The Only One He Ever Feared

Mitch Daniels is, thus far, the only Republican I see with any shot of unseating President Obama. He’s the only untainted candidate of presidential caliber capable of campaigning on a record of accomplishments, rather than empty, undeliverable promises (cf. the impossibility of attaining deficit neutrality under the GOP’s ridiculous “Pledge”), and the only GOP candidate, period, seemingly interested in restraining the absurd culture war issues that’ve divided America for years. He even promised a “truce” on culture issues, to address problems of actual substance, rather than griping about phantom issues like “creeping sharia” or what have you. For that, good for him.

Faced with these obvious advantages, it had never occurred to me that the Republican Party may not agree. But the National Review is already throwing him under the bus, for not strenuously opposing judicial competency, as is the American Spectator.

Could Mitch run without the support of the far-right? Probably. Could he win the nomination without them, though? McCain’s experience — his clear rightward swing in the primaries, consummated with the Palin nomination in the general — suggests no. Ideologically, the Republican marriage of small-government fiscal conservatism to big-government moral intrusiveness never made sense; politically, though, the advantages are obvious. So obvious that they’re now the only things that matter. Progress, for the party or for the country, can take a back seat.



  1. If it never occured to you that there could be as many stripes of Republicans as there are Democrats, you haven’t been paying attention, especially to your commenters here.

  2. That occurred to me; it never occurred to me that cooler heads wouldn’t prevail in the nomination process.

    1. You need o get out more . . . and yet the nomination process really hasn’t begin. If we follow Mike’s lead, and for now why not, the Republicans aren’t going to nominate someone un-electable, so Mr. Daniels has a good shot.

      Of course, if the Republicans want to lead, they do need to get a plan that actually makes sense – so you may not be completely off.

  3. “rather than empty, undeliverable promises (cf. the impossibility of attaining deficit neutrality under the GOP’s ridiculous “Pledge”)”

    Or, you know, closing Guantanimo. Stuff like that.

    *chortle* Presidential caliber…

    1. While I wish that i would happen, it wasn’t an empty promise. You do know Congress is to blame for stopping it…?

      1. Except there used to be a day – not that distant – in American politics when a President and a Congress of the same Party worked together to pass legislation . . .

  4. And closing Guantanamo is a political problem; balancing the budget without touching Social Security or defense spending is a factual impossibility.

  5. Steve Jeffers · ·

    I think, this cycle, the Tea Party will keep doing what they’ve been doing, and they’ll either get Bachmann as the candidate or be so disruptive to the process (targeting Romney, say, so wounding him too badly) that some random candidate will emerge.

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