If pundits and columnists represented the GOP base, Mitch Daniels would be the odds-on favorite for the presidential nomination in 2012.If these supercilious politicos hold Daniels in such high regard, I can't imagine any supposition that he would serve as the conservative warrior to lead our nation back to constitutional government. Perhaps it is his perfect resume, which titillates David Broder, that assures the political elite not be leery of Daniels. As Jonathan Martin continues,
The Indiana governor has been showered with favorable coverage from political thinkers and analysts in recent months, most of which heaped praise on his thoughtful and principled approach to governing while celebrating his serious yet down-to-earth mien.
“Of all the Republicans talking about the deficit these days, Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, has arguably the most credibility,” claimed The New York Times’ David Leonhardt in an Indianapolis-datelined economics column recently. (emphasis added)
As David Broder wrote last fall: “[H]is record of accomplishment is dazzling.”
He went to all the right schools (Bachelors, with honors, at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a law degree, with honors, from Georgetown), learned at the knee of a political Wise Man (veteran Sen. Richard Lugar) headed up a think tank (Hudson Institute), was a top executive at a Fortune 500 company (Eli Lilly), and for two terms has been a governor, where, as the mandarins’ formulation goes, all the real policy innovations take place.
I'll let that paragraph speak for itself. Next, he cites a quote from George Will regarding an interview Daniels had with the Economist.
“He is a Republican who had never heard of 9/12, Glenn Beck’s tea-party group, before The Economist mentioned it to him.”
The article closes by quoting acclamatory statements from such 'impeccable conservatives' as Charles Krauthammer and Weekly Standard writers.Citing his gold-plated resume, The Economist observed that in each of his jobs Daniels “brought a decidedly dorky passion: a reverence for restraint and efficacy.”
This article usefully accentuates a salient question for conservatives to ponder regarding Mitch Daniels in particular and the entire presidential field in general. Are we looking for someone who is an effective manager, technocrat, 'Mr. Fix It', with a quasi-conservative predisposition? Or, are we looking for a passionate ideologically galvanized conservative leader who understands the political battles that confront him/her and will not compromise those values for the sake of "fixing problems" and "getting things done"?
There is a gargantuan difference between the two prototypes. The conservative technocrat is a problem solver, or manager first, a conservative second. He will be willing to compromise on "bi-partisan" solutions for the sake of fixing a problem.
Consequently, someone like Daniels advocates the perpetuation, entrenchment, and exacerbation of the current unconstitutional Social Security system by requiring workers to retire later in order to receive their hard earned money. Raising the retirement age or income exemption limit might be a prudent way of temporarily fixing the entitlement apocalypse (until they squander the money again). Unfortunately, it does nothing to advance liberty, prosperity, and constitutional government. In fact, it grants the left an interminable opportunity to control the very destiny of the American worker while leaving billions of dollars out of the economy. In other words, the Social Security quandary is not a technocratic budget enigma that merely requires a steady-handed manager to achieve its solvency. It is a a core problem with the role of government that can only be solved by a committed constitutional conservative.
The same technocratic predilection that motivates Governor Daniels to advocate his version of Social Security reform, had led a similar politician and presidential aspirant, Mitt Romney, to implement Romney Care in Massachusetts with alacrity. Romney always speaks rapturously about his success in bringing together the preeminent health care experts in Massachusetts to solve the problems with health insurance. Well, he "fixed the problem" by implementing an individual mandate that is as flagrantly unconstitutional as that of Obama Care. If we elect a Republican whose desire to problem solve overshadows his conservatism, we will be confronted with unpredictable and inadmissible policy solutions.
These politicians are cut from the same cloth as those who gave us TARP and the Obama "tax deal". They are also the same ones who will demand we raise the debt ceiling. After all, they must protect us from impending doom by harnessing their mature, steady-handed managerial skills to implement bi-partisan solutions.