sums up the reason why the GOP is only getting more unpopular, even as the political landscape for the democrats becomes shadowed by the economy. The GOP is insisting that people want "choices and freedoms" that in fact we are all sick and tired of. National healthcare might be a large pill for many american's to swallow, but it's much smaller then the suppository that is the current "free market" that the GOP is insisting people really want.

Posted by: theamazingjex | July 14, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It's just great that Republicans are basing their future on explaining to voters why government can't and shouldn't ever help them.

Posted by: nodebris | July 14, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"The DeMints and Santorums and Ensigns/Sanfords and the rest of the conservative movement cynics are the best thing the Dems (and country) have going for them. No clue as to what is good for the middle class and their "big tent" is the size of a handkerchief, but that's all that's needed to cover the empty ideology. Chris, I cannot believe you hold this guy up as the poster child for anything but the politics of the past. What are you thinking? DeMint is leading the GOP to oblivion like the Whigs. Posted by: PoliticalPragmatist "

When your opponent is cutting his own throat with every word he says, OBVIOUSLY you tell him what a wonderful job he is doing, and what a wonderful orator he is.

The 25%ers are alive and well, and working very hard to give Barack Obama even bigger Congressional majorities to work with than he has now.

WHEN will we see the emergence of the next other majority party in the United States?

Come on all you ambitious moderates, your time has come. Resurrect Ross Perot's American Reform Party and start your run on Congress in 2010. That way you get to be the larger loser in 2012, (the Republicans then dropping to third or fourth place depending on Ron Paul) and start positioning for a real run in 2016 or 2024

Posted by: ceflynline | July 14, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter how big a tent you rent, when you only let in people who look exactly like you you don't draw much of a crowd. In one breath he says that the way to increase Republican votes is to run the RINOS who campaign for those votes out of the party. WHEN the RINOS take their personal quarter of the electorate with them, how do you make up the loss?

Posted by: ceflynline | July 14, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox your view of libertarism is eschewed by your biases

==

I think you mean "skewed"

"Eschewed" means something like "avoided"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox your view of libertarism is eschewed by your biases. It is neither left or right as witness by Congressman Ron Paul. Taking it to extremes like Paul only scares away more reasonable people who like aspects of the government not being involved so much in our lives. You seem to want govt involved in everything. Maybe you are incapable of running your own life without a [bureaucrat] intervening and making decisions for you, but most of us can do quite well without micromanagement from our govt.

==

That's a conceit.

America may have been born of rugged self-reliant pioneers but the idea that we're better capable of managing our own lives than any standard might suggest ... well, we must live in different countries.

The Americans I see are easily distracted, easily misled, don't exercise, eat fatty crap, and wouldn't know their own self-interest if it bit them on the leg.

I do agree with you that libertarianism, whether it be the LP or that primping narcissist Ron Paul, is very extreme and is little more than a political caricature, the Sociopath Party, ready and willing to see Americans dying on the sidewalks rather than pay an extra dime in taxes for "deadbeats."

Call it my biases but I have no respect for them anymore.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The same Senator who wasted everyone's time with that Semper Fi bill last year (a hissy fit about that consevative bug-a-boo Berkely, California)?

He had 5 other Republican senators as co-sponsors. Too bad none of these super-patriots ever spent any time in the armed services (and most of them were born at just the right time to go to Viet Nam). there was that deferment thing that worked so well for the Young Republicans.

DeMint's doing a great job setting the course and picking priorities.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 14, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox your view of libertarism is eschewed by your biases. It is neither left or right as witness by Congressman Ron Paul. Taking it to extremes like Paul only scares away more reasonable people who like aspects of the government not being involved so much in our lives. You seem to want govt involved in everything. Maybe you are incapable of running your own life without a beuracrat intervening and making decisions for you, but most of us can do quite well without micromanagement from our govt.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Right and I see no contradiction between socializing both the costs and the profits along the axis of production and consumption, I see a huge contradiction in socializing the costs of production and privatizing its profits.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Libertarianism isn't orthogonal to the left-right axis, it lays right along it.

The libertarianism we have now is of the far right, more concerned with protecting the ability of an individual to become wealthy than in protecting the rest of us from being climbed over by that individual. I remember long ago libertarians cared about the freedoms that actually matter (though they were always preoccupied with gun ownership, which I don't think really matters at all).

When was the last time you read anything from the libertarians about freedom that didn't have "economic" in front of it? The only freedom they're defending these days (aside from guns) is the freedom to enslave, euphemized as "free markets."

A libertarianism of the left would oppose the force and fraud that are fundamental to a market-oriented society. I don't see the contradiction. We don't let corporations pollute rivers or maim workers, nor use coersion to intimidate workers.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Highly planned and regulated relationships between people and the systems of production, ownership, incentives and consumption. Some markets might be left unregulated, others regulated out of existence (becoming government monopolies, like what happened to war - at least, until Blackwater brought private enterprise back into it).

and

Highly liberalized rules regulating peoples' interactions with one another, again, so long as each others' basic rights are not violated (no yelling fire in a crowded theater, no exploitation of the vulnerable, etc.) and very strong protections in re civil, property and privacy rights.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will have to abandon their anti-gay marriage stance if they want to promote a more libertarian branding of more freedom and choice for everyone. The religious moralizing of the last eight years has really hurt their ability to credibly use the rhetoric of freedom.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | July 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Well VTD, last week people scoffed at the prospect of libertarian socialism, as an oxymoron."

