Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Grown-up Behavior

Politicians who are actually interested in doing the business of the people and not just furthering their own ambitions are a lot less exciting.  That is a good thing.  Mitch Daniels has demonstrated to Hoosiers that he is a capable, mature, and very serious leader.  I wish other Republicans would take note.  Mitch has proposed a temporary truce on divisive social issues so we can get our economic house in order, for example.  That is a great idea, one that will be rejected by self serving politicians who make careers out of plucking the emotional strings of Americans about these social issues.  Mitch proposed a consumption tax as an alternative source of revenue and was crucified for it by the right. Here is Mitch Daniels being a leader again, about union stripping measures, and the subsequent Democratic exodus:

"I'm not sending the state police after anybody.  I'm not gonna divert a single trooper from their job of protection the Indiana public.  I trust that people's consciences will bring them back to work. ... For reasons I've explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised."

A better time and place, indeed.  Mitch wants to reform and doesn't want petty squabbles to get in the way of that, and that's because he cares about the people of Indiana more than his own ambitions.  Make no mistake, this move will get him criticized by national GOP leaders and certainly won't help him in a Republican presidential primary.

Another great Hoosier Republican is Dick Lugar, who committed the heinous crime of supporting Obama's arms control bill with Russia.  Nuclear arms control was a major goal on which he partnered with then Sen Obama before 2008.  Sen Lugar is another leader who puts people over politics, the penalty for which will be a primary challenge from the state GOP.

National Republicans should be emulating guys like Daniels and Lugar, not marginalizing them.  Republicans are not our problem, and Democrats aren't our problem.  Rather, our problem is uncompromising extremist jerks on both sides of the aisle who would rather hurt the other side more than help Americans.  People, we need less partisanship, not more, but you don't get less partisanship by demanding more ideological purity at the gate.

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