Major Shakeup at Heritage Foundation Worries Conservatives

It was reported this week that Jim DeMint, who is something of a conservative icon, is being forced out of his position at the head of the influential Heritage Foundation think tank. According to sources inside the organization, DeMint is being asked to leave as internal forces battle it out about the direction of the conservative activist group.

Fox News, which is undergoing its own major changes, reported that DeMint is likely a victim of Heritage Action for America’s Michael Needham:

Needham complained to Heritage’s board of trustees that the foundation under DeMint was becoming too political with its outreach and messaging — not on its founding mission of crafting conservative policy — especially when Heritage Action was created in 2010 for such purposes, sources said.

Needham has declined to discuss the matter but praised DeMint on “Fox News Sunday” as a “patriot.”

“I’m not going to add to the speculation and rumor,” Needham said. “The Heritage Foundation is an institution that is committed to formulating and promoting conservative policies. And that is not going to change.”

Some sources, however, say the changes at Heritage have less to do with practical matters like steering clear of political campaigning and more to do with an ideological shift in direction. Rebekah Mercer is a prominent member of the board as well as a major financial force behind the Donald Trump political machine. Mercer is reportedly pushing the board to replace DeMint with someone whose finger is a little closer to the pulse of modern American conservatism. Someone like…Mr. Stephen Bannon.

It’s difficult to say what’s behind the shakeup until the major players start talking openly, but for now, many Republicans who partially owe their Washington careers to the Heritage Foundation are speaking out against his ousting. DeMint, who was a significant force behind the development of the Tea Party, is finding a groundswell of support from Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and others on Capitol Hill.

“We think they’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who can do better than him,” an anonymous source told the New York Post. “It’s really a loss for them. You have someone who was in the Senate who could pick up the phone and call Cruz or Rubio whenever he wanted. I’m not sure anyone who replaces him could do that overnight.”

It’s baffling to see these conservative institutions crumbling in the wake of one of the Republican Party’s greatest modern victories. Hopefully, conservatism and Trumpism can merge into one force in the coming years and we can get beyond the political infighting that has kept true progress from being realized.

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76 comments

  1. Losing Demint will lose my support.

  2. Joan Ferrantesimplyme

    You will not be the only one!!!?

  3. No more $$$ Heritage.I like Jim DeMint.

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  4. Unlike liberals and the media, I will wait, for the facts, before I make a judgement.

  5. Maybe they “BROKE” Jim!

  6. I walked away from Heritage, when Jim DeMint shocked me on a news letter I received early in Trumps running for President.. That I actually sent a letter back retorting of my disappointment of him and resigned from Heritage. No No you need to look back, I am from SC and it tore my heart what he did.

  7. I REMEMBER JIM DE MINT AS A VERY CONSERVATIVE SENATOR,WHAT HAS CHANGED? HIS IDEOLOGY OR THE HERITAGE MONEY BAGS. SOMEHOW. ,I FEAR THAT INTER MURAL INFIGHTING IS NOT TO OUR BEST INTERESTS. IF CONSERVATIVES WERE AS UNITED AS LIBERALS, WE WOULD BE UNBEATABLE!!!

    • headonstraight

      Conservatives will NEVER be united as long as a substantial fraction of them embrace a politically untenable doctrine that demands rigid adherance to every single one of a fixed set of allegedly indispensible tenets of an extremist ideology. Republicans who differ even slightly from such demands are considered tainted and are ostracized and branded as RINOs. Too many conservatives have not yet learned a truly indispensible principle, namely that POLITICS IS THE ART OF COMPROMISE! It is an amusing spectacle to behold. From wherever they are, Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill are watching with mixed amusement and disgust. Likewise LBJ and Everett Dirksen.

      • It’s very easy to spot a RINO.
        Wherever they travel, they leave behind large piles of poop!

