Washington, DC – People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement today in response to the news that Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) will become the next head of the Heritage Foundation:
Today’s announcement blows the cover on the longstanding myth that the Heritage Foundation is a serious think tank, as well as the common misconception that Heritage is focused on fiscal, not social, issues. In fact, like DeMint himself, Heritage has played an active role in pushing rigidly anti-gay, anti-choice dogma while attacking laws that protect the separation between church and state.
Long before he branded himself “Senator Tea Party,” Sen. DeMint was the go-to Senator for leaders of the Religious Right. He has said that he supports banning all openly gay teachers from his state’s public schools; he has consistently voted against women’s reproductive rights, including voting for a bill that would ban late-term abortions even if the woman’s health were at risk; and he’s repeatedly led anti-immigration and anti-gay efforts in Congress.
DeMint’s selection drives home the fact that the Heritage Foundation is less a conservative think tank than a right-wing marketing juggernaut—complete with its own political arm to attack Democrats at election time. When it comes to cheerleading for the GOP and pushing the same extreme right-wing agenda that Americans have rejected in election after election, DeMint and the Heritage Foundation are two peas in a pod.