Thursday, December 06, 2012

Jim DeMint Is Really Stupid

"To state the obvious, you don't make Jim DeMint the head of your think tank in order to improve the quality of your scholarship."

Ezra Klein, on Jim DeMint becoming the president of the Heritage Foundation.

DeMint is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. DeMint ventured into conspiracy land with his statement that President Obama is like the evil government in the novel 1984.

• In April, he accused President Obama of taking us into Orwellian 1984 territory. “When I read George Orwell’s novel 1984, I would almost smile because I would think that could never happen,” DeMint said. “But he [Obama] really is saying one thing and meaning the complete opposite. He is presenting a complete redefinition of words and ideas.”

DeMint has publicly opposed single mothers and gay people being school teachers.

At a 2004 debate, DeMint declared that openly gay people should not be teaching public school. "We need the folks that are teaching in schools to represent our values," he said. DeMint later added that he "would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman, who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend, should be hired to teach my third grade children."

During the debt ceiling crisis, DeMint told Andrew Napolitano that he was willing to push the federal government into default.

DEMINT: The reason the president hasn’t addressed the issue even though we knew it was facing us, and this is the fourth time he’s asked for an increase in the debt limit, he has been burning time — that’s what [Vice President Joe] Biden was supposed to do is get the Republicans behind closed doors — is burn the clock up until we have a crisis. So now we’re at the point where there would have to be some serious disruptions in order not to raise it. I’m willing to do that, I just don’t think we can find enough of Republicans and Democrats to say it’s time to stop spending.

DeMint is so economically ignorant that Sec. of Treasury Tim Geithner had to explain to the Senator that a cap can not be placed on placed on the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is either raised or paid down. There is no in between.

Geithner's letter to DeMint.

In your letter, you suggest that the debt limit should not be raised, and instead that federal debt be "capped" at the current limit. You further propose that after the government's borrowing authority is exhausted in August, the United States should for some indefinate period pay only the interest on its debt, while stopping or delaying payment of a broad swath of other commitments the the country has made under the law.

I have expressed my concerns about this idea before, but I will restate them to be clear: this "prioritization" proposal advocates a radical and deeply irresponsible departure from the commitments by Presidents of both parties, throughout American history, to honor all of the commitments our Nation has made.

The debt limit applies to past decisions of Congress. Increasing the debt limit is necessary to allow the United States to honor obligations previously authorized and appropriated by Congress.

DeMint was one of the 38 Republican senators to vote against U.N. Treaty on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Republican Bob Dole came back to the Senate in a wheelchair to lobby fellow Republicans. Dole himself is disabled and currently moving about in a wheelchair. DeMint and other Republicans voted against the treaty over conspiracy theory fears that the United Nations would take away America's sovereignty.

Dan Drezner marvels at the stupidity of not ratifying the treaty.

Now I'm honestly pretty dubious about whether U.S. ratification of the treaty would accomplish all that. Unlike Law of the Sea, not ratifying this treaty doesn't appreciably harm U.S. interests. It does, however, make the United States look pretty dysfunctional. In essence, the U.S. Senate just rejected a treaty on protecting the disabled that would have globalized the status quo in U.S. law on this issue. To use the parlance of international relations scholars, this is dumber than a bag of hammers.

One would look at DeMint's record and think this guy is really fucking stupid. Marco Rubio views DeMint as an intellectual giant.

Jim DeMint. He’s a great source of wisdom as a person who’s had to make decisions that have made him unpopular in his own party.

The Shark Tank reports that Rubio is putting together a farewell video for his intellectual mentor.

Update: DeMint is neither a fan of free speech or a woman's right to choice. DeMint sponsored an amendment that would ban women from discussing abortion with their doctors over the internet.

“What about a woman experiencing a high-risk pregnancy who is talking with her doctor through video conferencing?” Keenan said. “Under Sen. DeMint’s extreme plan, if abortion came up in that doctor-patient conversation, the woman and her physician would have to go to a separate communications system. He’s calling for an abortion-only version of Skype. It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor.”

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