      • You mean like Tim Perez who said that a liberal that was “progressive” in every other aspect but who was pro-life was not welcomed in the Democratic party? That kind of “rigid adherence”?

        • Michael Dennewitz

          Is that headuphisass coming in here still??????

        • headonstraight

          Neither Perez nor any other Democrat or member of any other party tells me what issues I choose to support or oppose. And I do not automatically disavow any Democrat who disagrees with me on any particular political issue. Yes, there are those in both parties who demand rigid adherence, but the GOP is where such widespread, adamantine hardheadedness is doing the party damage.

          • davesnrakleberger

            the GOP leadership is self inflicting damage on the party, not hard-headed conservatives who do not like the idea of compromise as it pertains to the constitution.

          • The GOP accepts those who are center right to those who are far right and everyone in between. The liberals only accept communists as that is what they have become. They eat their own if they don’t tow the party line. Look at all the people they bully if they express an interest in doing the right thing and working with the republicans for the good of ALL Americans. They haven’t been the working man’s party in several decades.

      • davesnrakleberger

        you make some good points, but in defense of my position, I have not seen anything productive come out of the GOP establishment in 12 years. The only thing Mitch has done other than to lie to his party and his constituency is block Obama’s SCOTUS nominee. It has become very clear to me that Ryan and McConnell are purposefully and maliciously obstructing Trump and I am sick and tired of being lied to by those two and many others. Yes, I use the term RINO with abandon and I’d like to ask you why folks who violate their oath of office, ignore their voters, should not be held accountable and be voted out at the soonest opportunity.

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        • The GOP is full of Left leaning spies. Only until receintly has this become obvious.

          Elite Democrats = Elite Republicans = Elite MEDIA = Big Government Dictators.

          The Elites have morphed our Nation from one of the people, by the people and for the people, to a Government of the Elites, By the Elites, and for the Control of the people.

          That type of Government has been called Communism, and always had dictators.

      • Conservatives are independent free thinking individuals,

        Leftists are not.

  8. It will be very interesting on how Heritage spins this story. As a member, I will wait before I send in my dues.

  9. davesnrakleberger

    I am through supporting Heritage. It is obvious they are supporting the establishment Republicans and are therefore not conservative. Hell, Jeb, McCain, and plenty of RINOs claim they are conservatives. I will support DeMint where ever he goes.
    bye bye Heritage.

    • headonstraight

      Conservatives will NEVER be united as long as a substantial fraction of them embrace a politically untenable doctrine that dinsists upon rigid adherance to every single one of a fixed set of allegedly indispensible tenets of an extremist ideology. You appear to have aligned yourself with these malcontents.

      Republicans who differ even slightly from such demands are ostracized and branded as RINOs. Too many conservatives have failed to come to terms with a truly indispensible principle, namely that POLITICS IS THE ART OF COMPROMISE!

      It is an amusing spectacle to behold. From wherever they are, Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill are watching with mixed amusement and disgust. Likewise LBJ and Everett Dirksen.

      • I didn’t know that adhering to the US Constitution was extremism.

        • headonstraight

          It’s not, but promoting an extremist, wild-ass interpretation of the Constitution IS extremism!
          Besides, much of the ultraconservative criticism of Obama had little or nothing to do with the Constitution.

  10. At this point I will take the “Wait and See” approach to whether or not I continue to
    support “The Heritage Foundation”. If I see them backing down from a strong
    conservative direction they I will no longer be able to support them. I like the
    direction that Jim DeMint led the foundation and it followed my own convictions.
    If I see them pulling back from those goals and ideal then I will know quickly they
    have lost the backing of the American People who love our freedom and our
    Constitution. It won’t take long to see if they have turned their backs on the
    Conservatives in our Nation and become just another mouth piece for the useless
    left wing Anti American Liberals.

    • I agree, James. I really like the way Jim DeMint was leading Hreitage, and I have a lot more confidence in his leadership than I do in those (that I don’t know) who ousted him!

