Mitch Daniels is the Governor of Indiana. He is a dark-horse possibility for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, although I’m not entirely sure of how much traction that would get. But he has raised his profile significantly by saying that Republicans need to call a “truce” on social issues and focus on anti-terrorism and fiscal responsibility.
He’s quite serious about this. And he should be taken seriously. Daniels himself is a social conservative — pro-life, anti-same-sex-marriage, a churchgoer, all the right credentials to be popular with members of the social conservative wing of the GOP, who fancy themselves collectively to be the Republican espirt vivant. So maybe it takes a guy like Daniels to point out that our government’s fiances and our collective security should be prioritized significantly above social issues which, social conservatives are sporadically quick to remind me, are generally left to the states rather than the Federal government. He may not have the best credibility of fiscal issues, having been George W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, but on the other hand that does make him knowledgeable about Federal spending.
I know social issues are a lot of fun for people. Sometimes they’re fun for me, too. And there’s less flexibility to cut the Federal budget as much as some would like. But that’s where our energies, our brainpower, and our political efforts need to be — as a party, as a nation, and as responsible human beings.