The DeMint Julep, and Other Christmas Tales of #ThisTown

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 17 2013 10:03 AM

The DeMint Julep, and Other Christmas Tales of #ThisTown

107734312
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, perhaps after an eponymous julep.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The D.C. "cocktail party circuit" is real, and never so real as it becomes in December. Your humble correspondent, who arguably peaked sometime in 2010, was nevertheless put on The List for a few of the city's think tank and media parties.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

So: At the Americans for Tax Reform event, I grabbed a manhattan and talked with some conservative activists about how Obamacare was dooming the Democrats. Popular theory: The party would have to back away from the law, inasmuch as it could. The question was whether Democrats would be able to make the case for single-payer as a replacement (as Brian Schweitzer and his Montana acolytes do) or just run screaming from the wreckage. Seton Motley, who used to work for the Media Research Center and left to start a group called Less Government, was convinced that even Hillary Clinton would have to run against the law in 2016. As we talked, a TV screen ran through slides of the "naughty" and "nice" figures of 2013.

Advertisement

Ezra Klein: Nice, for writing a column that told Democrats to give up on tax increases in this year's budget brinkmanshop.

Sam Brownback: Nice, for leading a conservative policy revolution in Kansas.

Barack Obama: Naughty. No explanation given, though the photo on this was of the days-old Selfie Moment.

Over to the Heritage Foundation's Christmas party—Christmas, not holiday. This was for the media exclusively, and four cocktails had been rebranded for our enjoyment. Parampumpum Politico Punch; On Donner, On Blitzer (for CNN); Hark, the Herald (Jim) Angle Sings (for Fox News); and DeMint Julep. The new president of the think tank was sherpa'd from conversation to conversation by a staffer, rescued by another when the conversation went on too long.

Apparently, ours was one of the draggy convos. DeMint laughed when I called him Mr. President—"I still have business cards that say 'president-elect.' " He did not miss being in the Senate during crunch time, and was cheerful about the think tank's 2014 agenda, all positivity and educating the public on how the health care law was hurting them and inducing socialism. The only way Republicans could screw it up, he said, was if "they bring up immigration again." Little chance of that. Merry Christmas!

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 29 2014 10:00 PM “Everything Must Change in Italy” An interview with Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 29 2014 1:52 PM Do Not Fear California’s New Affirmative Consent Law
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 29 2014 12:01 PM This Is Your MOM’s Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.