On Tuesday night, Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana, delivered the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address, but to be honest, I don’t think Mitch Daniels said much of consequence that I can endorse with respect to the battle in which we’re engaged for the form and the soul of America. I don’t believe we can afford his weak response, because it was delivered so dispassionately, and with so many contradictions that I doubt it could convince anybody but Charles Krauthammer, who I knew would love it. Please read his response here. Daniels responded to Obama, and now I will respond to him:
There are some Republicans who believe we must show more than a modicum of respect for the occupant of the office of President, irrespective of the level of villainous, unconstitutional tyranny issuing forth from that office, but I am not one of them. The few points of agreement conservatives may have with Barack Obama pale in comparison to the gulf between us. While I am happy the President has a nice, strong family, that fact has absolutely no bearing or relevance to the State of the Union or the level of contempt in which I hold his form of politics and the philosophy that supports it. Presidents may seek to find the “sunny side of our national condition,” but if there isn’t one, I see no point in attempting to placate the media by lying supinely before him.
It is true that President Obama did not cause the economic crisis, and it is likewise true that he has deepened it, but while we’re talking about fiscal crises, I see no reason we should take advice on the matter from his predecessor’s OMB Director who made a wreck of our fiscal condition that has led ultimately to the election of Obama. Obama isn’t trying to fix anything, and he is intentionally making matters worse, so to dismiss his programs as evidence of mere incompetence, while they really signify malice is to continue to lie to the American people. As Americans sit idle in the gargantuan numbers you cite, Governor Daniels, you might wish to consider how they will be assisted by pretending to them that the President isn’t making things worse by strategic calculation.
It is true that Barack Obama’s spending has been unprecedented, and it is likewise true that he is racking up the largest deficits in history, but is also true that your former boss, President George W. Bush, along with your guiding hand, also accumulated what were inexcusably large deficits, particularly in 2004 and 2008. Let us not mislead the voters either, because when your budgets ballooned, you offered nothing but excuses.
The President is certainly engaged in trickle-down something, but it’s not just government. It’s also trickle-down poverty. He only seems sincere in his belief that creating government jobs will build a middle class to those who are too naive to see the painfully obvious: Mr. Obama believes in spreading the wealth, but also the misery, and for you to believe he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing is to pretend that Barack Obama is mortally ignorant of all history, but there is no evidence to support that claim.
I will not use the language of the left, as you have, to speak about “haves and have-nots,” or even “soon-to-haves,” because until we restrain the growth of this government, the only thing we’re “soon-to-have” is hyperinflation, economic collapse, and violent, naked, starving riots in our streets. We are not a short way behind Greece and Spain, but actually ahead of them, because due to policies like TARP, that you supported, and other re-distributions of American wealth carried out by this and former Presidents, we now find our currency and our own fiscal health tied to their debts and fiscal irresponsibility, as well as their monetary instability.
Only an out-of-touch moderate Republican could view 2012 as an “opportunity,” rather than an exigency, because the words “maybe our last,” are intended to conceal that there will be no “maybe” about it. We shall either change course, or watch our country wither and die. You speak of credible and positive plans, but the truth is that all you have offered is more platitudes about “making life better.” I’ve got news for you, Governor Daniels: I don’t need you to make my life better, except perhaps by your going away, and taking all of your mealy-mouthed, tepid rhetoric with you. I will make my life better, by my own efforts and labor if you will get Barack Obama and his toadies in the United States Senate out of my way. Republicans have no duty to make our lives better, except by withdrawing government’s grip from our wallets and our liberties. Anything else is merely a poor imitation of the same disease from which we now suffer.
It is true that business is one of humanity’s noblest pursuits, but you cannot advance that idea by offering excuses to justify it, like “if you make a profit, you’ll have something left to hire someone else, and some to donate to the good causes we love.” Here, you fall into the statists’ trap of the ages, one that has ever been the tormenting dishonesty of statists, who pretend that the first duty of any person, having obtained a profit from honest work, must forfeit some, most, or all of it to other “causes” and in the purpose of enriching others. To apologize for success in this manner is only to invite predation upon it. Do not permit our best ideas and the virtues they beget to languish in the verbiage of the left.
You are correct to note that Obama’s is a pro-poverty policy, but once more, you go on to say that the private sector jobs birthed of a pro-growth policy will “restore opportunity,” but will also “generate the public revenues to pay our bills.” Pay whose bills? Sir, I make no public debts. I ask none to pay my bills, and I can assure you none do, but me. Of whose bills do you speak?
