From The New York Times:
Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who predicted that President Obama’s effort to overhaul the health care system would become his “Waterloo,” is doing his best to make that happen.
Taking questions from a friendly crowd of 500 people here the other day, Mr. DeMint did little to correct their misimpressions about health care legislation but rather reinforced their worst fears.
When one man said the major House bill would give the government electronic access to bank accounts, Mr. DeMint told him the bill was never about health care. “This is about more government control,” he declared. “If it was about health care, we could get it done in a couple of weeks.”
And why does he keep lying about it? Because it is good for his politics:
More recently, in mid-July, he crystallized what Democrats said was the Republicans’ true goal in the health care debate.
“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo,” he said in a conference call with conservative activists, according to Politico.com. “It will break him.”
Now, with Congress set to return to Washington on Sept. 8, polls show that support for health care legislation has indeed eroded, and Mr. DeMint takes partial credit.
“We’ve definitely got him on the run,” he said in an interview.
He said that stopping the overhaul “has the potential of changing the whole political dynamic in this country,” both by halting other Obama policies, like the cap-and-trade approach to limiting emissions of the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming, and by reviving the Republicans in next year’s elections.
But Mr. DeMint distances himself from both parties. As he put it, “None of us wants the people who ran cash for clunkers or who cleaned up after Katrina to be between us and our doctors.”