I don't understand what you mean by "Libertarian socialism?"

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Well VTD, last week people scoffed at the prospect of libertarian socialism, as an oxymoron.

But isn't libertarian conservative also? Conserving the way things were is simply not consistent with the anything goes [unless it hurts someone else directly] stereotype of libertarianism. I mean, could conservatives really leave marriage/bed room issues alone, protect civil liberties (stop Dick Cheney), end the war on drugs and go with all the other social libertarian positions? Not really.

Is seems to me the more conservative you get, the bigger the role of government becomes. Free markets are not conservative, for example. The whole conservative ideal (Reaganomics etc.) is riven with contradiction.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Forget it, he's on a roll....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 14, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"Why on earth would this guy oppose the Travel Promotion Act when according to the CBO it will actually generate millions in revenue?"

---

It's because he doesn't care about he outcome, he believes that such an Act is not the realm of the US government. I personally can't begrudge him for this, and in many ways agree. At the very least I appreciate consistency in political stance.

That said, what I notice more often than not with "Small Government Conservatives" is that they limit that philosophy to fiscal matters, when it comes to social issues or civil liberties (in the name of National Security) they let the government go wild.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The statement that noone belongs in the GOP that supports the Travel Promotion Act may not be the best answer for the GOP's future. Fiscally conservative issues are only 1 facet of the Republican tent. Lyndsey Graham, Demints senior senator, isn't always on top of fiscal conservative's favorites. I think if DeMint has solutions, he's right that he should bring them forth. He can go around the nation raising money with a PAC & endorse his favorite candidates. I understand he's endorsed Marco Rubio in Florida & Tom Coburn in Oklahoma. I don't think Coburn will need much help from DeMint to get reelected. Rubio, however, will need all the help he can get from anyone to even be competitive in a primary against Gov. Crist. The NRSC endorsed Crist, Crist has sky high positives & popularity ratings in Florida. Rubio is unknown except in South Florida. DeMint himself is up for reelection in SC in 2010. He should have no problem being reelected. But how much stroke does DeMint really have in SC politics? In 2008, Graham endorsed McCain & DeMint endorsed Romney. Now, McCain beat out Huckabee in SC barely, as Graham's support clearly pushed McCain over the edge to victory. Romney finished a distant 3rd in the SC race. If DeMint has that much pull in SC politics, with all of Romney's money, why didn't Romney do better in SC? I don't think Demint endorsing Rubio in Fl. will make a difference. He may as well save his money & push issues.

Posted by: reason5 | July 14, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"...a sense of urgency that he believes is in short supply with many of his Republican colleagues, and inspired him to grow more combative in defense of his views."

Uh oh, I sense another nervous breakdown with angry resignation to follow.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth would this guy oppose the Travel Promotion Act when according to the CBO it will actually generate millions in revenue?

Posted by: andyandkathleenhotmailcom | July 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

When you provided a link for more explanation of the Travel Promotion Act, why did you link to the DPC's description of it? This is stranger considering that you are talking about a Republican's views of it -- wouldn't you want to link to the Republicans' description of it (http://rpc.senate.gov/public/_files/L15S1023TravelPromotion061209mo.pdf) to provide a balanced view of the bill? If you wanted to be more intellectually honest, you could at least link to some article about or press release from Senator DeMint and his stance on the bill.
If the mainstream media wants to avoid accusations of being in the tank for Democrats and present at least a modicum of bipartisanship, wouldn't it be expedient to provide readers with access to both sides of the issue?

Posted by: nodoubter1 | July 14, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

DeMint is the perfect senator for South Carolina. The home of the worse schools, poor economy, high poverty rates, bigotry and other "conservative" values. I believe the majority of Americans do not believe ideology is the most important thing for government to be concerned about. I think the majority believes the government should be about helping steer our country toward the kind of nation we want to live in. That would be one where justice, prosperity and basic decency is prevalent. That would not align with DeMint's values. He might consider that the reason people have not been listening to him is because they disagree with his values. Acting like a jacka** will not likely change his acceptance.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | July 14, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I thank DeMint for his steadfast retrograde path into the GOP past. It's guys like him that make Repubs a steadily vanishing breed.

Take it to the hoop, Jim!

Posted by: reporter1 | July 14, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I feel government should stay out of business unless the national interest is at stake and then only for as long as the intervention is needed.

==

Disagree.

I want government to distort the hell out of the marketplace, to unapologetically steer and aggressively guide and regulate business toward the kind of society we choose to live in. I think there are large arenas of life that should not be subject in any way to "the marketplace" and that we should never trust in its vagaries to decide our society for us.

