FIRST, somebody better fucking explain to me what God told Mike Pence, since otherwise the only honest explanation I have for his preferring to apply his inerrant Christian insight to Indiana, or as it's known in the Midwest, That Space Between Ohio and Illinois, rather than to the nation at large is that he's a lot less confident in private than he is in public. All other explanations involve large sums of money changing hands.
Mike Pence has considered himself a player on the national stage since he got to the House. This is something that happens to a lot of Indiana Representatives, and nearly all of our Senators. He's a cross-section of the Republican party. He's the perfect embodiment of fiscal "conservatism" and military profligacy wrapped in Jebus. He is not just what the Republican party wants, he is what it insists is the only way back to the City on the Hill. Mike Pence doesn't have political positions, or opinions; Mike Pence has The Answer. How can he give that up? What for? So Indiana can pass a 48 Hour Waiting Period, Plus Ultrasound, Plus Being Told That Fetuses Feel Pain, Plus Being Forced to Watch Other People's Sepia-Toned Home Movies Before You Can Get An Abortion bill? I mean, before we can pass another one? No, I don't want him as Governor, but in reality, after Mitch Daniels there's very little left to fuck up without declaring Outright Culture War, which these types have been too smart to do up to this point. The Indiana budget is FUBAR; you can't cut taxes because the only ones we have left pay your salary; six years of slashing education is going to show up in results at some point, not to mention that the Republican program is to fuck that up worse while we're at it; and if it comes to it you're only going to have Mitch Daniels to point a finger at. Losing fucking proposition unless your only concern is the lining of your own pockets. Christian know-it-alls really need to consider very carefully whether they want to step out front and try to run things, as opposed to wagging their fingers from the middle of the mob.
And, in case you're not from around these parts, consider that Lt. Governor Becky "Now Superfluous Y Chromosome" Skillman
Two things: one, a week or two ago I heard some teevee blatherer talking about how "early" the President was indicating he'd be a candidate again; fuck, by this time in 2007 there were already twenty Republicans in the race, weren't there? The 2008 race began the minute they pulled the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. The reason there aren't that many now is simple: the former Half-Term Governor of Alaska can obliterate any contender at any time at this point, Pence being the one exception, probably, because he's purer than she is. I think the logical conclusion we can draw from Pence dropping out is that the race now becomes an effort of the "fiscal" "conservatives" such as Daniels to raise enough slush to give Palin a lifetime non-debilitating disease with no name or symptoms, or another miracle pregnancy.
So I ain't in a great mood, and damned if Brooks doesn't choose just this moment to write an imaginary debate between 18th century cabbies, one of whom sounds like a Times intern trying to ape Montaigne without actually reading more than a paragraph, and the other which sounds like Milton Friedman. The "literate" consumer is supposed to understand that these represent the twin poles of Brooks' "principled" "moderate" "conservatism"; actual literates will, of course, just move on. I urge you to do so, in the strongest terms imaginable. I'm sorry. I already have a headache. Hamilton's 18th century neo-monarchist capitalism never confronted a smokestack, an interlocking directorate, a Ponzi scheme, a shortage of raw materials or a financial panic. Making him the mouthpiece of modern-day Teabag libertoonianism is, simply, too stupid for words.