Jim DeMint Is Resigning: Here Are His 7 Craziest Moments

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5854719488/sizes/m/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flick

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The Wall Street Journal broke the news Thursday morning that 61-year-old Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is leaving the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. DeMint could be giving up his Senate post as early as January, leaving South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint someone to fill out his term (cough, Stephen Colbert, cough).

In a Senate packed with off-the-wall conservative lawmakers, DeMint managed to stand out, always promising to top the craziness with…more crazy. As we bid DeMint a fond farewell, let’s relive his greatest moments:

1. DeMint says gay people and unmarried women having sex shouldn’t teach your children. 

According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, DeMint said this at a South Carolina rally: “If someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend—she shouldn’t be in the classroom.”

2. DeMint says God doesn’t like big government.

On a radio show in 2011, DeMint said: “I’ve said it often and I believe it—the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets. As people become more dependent on government, less dependent on God.”

3. Jim DeMint doesn’t want women talking about abortion on the internet.

In 2011, DeMint put an amendment into a totally unrelated spending bill that attempted to ban discussion of abortion via satellite, video-conferencing, and the internet (in other words, fully preventing women from speaking with their doctors remotely).

4. DeMint says America turning into Iran after President Obama’s election (or maybe Germany?).

“Probably the most heart-wrenching experiences I’ve had over the last several days is when naturalized American citizens who have immigrated here from Germany, Iran, and other countries, they come up to me and they say why are we doing what so many have fled from?” DeMint told a conservative radio host in 2009 “Why don’t Americans see what we’re doing?”

5. DeMint puts a hold on National Women’s History Museum.

In 2010, a proposed bill would have allowed a private group to buy property on Independence Avenue to build a women’s history museum (without costing taxpayers any money). DeMint was one of the bill’s chief opponents, and put a hold on it.

6. DeMint confuses Chicago teacher strike with violence in the Middle East.

“On my way over, I was reading another story about a distant place where thugs had put 400,000 children out in the streets. And then I realized that was a story about the Chicago teachers strike,” DeMint said at the 2012 Values Voters summit in September. “But we’ve got to think of good things.”

7. DeMint falsely accuses President Obama of taxing Christmas.

On Fox News in 2011, DeMint said the government was “going to charge taxes on Christmas trees so they can start another government agency to promote Christmas trees. We don’t need to do that at the federal level. We can’t even afford to do what we’re already doing. And to add another tax to something and say we’re going to create a promotion agency, it just makes you want to pull your hair out. 

This statement was in response to a division of the Department of Agriculture proposing that tree importers and producers pay 15 cents per tree, to fund a promotional campaign for Christmas. (The tax was tabled.)

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate