Mitch Daniels has been oft mentioned as a possible candidate for President in 2012. He’s done some good things as Governor of Indiana and appears to be popular with the folks in his state. He’s also tarnished his conservative credentials a couple of times with some “missteps” like his proposal for a “truce” on social issues until we can get the fiscal problems facing us on the way to being fixed. And then there’s his opposition to a bill in the Indiana legislature that would make his state – where he eliminated some collective bargaining ability by unions by executive order – a Right To Work state.
Frankly, I can live with the concept of the truce. Mostly because in the real world, social issues – primarily abortion – isn’t going to come off the table, it’s just not going to be front and center but there will still be ongoing legislative actions to curtail the practice when the opportunity presents itself. See the Congress working to defund Planned Parenthood as an example.
John Danforth. Former US Senator from Missouri. He’s sort of a Republican. Kinda. His record in office and since he left would probably classify him as just a tad to the left of RINO.
You can read about his views in a 2005 NYT Editorial, Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers. The crux of the article is this…
By contrast, moderate Christians see ourselves, literally, as moderators. Far from claiming to possess God’s truth, we claim only to be imperfect seekers of the truth.
I’m highlighting this not because of Danforth’s theological position. (He is an ordained Episcopal Priest.) I’m highlighting it because if you’ve followed Danforth’s career at all, you’d recognize it as his philosophy of life. Fundamentally, he stands for nothing. He wants to find ways to bridge gaps, excluding and judging no one. His use of Scriptural analogy to make his point is, frankly, offensive.
So, what’s all that got to do with anything? Thank you for asking.
Danforth most likely has his panties in a wad over the Tea Parties and the apparent resurgence of conservatism in the country and it’s impact on who’s serving in Congress. And who’s likely to be serving. Like Dick Lugar. Emphasis on “Dick”.
Lugar is getting some heat over his his actions in the lame duck. Today’s Old Blanched Wench has a report on Dickie’s travails…
Now, in the heat of the post-primary lame-duck Congressional session, [Lugar] is defying his party on an earmark ban, a bill that would create a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, a military spending authorization bill and an arms control treaty with Russia.
He even declined to sign a brief supporting state lawsuits against President Obama’s health care law because he saw it as political posturing.
Bottom line, fiscal policy as usual, he’s supporting the Dream Act which will back door citizenship status to millions of illegal aliens (note to NYT “editors”: they aren’t “immigrants”, and what part of “illegal” gets past you every time this subject comes up?). Oh, and he doesn’t like political posturing over health care. Among other things.
Lugar has basically had no life outside of the US Senate. He’s served five terms. And he’s planning on running again. And, well I’ll let the NYT tell you…
Now Mr. Lugar’s willingness to buck his party is leading to talk that he will face a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate when he runs for re-election in 2012. It is a possibility that Mr. Lugar, who said the current environment in Washington was “disappointing” and “without a doubt” the most polarized he had seen since joining the Senate in 1977, understands clearly even as he declines to modify his positions.
Disappointing? Polarizing? Heh. What I will find disappointing will be to discover that the good folks in Mr. Lugar’s home state of Indiana aren’t vetting possible primary challengers and working on a solid plan to beat Dick in 2012. He’s old. He needs to retire. Or just go away. Please note folks, Dick won’t be going away quietly. You can bet he’ll be more than willing and able to spend $20MM in a primary fight and he won’t be pulling a MikeCastle™ and making arrogance his signature trait in the ’12 primary. So for goodness sake, don’t expect to win with a Christine O’Donnell clone. Or JD Hayworth, who I’m sure would be willing to move to Indiana to run. Find a real candidate. One with statewide credibility who will run a solid campaign and who can attract the kind of money necessary to beat a motivated incumbent, which Lugar certainly will be.
Oh, and as for Danforth being half right? Again, from the Wench…
“If Dick Lugar,” said John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, “having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”
Mr. Danforth, who was first elected the same year as Mr. Lugar, added, “I’m glad Lugar’s there and I’m not.”
Well Mr. Danforth, I may not be happy about Dickie being in the Senate but I’m absolutely happy – giggly even – that you’re long gone. And not coming back. Have a nice retirement and I hope you and Dickie can have a great time fishing after the 2012 primaries.