Former Senator Jim DeMint has just published his first big think piece since he announced he was leaving the Senate to take over the Heritage Foundation, outlining his grand vision to re-make Heritage when he gets on the job in a couple of months. He says it is his intention to launch a “conservative revival” when he gets to Heritage, reinvigorating the Heritage message and selling conservatism to the American people.
What are the new ideas he will push in his newly-made Heritage that will spread the conservative message far and wide? Welfare reform (including the need for forced labor) and…wait for it … missile defense!
“Heritage was also the early promoter of missile defense and the belief that you could hit a bullet with a bullet, which proved so useful in defending Israel just two months ago.
“Unfortunately, welfare reform and missile defense have something in common beyond Heritage’s intellectual paternity. They both have been gutted by President Obama. Always faint-hearted about missile defense, the president in his first year dismantled our programs in Poland and the Czech Republic. He disabled welfare reform last year, when he took away the work requirements that were at the heart of that law’s success.”
It is the 1980s all over again. A big defense build-up to plunge a stake through the heart of the Soviets and those welfare queens in Cadillacs.
As far as Congress goes, in many ways DeMint was one of the better ones, and some of the phrases he uses in the piece have a nice ring to them. But it is astonishing considering the enormous political shifts we have seen over the past four years or so to see such a tin ear where it counts: policy. Does DeMint not realize that in places like New Hampshire the Ron Paul message of sound money and and a non-interventionist foreign policy won him nearly half the votes of those under the age of 29? These young people understand very well that the biggest welfare queens are the defense contractors, who lavishly endow think tanks to come up with ever more terrifying studies demonstrating that we need more defense spending.
This is the future, not another shrine to a revisionist vision of the long-gone Reagan era. The future is now. Heritage is not.
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