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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

DeMint? I’m Down With That!

Into the ragged and treacherous landscape of the 2012 Republican presidential contest now comes a simple and elegant solution: Just nominate Jim DeMint and get it over with.
That’s the thinking of a growing conservative band, according to The Hill‘s Alexander Bolton:
Two GOP factions have begun to draft DeMint for a presidential run.

One is organized by Richard Viguerie, a conservative pioneer in the field of direct-mail political marketing, who helped Reagan win election in 1980.
The other is Conservatives4DeMint, which claims to have about 4,700 members and regional coordinators in 35 states.
Viguerie held a Saturday conference call with allies to plan the initial stages of the draft movement.
“I’ve asked him about the presidential thing twice in the last five or six weeks,” Viguerie said of his recent conversations with DeMint.
“I think he’s giving it serious consideration. Hopefully this will push him over the line and give him the encouragement that there would be a strong base of support,” Viguerie added.
He said DeMint compares to Goldwater in 1964, whom conservatives drafted to challenge President Johnson, and Reagan in 1976 and 1980 respectively.
“He would be the dominant movement conservative leader,” Viguerie said. “He would be the front-runner overnight.”

I think that’s probably true, given DeMint’s national base, cemented by his aggressive (and largely successful) intervention in 2010 Republican primaries.
A DeMint nomination would also be highly appropriate, since he’s the living symbol of the very deliberate turn to the right that the GOP executed after the 2008 elections. Once a lonely crank in the Senate, he’s now clearly more powerful than the alleged Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, who jumps when DeMint says “Frog.”
Democrats would probably be fine with a DeMint nomination, too, since he’s been a bit more frank about the conservative agenda, calling public schools “government schools” and talking about the role of Social Security and Medicare seducing the American middle class into heathen socialist ways.
It would save everybody an enormous amount of time and trouble if we could just make this election a referendum on the philosophies of the two major parties. There are very few Republicans who would publicly deny that DeMint is an exemplar of their own philosophy. So bring him on!

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