Mitch Daniels Wades Into the Muck, Following McCain’s Now-Cold Tracks

Here’s the best indication yet that Mitch Daniels will run for President: he’s already started mortgaging his values.

Despite his promise of a “truce,” Daniels issued a statement on Friday affirming that he would sign a bill de-funding Planned Parenthood, should the bill cross his desk. Promising to commit political capital to a divisive, pointless, and abusively anti-human rights act solely to placate social conservatives proves the truce is over.

It also suggests Governor Daniels has begun the hard task of shedding his moderate credentials, an effort that only makes sense if undertaken to appease the increasingly radicalized Republican Party. If that’s the tack he’ll take, though, Daniels will do nothing more than reprise John McCain’s tragic role: that of the good man, who loses himself to lose an election. The American public has rejected extremist Republicanism, time-and-time again. 2010 is not to the contrary, as Daniels will find, should he continue with this pathetic re-invention.



  1. Funding abortions with government funds is opposed by a majority of the population.

    It’s hardly a fringe social issue.

  2. Planned Parenthood may do some admirable things (abortion is not one of them) but why should the Federal Government finance it? I don’t think there is anything in the constitution that authorizes this funding. It should be left to individuals or the states.

    1. He’s the STATE governor of the STATE of Indiana and the legislation is in the STATE assembly of Indiana and will affect Planned Parenthood only in the STATE of Indiana. The federal government doesn’t have a thing to do with it.

    2. Oh, and welcome, Olemike :)

  3. New-olemike, you’re falling into an old trap. A government of enumerated powers doesn’t mean that every single act must be specifically authorized; this sort of thing commonly falls within the “general welfare” clause, or the Commerce Clause.

    Mike, the reality (per Stephen Colbert, contra Jon Kyl) is that PP’s job is 1% abortions, 99% women’s health. Back in the day, before my friends and I were wealthy and powerful beyond measure [/sarcasm], many of my lady-friends relied on Planned Parenthood for various women’s health issues that would be otherwise extremely expensive, or difficult to obtain. It’s a valid and important social service.

    As such, “taxpayer funding of abortion” doesn’t really cover it.

    1. If only 1% then why not drop abortions and re-secure funding. Not a big deal.

    2. You’re presuming to dictate a private company’s morals?

      1. The country can decline the federal and state funding if abortion is that important to them.

        1. Er – that should read ‘the company can decline…’

      2. So to be clear, the question was answered in the affirmative.

        1. No – the company dictates their own morality. The state can choose whether or not to support it.

          1. So Republicans would hold women’s healthcare in general hostage to abortion? Yeah, lovely and compassionate you guys are.

            1. Kris – of course you know that the converse is also true – that PP is also holding women’s healthcare hostage to abortion.

              Both sides have an equal standing in this debate. PP wants federal funding and the govt (backed up by a majority of the voting public) want them to stop providing abortions. They both want something and women’s healthcare is being held hostage by BOTH sides. This is just a question of blinks first.

              1. The majority of Americans specifically want PP to stop providing abortions?

                And what if PP refuses to blink and they get defunded? Will Republicans go to bat to fund replacement programs that provide women’s reproductive health services? Republicans don’t care if they hurt women’s health in their crusade against abortion and against spending even a dime to help people. On the other hand, PP wants to help people, and they believe abortion is an important, albeit small, part of that.

                1. A majority want the govt to not fund abortion – and support of PP essentially does that.

                  I would hope the govt would shift theose funds over to a non-abortion-providing source of women’s healthcare..but let’s say they didn’t. Does that make them any worse than PP for allowing that funding to disappear because they refuse to give up abortions?

    3. New-olemike, you’re falling into an old trap. A government of enumerated powers doesn’t mean that every single act must be specifically authorized; this sort of thing commonly falls within the “general welfare” clause, or the Commerce Clause.

      1. What happened to expressio unius est exclusio alterius?
      2. I don’t think social services properly fall under the “general welfare” clause. Even granting for the sake of argument that Hamilton was right about its meaning and Madison wrong (which I think is incorrect – Madison was right and Hamilton wrong), social services have identifiable beneficiaries: the recipients. Therefore, they only serve those individual people’s particular welfare, not the general welfare. Contrast that to something like the National Parks, where no individual beneficiaries can be identified because they serve people universally. The National Parks are properly within the ambit of the general welfare clause. Medical care for individual people is not – no matter how many individuals’ particular welfares are served.
      3. To my knowledge, the commerce clause hasn’t been properly interpreted since 1905, and possibly 1890 (There’s a gap between Chief Justice Fuller getting it right in United States v. E. C. Knight Company 156 U.S. 1 (1890) and Chief Justice Holmes getting it wrong in Swift & Co. v. United States 196 U.S. 375 (1905) that I haven’t been able to find an on-point case in yet).

      What I’ve been wondering as I’ve heard about these “defund Planned Parenthood” bills is, am I the only person who gives money to Planned Parenthood directly? (I don’t give to many charities since I generally believe if a person needs help they don’t deserve it plus there’s the whole monkeysphere thing, but I do give to Planned Parenthood because women being able to get abortions is really important to me on a personal level) I have no idea what their financial situation is and what portion of their funding is governmental vs. private-donor, but… are they really going to fold if they lose the governmental portion?

      1. It kind of sounds to me like NPR. Public radio spends a lot of time telling people that public funding is a very small part of their budget until politicians threaten to pull said funding. Then they are begging listeners to write to their Congressmen.

