DeMint: “I’m not leaving here to be an advocate for the Republican party”

posted at 9:34 pm on December 20, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Sen. Jim DeMint, who by now you know is 1) departing the Senate to head up the Heritage Foundation, and 2) being replaced by Rep. Tim Scott, took to the Senate floor this afternoon to give the traditional farewell address.

Economic freedom, federalism, individual choice, independence, smaller government; as DeMint says, these are all-purpose, workable American ideals and proven solutions rather than complicated political fabrications and phony talking points. The problem, of course, is that conservatives can have the best ideas and solutions on the planet, but these ideas cannot do anybody any good unless conservatives can effectively package and sell them to the American people, who can then send the right representatives to Washington to get the job done. It sounds like DeMint intends to use his next job to focus more on marketing and grassroots outreach — and those are undoubtedly things on which the conservative brand sorely needs some assistance.

I’m leaving the Senate to work on ideas that I know work. I’ve seen them work all over our country. We can look all over our country and showcase these ideas that are working, and I know there is power in ideas, but I’ve learned one thing about the political environment: Unless there’s power behind the ideas, that they will not emerge here in the Congress. If there’s too much pressure on the outside from the status quo, or to protect some political interest, and no matter how much we show that it’s working, it won’t be adopted here unless we’re able to win the argument with the American people.

I spent most of my life in research and advertising and marketing and strategic planning. What I hope I can do from this point is to take these ideas and policies that I know work, and the Heritage Foundation for forty years has been creating the research and analysis that show these policies work, and what I hope I can do is to help connect those ideas with real people, real faces, and to show these people that these ideas are not theory, they’re not political policies, but they’re ideas that are working right at their state or the state right next to them.

And if we can win the arguments, if we can win the hearts and the minds of the American people with these ideas, I know that we can engage them and enlist them to convince all of you here to set the politics aside, the parties aside, and to adopt those ideas that work. My hope is to make conservative ideas so pervasive, so persuasive across the country, that politicians of all parties have to embrace those ideas to be elected.

I’m not leaving here to be an advocate for the Republican party. I hope that we can create more common ground between the political parties by showing everyone that ideas that work for their constituents and our constituents are right in front of our faces if we’re willing to set aside the pressure groups, the special interests, and just focus on what’s working.

…What really makes this country great and strong is when we move dollars and decisions out of Washington, back to people and communities and the states, that it works.


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…great!

KOOLAID2 on December 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

…poseur.

equanimous on December 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

…great!

KOOLAID2 on December 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

BISHOP!!!!

Electrongod on December 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

I’m not leaving here to be an advocate for the Republican party. I hope that we can create more common ground between the political parties by showing everyone that ideas that work for their constituents and our constituents are right in front of our faces if we’re willing to set aside the pressure groups, the special interests, and just focus on what’s working.

…What really makes this country great and strong is when we move dollars and decisions out of Washington, back to people and communities and the states, that it works.

…well…you will need another party then Jimmy!

KOOLAID2 on December 20, 2012 at 9:40 PM

And yet I doubt he’ll find many Democrats that even half-pretend to believe in “economic freedom, federalism, individual choice, independence, smaller government.”

But if he can shift the some conservatives into activity to replace the Boehners and Cantors with those in his own mold, then well done. I still believe he’s playing the long game. He isn’t thinking about 2016; he’s setting the foundation for those who will need to pick up the pieces of this mess in the 2030s or so.

Gingotts on December 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I pray he can persevere.

davidk on December 20, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Exactly. He’s in a perfect position to help us in the cultural war that is just starting. Prior to the internet Democrats and liberals shaped our cultural shift via the media.

Conservatives are still fairly new to the idea of how to use the media in a way to shift and bend culture.

DeMint will be perfect at Heritage for doing exactly that.

ButterflyDragon on December 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

What really makes this country great and strong is when we move dollars and decisions out of Washington, back to people and communities and the states,

Yep. We have a federal government, not a national one.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

A very rare individual. Bless him.

Panther on December 20, 2012 at 9:47 PM

…poseur.

equanimous on December 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

What do you mean?

hawkdriver on December 20, 2012 at 9:47 PM

South Carolina has very long list of distinguished servants. I’m so proud to be from the Palmetto State!

SouthernGent on December 20, 2012 at 9:49 PM

The problem, of course, is that conservatives can have the best ideas and solutions on the planet, but these ideas cannot do anybody any good unless conservatives can effectively package and sell them to the American people,

Huh? What channel is Honey Boo Boo on again?

Is there a sale on lost causes now that the world is ending?

kim roy on December 20, 2012 at 9:56 PM

One has to hope that we still have the time to indulge a long term strategy. This whole thing could come apart much faster than anyone ever expected.
Maybe if Heritage can begin training a new generation of campaign managers and consultants who can actually keep a good candidate focused on making the case and not giving away history, there might be time. As it stands now, you have to wonder whether or not there’s just too much ground to make up and that we’ve already run out the clock too long.

