In an interview last week on Heritage Foundation’s Istook Live!, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said that the Obama administration “actually wants to steamroll what’s left of the Republican Party here in Washington.”
During a discussion with host Ernest Istook about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, DeMint said “taxing the rich” is not a plan. “Republicans are willing and ready to work with the president on dealing with these issues, but it’s hard to work with a leader who has no plan. And you can’t compromise with someone who hasn’t put a plan on the table and told Americans what he really stands for.”
Critical of Republicans who have caved in negotiations with the president in the past, DeMint admitted, “So the president has got what he wants…he wants us to raise taxes, and wants to cut the military, and this is the result of a very bad deal that the Republicans were willing to make, over a year ago, and we’re paying for that now.”
DeMint, who has headed the Senate Conservatives in the past, was mocked by some in the mainstream media for winning only three of nine Senate seats for conservatives, and yet still urging Republicans to resist calls to moderate their positions.
In response, DeMint said, “We will certainly face many battles in Congress in the coming months that will give us the opportunity to clearly articulate the failures of liberalism and the common sense of conservative alternatives.”
DeMint insists that Republicans not make another deal that will hurt our economy in the long run. He asserted, “…the key thing to remember here: the government is not short of revenue. In fact, last year, we were near historic highs as far as tax revenue. We’ll probably have all-time high revenues coming in from taxpayers this year. So, the country doesn’t need more money; they need less government.”
Urging that Republicans not concede this point, DeMint asked, “Are they going to carry the conservative message and be principled about it? Or are they going to try to weasel out of this by capitulating and the president gets what he wants in tax increases and cutting the military? The only thing else he wants is for Republicans to discredit themselves with their base.”
Regarding the Obama administration’s approach of making its victory appear much larger than it was in order to steamroll the opposition, DeMint said that while the president will keep pushing his agenda, “I don’t think any of those who have been portrayed as breaking their tax pledge will actually vote for anything the president will support because there are conditions.”
DeMint said he believes the president and some Democratic Senators want to “go over this so-called ‘Cliff’ because it gives them a chance to get what they want in terms of higher taxes, and they believe the mainstream media will blame Republicans and it will hurt us more than it will hurt them.”
DeMint referred to the paradigm of the liberal Democrats and the media as one in the same. “…they generally believe in a collectivist, big government society, and they see the government as a key player in our economy and our culture, and anything we suggest otherwise is alien to them,” the senator said.
Believing that the best conservatives can do now is to work with and through the Republican governors and state legislatures, DeMint observed that, “at least temporarily, we’ve lost the battle in Washington and the best we can do here at the federal level is to keep the federal government from stopping those states from doing the right thing!”