Jim DeMint is not a blustery man, prone to apoplectic fits of righteous indignation. He’s not a family-values Nikita Khrushchev banging a hardback copy of his anti-government screed Saving Freedom on the podium on the Senate floor. Inside the U.S. Capitol or on TV, he’s as cool and calm as Vladimir Lenin in his Madame Tussauds days, resting comfortable and quiet behind plate glass.
But the words that come out of his mouth are every bit the full-force shitstorm that spills out of the gaping maws of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or our very own Rocky D every weekday. In fact, we’d be willing to argue that right now — and based solely on his words alone — nobody in the Senate is a bigger blowhard than Jim DeMint.
Now, we could look back and talk about all the insipid and asshatty stuff that DeMint has said over the years to prove our case, but why bother? (Seriously, unwed mothers shouldn’t teach school?) After all, South Carolina’s junior birdman in the Senate has said plenty since Nov. 4, 2008, the day that Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become America’s first African-American president and the new worldwide face of socialism.
Below are 18 reasons why Jim DeMint blows harder than the bone-chilling winds across the Siberian tundra. Which is where, if Premier Hussein gets his way, anyone who dares to vote Republican and call themselves a freedom-loving American will soon end up. Oh nyet.
1. Jim DeMint says that Republicans can’t be trusted.
Speaking at the Tax Day Tea Party. NOTE: around 13 minutes in length
Following John McCain’s loss to President Obama, DeMint did not wait until Election Day was over before chastising the Arizona senator and the Republican Party for losing its way, a completely classless move. In a press release he stated, “We have got to clean up, reform, and rebuild the Republican Party before we can ask Americans to trust us again. This must begin with either a change of command at the highest levels or our current leaders must embrace a bold new direction.”
He added, “This election reflects a failure of Republicans to keep their conservative promises. Democrats didn’t run on their true liberal agenda to raise taxes, cut national defense, and undermine traditional values. They ran against President Bush and congressional Republicans whose image was tarnished by scandals and broken promises.”
Oh, those Republicans. They say one thing and then do something else. Kind of like Richard Hatch on Survivor, but without the nakedness. That is unless C-SPAN’s been running an afterdark channel all these years and nobody told us.
2. He is a self-loathing politician.
Speaking at the Tax Day Tea Party, Part 2
At the Tax Day Tea Party on the steps of the U.S. Custom House in Charleston, DeMint took politicians to task, saying, “The problem is that you got 535 Congressmen and Senators, who every couple of years take an oath to the Constitution, which is specified as a representative form of government, and they walk away from that ceremony, and they forget the Constitution. And they take all their good intentions, and they use your money to do every good deed that they can possibly imagine whether it’s their earmarks or their special projects or their special interest favors.”
He later told the crowd, “Let’s don’t leave it in the hands of politicians. Let’s change things by starting and continuing what we are doing here today. We’re going to take back our country.”
There are 535 members of the sideshow circus we call Congress. Despite his protestations, DeMint is one of them, much like the bearded lady, the Human Torso, Zip and Pip, and all the other stars of the cult classic film Freaks. One of us. One of us.
3. He says his coworkers are corrupt.
Also at the Tax Day Tea Party in Charleston, DeMint had this to say about his fellow Congressmen and Congresswomen: “I go to Washington and get drained every week because everyone is just trying to spend as much money as they can to buy votes.”
And that means you, Orrin Hatch. And you, Mitch McConnell. And you, Lindsey Graham. And, well, anybody else who gets Uncle Sam to foot the bill for projects back in their home states.
4. He is not above playing the Nazi card.
In a recent speech before the National Press Club, DeMint said he believes the U.S. is “about where Germany was before World War II, where they became a social democracy.”
Now, it can certainly be argued by DeMint that he was referring to the days of the Weimar Republic — and maybe he was — but surely he was aware that his red-meat followers would think he was referring to Nazi Germany.
As anyone who has ever gotten into a flame war on the interwebs or an argument with a high schooler knows, employing the “you’re a Nazi” card is the last act of a desperate man — and a piss poor debater. Sieg Hack.
5. Or the Orwell card.
Speaking with News Max, DeMint decided that it was as good a time as any to compare President Obama to the fearless leader of Oceania, Big Brother: “When I read George Orwell’s novel 1984, I would almost smile because I would think that could never happen,” DeMint says, referring to the power of the state to subsume the truth. “But he [Obama] really is saying one thing and meaning the complete opposite. He is presenting a complete redefinition of words and ideas.”
Then in a series of Twitter posts about the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, DeMint wrote, the “14th Amendment guarantees equal protection under law. ‘Hate crimes’ would make some people more equal than others” — a nod to Orwell’s communist allegory Animal Farm. He also tweeted, “‘Hate crimes’ bill criminalizes thought. There is no such thing as a criminal thought, only criminal acts.”
Actually, Jim, some people are more equal than others. They’re called the board of directors at Goldman Sachs.
6. He sees riots in America’s future.
In a widely reported comment during the debate over federal bailouts, DeMint said, “We’re going to have riots.”
Of course, there were no riots, that is unless you count the Tea Parties. But that didn’t stop DeMint from telling Adam Bitely at the online news site Net Right Nation, “I still believe that there could be riots. Most will be small, but I think there is a chance that we can see some large ones.”
Later in that post he also said, “There are only 15 real conservatives in the Senate.”
And they don’t eat quiche, either.
