Monday, June 21, 2010


You probably don't care, but Indiana governor Mitch Daniels has been trying to raise his profile lately, presumably in the hope that he can be a contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. The effort has been paying off -- just this month he's been the subject of a long Weekly Standard feature story, a write-up in Business Week, and Washington Post column by Michael Gerson.

Unfortunately for Daniels, he's now all but officially ineligible for the Republican presidential nomination. Why? Because he used to be the budget director for the budget-busting George W. Bush? Nope. Because he's touting his state's pro-business climate even as the onetime centerpiece of the economy in Indianapolis, the Whirlpool refrigerator factory, is closing its doors and moving to Mexico? Nuh-uh.

He's out of the running because he said the unsayable in interviews for that Weekly Standard story:

And then, he says, the next president, whoever he is, "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We're going to just have to agree to get along for a little while," until the economic issues are resolved.

A "truce"? Mike Huckabee was so disgusted he's raising money by denouncing this statement:

Apparently, a 2012 Republican presidential prospect in an interview with a reporter has made the suggestion that the next President should call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and traditional marriage to focus on fiscal problems....

Let me be clear though, the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn't get involved in politics just to lower taxes and cut spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization....

And a Concerned Women for America spokeswoman says no way:

... So we're just going to give up the fight on abortion, on euthanasia, on "gay marriage," on all of our most sacred traditional values and morals that are just "too tough" to focus on right now? I don’t think so.

Conservatives are more revved up than ever before, having come together to fight the health care reform bill and taxpayer-funded abortion. Pro-life leaders are rising up out of college campuses and at the ballot box. Polling shows that more Americans are pro-life than pro-abortion, and pro-lifers are younger and more energetic than the aging pro-abortion feminists.

Why would we ever call a truce now? Why ever actually?

And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is appalled:

... stopping government-funded murder isn't a "genuine national emergency?" We cannot "save the republic," in Gov. Daniels' words, by killing the next generation. Regardless of what the Establishment believes, fiscal and social conservatism have never been mutually exclusive. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness. Thank goodness the Founding Fathers were not timid in their leadership; they understood that "truce" was nothing more than surrender.

Do you doubt that Daniels is toast? Two words in response to that: Rudy Giuliani. OK, maybe Daniels (who is, after all, anti-abortion) isn't quite Rudy. But he's really, really said the wrong thing here. I don't think he can ever walk it back.

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