Lew on December 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

I’m not leaving here to be an advocate for the Republican party.

He knows as well as anyone what a rotting carcass the GOP is, and wants nothing more to do with it. Good for him.

ddrintn on December 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

A very rare individual. Bless him.

Panther on December 20, 2012 at 9:47 PM

He is the rarest of the rare, a public servant who loves his country and only wants what’s best for it and its people. It goes without saying that no one will ever walk in Reagan’s shoes, but if DeMint had been president, I think he could have come the closest. I was lucky enough to see him and Palin in north Houston when they came down to campaign for Cruz in the runoff. I kept imagining a DeMint/Palin ticket, but alas….

May the force be with you senator.

TxAnn56 on December 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM

like Palin, he wasn’t going to be a lame duck.

renalin on December 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM

He knows as well as anyone what a rotting carcass the GOP is, and wants nothing more to do with it. Good for him.

ddrintn on December 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Yep. Very smart move here. As the GOP collapses in on itself, guys like DeMint who saw what was coming and walked away will have a much bigger capability to shape what’s coming than the Boehnerites.

Doomberg on December 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Sen. Jim DeMint, who by now you know is 1) departing the Senate to head up the Heritage Foundation, and 2) being replaced by Rep. Tim Scott,
=======

Oops………….

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford plans to run for House seat being vacated by Rep. Tim Scott, sources tells @NN

39 mins ago by editor
==========================

FIRST ON NN: Mark Sanford plans to run for Congress – http://wp.me/p4HKM-17A9

canopfor on December 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM

He was the strongest voice for the conservative cause. God Bless Jim DeMint and I know and expect that he will do well at HF.

tom0508 on December 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I like DeMint but think tanks are about worthless. He should have turned congress into a think tank.

Buddahpundit on December 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

He can not be an advocate for the Republican party if Heritage is going to keep its tax exempt status…yep, the man who said he would rather see 30 true conservatives in the Senate than a majority of regular Republicans has decided that one less true con is not going to make much difference.

Terrye on December 20, 2012 at 10:21 PM

“It sounds like DeMint intends to use his next job to focus more on marketing and grassroots outreach — …”

Exactly what we need, exactly the right time …

“Andrew always pointed out that politics was far downstream from media and pop culture…”

Seven Percent Solution on December 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Economic freedom, federalism, individual choice, independence, smaller government; as DeMint says, these are all-purpose, workable American ideals and proven solutions rather than complicated political fabrications and phony talking points.

They’re talking points for they hypocrite DeMint, alright.

Dante on December 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Exactly what we need, exactly the right time …

“Andrew always pointed out that politics was far downstream from media and pop culture…”

Seven Percent Solution on December 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Seven Percent Solution:

A Democrat 5 year Perception/Deception Operation!

Yup,they had Obama,in commercials/movies/Hippity Hop songs,video games,talky shows,which made the narrative,as main-stream,and so,

the GOP lost the Communication War!:)

canopfor on December 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM

the GOP lost the Communication War!:)

canopfor on December 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Time to re-arm, re-group, and fight for the duration…

… Those that came before us and died for our freedom deserve no less.

Seven Percent Solution on December 20, 2012 at 10:50 PM

…poseur.

equanimous on December 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

High compliment from you. :D

itsspideyman on December 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Pretty much everything you need to know about the elite of the Republican Party is that it has room for phonies, panderers and sellouts, but it didn’t have room for Sen. Jim DeMint.

David Blue on December 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM

I like DeMint but think tanks are about worthless. He should have turned congress into a think tank.

Buddahpundit on December 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Apparently he was convinced John Boehner and his gang were invincibly opposed to that. And he would know.

David Blue on December 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Yep. Very smart move here. As the GOP collapses in on itself, guys like DeMint who saw what was coming and walked away will have a much bigger capability to shape what’s coming than the Boehnerites.

Doomberg on December 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I hope so.

David Blue on December 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM

High compliment from you. :D

itsspideyman on December 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM

What do you mean?

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Smart guy. He’s not young and that big paycheck will come in handy for his family.

AngusMc on December 21, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Smart guy. He’s not young and that big paycheck will come in handy for his family. – AngusMc on December 21, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Just going to make a bit more money and still collect his Congressional benefits, which I imagine are substantial even though he has not been there very long. Both Hollings and Thurmond served the state for decades.

SC.Charlie on December 21, 2012 at 5:16 AM

“Economic freedom, federalism, individual choice, independence, smaller government…”

Republicans are for none of these. (Democrats even less so.) He’s wise to leave.

RayinVA on December 21, 2012 at 6:42 AM

I like DeMint but think tanks are about worthless. He should have turned congress into a think tank.

