Bad news:He’s going to head a right-wing think tank, which will give him even more power and money to push the GOP further right.
DeMint’s positions were as odious as you might expect from someone who felt he wielded the sword of righteousness in the Senate. Among his greatest anti-gay hits:
- Calling for banning gay teachers in the classroom
- Holding up the confirmation of out lesbian Marisa Demeo to a federal court because, well, you know.
- Trying to block the appointment of Mari Carmen Aponte as ambassador to El Salvador because she wrote an op-ed praising the country for offering legal protections to the LGBT community
DeMint had zero legislative record in the Senate. His goal was to stop things from happening. His biggest legacy there was recruiting far-right candidates formed in his own image to push his agenda. He gave us Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Pat Toomey. He also gave us a string of losers, including Christine O’Donnell,
At first glance, DeMint’s departure to the Heritage Foundation could look like he was removing himself from the political fray. In fact, DeMint will probably use the Foundation more as a campaign organ than as a think tank. If you’re looking for sharp new conservative policies, DeMint isn’t going to be the guy to deliver it. Instead, he just got a big salary to do his damnedest to push the Republican party so far to the right that it’s likely to fall off the political map altogether.
DeMint has already signaled whom he wants South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint as his replacement: Rep. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in Congress. Needless to say, Scott is reliably anti-gay himself and once suggested that President Obama should be impeached for trying to raise the debt ceiling.
If Scott is appointed, he will be the only black Senator, which would be a PR coup for the Republicans, given that, based on the 2012 elections results, they can probably fit all the black Republicans into a mid-sized banquet room.
Photo: Gage Skidmore