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The Conservative Journalist's Candidate

Another conservative magazine offers another flattering profile of Mitch Daniels.  I think he should run.  Even if he doesn't win, he would improve the quality of the debate, and if the eventual Republican nominee in 2012 loses, the issues and policies that Daniels would raise would only become more and more relevant as the years went on - and the sooner reformist conservative ideas get before the general public, the better. 
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Discussions - 4 Comments

I wonder how influential Kevin Phillips is?

I mean essentially the Kevin Phillips theory is that an inability to seek a truce on social issues leads to overreach, exageration, distortion and an inability to come to terms with the here and now.

Also because I think Kevin Phillips was slightly wronged in the knee jerk interpretation folks put on his book, American Theocracy. That is Kevin Phillips wasn't even describing "real religion" as the cause of downfall, rather he was describing something more sophisticated.

Keep in mind our observation that not that many people know Keynes, political figure X, Y, Z, ecetera....that Daniels is not all that well known outside of Indiana.

Then interpret this thinking: "Win the budget battle first, wage the culture war later. Daniels is pro-life and believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but social conservatives were outraged."

Social Conservatives were outraged? Really? I am not a social conservative but my parents are...do you think they were outraged? Ridiculous.

What evidence that "Social Conservatives" were outraged?

"At the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., speaker after speaker-all possible Republican primary opponents-not too subtly criticized Daniels's truce formulation."

So a small group of insiders who are politically interested in manipulating the meaning of words to frighten people who still live by their words and find some sort of meaning in normal english seized upon the opportunity to be outraged?

"America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles."

No America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments are drowned out by political hucksters, whose moral outrage is clinically analytical, in fact none of the objections have anything but the most remote modicum of validity.

I hereby profoundly object to the grant of Intellectual Property in "moral conservatism" attributed to Phyllis Schlafly, and the other interested parties at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C. Trademark denied.

Social Conservatives were outraged=saw an opportunity to distinguish themselves by uttering the right platitudes, so as to protect their intellectual property(i.e. their rights to deem what is socially conservative), that is no social war is bad for business.

Does it have anything to do with real Social Conservatives, you know the real ones like my parents, or say Don in AZ? No.

Kevin Phillips's genius is seen if you can keep that distinction in mind, or at least wrestle with it.

So if I just focused on that aspect maybe Daniels would look better...but then I would still be stuck in the Dialectic Kevin Phillips warns against.

So moving on...

"Daniels eliminated a $200 million deficit and transformed it into a $1.3 billion surplus, boosting the state's bond rating and cash reserves after eight years of unbalanced budgets."

Ah, but....on June 29, 2006, Indiana received $3.8 billion from a consortium made up of the Spanish construction firm Cintra and the Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) of Australia in exchange for the right to maintain, operate and collect tolls for the following 75 years. The two companies formed the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company to operate the road.

My guess is that the one time payment of 3.8 billion was not spread out over time but immediately impacted the budget? But I suspect some admixture, could you provide some accounting clarification?

It matters a great deal to me if he took a 200 million dollar deficit and with 3.8 billion turned it into a 1.3 billion dollar surplus....in part because, well -200m+3.8b=3.6b... which would mean that he took a 200 million deficit and turned it into a 2.3 billion deficit.

To go back to Kate's mussings in an old post, when she wondered at the value of all the government owned assets...some economists do try to price those, but they typically don't show up as assets officially until they are sold.

In terms of selling government assets, China has made a few sales, the Brittish recently sold a high speed rail to a Canadian Retirement Fund(see I told you that strong Canadian dollar would be buying things...I know I said in Arizona and California).

Also technically I am having my doubts about how bad a fiscal shape California is in. Google or Apple both have enough cash on hand to buy up California owned assets, especially if you think broader than just real property.

The California Universities have quite a bit of intellectual property. I don't know how much UC Davis is worth...But, I think California could easily have a surplus if it sold its Public Universities. A rather bold idea, that might not be wise.

What form could a "Truce on Social Issues" take?

2 Constitutional amendments. The first to assert the power of each state to regulate abortion as each sees fit. The second to assert the states' rights to determine the requirements for marriage within their borders.

The 2 amendments make a good platform because they are based on American's love of free choice. Opposition would have to explain how they want to dictate policy to others. Imagine -- it's not enough to have your own way in Connecticut, you have to tell Kansans how to live as well.

Let Mitch Daniels follow such a course and he might just get my support.

That's a fascinating idea, Tim.

The debate over Daniels is fascinating, but not really an accurate depiction of the dilemma conservatives would face if the GOP nomination fight came down to a true social conservative who's agnostic about economic issues vs. a true cultural libertarian who cares little about cultural concerns.

I'm thinking Mike Huckabee vs. Gary Johnson (former governor of New Mexico).

Stipulate that Obama runs for a second term. If Huckabee were the GOP nominee, how many free-marketeers would choose Obama? Or go for the Libertarian Party nominee? Or stay home?

Conversely, would cultural conservatives support a Pat Buchanan if Johnson were the GOP nominee? Would they back Obama? Would they not vote?

I hope Daniels runs as well. But I'm skeptical that a significant portion of the conservative coalition would either refuse to support him or back the Democrat (most likely Obama) should he become the nominee.

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