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Michael van der Galien

Mitch Daniels Has a Point

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Posted on June 11 2010 8:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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I think that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has a point when he says that conservatives need “a truce on social issues” to concentrate on resolving America’s financial crisis. As he explained in a conversation with The Weekly Standard:

I don’t know if the CO2 zealots are right. But I don’t care, because we can’t afford to do what they want to do. Unless you want to go broke, in which case the world isn’t going to be any greener. Poor nations are never green.

The next president, whoever he is, Mitchell continued, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved.

As one would expect from social conservative activists, many of them reacted angrily to Mitchell’s remarks. “Something like this will cost him any consideration from one of the key constituencies of the Republican Party,” the president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Austin Ruse, said. Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Reseach Council, agreed saying Daniels’ comments “raise serious questions about his level of commitment to fundamental issues like life — leading many of us to wonder if he has the ability to lead a unified conservative movement.”

Perkins’ and Ruse’s angry reactions are, as far as I’m concerned, quite over-the-top. Daniels has a strong pro-life record. No one can seriously question his social conservative credentials. But him being socially conservative doesn’t mean he’s incapable of understanding that other issues may be more important right now. Politics is all about priorities. Daniels seems to understand that. It seems to me that even if you’re passionately socially conservative, it makes perfect sense to ignore this whole debate for a while, and to focus on reducing the gigantic debt weighing so heavily on Americans’ shoulders.

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