I gather from The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin that Mitch Daniels has signed his own political death warrant within his party:
Last night both Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) had their opportunity in the national limelight to advance their position in their fights against public-employee unions and to advance their own careers. To the surprise of many, Walker shined and Daniels did not.
In short, Daniels caved, perhaps the surest sign yet that he's not running for president or doesn't understand what conservatives expect of a presidential candidate. He told his own party to stand down on right-to-work legislation....
As one very smart Republican insider put it, "I guess Mitch really isn't running." ... Katrina Trinko at the Corner comments:
Daniels may be making the wrong call in thinking that a push for right-to-work laws will risk the outcome of his education reform. Or he may not be. But it does appear that what he's doing is prioritizing one goal (education reform, with vouchers, charters schools, and teacher accountability) over another (right-to-work laws), not forgoing all conservative principles.What is bizarre and disappointing to his admirers is his lack of understanding that he can and should fight for both....
Damn right. How dare he set priorities and try to pursue his far-right agenda gradually? Just ram it all through! Steamroller anyone who gets in the way! Anything less and he's a gutless RINO!
Yeah, I know that Rick Scott in Florida and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania are backing away from support of Scott Walker's union-busting tactics in Wisconsin -- but they're not running for president. Nor is Chris Christie, who also isn't rejecting collective bargaining rights altogether. I see that Haley Barbour, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Bob McDonnell are all standing with Walker. Every one of those guys wants to be president or vice president ASAP.
So we need to add "no compromise on union-busting, even for tactical reasons" to the ever-growing list of Republican litmus tests.
We know John Thune had to pass on a presidential bid in large part because he supported TARP.
We know every general-election Senate candidate the Republicans fielded in 2010 was a climate-change denialist, so I assume all the presidential candidates next year will have to follow suit. And in case you were wondering, Richard Mourdock, the guy who's primarying Richard Lugar in Indiana, with a hell of a lot of party support, said this on the subject of climate in his announcement speech:
Mr. Lugar has offered a green energy program to address "climate change" that is simply "cap and trade-lite". As a businessman I know such programs will kill millions of American jobs and as a geologist, I know it would still not address the real source of climate change..... because even in all their vanity and selfrighteousness, Washington bureaucrats cannot regulate and control what happens on the surface of the sun.
The list will get longer in the next year and a half, and I don't think rejection of a GOP purist position will be acceptable even in the face of overwhelming disapproval on the part of the general public.