The Sun City Republican Club held a meeting Tuesday afternoon with U.S. Senator Jim DeMint as the speaker [campaign web site]. Hundreds of Sun City patriots showed up to hear DeMint and many asked questions in the extensive Q&A session which followed. It was a gathering of patriots in the truest sense of the word as evidenced by the meeting which started with a prayer for our country, our troops and our leaders followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. And no one needed help with the words!
DeMint opened his remarks by reminding his audience that no matter what challenges we face in this country, "we have really been blessed" to live in such a great land and we must commit ourselves to "leaving this country in as good a shape as we found it."
DeMint the New Conservative Kingmaker?
He spoke of the sometimes bitter disputes that erupt in all walks of political life and hinted that at some point he questioned whether he wanted to run for a second term. But he was struck at the number of people who come up to him and say "thank you" to him and his wife and encourage them to go on. DeMint said: "We can't walk away when so many people are willing to stand with us."
It's that support from the folks back home and conservatives all across the country which has animated DeMint to take on the old Washington game of looking the other way while some Republicans desert their principles. He recalls the time when he went to see Arlen Specter
DeMint's been very willing to back primary challenges to the old GOP, wheel and deal Washington insiders. Aside from his staunch support of Pat Toomey, he's endorsed the Reaganesque Marco Rubio in Florida "not just another old white guy" is how he describes Rubio. Also Rand Paul running for Senate in Kentucky and Ken Buck who won the GOP primary in Colorado recently over a heavily favored GOP establishment candidate.
He tells the story of how Ron Johnson, GOP candidate for Senate in Wisconsin, came to a meeting of Senators to see if they were serious about changing the inside the beltway mentality that permeates much of the ruling class in both parties. Johnson told the gathering the he quotes Jim DeMint: "I'm coming here to join the fight, not join the club."
Jim DeMint's Core Beliefs
DeMint has started his own fundraising and candidate recruitment effort to help conservatives called the Senate Conservatives Fund. From which he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help conservative candidates, like those above, who are committed to helping the GOP to return to it's core principles. He talks about "America as unique, strong and compassionate because of our principles." Core among these are::
- A belief in Constitutional limited government.
- Paired with personal responsibility
- And opportunity made possible by free markets in a capitalist system.
He reminded his audience that Democrats like Obama, Reid and Pelosi forgot these truths and depend instead on big government programs. How's that been working out?
DeMint expanded on these core principles and said that "Government should have a limited role. It should protect the people and our borders, build hospitals and schools and make this the best country in the world in which to do business."
Questions and Answers
There was a large line of questioners following DeMint's remarks. Among the questions were:
--Fear that in a lame duck session of congress with newly defeated Dems still able to vote, will force through another batch of extremists liberal policies. DeMint agreed that these might include the big labor union card check thuggery, cap and trade energy tax and one last orgy of big spending. DeMint calls on Democrats to pledge that they won't abuse the will of the voters if the GOP wins big and suggests that "they won't have the nerve."
--Will Old Senate GOP Leadership respect election result which may propel new conservatives into office? DeMint calls this the "million dollar question." The Senate seniority system for committee assignments determines who has the power to get things done. DeMint reminded the audience that the Senate focus should be on what is best for the country, not how much pork Senators can bring how to their states. "Enough is enough" DeMint says of pork barrel spending.
--The Fair Tax: DeMint had introduced a variation on the Fair Tax which called for an 8.5% sales tax which would replace the income tax. It got nowhere. But he calls on any new GOP majority in the House and Senate to consider the measure and says that we "need a debate on the issue and I'll lead it."
--100% Repeal of Obama Care? This question was followed by exceptionally strong support throughout the audience. DeMint reminded voters that he had already introduced a bill for repeal and that it was essential to remove ObamaCare in toto and not just trim around the edges. He supports alternatives like those of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-MN) in the House where costs could be controlled by reducing frivolous lawsuits, buying insurance nationwide and establishing high risk pools for the sick. "We can fix this without the government running health care" was DeMint's conclusion.
P.S. DeMint also would repeal the financial bill which did nothing to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants which caused the financial meltdown.
--DeMint for President? One woman asked why DeMint's name was not usually among those mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. DeMint admitted that perhaps the real reason why he doesn't toss his hat in the ring is that: "My wife would kill me." But he mentioned the need for new faces in search for leadership and repeatedly mentioned the name of Chris Christie, the newly elected Governor of New Jersey as the kind of person he would like to see run. "America is ready for someone to tell them the truth" DeMint said before adding that we need a candidate who is willing to tell the American people that "the Federal government can't solve all your problems."
Citing Christie as someone who was willing to take on the big government unions which block so many common sense reforms DeMint reiterated that we need a candidate who isn't a Washington insider. He said we need someone who can combine "Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan." One wonders if the Senator has been reading Mike's America where I made that very same statement just days ago.
--Tea Parties a Passing Phase? DeMint declared that the "Tea Parties are the tip of the iceberg" and not going to fade out. He reminded the audience that he was the only U.S. Senator at the 9/12 rally in Washington last year. He took their message back to his Senate colleagues who had all but ignored the event, which DeMint insists drew one million people to Washington. He told his colleagues that "the big tent came to Washington and invited US to come inside." The Tea Party message is simple: "stop spending, borrowing, debt and the takeovers." Has that message gotten through?
--Birthright Citizenship for children of illegals? The bottom line, DeMint is against the idea of anchor babies which draw young families to immigrate here illegally. He defends the 14th amendment which granted freed slaves the right to citizenship, but says that the amendment's intent was not to include anchor babies. Rather than seek a repeal of that amendment he believes we should refine language for legislation to address the issue and that must start in the House. Something which will only be possible with a large GOP majority.
On a personal note: I'm proud to say we have a true conservative leader representing the citizens of South Carolina and carrying the conservative message to states across this country at the time when it is needed most. Jim DeMint is the kind of Senator we need in Washington and a model for conservatives at every level of government!