New at American Thinker – Doubting Daniels

I’ve got a new post up at American Thinker, which elaborates on my deep skepticism toward Mitchmania. Here’s an excerpt:
For starters, I must have been watching a different channel Tuesday night, because I certainly didn’t see a rhetorical tour de force. Though well-constructed as prose, the text of Daniels’ speech fell short as argument because it was high on generalities and platitudes, but decidedly lacking in clear specifics about either Obama’s abysmal presidency or the content of his address. Daniels’ assertion that America’s challenges “aren’t matters of ideology” but “simply mathematical” problems with “purely practical” answers is the polar opposite of reality.
And if the content was lacking, the delivery was worse — Daniels’ dry, monotone presentation came across as a lack of passion that undermined what little force his words held. If someone really believes 2012 is “maybe our last” chance to save the country, you’d expect him to get a little emotional about it. Do these people really not understand that people flocked to Gingrich because he channels not just disagreement, but righteous indignation at what Obama is doing to their country?
Read the whole thing here.

Return of the Daniels Delusion

So there’s a new website collecting signatures to urge Mitch Daniels to throw his hat into the presidential ring.

Er, why?

This is the guy who 1) issued an idiotic call for a delusional, undefined “truce” on social issues; 2) wasn’t exactly a fiscal crusader either as Bush’s OMB director or as Governor of Indiana; 3) caved on Right to Work in Indiana; 4) pushed an ObamaCare-stylestate health plan of his own; 5) came out against an Arizona-style immigration law, and advocated dropping the “law enforcement provisions that have been the ones that have bothered most people”; and supports 6) a value-added tax, 7) a tax on imported oil, and 8) risky defense cuts. 
So please, explain to me what void in the current field Mitch Daniels fills? What qualities does he bring to the table that make him particularly well-suited to either defeat Barack Obama or be a particularly effective president?

Today’s Snapshot of Conservatism in Crisis

Steven Ertelt at LifeNews reports that GOP presidential wannabe Mitch Daniels still hasn’t gotten the message on the “truce” crap:

“I guess two things,” Daniels added. “One is that, first, those remarks were directed as much to the aggressors on the other side of these questions — for instance, the proponents of gay marriage — as much directed to them as anybody with whom I’m in agreement.”

Asked if liberals have called a truce on social issues, Daniels responded, “No, obviously not. I said I was thinking of them as much as my own allies when I said it,” he said about the truce.

Wait – so you think a.) that liberals would be willing to accept a truce on social issues, and b.) that they’d be willing to do so for the purpose of enacting conservative fiscal reforms? Does anyone else see how mind-blowingly stupid this is? Mitch Daniels is unfit to be president simply for being so clueless.

“The major point, though, was something different, and it was just this: I believe…. that the arithmetic of our times says we are headed for Niagara Falls, fiscally. You cannot run any kind of enterprise — private or public — on a self-governing basis as deeply in hawk as we now are and are going to be,” Daniels added. “…. to change the whole size and scope of the federal government in a radical way, then we are going to need a very broad constituency in this country to do that…. so that’s all I meant, kind of a priority matter, first things first. Maybe we could just concentrate on that for a little while, because I think that’s the most immediate threat to the republic we’ve known.”

The fiscal crisis is already at the forefront of the conservative conversation. There are no social conservatives calling on economic conservatives to put spending, ObamaCare, or any other issues on the back burner for the sake of fighting abortion or preserving marriage. Congressional Republicans are letting us down on the fiscal front, but it’s not because they’re distracted by social issues; it’s because they’re inept and spineless across the board.

Later in the interview, The Hill transcript indicates, Daniels returned to the truce issue, saying fiscal issues should take precedence and social issues like abortion should be “muted” for awhile.

“I would like to think that fixing it and saving our kids future could be a unifying moment for our country and we wouldn’t stop our disagreements or our passionate belief in these other questions, we just sort of mute them for a little while, while we try to come together on the thing that menaces us all,” he concluded.

Let me try to explain something to you, Mitch: abortion isn’t controversial because it’s “sinful” or “distasteful.” It’s controversial because IT KILLS PEOPLE. 1.2 MILLION DEAD BABIES EVERY YEAR. It’s not just another political issue; it’s a human rights crisis. (You claim to be pro-life. There’s no excuse for you to not already get this.) And if you really understood what our Founders thought about the conditions necessary to maintain a free society, you’d see that the fate of marriage has profound implications for America’s fiscal state.

This response is dead on:

“We cannot repair the economy without addressing the deep cultural issues that are tearing apart the family and society,” said Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Project.  “The conservative movement has always been about addressing ALL issues—economic, social and national security—that are in need of repair.”

“It’s unfortunate Gov. Daniels doesn’t seem to understand the winning philosophy of Ronald Reagan that brought conservatism to victory by addressing all three issues,” said Frank Cannon, President of American Principles Project.  “If Mitch Daniels is planning to run for president by running away from social issues, he will face a grassroots revolt.”

“The national furor over the expansion of abortion coverage and efforts to re-define marriage demonstrates the resistance he will face.  There is no appetite among grassroots conservatives to run away from these critical issues,” said Mr. Blom.  “Mr. Daniels is only causing divisions in the movement by this talk of a ‘truce.’”

I often wonder how many people realize the full extent of just how screwed up the Right is these days. I’m reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words in Peoria, Illinois. Speaking of a similar cancerous confusion over first principles, he lamented that our “republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust.” He said we needed to “repurify it,” to “wash it in white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution”:

Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south—let all Americans—let all lovers of liberty everywhere—join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations.