Top Links: Everything you always wanted to know about Jim DeMint and Heritage (but were afraid to ask)

Jim DeMint: "the CEO of the conservative movement"
Jim DeMint: "the CEO of the conservative movement"
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

We present the complete guide to Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation as well as a few other headlines we’ll be talking about at 4 p.m.

    • Jim DeMint is leaving his Senate seat four years early to take a position as head of the Heritage Foundation think tank. Why is this important? Because DeMint is now the “CEO of the conservative movement.” (NBC News)
    • Jim DeMint: “I’m a policy nerd.” Riiiiight. (Allen McDuffee)
    • So why’d he bolt? Hmm, why would a guy who gets paid about $174,000 leave for the only think tank job that pays more than $1 million—and that still lets him throw the same monkey wrenches into his party’s operations? We just don’t know. (Wonkblog) and (Politico)
    • Let us now remember the enlightened record of Mr. DeMint. And by enlightened we mean anything but. (Think Progress)
    • Actually, DeMint’s legislative record this term stands for itself: He’s a perfect 0-for-35 when trying to turn his bills into law. (OpenCongress)
    • As does the complete 2010/2012 history of how DeMint cost Republicans a Senate majority. (Talking Points Memo)
    • But don’t think DeMint is done recruiting Senate primary candidates who can’t win: “If DeMint uses Heritage like he used the Senate Conservatives Fund—which spent $13.8 million this cycle—incumbent GOP senators may feel his wrath.” (Roll Call)
    • In fact, DeMint proved in his Fox News interview Thursday, he and math are not friends. (Nicholas Beaudrot)
    • What is the Heritage Foundation, exactly? “Nominally a think-tank with a 501(c)4 arm that can … engage in campaign activity, Heritage looks increasingly like the reverse: a political pressure organization with a policy research arm. And its policy research is increasingly incidental and low in quality.” Ouch. (The Ticker)
    • Wait, where have we heard of the Heritage Foundation before? “Nearly half of the advisers to Mitt Romney’s presidential effort were former or current Heritage scholars.” That’s it. (The Washington Post)
    • And cue “The Odd Couple” theme: Heritage birthed the “individual mandate” for healthcare, which Jim DeMint vigorously opposed. (The Atlantic Wire)
    • How’d he get the job? Well, like anything in this world: It’s whom you know. “The current head of [Heritage’s political arm, which runs ads for and against candidates] got there after spending 2007 and 2008 on the Hill, working with a Republican senator who wanted to keep the party pure. The senator’s name was Jim DeMint.” (Slate)
    • Conservative reaction? Well, one giddy Republican says DeMint is now conservatives’ Ben Affleck. Oh, yeah: Ben. Affleck. (Roll Call)
    • But not everyone is happy. Conservative grenade thrower (and semi-professional Romney pitchman) Jennifer Rubin says, “Good riddance, Mr. DeMint” (Right Turn)
    • So who could replace DeMint? Maybe Rep. Tim Scott, which would make him the only black person in the Senate. (The Fix)
    • Or it could be the man who turned “hiking the Appalachian trail” into a euphemism for sex: Mark Sanford. (Washington Wire)
    • Then again, Haley could pick a placeholder and let Scott, Sanford and whomever else battle it out in two years. (National Review)

And in other headlines ..

  • How bad has the constitutional crisis-born violence gotten in Egypt? This bad: “I never thought I would say this, but even Mubarak was more savvy when he spoke in a time of crisis.” (The New York Times)
  • Understand the Egyptian crisis with a single frame of video (The Lede)
  • New York Times v. Sullian is sort of important if you enjoy free speech. Justice Antonin Scalia hates it. (Erik Wemple)
  • Turns out, the GOP did back Todd Akin after saying it wouldn’t. Nice, guys. (Politico)
  • Don’tcha hate it when your fiscal cliff parliamentary tactic to make Senate Democrats look stupid blows up in your face? (The Caucus)