Things are happening in wingnut-land, my friends. According to POLITICO, Jim DeMint may be ousted from his lofty position as president of the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action think tank.
POLITICO cites three sources who say that the board is ready to toss DeMint out as early as today, putting in Ed Feulner as interim president. Apparently, Mr. DeMint has angered establishment Republicans by turning Heritage into a campaign organization for Donald Trump and the ever-dwindling Tea Party contingent.
“If Heritage pushes Jim DeMint out, it was because a few board members, who are close to the Republican establishment, never wanted him to be president and have been working to push him out ever since,” an operative who has worked with Heritage told POLITICO. “DeMint is one of the most respected and selfless conservative leaders in the country and pushing him out would be a big mistake.”
This appears to be a reverse of what the Kochs did to the Cato Institute, where they took over the board in order to turn Cato into much more of an activist operation for their hard-right causes, ousting long-time President Ed Crane.
POLITICO reports that many Heritage Foundation employees move between their role at the think tank and roles inside the Trump administration with no firewall between the two, a situation that could cause them to lose their tax-exempt status.
"DeMint allowed the think tank’s employees to join the Trump transition team while keeping their day jobs," according to the report. "Many did, and they fed policy ideas to an ideologically flexible, fledgling administration."
And then there is the question of whether Heritage is an idea shop or a campaign operation, too. “Jim brought everyone in from the Senate to Heritage and made it hyper-political,” said one board member. “Heritage is also about civil society and culture. He’s taken that off of the table.”
I must admit, I'm not sure when I ever thought of Heritage as being about civil society or culture. But they certainly were not as ideologically crazy in the past as they are now.
Whatever the reasons, good riddance. He's been a menace to any kind of decent governing, most recently shown during the horrible TrumpCare debacles, where Heritage was writing the proposals to gut the ACA (which was originally based upon a Heritage Foundation proposal).
It's possible that as eyes turn toward tax reform (see DeMint's remarks in the video above), establishment Republicans have no desire to see purity interfere with their burning desire to cut the taxes of the rich even more than has already been done, and are setting the table for a more "civil" battle over it.