Buddahpundit on December 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

That requires people who can think.

RayinVA on December 21, 2012 at 6:44 AM

I was a member and monthly contributor to the Heritage Foundation for years. This year I cancelled my membership and thought those dollars would be better spent on ammunition. While I think it is a great organization, it appears to be a bloated financial bank for a lot of people who make pretty high salaries. I asked myself: “just what have they accomplished?” and came up with nothing except allowing Obama to be elected and re-elected. I see them as essentially Congress with a different sugar daddy. They talk a good game but it doesn’t change anything and this country has been destroyed. The only thing remaining is its funeral. I am probably wrong on my analysis but those are my beliefs.

trs on December 21, 2012 at 7:38 AM

“I’m leaving here to get rich.”

BocaJuniors on December 21, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Great I think the establishment knows that – I’m sure the Heritage folks are a wee bit nervous. I’m sure the phrase “tea party morons” has been whispered at the lunch/break rooms. I wish you well and I hope the conservatives thrive, no matter what party.

Fuquay Steve on December 21, 2012 at 8:08 AM

The problem, of course, is that conservatives can have the best ideas and solutions on the planet, but these ideas cannot do anybody any good unless conservatives can effectively package and sell them to the American people

You have far too much faith in the “American people” who clearly know what’s right, but reject doing right in favor of doing whatever is free, feels good, or is temporary.
We have a nation chuck full of Godless adolescents running a blitzkreig action to help Obama fundamentally reform this nation into a Godless socialist utopia. Alas, many of those folks (whose only god is money)reside in the GOP.
The rest of us will go down with the “democracy works, even without God and family values” ship, I’m afraid.

Don L on December 21, 2012 at 8:09 AM

He’s in a perfect position to help us in the cultural war that is just starting. Prior to the internet Democrats and liberals shaped our cultural shift via the media.

DeMint will be perfect at Heritage for doing exactly that.

ButterflyDragon on December 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I’m also thinking that DeMint might be almost perfect for Heritage in these times.

As you imply, the culture war has been going on for fifty years, but only one side has been fighting. That hopefully will soon change.

petefrt on December 21, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Jim DeMint is a great American and Hrtitage is a lot more than a think tank .
They have terrific resources available to members . We used them just a
week ago to get an answer on a tax question .
The Morning Bell is a must read . Heritage Action is very effective .
I wish DeMint the very best . This is a perfect spot for him .

Lucano on December 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

ddrintn on December 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Doomberg on December 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Exactly the reason I left the GOP and became part of the Conservative Party USA. The GOP is creeping leftward, just not as fast as the Democrats. And the more they compromise their principles, the less influence they will have.

psrch on December 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Senator DeMint never got a thing done. No noteworthy pieces of legislation. He was always just about himself.

Rugged Terrain on December 21, 2012 at 9:39 AM

The Republican Party is done, as far as I’m concerned.

Ward Cleaver on December 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Allegedly Demint led the SC coalition mutiny against Plan B. What’s next, Jim? Will you write a think-piece for us? Something with concrete, practical legislation for Boehner to bring to Obama & Reid, something which can pass and avoid the fiscal cliff? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Yeah, according to most people even in Hot Gas, we would much rather have people in the Senate that don’t hold dear to their principles and fold to whatever the political winds call for, like McCain than Jim DeMint. Whatever. Have fun with a GOP that is mostly full with political whores who care only about reelection.

search4truth on December 21, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Buy Danish on December 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Oh can it. There is no difference between giving Obama almost everything he wanted and everything he wanted. The cliff is the result of 4 years of Obama’s policies and people need to see these results. We were literally negotiating with ourselves. If Boehner just wanted to pass “something”, he could have passed what the majority of his majority wanted to pass: a complete extension of the Bush tax cuts. He thought his pathetic attempt at PR would have some effect. It hasn’t and it won’t and it weakens us to continually make offers that are ignored.

And by the way…
Last year you told me there’s no place for populists in the Republican party; that’s for the Democrats. You got what you wanted in 2012. There was barely a whiff of populism or the common man. Your boy was serious and boring and competent and on-message about the economy. You might have noticed that without the populists, with only “serious Republicans”, there’s no majority. Ready to let us try a little populism yet?

alwaysfiredup on December 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

There is no difference between giving Obama almost everything he wanted and everything he wanted.
alwaysfiredup on December 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Maintaining Bush Tax cuts for everyone under $1 million is giving BO everything he wants? All those people from $200,000 G up to $1 mill might disagree with you there.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2012 at 4:04 PM

….Moreover, BO was going to veto it even if it managed to get a vote in Reid’s Senate. It was a way of forcing BO/Reid’s hand and flipping public opinion in our direction as they had overreached.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2012 at 5:20 PM