7. And a government takeover of the media.
Following the government takeover of GM and other companies, DeMint told Fox News, “What is to stop a future administration from taking over troubled newspapers, movie studios, or television networks, and operating them according to its partisan ends?”
Which is something that Fox News knows just a little bit about.
8. And a ban on true believers on campuses.
During the debate over the stimulus bill, DeMint claimed that the ACLU had hijacked a portion of the piece of legislation so that they could continue to wage war on organized religion. The first target: College students.
“This is a direct attack on students of faith, and I’m outraged Democrats are using an economic stimulus bill to promote discrimination,” Sen. DeMint said in a press release. “Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for siding with the ACLU over millions of students of faith. These students simply want equal access to public facilities, which is their constitutional right. This hostility toward religion must end. Those who voted for this discrimination are standing in the schoolhouse door to deny people of faith from entering any campus building renovated by this bill.”
He added, “This is now an ACLU stimulus designed to trigger lawsuits designed to intimidate religious organizations across the nation. This language is so vague, it’s not clear if students can even pray in a dorm room renovated with this funding since that is a form of ‘religious worship.’ If this provision remains in the bill, it will have a chilling effect on students of faith in America.”
The language was apparently common legalese put into legislation to prevent federal funds from being used for religious institutions. It would not ban groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, and other religious organizations from using buildings on campus, and it surely wouldn’t prevent Rastafarians from holding a Bible study group in their dorm rooms. Hey man … what if dog was spelled c-a-t?
9. And the end of free speech in the pulpit.
In a widely circulated letter that was reportedly sent to churches, DeMint claims that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act “will lead to the criminalization of biblical truth as ‘hate speech.’ Under this legislation, a pastor who teaches that homosexuality is wrong could be accused of a hate crime or charged with ‘inducing’ a violent crime against a gay person. Please tell your congregation this legislation is not about ‘hate’ (all violent crimes are hateful); it is about taking away your freedom to speak and preach biblical truth. It takes away your right to say that some things are wrong.”
Actually, the bill was pretty clear: to be a hate crime, an individual has to be physically harmed by another who did so because the victim was gay or transgendered or black or a Muslim. And two, it specifically stated that the bill would not intrude on anyone’s right to speak their mind, DeMint included.
10. And the outlawing of spanking.
According to the Christian news service American Family News Network’s OneNewsNow.com, DeMint sponsored a parental rights bill because he claimed that new laws and international treaties would “outlaw spanking and prohibit parents from raising children in the family religion.” He added, “Things [like these] that are inconceivable in America are now being contemplated and planned by a number of people.”
11. Not that America has much of a future.
According to a recent article in The Fix, a Washington Post blog, DeMint said, “I am not going to spend another 10 years of my life waiting for some slot on some committee.” He added, “I don’t think the country has that long.”
12. He doesn’t like fairness.
Speaking to Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network, DeMint had this to say about the much feared Fairness Doctrine, which would require radio stations to devote equal time to different points of view. DeMint said, “For all we know, diversity of ownership for a Christian station would mean atheists, Muslims, people of all kinds of beliefs … It could be different sexual preferences. We just don’t know.”
To combat this grave threat, he added an amendment banning the doctrine to a bill that would give Washington, D.C., a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and the state of Utah an extra seat. The bill did not pass, and would likely have been judged unconstitutional since only states can have reps, and D.C., well, it’s not a state.
13. He already believes the U.S. has made a turn to the left.
At the Tax Day Tea Party in Charleston, he told a group of reporters that the U.S. is “to the left of Europe right now … We couldn’t even get into the European Union.” Um. Really? Then why is the drinking age so high?
14. He supported a military coup.
Following the recent military coup in Honduras which ousted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, a move condemned by President Obama and scores of world leaders, DeMint said in a press release, “The people of Honduras have struggled too long to have their hard-won democracy stolen from them by a Chavez-style dictator. The Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military have acted in accordance to the Honduran constitution and the rule of law.”
And by law, we mean a squad of soldiers marching up the steps of the presidential palace and a curfew for the general population.
15. He may not be able to count.
In an interview with Fox News, DeMint claimed that the Kennedy Serve America Act, which increased the size of AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000, would make the civil service organization the world’s 14th largest employer. According to Forbes magazine, of the biggest employers in the world, 42 of them employ more than 250,000 workers. Count von Count would not be pleased.
16. He talks like Ivan Drago.
Speaking about the current battle over health-care reform — an issue near and dear to President Obama — DeMint said, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Somebody call Dolph Lungren. DeMint’s stealing his best line from Rocky IV.
17. He allowed Newt Gingrich to call his book Saving Freedom, “a New Declaration of Independence.”
My God, man, the hubris. But where it took Thom J. only a few hundred words to spark a revolution, it took Jim DeMint a few hundred pages, and the only revolution he launched was one in favor of bad prose and gimpy logic. Tacky.
18. He just might be a coward.
We spoke to Jim DeMint’s communications director Wesley Denton on Thursday, notifying him that we were writing this piece, and the writer — that would be me, Chris Haire — let it be known that, well, I don’t like DeMint. Then I told Denton that I would send the piece to him if he would like so that the senator could respond to any of the above statements. At the end of the workday, I e-mailed the story in its entirety — except for sections No. 16 and 18 and only a handful of additional snarky comments — saying that we would welcome an op-ed from the senator or replies to each one of the charges. I wanted Denton and DeMint to be fully aware of what we intended to publish. Shortly after the e-mail, Denton responded. His only words: “Classy.”
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.