Andrew Sullivan in his blog, The Dish, had nice things to say about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels‘ response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. One of Sullivan’s readers was unimpressed, and launched this rebuttal, which gets WC’s Screed Award:
You wrote about the SOTU response that “It was what a sane Republican critique of this presidency would be.” I strongly disagree. This speech was heavily laced with the usual canards Republicans use to raise doubts about this president. For example, he faulted the president on energy policy for resisting domestic oil development. As you well know, the president has opened vast areas of previously protected land for oil development, a policy he announced an expansion of tonight. He made a valid point about the Keystone XL pipeline. However, there were serious concerns about this project, which was under review by the administration. Congressional Republicans forced his hand before the review could run its course. Of course he decided against it. I would place more blame on the House of Representatives than the White House for the death of that project.
Daniels also pressed the lie that the president has made no serious efforts to reduce the deficit. Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the best way to reduce the deficit, however President Obama has put forward some of the most ambitious proposals to reduce the deficit to receive any significant support. During the debt limit debate, he was willing to go farther on spending alone than the Republicans were requesting. Never mind their unwillingness to raise taxes on anyone besides the average worker.
Then Daniels has the absolute nerve to blame the divisiveness of modern politics on our president. Our president, whom is routinely called a socialist, a communist, a Kenyan anti-colonialist, is the cause of the division. Our president, who has consistently tried to find common ground on taxes, on energy, on healthcare, and on any number of other issues, only to watch the opposition walk away from their previous positions, is the cause of the division. Our president, whose main role in the ongoing class war has been to point out how the unscrupulous among the rich have been waging this war for decades and winning, is the cause of the division.
I can understand the desire to find a sane voice among the officials of the Republican party. I’m a registered independent and share that desire. I agree with you about Ron Paul’s contributions to the debate; disagree with Jon Hunstman on policy, while I recognize that he tries to craft sane policy that accomplishes worthy goals, merely questioning his priorities; and I lament Gary Johnson’s having been excluded from the Republican presidential race. I was hopeful before this speech to hear what you evidently believed you heard, but I did not.
The problem with the modern Republican party is not merely a matter of tone. Chris Christie has convincingly challenged many Republican orthodoxies while maintaining the fiery tone that so appeals to many Republicans. He has done this by dealing firmly with the reality of the policies he deals with, instead of the insane otherworldly echo-chamber that defines mainstream Republican thought. He consistently impresses me in a way that Mitch Daniels, at least tonight, did not.
WC would like to give credit for this excellent, cogent response, but Sullivan didn’t respond to WC’s request for attribution. If a reader has a clue, pass it along.