  11. Dont call bannon a mr.

  12. It appears that Heritage is probably drifting left. DeMint has been considered to be a staunch conservative, and if he has become a problem, that tells me Heritage is going the wrong way.

  13. Steve Bannon, oh my gosh. This is the man who wants to destroy all that is Constitutional in our country in my opinion. He is the “destroyer” as far as I am concerned.. The worst thing in the world that could happen to the Heritage Foundation is to put this man in place of Jim De Mint. What a disastrous thing this would be.. I don’t think that I could ever support the Heritage Foundation again with this man at the helm.. count me out if De Mint leaves.

  14. IT had better be for the betterment on America……

  15. Hmmmm —— SOROCRATS ?????

  16. Yesterday I e-mailed my feelings to [email protected]
    Bring back DeMint or lose my membership. Bannon an Alt-Right….really??

    • Yes, really! Bannon has personally identified himself with the Alt-Right:

      “We’re the platform for the alt-right,” Bannon told me proudly when I interviewed him at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in July. Though disavowed by every other major conservative news outlet, the alt-right has been Bannon’s target audience ever since he took over Breitbart News from its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, four years ago. Under Bannon’s leadership, the site has plunged into the fever swamps of conservatism, cheering white nationalist groups as an “eclectic mix of renegades,” accusing President Barack Obama of importing “more hating Muslims,” and waging an incessant war against the purveyors of “political correctness.”

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news

  17. I have followed Jim DeMint’s career for years even though I am not from SC. I have always considered him a true Conservative and trusted his decisions. I will wait to see how this shakes out, but if they are moving to the left I will no longer support them. I have not supported the RNC since 2007 because of the direction the Rino’s were leading the party.

    • I agree. I fund nothing that is directly put out by the RNC. I support individual candidates. i.e., Pres Trump, Sheriff Clark.

  18. As we would say down south, I think Ms. Mercer is gettin’ too big for her britches.

    • I hope that she is no relation to Johnny Mercer. He was from Alabama, I believe. His songs were All-American, and just the best. He and four others were the best ever.
      They were Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin.

      • Johnny Mercer was from Georgia. The Savannah area still remembers him fondly. A local general aviation airport there is named for him.

  19. Maudlean Spires

    I think that the conservative groups realize that there are some of the radical right that will need to be brought more toward the center of the thought process to keep the republican party in power. The democrats are allowing the radicals in their party to take control and it is this contingent that we see marching and rioting every day that will be their downfall in the future. The majority of America is not like this group of trouble makers and this core of voters will be the ones that decide the future of America.

    • Define radical right. To most of us, it means defending the Constitution as written, to begin with.

      • Maudlean Spires

        In the last election I think that a lot of the fringe democrats voted for President Trump. They could not stomach the thought of voting for Hildebeast. The ones that were out attacking Trump supporters for having signs in their yards or bumper stickers on their cars were a little too radical for their normal democratic thoughts. They instead crossed over and voted against all of the radical elements of their party. This is the group that probably decided the election in a lot of swing states that were so close. This is the group that we need to bring into the republican party permanently to insure that we remain in office in a lot of closely contested areas. The radical right that I speak of is the group that the left has coined to be the racists and the hate members of the right that sometimes are used to portray us all as being that way. We must be willing to be inclusive if we are to remain in the majority. President Trump has been found to be supported by a large amount of Hispanics according to polls. The demographics of our population and country are changing and we have to be inclusive or they will identify as democrats and vote accordingly. I would not profile any of our people in our group as being radical because they go out and march or protest things that they perceive as being wrong according to the laws of our nation. That is trying to change the wrongs in a peaceful manner. The left doing what they do is not trying to bring about change in a peaceful manner. They will burn, ransack and destroy to make their points. Their tactics are what drove a lot of their voters away from them and unless they change they will never return. The things that I see and read about in the news that the left’s radicals say and do make me wonder about them and their thinking. Why would a Hollywood eliteist say what Colbert said about President Trump? If we had been so vulgar toward Obama the same ones that are saying these things about President Trump would have persecuted us for saying what they have said. We would have been called racists and anything else that they could have thought of. I hope that we can bring sanity back to our way of life. It gave me great hope for our nation when we won the election but the depths of disrespect that the left has stooped to makes me wonder if we can ever change for the good. The left has had eight years to destroy and radicalize the thought processes of people. I hope that there are enough God fearing and patriotic people left in America to bring about the revolution that I thought had started with with President Trump’s election. Nothing short of complete change is required to bring us back to where we need to be. The democrats and some of the republicans in office will have to be removed to bring the change that is needed. President Trump has been met with roadblocks at every hint of change. We will have to get rid of the ones challenging change to make it possible. I fear that it will never come about.

