In the DeMint Era at Heritage, a Shift From Policy to Politics
..but when your base and your wonks want policies that either can’t win or can’t pass constitutional muster, what else can you do?
But under Mr. DeMint, a South Carolinian who gave up his Senate seat last year to take the helm, Heritage has shifted. Long known as an incubator for policy ideas and the embodiment of the party establishment, it has become more of a political organization feeding off the rising populism of the Tea Party movement.
“Politics follows the culture,” Mr. DeMint said in an interview. “The conservative movement has been derelict in not putting together an organized movement across this country.”
In recent months, some of the group’s most prominent scholars have left. Research that seemed to undermine Heritage’s political goals has been squelched, former Heritage officials say. And more and more, the work of policy analysts is tailored for social media.