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No such truce was necessary in the Hoosier State as Mitch earned his budget-cutting conservative icon status and there is no evidence that such a truce would garner more budget-cutting votes on Capitol Hill.

I wanted to be an enthusiastic supporter of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, especially given the problems of RomneyCare, Palin’s gubernatorial resignation, Pence and Barbour’s bow-out, Cain’s un-FAIR Tax and Newt’s occasional bouts with Potomac Fever.

Daniels, along with New Jersey’s Chris Christy, had set the gold standard for conservative state governance in the face of massive budget crises akin to what we face as a nation. Moreover, Daniels, unlike the Garden State’s socially liberal Governor, has been, and still appears to be rock solid in favor of traditional marriage and against abortion.

But then, Mitch turned his eyes toward the Potomac.

Back in June of 2010 he volunteered this seeming non sequitur:

The next president, whoever he is, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved.

We had hoped that all Daniels meant by his statement was that a Republican presidential candidate should make the economy, deficits, and debt the focus of their campaign. The statement was, after all, sufficiently vague to warrant patience from social conservatives such as myself.

Eleven months later he still hasn’t defined what he means by a truce, our hopes for him were dealt an even worse blow by his recent explanation of why he supports a truce:

“…a tactical suggestion…because its gonna be hard to make changes to restore America’s greatness…we are gonna need to unify all kinds of people…freedom is gonna need all the friends it can get if we are gonna do these things…it is addressed to both sides…”

All conservatives should be more disturbed by Daniels’ perception that we can’t solve our economic problems absent unity with social liberals than social conservatives should be disturbed about the nature of the still un-defined truce.


The only “recent” times I can think of that significant numbers of Democrats unified to do the right things were from December 7, 1941 through V-E Day and for a few months after September 11, 2001.

Democrats weren’t even unified in favor of ending de jure racial segregation and the Soviet Union.

Republicans, on the other hand, have declared many unilateral truces, i.e. surrenders, none of which have turned out well:

  • How did the “read my lips, no new taxes” compromise work out for Bush41?
  • Remember the old Hatch strategy on confirming pro-abortion justices Breyer and Ginsburg to the nation’s highest court by near acclimation, “since elections (apparently only of Presidents) have consequences?”
  • What of  the compromise of Mitch’s former White House boss on stem cells?
  • How about that same Bush’s  surrender on school choice that left many children behind, after sharing popcorn and a movie with Ted Kennedy?

One wonders if then Bush Administration budget director Daniels inveighed Rove-like counselling in Washington before a Damascus Road moment on his trip back to Indianapolis.

How did those truces work out for us?

It takes more than one party to declare a truce much as it requires a bride and a groom to be declared man and wife.

The so-called straight talker never actually gets around to defining what he means by a truce (he does say that it does not mean he wouldn’t appoint a strict constructionist to a Supreme Court vacancy), but, wouldn’t it at least have to require that all sides cease attempts to change the status quo on such issues as abortion and legal definitions of marriage in exchange for massive budget cuts, for him to be true to the definition of the word truce.

Again, I see no evidence that there are lots of socially liberal Congressmen in either party waiting to come out of the closet as fiscal conservatives if only there were a truce that leaves taxpayers funding Planned Parenthood abortions and gay, un-recused Proposition Eight Judges re-defining marriage by fiat.

Moreover, no truce on social issues was required for enough voters to unify last November for the biggest conservative wave election victory since 1946.

I would send out a May Day for fear that Daniels’ cognitive dissonance could trump that of many birthers and sink Ship GOP in 2012. But given that so many of We the People discovered that the Democrats’ supposed Messiah couldn’t walk on water just as he made it impossible for so many to afford to drive on dry ground, at this point we think a Paws of the Minnesota Tim variety looks like a better version of Chris and Mitch.

Mike DeVine

Legal Editor – The Minority Report

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist for

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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May 2011


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