From the Jan. 28, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”
Did anybody catch Jim DeMint on “Meet the Press” this weekend? DeMint, of course, is the former senator from South Carolina, now Heritage Foundation master of messaging, who led Congress to filibuster more bills than any other Congress in history.
He voted no on Al Franken’s anti-rape amendment, of course — what a guy! — no on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and he doesn’t think gays or unmarried women should be allowed to teach school. But he does love bachelor Lindsey Graham.
On “Meet the Press” this weekend, citizen DeMint unveiled his plan to change GOP messaging — by repeating all of the GOP’s ineffective messaging, even if they had nothing to do with what the grown-ups at the table were actually talking about. Take a listen here, folks, as DeMint is asked to respond to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s comments about the GOP being “stupid” and Colin Powell’s claim that “a dark vein of intolerance” is turning off voters. I mean, racism is a problem, right, Jim? So what’s the plan?
Jim DeMint: I talked to Gov. Jindal yesterday because we’re on the same page of where we need to go. He knows that spending more than we’re bringing in and this debt is a moral argument that we need to connect with the American people. … And the future of our children with the debt on their head, it means that the opportunities that they could have are going to be diminished.
David Gregory: But that’s not quite what he’s speaking of there. What he’s talking about is how the brand positions itself, how it reaches out to people.
How did you get to debt? Wait — Jim, did you just make David Gregory have to ask a follow-up question? That’s not supposed to happen on “Meet the Press.”
Now, a little later DeMint was asked about the problem — again — with the messaging and how the comments of anti-abortion candidates in the last cycle who think rape victims should be forced to bear their attacker’s child might not be helping the party. Oh, and Colin Powell’s point about racism that you didn’t already answer, Jim?
Jim DeMint: Well, David, the fact that we are losing over 3,000 unborn children a day is an important issue. But Republicans or conservatives should not engage in a debate about exceptions for abortion when the other side will not even agree that we have real people, real human beings. … But instead of just offering my opinion on some hypothetical debate about exceptions for abortions, we need to move it back and particularly work with the states that are fighting for just the personhood of the child, and if we can start there, I think America will move with us.
David Gregory: All right, a little different than the question about rhetoric and how that reaches voters.
Then that’s how you’re going to stop racism? Jim, here’s the thing, when they ask you to explain the crazy, they don’t want you to do the crazy.
Being true to its heritage of loony positions, the Heritage Foundation immediately posted this link on their Twitter profile.
So congrats, Jim DeMint. You told your base what they wanted to hear, you talked past David Gregory and the sound bites of your answers — regardless of the actual questions — are going up on right-wing blogs faster than pop-up ads for buying gold for your bomb shelter. But in the big picture, you’re going to do for the Heritage Foundation what you did for the American people: nothing.