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DC swamp fights back: Jim DeMint reportedly out at Heritage

Matthew Vadum author image / /   41 Comments

The great Jim DeMint is being given the bum’s rush at the Heritage Foundation for being a conservative in thought and deed, according to Politico. DeMint, formerly a Republican senator representing South Carolina, took over as Heritage president in April 2013.

“Some Heritage board members believe that DeMint has brought in too many Senate allies and made the think tank too bombastic and political — to the detriment of its research and scholarly aims,” the newspaper reports.

DeMint has been in contract negotiations, which are expected to be cut short, the sources said. An announcement about his future at Heritage is expected to come as early as Friday. His contract is up at the end of 2017, according to one board member.

A GOP operative who works closely with Heritage said DeMint’s removal as president was imminent and that more changes are expected to follow. “There’s massive turmoil over there right now,” the operative said.

Amid all of this, President Donald Trump praised DeMint by name during a speech to NRA members on Friday, calling DeMint “amazing” and “a real friend.”

I may be wrong but the idea that there is turmoil at Heritage because under DeMint it is acting like a conservative nonprofit — instead of as an appendage of the corrupt Republican Party machine — is difficult to believe. And note the use of anonymous sources in the Politico article. I suspect it is more likely that fake conservative Republican lawmakers have been putting heat on Heritage along with some well-heeled squishy donors.

Republicans on Capitol Hill want Heritage to obediently do their bidding, instead of putting pressure on them to behave like principled conservatives. How dare Republicans police their own!

The best example of this kind of anti-DeMint pro-GOPe whining I can think of has to be from establishment carbuncle Brian J. Walsh — the one now with ROKK Solutions (there are a lot of guys named Brian Walsh in and around the nation’s capital) — who is a living personification of what is wrong with Washington. (One of my faves from this astute political handicapper’s body of work has to be “Why Trump Can’t Win,” a column from Sept. 15, 2015.)

In 2013 after DeMint took over Heritage, Walsh famously whined in a column called “Conservatives Eat Their Own for Profit” that Heritage wasn’t being a team player. “In our great democracy, you affect public policy by offering a vision, influencing a majority of public opinion and winning elections, not by burning down the House, attacking your allies, and falling on your sword,” he wrote.

In other words, according to Walsh, conservatives need to open their wallets, shut their mouths, listen to their Republican betters, and learn their place.

A supplicant of established power, Walsh was spokesman for a while for disgraced Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who went to prison for his role in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. (Walsh played no role in the scandal.)
The guy is already dancing on DeMint’s grave:

Shame on him.