March 14, 2011
Why Would Mitch 'White Flag' Daniels Dis Rush Limbaugh?By Robert Morrison
It was one of those curious moves that they note in the chess columns with a "?" and a "!" Why, if you were a Republican even thinking about running for president, would you begin with a wholly gratuitous swipe at Rush Limbaugh? Daniels' point was that Rush's vast audience is not, in itself, big enough to carry a national election.
Well, Rush Limbaugh's audience is certainly a lot bigger audience than Mitch Daniels has ever been able to command. We also know that Rush's audience is well educated and highly motivated. In dissing Rush, wasn't Daniels also dissing Rush's millions of loyal listeners? In fact, none of us was mad at Daniels before. We had only a vague awareness of who he was. Those of us non-Hoosiers who knew anything about Gov. Daniels had a largely favorable impression of him. No more.
Say you are a Golden Calf Republican. You're a no-nonsense type, a bottom-line kind of guy. Let's talk money, money, and only money. Okay.
Who has been better at educating Americans on economics than Rush Limbaugh? Do you remember your high school economics teacher? If you do, you probably know why economics is called the dismal science.
Rush Limbaugh has spent twenty years teaching Americans about the tomfoolery of the Clintons and now the Obama administration's plans for wrecking the world's greatest economy. Rush's dissection of HillaryCare in the nineties segued effortlessly to the most entertaining and informative critiques of ObamaCare. Nobel Prizes have been awarded for less common sense economics than what this Doctor of Democracy dishes out daily.
Didn't Mitch Daniels ever hear of the Girl Scouts' motto? "Make new friends, keep the old/One is silver, the other is gold." The political reality is that majorities are built on a solid foundation of committed followers. It is true that the burgeoning ranks of conservatives -- twice as large a cohort as the most generous polling on liberals -- are not yet enough to win the White House. But you certainly don't endear yourself to the rank-and-file of your own team when you tell your door-bellers and phone bank veterans that their concerns are not your concerns.
Mitch Daniels claims to be a loyal Reagan alum. May be. But he apparently slept through some of his classes at Reagan U.
Never did the Gipper abandon the winning formula of economic, defense, and social conservatism. It was this combination that made him formidable.
In 1982 and 1983, Reaganomics was a liberal cuss word. We still had 10% unemployment then. Reagan's unyielding anti-Communism did not look like such a political winner, either. Millions of leftists rallied in Western Europe against Cruise Missiles and for the nuclear freeze. A million of their American cousins massed in New York's Central Park.
It was during those dark days before Reagan's famed "Morning in America" campaign that his staunch commitment to the right to life and other social issues sustained him. Millions of Democrats backed him then. These included Evangelicals, Catholics, and others whose families had always voted Democrat. They gave him the benefit of the doubt -- and they gave him much needed time for his economic and foreign policy initiatives to bear fruit.
Because Reagan was a full-power conservative, he could claim the support of 96% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats. That's why they call them "Reagan Democrats." There are no "Daniels Democrats."
Mitch Daniels also apparently skipped class when President Reagan issued his famous Mexico City Policy. This policy not only banned funding for International Planned Parenthood, it cut off funds for the UN that promote abortion worldwide -- including especially China's brutal forced abortion policy.
As important as the Reagan Mexico City Policy is, the underlying rationale is even more so. Reagan explained to the world's population controllers that the spirit of enterprise, the creativity that visionary human beings bring to economic activity -- all of these things are a by-product of the sanctity of human life.
Revere human life and you'll probably show greater respect for the rule of law. Avoid killing the innocent and you'll be more likely to abstain from "impairing the obligations of contract," too.
Reagan took his message right into the heart of the USSR. Five short years after branding the Soviets "an evil empire," President Reagan stood before a brooding statue of Vladimir Lenin at Moscow State University. There, he told the sons and daughters of the Communist Party elite that Marxist materialism is a crock. What we must have in the new information age is vision -- coupled with human liberty -- Reagan said then.
How ironic that Mitch Daniels lived through all of this and missed its import. There's a phrase from Martin Luther that applies to him and those like him: "They behold these wonders like a cow staring at a new door."
Yes, we are facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis. And if Mitch Daniels wants to call a truce so he can continue to give our money to Planned Parenthood, I challenge his mastery of economics and his fitness to cope with this crisis. He is a Golden Calf Republican who doesn't understand how we get gold.
Robert Morrison is senior fellow at the Family Research Council.