September 10, 2013
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint.
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint.(Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call)

A short time ago I wrote about the House GOP’s falling out with Heritage Action over the latter’s skulduggery over the farm bill. Now we can see more clearly how inane Heritage’s objection was to a bill that would have separated out food stamps, long a goal of conservatives.

Heritage’s latest position, in favor of a simple extension, was vilified last year  —by Heritage: “[S]ticking with bad policy—even for the short term—is not the solution. . . Real reform will require entirely new legislation—without piecemeal handouts to ranchers—and more of the backbone glimpsed in the House this week.” No wonder the GOP House members are annoyed by the holier-than-thou conservative gang.

Moreover, Heritage Action is now in full campaign mode — against Republicans on its suicidal shutdown strategy to “defund” Obamacare. The Los Angeles Times reports:

The Heritage event, which drew about 700 conservative activists, was aimed not at Obama or Democrats but at the area’s six-term Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who was not among the 80 House Republicans to sign a letter urging Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to embrace the [shutdown] strategy. Boehner could bring the issue to the House floor for a vote as soon as Thursday.

Murphy, a psychologist who has focused on health policy, would seem an unlikely target. On that same muggy August night, he was about 30 miles away in the council chambers of the little city of Washington, Pa., warning government officials and business leaders about the 2010 healthcare law.

In a slide-show presentation, he noted that elements of the law were being delayed by the administration and said rates would shoot up in some states. “The truth is, the government isn’t ready,” he said.

Murphy has voted with his party many times this year to undercut or repeal the Affordable Care Act and has backed legislation to strip its funding. As chairman of the energy and commerce subcommittee on investigations and oversight, he’s called numerous hearings on the law, including one in July on the administration’s decision to delay the mandate that certain employers provide insurance for their workers or pay a fee. But to some in the conservative movement, that’s not enough.

Nothing is ever enough, you see.

The transformation of Heritage from a source of intellectually honest and consistent conservative scholarship to renegade anti-Republican and anti-sane governance is a remarkable, and very sad thing to watch.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.