If Heritage is indeed going to be 'torn apart' by this 'coup' against PCA member Jim DeMint, then I say tear away.
Heritage has been a force for evil, virtually writing the policy of the Reagan, Bush II and now Trump administrations. This 'think-tank' and its operatives have helped to implement policies of economic exploitation and warmongering. From Latin America to Africa and Asia, it was Heritage and the people within its orbit that helped unleash a stream of violent paramilitary and terrorist actions that still reverberate across the world.
Politics over research? Research? Propaganda is more like it. Heritage has churned out an endless stream of statistical manipulations, revisionist history and outright lies. Heritage has never been one to do research with an objective aim. The bias is built in. This is the nature of think-tanks. They're not to be trusted.
It's interesting that even those who support the ousting of DeMint, question the veracity of the formal press release. No one seems too shocked at the idea that the officially sanctioned story is untrue. Indeed in the world of institution and bureaucracy such 'diplomatic' dissimulations are the norm. It would seem that think-tanks committed to 'Conservative' values (and likewise even ecclesiastical denominations) are not exempt from this practice of deception. In the end despite their 'moral' foundations they are bureaucracies. Ultimately power (even if broken up into compartments and miniature hierarchies) always creates its own ethic.
So whether DeMint was over-politicising Heritage or failing to sufficiently capitalise on its 'Action' arm... another bureaucratic loop-hole (or lie)... it doesn't really matter.
In viewing this episode I am once again drawn to consider the general shift in Right-wing GOP politics over the past 7-8 years. I use Paul Ryan as 'Exhibit A'. On the Right-wing extremist fringe in 2010, by 2016 he was viewed as a Centrist and had the party's Right-wing opposing him. Now as Speaker of the House, he's trying desperately to avoid repeating John Boehner's path of frustration and defeat. If he moves an inch toward compromise with the Democrats he'll be labeled a RINO, a 'Republican in name only' and will be rewarded with a primary challenge in 2018. Taking down a Speaker is a long shot to be sure but after what happened to Eric Cantor, anything seems possible.
DeMint as someone who has been in government, in the Senate no less, despite his Right-wing ideology would on many levels be a more pragmatic figure. He would know what is realistic and how things work, and what kind of bluster is a waste of time. On the one hand this makes him valuable to the organisation, on the other hand it will frustrate the ideologues and zealots.
Once again I am reminded of comments made by staffers in the Bush White House. They had to deal with figures like Dobson and other Christian Right leaders but the one they respected was Charles Colson. Colson was on the one hand Nixon's 'hatchet man' known for aggressive policies. And yet when functioning within the world of the Christian Right he was something of a centrist, a realist who knew how to get things done and what kind of coalitions would need to be built in order to accomplish the goals.
I do not say this to compliment him but instead to point out that the realists, the people with hands on experience will often frustrate the visionaries.
Was this the case with DeMint? Or was he the hyper-zealot that was driving Heritage to the fringe? There doesn't seem to be a consensus and though in time more will speak out, it will undoubtedly remain difficult to know exactly what happened. While I would not celebrate or find delight in anyone's fall I am glad to see DeMint removed from his post at Heritage. I hope that maybe he'll reflect, maybe for the first time in his life find honourable work and even better, speak out against the destructive politicising of the truth and its effects on the Church.
But I doubt it.