Posts Tagged ‘Jim DeMint’

Jim DeMint: Brace for a fight

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Welcome, Senate Conservatives
Remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom.

Many of the people who will be welcoming the new class of Senate conservatives to Washington never wanted you here in the first place. The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Consider what former GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told the Washington Post earlier this year: “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.”

Don’t let them. Co-option is coercion. Washington operates on a favor-based economy and for every earmark, committee assignment or fancy title that’s given, payback is expected in return. The chits come due when the roll call votes begin. This is how big-spending bills that everyone always decries in public always manage to pass with just enough votes.

But someone can’t be bribed if they aren’t for sale. Here is some humble advice on how to recognize and refuse such offers.

First, don’t request earmarks. If you do, you’ll vote for legislation based on what’s in it for your state, not what’s best for the country. You will lose the ability to criticize wasteful spending. And, if you dare to oppose other pork-barrel projects, the earmarkers will retaliate against you.

Read the whole thing.

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DeMint’s trip to Honduras is on; UPDATE: photo from the visit

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

… at least for now: Update: A source at the US Senate has confirmed to me that the trip is on. See also update below.

Following up on last night’s post on John Kerry’s political blackmail, it looks like Mitch McConnell

used his leadership position to authorize DeMint’s trip through the Department of Defense, and not the State Department, which is customary for Senate overseas travel.

The Washington Post also confirms that

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) denounced Kerry’s move on the Senate floor and sought the intervention of the minority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The Republican leader appealed to the Defense Department to provide an aircraft for DeMint’s trip and the Pentagon agreed to do so, according to the South Carolina senator’s office.

You would think that, having read the Law Library of Congress’ report on Honduras: Constitutional Law Issues, John Kerry and the Democrat senators would at least have an inkling as to why a member of the Senate may want to go on a fact-finding trip to the country.

But then, that’s because you’d think they might have bothered to read the report in the first place.

(Thanks to commenter Pete for the link)

And,
Betsy:

Senators put holds on nominees and bills all the time. It’s not an attractive aspect of the Senate that an individual senator can block action by using such holds, but it’s what they do up there in the Senate. In fact, Senator Kerry wasn’t above using a hold or a threat of a hold when he didn’t like something that the Bush administration was doing as he did back in 2006. When he was senator, Obama did it too. What is different is trying to use his position as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee to exact revenge on a senator who is putting a hold that the chairman doesn’t like.

Fortunately, Kerry’s power play didn’t work. DeMint is getting his trip to Honduras because Mitch McConnell stepped in. John Kerry would benefit himself from some on-the-ground research on what has been going on in Honduras. But he’d rather stake out a position without researching for himself what happened with the ouster of Zelaya. Do other senators really agree that a chairman can try to block other senators’ overseas trips if they’re angry about that senator using one of their prized senatorial privileges? The Democrats should remember that what goes around comes around. One day they will be in the minority. Do they want to endorse John Kerry’s precedent of how to use his power as chairman?

In other Honduras news
Brazil named a new ambassador to Honduras (h/t Dick), since the prior ambassador was on vacation since before Zelaya was ousted. It’ll be interesting to see how the embassy acommodates his arrival while Zelaya’s there, exhorting his supporters to revolt on his behalf.

In Honduras, pres. Micheletti appeared at the Supreme Court to explain why he suspended civil liberties. His decision is being debated by the Concil of Ministers today.

La Gringa reported yesterday that Honduran Bishop Juan Jose Pineda is proposing the creation of a Tegucigalpa accord, instead of the foreign-led San Jose Accord,

Bishop Pineda has acted as the mediator between President Roberto Micheletti and ex-president Manuel Zelaya this past week, so he is in the best position to know whether it will be accepted by both. He was confidant that Hondurans are able to sit around the negotiating table and come to a Honduran solution themselves. OAS Special Adviser John Biehl also has said that he found a strong willingness for dialogue.

The plan is that President Micheletti and ex-president Zelaya will each select 2-3 honorable and responsible representatives. The Unión Civicá Democrática (the association of civic groups) and the “Resistencia” will each also select 2-3 representatives. An international mediator will be selected.

I’ll be talking about these stories in this morning’s podcast at 11AM Eastern.

UPDATE
Two IL Congressmen leave for Honduras fact-finding trip (h/t Dick)

Despite attempts by Senator John Kerry to shut down DeMint’s fact-finding trip, IL Congressmen Peter Roskam and Aaron Schock are headed to Central America today to gather info for Congress about Honduras upcoming election preparations. From Roskam’s office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, announced that he will lead a delegation of U.S. Congressmen to Honduras today. The group will include U.S. Representatives Peter Roskam (R-Illinois), Aaron Schock (R-Illinois), and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado). They plan to meet with Honduran President Roberto Micheletti, members of the Honduran Supreme Court, election officials, and Honduran business and civic leaders.

Welcome, Gateway Pundit readers. Please visit often!

UPDATE 2
Senadores republicanos llegan a Honduras para reunirse con presidente Micheletti
Los senadores Jim DeMinty y Aaron Schock se encuentran en la comitiva.

Noticias 24 has photo:

DeMintMicheletti

Kerry’s political blackmail

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

peekahike

Kerry blocks DeMint trip to Honduras

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blocked Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) trip to Honduras slated to begin Friday, according to DeMint’s office.

But the chairman’s office claimed that the DeMint trip was stopped because the South Carolina Republican is blocking two of President Barack Obama’s nominations: Auturo [sic] Valenzuela, Obama’s nominee to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Tom Shannon, the current assistant secretary and nominee to be ambassador to Brazil.

Political blackmail, barefaced tit-for-tat, “do what I say or else”, call it what you may, but Kerry’s totally open about it:

Kerry spokesman Frederick Jones responded Thursday evening that “Senator DeMint’s statement wins an A for ‘audacity.’”

“The Foreign Relations Committee always prefers to operate in a bi-partisan and collegial fashion, and it did so when it approved these two nominees by votes of 14 to 4 for Mr. Shannon and 15 to 4 for Mr. Valenzuela,” Jones told The Hill in a statement. “But now Sen. DeMint refuses to let the nominations of two distinguished public servants even be considered on the floor of the Senate.”

“When Senator DeMint lifts these holds and allows these individuals to receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor, the Committee will approve his travel to Honduras, a country that is in the middle of delicate, political crisis.”

If the crisis is that delicate, why doesn’t Kerry himself go? Can his support of Zelaya bear no scrutiny?

Follow-up post, Friday 2 October
DeMint’s trip to Honduras is on