        It strikes me as fairly disingenious to call yourself a private organization if the absence of public funding would cause you to close your doors.

  4. It is already illegal to use federal funds for abortions. Case closed. Shut the fuck up, Republicans.

    If PP can’t get any federal funding to do it’s non-abortion work, then religious organizations shouldn’t get a dime just because they do some non-proselytizing. And that’s a subject the constitution does touch on, unlike healthcare and medicine.

    1. Kris, I believe Daniels is talking about cutting off state funding – correct?

      1. It’s all part of the same story though, isn’t it? I don’t know if Indiana has a state-level equivalent of the Hyde amendment, but if not, that’s what Daniels should be supporting, not joining in on using PP as a punching bag and a distraction.

        1. It’s simply an effort to further pursue the will of the majority by ensuring the govt doesn’t fund abortion. Seems like that is part of his mandate as governor.

          1. Then he should be pushing for and Indiana equivalent of the Hyde amendment. That is all it takes. One little bill that says any funds given by the state of Indiana can’t be used for abortion. They can continue to fund PP non-abortion related activities and PP can source the funding from other means. But their does seem to be political mileage in painting PP as nothing more than abortion provider and beating that strawman. The only problem is that the strawman they are beating is also hurting real women who need the non-abortion related services PP provides.

            1. Pi,

              PP is able to use private funds to offer abortions specifically because the government supports other parts of their operation. It’s a shell game and I don’t think they are fooling anyone.

              1. The same shell game that was played for years by universities that did steamcell research and the same shell game played by any religious organisation receiving money through the faith-based initiative scheme.

                This basically comes down to the Republicans wanting to punish an organisation for providing a perfectly legal service, using private money. But PP is not the only ones that are getting punished, women that rely on PP for rape counselling and ovarian cancer screening are going to be on the receiving end of the Republicans inability to seperate a legal act they disapprove of and the organisation providing it amongst other services.

                1. And one could argue that PP could easily create a separate organization dedicated to providing cheap abortions so there would be no appearance of them using loopholes to get govt funding.

                  The real question is why they can’t do that and why they are willing to risk losing their funding to keep 1% of their business.

                  1. Maybe the reason is that Republicans are bullies an sometimes you have to stand up to them. Republicans started this; PP is on the defensive here.

                    1. Kris – you’re going to have to do a whole lot better than ‘Republicans are bullies’.

                      The fact remains that an organization accepting federal money also offers abortions which creates a clear conflict. Creative bookeeping has kept them in the black since the 1970s. I fail to see why they can’t ask those same creative accountants to create a separate company for them.

                      And I’ll just state the obvous which is that the best way to avoid bullies is to not ask them for money.

                  2. Because it’s the most important 1%?

                    1. I realize that is your personal opinion Steve (your fondness for abortion being stated here many times). Would you say that is also the opinion of Planned Parenthood? The other commenters here seem to be implying that it’s all about the cheap healthcare and abortion is an insiginicant ancillary service. Do you think the folks at PP feel that way?

  5. Honestly? No, I don’t think so. I’m kind of an outlier with my enthusiasm.

    1. So then if abortions really are a small and insignificant part of their business – are Republicans asking for so much if they want it cut? Is that small % worth losing funding for all of that healthcare they provide? Or would they maybe be better off getting off the government dole (as I’ve argued for NPR)?

      Money always comes with strings – I just find it silly when the guy asking for the handout resents that the one giving the money might have a few caveats.

  6. I still can’t get over how it’s now the cool, conservative thing to do to manipulate private companies into favoring your social policies.

    1. I can’t get over how it’s the now the cool, liberal thing to pretend that government money doesn’t come with strings.

      There is a very simple solution for PP. STOP ACCEPTING GOVERNMENT FUNDS.

    2. Money does come with strings, of course! But lately you guys have been all, “this infringes my economic liberty,” whatever that is. No?

      1. I haven’t heard that argument so I can’t really comment on it – but if you recognize money comes with strings, why complain about the bank dictating the terms? You DO recognize that PP came to the govt for money AND has the option of declining the money, correct?

  7. Oh my yes. But you do realize, too, that the status quo is funding organizations like planned parenthood? So that may appear odd to you tabula rosa; like, without the history behind it. But this is the way it’s been, and just another way the tea party’s trying to reinvent the world in their own graven image. In other words, radicalizing. And now Daniels is following suit.

    1. So because the government spent 30+ years looking the other way while PP made an end-run around federal law.. it’s tabboo to reconsider that arrangement now?

      It’s a little difficult to understand how such a vocal 2008 proponent of Change TM is now advocating so strongly for the status quo.

  8. Sophistry, to imagine that “change” meant “change everything even the things we like,” so don’t be silly. I’m not aware that it’s a violation of federal law. (Sure, it’s a violation of federal law as understood by the tea party, but so was Obama taking the oath of office.) Cite?

    1. So who gets to decide what things need to be changed and which ones don’t? Oh wait, the voters do! And they do so by electing people whose judgement they trust. And then those people end up in the majority or in the executive and gosh darnit, they actually try to change some things. It’s a crazy thing this democracy of ours.

      I never said it was a violation. Clearly it’s not since it has stood for 30 years. I said it’s an ‘end-run’. An exploitation of a loophole. Kind of like the rich and our tax code. You guys want to address that injustice by raising taxes. We want to address this one by cutting off all of their funding so long as they offer abortions. Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t both of those things social policy with a splash of morality thrown in?

  9. Aww, why’d you delete the crazy guy’s rant about whatever-it-was that gave him diabetes?

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