I'M NOT sure which I enjoyed more here: the one-stop reminder of how easily a couple of financial industry and National Association of Manufacturers shills like Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour could become the "voices of reason" in the Republican party, or the recognition that it is possible to be Sarah Palin, or Herman Cain, and not be the clear idiot in the Republican room.
If I were campaigning for President? They all did. Look at the results. Check out that current list of people these four couldn't beat.
(By the way, isn't Herman Cain still technically running for President? Or is the fact that he's now overtly fleecing donors just a joke the rest of us are supposed to enjoy being in on? Is that the explanation for the odd "campaigning for" construction, instead of the more natural "running for"? So the Post could include the insights of Herman Fuckhead Cain? For that matter, how much money did the other three haul in before obvious, Pawlenty-like defeat just ahead, combined with the requirements of reporting contributions, ended their campaigns? How Much Money I Made By Not Being a Presidential Candidate sounds like a much better article.)
And, if you can forgive my provincialism, neither Palin using the opportunity to push imaginary sales of her imaginary book, nor Cain repeating "Nine, Nine, Nine, Nine…" in the corner, comes close to matching Daniels' performance as the Thinking Man's Widow and Orphan Defenestrator:
Tax reform, domestic energy production and a regulatory pause must be advocated as indispensable for poor people, unemployed people and, especially, young people. All ties must be broken in favor of private growth. Today’s blind, anti-growth zealotry must be contested as the cruel, pro-poverty policy it is. Prospective reforms to save the safety net must be advanced with aggressive confidence. With survival literally at stake, and broad consensus required to enable major changes, arguments about secondary issues should be muted.
I ask you: out of Incontinent Tax Cutting*, Utter Deregulation, and Rescuing the Safety Net, which one d'ya suppose will wind up falling short under the next Republican President/ Congressional majority?
Leave us note, for the record, that Mitch Daniels had the opportunity to test-market his Prospective Reform magic on the safety net of the 15th most populous state in the nation, with solid Republican legislatures behind him, and created instead a $1 billion computer-system boondoggle he is currently spending much of his Not Campaigning time trying to figure out how to avoid testifying about in open court.
And while you'd think that seven years of Daniels had inured me to his "intellectual" antics, it's Palin's, and Cain's, garden-variety (if weed-choked) cupidity which are almost comforting in their familiarity; Daniels' faux-populist concern for "jobs"--from a governor who, freed from last year's demand to look like he might be considering a Presidential campaign, not just a capital-raising venture, is all set to back this year's Right to Work push by the Indiana state legislature--still turns my stomach.
But, mostly, what I'll never get used to is this "broad consensus" bullshit which insists on "stressing our commonality", just so long as it's that portion of commonality Mitch Daniels has for sale; everyone else is "blind". It's the consensus-building of the fundamentalist preacher, which Daniels assuredly is. And it'd be different were it some sort of untried solution to the millennial doom Daniels insists we're headed for, and not the same old shit he's helped peddle for thirty-some years, the same shit that got us into this mess in the first place, without his even the having the courtesy to find some new bottles to shovel it into.
* Daniels tax "cutting" as governor of Indiana owes less to the theories of Milton Friedman than to Friedman's predecessor, Phineas Taylor Barnum.