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

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

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)
  • 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)
  • 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)