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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

DeMint Gone for the Green

if you only feel like reading one article about the motivation for Jim DeMint’s sudden bail-out from his safe senate seat, Richard Eskow’s “Tea Party Quitter DeMint Cashes In, Exposing DC’s Dark Side” at HuffPo makes as much sense as any. From Eskow’s explanation:

DeMint’s leaving to run the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Reagan-era “think tank.” Is he a policy expert, a problem solver, a “thinker”? What was DeMint’s professional background before he entered politics?
Sales. DeMint ran a small marketing group (one to four employees, according to business databases) in Greenville, South Carolina.
That’s not as incongruous as it sounds. The Heritage Foundation is a marketing organization, founded by billionaires and corporations to provide cogent-sounding arguments — sales pitches, really — for policies which favor them at the public’s expense.
“Join Rush Limbaugh and nearly 700,000 other conservatives as a Member of The Heritage Foundation today,” chirps the “think tank’s” website — presumably because the first name that comes to mind when Americans hear the word “thinker” is Rush Limbaugh.
DeMint’s new job will undoubtedly consist of promoting far-right ideas, lobbying his fellow politicians, and raising money from millionaires, billionaires, and corporations.

And the kicker:

…DeMint should feel right at home at an organization co-founded by right-wing beer magnate Joseph Coors. According to Right Wing Watch other corporate donors include General Motors, Ford, Proctor and Gamble, Chase, Dow Chemical, Mobil Oil, and Smith Kline pharmaceuticals.
The job pays more than a million dollars a year.

Raw greed is never much of a shocker when assessing Republican motives, surprised though some tea party purists may be. Throw in the prospect of even stronger Democratic control in the senate, and you can understand why even a tea party ideologue would decide to grab some green while he can.

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