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The Pro-Life Credentials of Mitch Daniels

Much continues to made of Governor Mitch Daniels “truce” statements.  Of course, the howling continues because when it’s brought up he continues to defend it. So what did he say now?

Via the National Review:

Laura Ingraham asks Mitch Daniels about his “truce” idea and he sticks with it:

If you don’t accept that we face a republic-threatening issue in terms of the debt–and again I would love to conclude one day that I was overreacting–but that threatens every one of us whatever our views on these other questions.I would like to think that fixing it and saving our kids future could be a unifying moment for our country and we wouldn’t stop our disagreements or our passionate belief in these other questions, we just sort of mute them for a little while, while we try to come together on the thing that menaces us all.

Does this mean Governor Daniels hates social conservatives as social conservatives want you to believe? Hardly. In fact, in my interview this past July with Mike Fichter of Indiana Right to Life, he explains how Daniels record on pro-life issues has been immaculate.


Despite his record, the response to Governor Daniels statements weren’t shocking, but they were, what I would call,”face palm worthy”. For instance, this gem from one of my favorite conservative websites, Red State:

The social conservatives were minding their own business, and Daniels sucker-punched them. And that was just the start.


Truce? “Rabbit holes?” “Mute button?” Ladies and gentlemen, if there weren’t hostilities before, there certainly are now.

Social conservatives have been relatively mute during the last several general elections.

Mute? From my recollection, social conservatives were ready to sit out (or at least passively participate) in the 2008 presidential election until Sarah Palin showed up energizing the base (read: social conservatives) and making the outcome not nearly as much of a blow out as it could have been. Seriously, if John McCain had picked anybody else, McCain loses by more. We all know this to be fact, even the moderates and liberals who say the race could have been closer with someone else on the ticket will eventually reluctantly agree.

But the post goes on to conveniently agree that Daniels record is solid when the author writes “Few would claim that Gov. Daniels is a social liberal.  In fact, he has a good track record on social issues.” (Emphasis mine)

Over at National Review, more objections arise from Yuval Levin even though he also acknowledges that Daniels is sound on social issues:

No one would deny that this is a time when we should be focusing on the grave fiscal problems that confront our country after decades of reckless spending and avoidance of the problems with our entitlement system. Few people are as well suited to lead in such a time as Mitch Daniels. But our political system does more than one thing at a time. Daniels seems to be asserting the priority of the economic and fiscal issues, but should he not acknowledge the continuing existence and importance of the social issues alongside them, and indeed the deep and abiding connection between the two?


Daniels’s record on these issues suggests he considers them important, and is not in doubt about where he stands.

(Emphasis mine)

Then why quibble over a few words if his past actions dictate that he has a strong record?

I understand the arguments that are made.  But here’s the deal.  Governor Daniels brings up the truce as a suggestion, but he has never suggested that he would participate.  A truce takes willing participants and he understands this.  The over-analysis of “the truce” won’t be the social conservatives undoing.  Far from it.  Sure it may help them rally to a particular candidate, especially if one sees the cheap opportunity to gain votes (I’m looking at the three headed monster of Romney, Huckabee and Palin, two of which have gubernatorial records that prove they are neither fiscal conservatives, while one proves he’s not a social conservative, while the other just quit).  But if the fiscal and social record of Mitch Daniels is put to the test, he passes with flying colors.

So is Mitch Daniels truce and active one on his part?  He has never said it was and his record shows it’s not.  It has simply been a policy suggestion that far too many have taken way too far.  I will give Mr. Levin some credit in his suggestion that Mitch Daniels add a caveat type sentence that says “but if a fight is forced on us, I would obviously want (or be) a president who stands up for the sanctity of human life and the centrality of the family.”  I think that would quell some concerns.

It is funny to me, however, that those cry that the sky is falling over “The Truce” seem to overlook that Mitch Daniels supports reinstatement of the Mexico City policy.  Again, a truce takes two to tango and Mitch doesn’t dance by himself.

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