Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DeMint making noise with soundbites

Somebody give this guy a mic, and don't take it away from him.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint continues to make news with his words, on issues ranging from TARP to The Fairness Doctrine; from the hulking Wilderness Preservation bill to Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearings (see our Jim DeMint news label for more). The AP has drunk the philter of DeMint, and pronounced that moonshine good.

Stories in the last week featuring DeMint's zippy quips:

First, there was DeMint's powerful stand on Sunday against S.22, an omnibus bill of epic proportions, one that compressed 160 separate bills into one Leviathan.

"We should not have to pass all of these things that are not needed in order to get those things that are."

Well, they did pass it, with many in his party voting for it. DeMint railed:

"I smell the same stale air of good old boy, backslapping, lobbyist-driven politics. This is not the greatest deliberative body in the world. This is the greatest chokehold body in the world."

And yet, lest he be typecast as the angry crusader, there was another DeMint -- one tossing aside the popular misconception he'd take down Hillary. That tact's success lay in its counterintuitive message, and Hillary couldn't have been more thrilled-- if the deeply principled DeMint didn't anticipate ethics problems, how could there possibly be any?

"I think she's a known commodity. She's been tested in a lot of ways. She expresses herself well, and I don't think she'll make any rookie mistakes."

We also noted his spirit of cooperation in praising Obama's pick for Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, proving that DeMint isn't out to establish his name as the perpetually frowning Uncle, but as a voice which rises against liberalism where necessary, and soothes frayed partisanship, where possible.

And now, he's got another impressive soundbite the media's caught onto, one in which he dismisses Rahm Emanuel's assurances on the second tranche of TARP:

"I'd have to make a more detailed presentation to borrow $10,000 from my local bank."

And the funny thing is, we all probably believe him.