  20. just like fox news is being forced to change under the jack booted thugs from the left….why not heritage….what exactly is so friggin great about the left and the democrat party….but the left spreads its diseases every where like the plague and many fall for their baloney..

  21. This is disturbing news. I have to think this was all planned before hand and now that we have won, the organization will swing left against all of us who support “REAL” CONSERVATIVE values. Just like the rhino republicans, who are working against us and for the NWO/GLOBALIST, our influence has been compromised by removing Jim. I will reserve judgement, for now, and listen more carefully when I get the usual call. Please pray for the survival of our country.

  22. Heritage is a prestigious large organization. It appears that they have been targeted for takeover by some group that wants that prestige and the power that goes with it; not an unusual occurrence. I have stopped my support due to this blatant power grab. Perhaps Heritage Foundation should come clean to the membership. so far I have been treated like a mushroom: kept in the dark and fed ___t like “…DeMint submitted his resignation (oh my!).

  23. Jim DeMint was my number one choice for the White House when he left the Senate, or was about to. He is still the best conservative around, bar none, I think.

  24. THE GREATEST ANTI AMERICAN IMPOSTER OF ALL TIME IS OBAMA BIN LENIN BIN LADEN. AS AMERICANS 2,000 KILLED 20,000 WOUNDED WERE SHREDDED TO PIECES BY IED’S WITH IRANIAN COPPER LUGS. OBAMA PAID CASH FASTER THAN A BENGHAZI RESCUE AND HIS COMMUNIST MEDIA COVERED UP THE COMBAT LOSSES. YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ONE OF THEM, OBAMA AND HIS MEDIA DISGUISED THE BODIES AS NATO TROOPS TO BE IDENTIFIED LATER. LATER NEVER CAME ONLY RACE CARDS.
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spiritofamericapartybook/2017/05/07/you-cant-be-a-christian-and-a-democrat

    • Think you’ll find Congress sent them, during Bush admin. Whoops!!!!!!!!!!! Unlikely to be Iranian – any substance? That’s right they own the media – ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!!!!

  25. It’s no surprise that the left wants to convert the Heritage Foundation to the left. The left cannot abide dissenting voices and will silence them by any means possible/necessary.

  26. Cookie Vranish

    The problem appears to me as one of swamp people not wanting to be drained. Trump is actually a 1960’s Democrat which I and many others are. The old guard is a bunch of losers such as John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Romney and so many I can’t list them all. All that has to be done is follow the leader which is Donald J Trump. He can save the country. These others are just a cancer that continue to bleed our country down. They are no better than the Democrats!

  27. The sudden removal of Jim DeMint , has many worried as to what direction Heritage is headed. Especially, since they offer no reason for the dismissal. Agreed, the lack of Unification within the Conservative Movement simply indicates weakness. If you want Leadership, then begin to lead.

  28. sine Jim DeMint has been replaced, heritage Foundation will NEVER get another donation from me! It is a sad day for CONSERVATIVES

  29. Well – time to pull donations and funding from these A-Holes too…

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