Heritage Foundation leader Jim DeMint put on a clinic in Republican stupidity by getting the Constitution and Declaration of Independence confused, and offering a warped theory of how the slaves were freed.
Audio and Transcript via Right Wing Watch:
DeMint: This progressive, the whole idea of being progressive is to progress away from those ideas that made this country great. What we’re trying to conserve as conservative are those things that work. They work today, they work for young people, they work for minorities and we can change this country and change its course very quickly if we just remember what works.
Newcombe: What if somebody, let’s say you’re talking with a liberal person and they were to turn around and say, ‘that Founding Fathers thing worked out really well, look at that Civil War we had eighty years later.’
DeMint: Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately, there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.
There were a lot of inaccuracies in Jim DeMint’s remarks. First, he confused the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t use the phrase all men are created equal. The Constitution did not free the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive action that was taken by President Lincoln. The 13th Amendment was initiated at the federal level and fourthly, as Right Wing Watch pointed out, William Wilberforce died three decades before the Civil War.
With the level of ignorance that he demonstrated, it is hard to believe that Jim DeMint was once a United States Senator. It is no surprise that Republicans are as uninformed as they are with people like Jim DeMint leading conservative “think tanks.”
DeMint’s whole argument against the federal government and liberalism was undercut by his own mind numbing stupidity. This was more Glenn Beck style rewriting of history to fit the right wing view of what America ought to be.
Jim DeMint’s comments are proof that some Republicans have no idea what they are talking about, and should never be allowed anywhere near a position of power within the government.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association