This is interesting news, particularly riding on Dick Armey's acrimonious split from FreedomWorks. It would appear that the TeaBirchers have opted for the public relations route since the electoral one isn't working out so well for them. Via CNN:
Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina will resign from his Senate seat as of Dec. 31 to take over as head of the Heritage Foundation, his office announced Thursday.
"I honestly believe that I can do a lot more on the outside than I can on the inside," DeMint told reporters at Heritage Thursday.
I'll just bet he believes that, too. He has been nothing but a force for evil in the Senate, and swore he'd only serve two terms anyway. Cutting him off now is just an early exit to lay a foundation for The Great Tea Party Takeover of 2016. (Laugh. That's a joke.)
Esquire's Charles Pierce holds nothing back:
Nobody better personifies the casual cruelty, the reckless disregard for the general welfare, the heedless contempt for the idea of a general political commonwealth, and the deep fealty to the rising power of oligarchy in this country than does DeMint, who first rode into the Senate by arguing, among other things, that gay people should not teach in the public schools. And no institution embodies those same qualities, which fairly define modern movement conservatism, than does The Heritage Foundation, which is little more than a talking-points mill at which the primary intellectual debates seem to center on who will write this week's crapola of the op-ed page of The Washington Post, and who will be appearing with Piers Morgan that night. Heritage's claim that it is a font of serious policy ideas dies with the fact that it is now going to be run by the biggest loon in the pond. This is a match made on a plane somewhat lower than heaven.
At any rate, DeMint will head off to the Heritage family, leaving a hole for Nikki Haley to fill in the Senate. The choices look as loco as DeMint. ThinkProgress has a cast of characters that might make us all wish DeMint was back in the saddle. Rep. Joe "You Lie" Wilson is probably the most well-known, but the more likely pick is Rep. Tim Scott, who may possibly be even more insane than DeMint.
Several reports are identifying Scott as DeMint’s preferred choice to replace him, and for good reason: the freshman congressman has already proven to be nearly as extreme as DeMint himself. In 2011, he voted to extend billions of dollars in subsidies to big oil companies, arguing that taxpayer-funded money going to companies that reap billions in profits was “fair.” And during the last fight over the debt ceiling, Scott floated the possibility of introducing articles of impeachment against President Obama. While a State Senator, Scott helped to defund South Carolina’s entire HIV/AIDS programs, including the elimination of the state’s AIDs Drug Assistance Program.
Choose your favorite popcorn flavor, sit back, and watch the fun. What's in the water there in South Carolina, anyway?