Look at advertising (well, no, DON'T look at it, avert your gaze); it irritates and cheapens our lives. For some reason we accept this, we accept being talked down to and condescended to, we accept brazen appeals to insecurity and conceit and lust as mechanisms to undermine our reason. Why?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"I feel government should stay out of business unless the national interest is at stake and then only for as long as the intervention is needed."

It's something that should be taken on a case by case basis. A strong economy is important to a good country, but I think a lot of Republicans are confusing the economy as an end in itself rather than a means to a higher standard of living. Something like healthcare, sure it might add a few ticks of GDP if we let insurance companies run all over the place, but are the few ticks of GDP worth having healthcare out of the reach for so many Americans?

Also, I guess you could make the case that having a healthier society would add productivity to the country.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Woo woo another conservative wedded to a stale doctrine. Wow. Stop the presses.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

DeMint should prove his conservatism by starting with the governor in his home state. In his book, he "castigates his Republican colleagues for "betraying the trust of the American people," and abandoning their core conservative principles in favor of "Democrat-lite" policies". Let him and his repub colleagues ADMIT that they wronged the American people by rubber stamping Bush's policies; keeping costs of wars off the budget; no-bid contracts to Halliburton, KBR, etc without any oversight; sanctioning cronyism, nepotism, bigotry, hatred, and "anything goes just to stay in power".

Posted by: hadelaide | July 14, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I misread. Thank you for the correction DDWAD.

I feel government should stay out of business unless the national interest is at stake and then only for as long as the intervention is needed.

Obama is trying to get the governments investment in J P Morgan back, according to the Wall Street Journal last Friday. The problem is that the bank seems unwilling to give the government what it deems a proper compensation. Its better when the government does not make financial commitments to companies. Proper regulation can hopefully avoid that for the future.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

gator-ron writes
"He is a hypocrite for sure. He does not want the government in the health care business but he does want them in the travel business. Lets see what the economics of the issues are."


I think ddawd is correct that you're misreading. Sen DeMint is against the Travel Promotion Act, presumably because it would (in a very small fashion) expand the role of the fed gov't. And I don't fault him for that position - it is a defensible position to take. What I would prefer to hear from him is an alternative to the TPA proposal that shares the goal of boosting international travel to the US without creating another Fed agency or department. If the GOP - DeMint or anyone else - wants to regain relevancy & attract support from outside the base - they will need to offer alternative solutions beyond "XYZ is a bad idea and people who support it have no clue."

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 14, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

-republican clown
(one of MANY)
-not gonna miss them

Posted by: kase | July 14, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The DeMints and Santorums and Ensigns/Sanfords and the rest of the conservative movement cynics are the best thing the Dems (and country) have going for them. No clue as to what is good for the middle class and their "big tent" is the size of a handkerchief, but that's all that's needed to cover the empty ideology.

Chris, I cannot believe you hold this guy up as the poster child for anything but the politics of the past. What are you thinking? DeMint is leading the GOP to oblivion like the Whigs.

Posted by: PoliticalPragmatist | July 14, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"He is a hypocrite for sure. He does not want the government in the health care business but he does want them in the travel business. Lets see what the economics of the issues are."

I might be misunderstanding something here, but I think he wants the government OUT of the tourism industry.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse


He is a hypocrite for sure. He does not want the government in the health care business but he does want them in the travel business. Lets see what the economics of the issues are.

With health Care the effect of government intervention would be an economic benefit to all the people and an end to a monopoly of the insures with a loss of profits.

In the case of tourism their will be a gain in profits for the industry and no general economic benefit to the populous. That sounds an awful lot like the Bush tax cuts that went for the sole benefit of the wealthy as a rise in their wealth has shown. Nothing innovative here. Same old, benefit the economically privileged that we have come to expect from corporate welfare givers.

Right now it is the public sector not the corporate sector that is overburdened with debt and holding the economy back. Mr DeMint this 2009, not 1981. Your thinking is disoriented in time.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 14, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The good senator should start with consistency. You cannot logically use the Travel Promotion Act as a litmus test for membership while claiming your big tent has enough room for everybody.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 14, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

DeMint talking to CC, times they are hard.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

NEWS BULLETIN:

OBAMA TELEPROMPTER GLASS SHATTERING ACT

• Was it "magic," or something more mysterious?


The TelePrompTer glass shattered without the stand tipping over, as the video shows.

Either the glass got loose (something technicians should have noticed) and fell out of its frame intact and hit the floor, where it shattered...

OR the glass spontaneously shattered while still being held in the stand, which did NOT tip over.

The key question: Did thew glass shatter BEFORE or AFTER it hit the floor?

What kind of force would cause thick 'prompter glass to shatter? This defies the laws of physics...

...unless some invisible force beam ("directed energy weapon"?) hit that glass.

Real journalists should follow up. Start here:

blog.wired.com/defense/2008/11/presidents-secr.html

nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa

nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-
network-terrorizes-america

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 14, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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