A kiss on the lip with tongue to Mitch Daniels from the Washington Post’s Steve Pearlstein:
The good Mitch, by contrast, is a principled but practical conservative who respects the intelligence of voters and would rather get something done than score political points. Daniels is a genuine fiscal conservative who took a $600 million state budget deficit and turned it into a $1 billion surplus but managed to do so without cutting spending for education and even increased funding for child welfare services. He pushed hard to lower property taxes but didn’t hesitate to propose temporary hikes in income and sales taxes to keep the state in the black. He privatized the state’s toll road and then used the $4 billion proceeds to launch a major public works investment program.
Tellingly, both Mitches like to talk about the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Washington Mitch conjures the image of long lines and uncaring bureaucrats and asks, cynically, whether you want folks like that determining your medical care. The Indiana Mitch, by contrast, rolled up his sleeves and transformed his DMV into an efficient, consumer-friendly operation.
Pearlstein spends a bit of the time comparing Daniels to Mitch McConnell, who if you remember, had a closer than expected race last election.
But the real problem is this- Daniels is concerned with good governance because he actually has to govern. He is accountable for his actions. Republicans in the House and Senate aren’t, and they couldn’t care less about governance, let alone good governance. Anything that goes wrong, they will just blame on Obama and the Democrats. Hell, they spent the first few months of this year blaming the DOW on Obama, a tactic that got dropped as soon as the DOW recovered.
Add to it that if Daniels were running in a house seat, the idiot teabaggers would probably work to oust him because he did raise taxes. As one of the wingnuts admitted yesterday, even St. Ronnie of Reagan would not pass the purity test these days. Add to it the completely rigged House seats where only the most extreme candidates on either side stand a chance, where screaming “You lie” in a join session of Congress gets you millions in campaign funds, and you whittle away any and all Republicans concerned with governance.
Add to that a Senate held hostage by ridiculous rules that a small group of
corporate whores “moderates” exploit to funnel money to their states and to shake down the lobbyists, and you end up with what we have now. When the Republicans get back in power one day, it will be back to business as usual- tax cuts and praising Jesus. They won’t be led by a group of good government conservatives, and this is even assuming Pearlstein is even right about Daniels.