FROM POLITICS: DAILY"
Here's a theory about Sen. Jim DeMint. Though he lists himself as a Republican, he's really a Democratic mole.
Why else would he make such blatantly partisan comments about health care reform, all the time, which play so easily into the other side's hands? When DeMint speaks, everyone bristles. He is able to do the impossible: unite Democrats. In anger.
He's now taken to taunting his opponents about their disarray over health care legislation: "I'm very pleased that my Democratic colleagues have rejected the president's strategy to force through a bad bill before anyone has had a chance to read it."
He's kidding, right? Senators don't read bills. They leave that to the lobbyists.
That gem followed his remark a few days earlier that he hoped health care would become President Obama's "Waterloo."
All he does is give the president easy openings, so he can look at the camera and piously say, "This isn't about me personally" before launching into a story about someone being abused by the current system. And lord knows there are plenty of those. So, actually, Obama doesn't need the help.
Perhaps DeMint really is a true-red (as opposed to true-blue) member of the GOP -- just another illustrious South Carolina Republican. Maybe he has decided that his best chance to stand out in the crowd is to be the party's "enforcer," like the hockey team's nasty brawler.
If so, he's trying to shove aside a legend who is still very much a part of the game. There will never be another Newt Gingrich, who has been the main mean man ever since he came to Washington. If DeMint is trying to knock off Gingrich, he's tilting at windbags.
Newt has taught us that taking the low road to new heights can be the shortest way to lofty ambitions, even with a few downfalls along the way.
Still, it shouldn't be long before DeMint joins him on the list of those mentioned as presidential prospects, right along with Sarah Palin.
Then, if the Democrats implode over health care, which certainly looks possible, he can claim credit.
If things really work out for DeMint, he can become the next "fresh" face who gets ahead by practicing the same stale kind of confrontation. It's nice to know that success can still come the old-fashioned way: cheap-shot politics.
Of course, there is that possibility he's been put there by the Democrats to overplay the GOP's hand. That would be easier to believe if the Dems were that clever. They're not. They prefer spending their time bashing each other. They don't really need to be demeaned by DeMint. They do that to themselves.