2. Jim DeMint Loses the Battle of Waterloo and Helps Pass Obamacare
Remember 2009? It seems like a long time ago. Back then, the Tea Party was in its infancy, and looking for something to rally around. They found it in Obamacare, the most awfulest destruction of liberty since Hitler. DeMint took the lead in fighting against the legislation that, as we all know, had forced the people of Massachusetts into hiding from Gov. Romney’s jack-booted, medicine-dispensing thugs.
DeMint wasn’t just looking to stop a health care plan that might help poor people survive illness. He was also looking to stop Barack Obama, who was a totally illegitimate president because he was a Democrat, and also because he was…well, let’s just say he looked different from most other presidents.
Anyhow, DeMint declared in the summer of 2009 that Republicans should delay action on the Affordable Care Act (they did), and that Tea Party activists would act like jerks during the August recess (they did), and this would cause Obamacare to fail, thus destroying the presidency of Barack Obama (oops).
“Senators and Congressmen will come back in September afraid to vote against the American people,” DeMint said. “This health care issue Is D-Day for freedom in America. If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
Of course, we all know what happened next. Jim DeMint made it possible for Obamacare to pass, thus avoiding the breakage of Obama.
How did he do that, you ask? By pushing a primary challenge by Pat Toomey against Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Specter was a moderate Republican, and DeMint was putting considerable muscle behind Toomey. Specter, realizing that he couldn’t win a GOP primary, switched sides to the Democrats. He cast the 60th vote to break a filibuster of the Affordable Care Act, allowing the bill to pass the Senate, and ultimately, to be passed into law. Had DeMint not been so eager to force Specter out, it’s entirely possible that Specter would have remained a Republican, remained a solid vote against ending the filibuster, prevented Democrats from passing the Affordable Care Act, and ultimately wounded Obama politically. Instead, thanks to Jim DeMint, Obamacare is now the law of the land. Sure, we’re no longer free, and you can thank DeMint for that.
1. Jim DeMint Helps Democrats Hold Onto the Senate
Say what you will about Pat Toomey, but he did eventually win the Senate race. Not all of DeMint’s choices did so well, however.
In 2010, DeMint backed Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and Joe Miller in key Senate races. All three candidates became national jokes. Angle somehow lost to Harry Reid, who was slightly less popular than cholera. Republicans held on to Alaska’s senate seat, but only because Lisa Murkowski successfully won re-election as a write-in candidate — and promptly came back to the senate more willing to work with Democrats. Christine O’Donnell, meanwhile, is not a witch, and is not a senator.
2012 wasn’t much better, mind you. Among DeMint’s picks to click were Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, Richard “God Meant You To Be Raped” Mourdock, and George “Macaca” Allen.
If you’re keeping score, at least four seats in the Senate are in Democratic hands because Jim DeMint backed candidates who managed to blow completely unloseable races. It’s not fair to say that DeMint literally cost Democrats control of the Senate — assuming all other seats broke the same way, they’d still have a 51-49 majority. Still, it’s easy to imagine a GOP able to push a bit harder in North Dakota, knowing that they didn’t have to spend a dime to get Dick Lugar re-elected. Easy to imagine that with Mike Castle cruising to victory in 2010, Republicans could redeploy their assets to pick up just one more seat.
When he quit Thursday, DeMint said, “I know I am leaving the Senate better than I found it.” Thanks to DeMint’s tireless work on behalf of Republican candidates, Democrats can absolutely agree.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore
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