You suggest “a pause” in regulation, but I must ask you: “Why only a pause, and not a cessation?” You speak of “new domestic energy technologies,” but you do not describe them. Of what do they consist, and what does this have to do with the operation of government, except as another customer? By your own words, you suggest the market as the great healer of our wounds, but when the matter comes to its end, here you are discussing what the government may do. Energy technology is not the government’s concern, and the sooner the government withdraws from that market, the sooner we will have more energy, and at less expense.
You describe our need to “save the safety net.” For my part, I wish only to be saved from it, or more properly, for paying for it. You speak of Social Security and Medicare as an obvious play to seniors, but I must ask you about the hundreds of other “Safety net” programs, large and small, and what you will do with these. Being the former Director of the OMB, you should be well aware that this safety net now consumes more than 60% of all government expenditures. What you say you would save, most people I know would scrap, and while my social grouping may not be entirely representative, it is nevertheless true that I am of the group that pays, but who also knows there will be no compensation. You now propose making of Social Security a welfare program, because you would deny payment of those benefits to people you adjudge as “rich,” but the fundamental truth this argument ignores is that those who are “rich” have paid into the system too, and until you flatly convert Social Security into an overt welfare program, you’re being dishonest in making the rich pay for it, while calling it a “retirement.” Your plan sounds strangely like the President’s, and just as it is immoral when uttered by a leftist president, so too is it immoral when uttered by a corporatist governor.
I do not claim that we should do nothing with Social Security. I assert that we must end it, and return the question of retirement, and the provisioning of one’s golden years to those who will live them. I am a man of just more than 46 years, and I will make this deal, but neither you nor any politician will accept it: I will waive all claims to Social Security, from now until the end of my days, and not even ask for one dime of my previous contributions be returned to me as an act of “public benevolence” on my part, if you and the other politicians will merely agree to stop collecting payroll taxes from me, that I may invest them on my own behalf. That’s more than thirty years of “contributions” I will happily waive, if you will merely take no more for the remainder of my life.
You are correct that only the Republicans in Congress have taken any steps to curtail the accumulation of debt, but the problem is that even they have done too little, and they have been far too willing to go along for the sake of political expedience. You speak in haughty terms about unity, but the divide in our country is real, and exists with those of us who earn and pay and get neither payments nor special considerations standing on one side, while you and Obama and all those who insist on this welfare state stand upon the other.
Nobody I know believes Americans “can’t cut it” any longer. Americans are out here cutting it, every day, but there are many people in our country who haven’t the philosophy of America in their hearts and minds, and it is they who do not “cut it,” and have no intentions of doing so, since somebody else is “cutting it” on their behalf. No sir, what doesn’t “cut it” any longer is this government, with its rampant statists and their tepid collaborators who have gotten us into this mess. Welcome to the world you prescribe. This is the world you have helped to build, as policies like those you advocate have dominated the last twenty-four years of our nation’s government.
You end your remarks by suggesting that we are “still a people born to liberty,” but I must ask you “what liberty” as Governors of your ilk appoint State judges who rule that protecting one’s home even against wayward police is illegal, but the erroneous actions of the wayward police were not. There’s our liberty, while you appoint judges who will not safeguard it. While the elites in the Republican party speak in flowery terms about liberty and prosperity, those of us who would enjoy the one while earning the other are losing both, and it is in no small part because the brand of half-hearted defense of the country you offer has resulted in a presumably unintended bit of assistance to those who would undo our Constitution.
There are those who think you would make a fine President, and I will state to the knowing of the world that I am not among their number. I don’t want your brand of half-property, half-loot with the attending part liberty, part tyranny. It’s little better than the full-bore expropriation and despotism the open statists desire, and it leads us in their inevitably in their direction. They are only too happy to take one step back for every two steps forward, because they still gain one step. What you prescribe is a delaying action, and a wilting retreat.
Yours is the same weak-kneed philosophy that urged the removal of a line from a speech Ronald Reagan was set to deliver, for fear it would be too provocative, but what we have learned in all the years since is that when standing before the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, President Reagan’s simple words in the name of decency, honesty, and justice enabled a generation to understand and demand their liberty, it punctuated the lunacy of the proposal by those of your orientation who thought he should not, and must not say these words:
“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Governor Daniels, I do not now know what my fellow man will think, but I believe we need a president who has the integrity and wisdom to utter similar words about the state of our country. Dry, cold assurances that Republicans would not upset the apple-cart of Washington DC too much is simply unacceptable, and what you must know is that while yours is the philosophy of moderation and contrived unity, let me assure you that the American people who have borne these burdens are no longer of a mind to shoulder still more that you would maintain your centrist appeal. It is time that you tear down a wall, and its name is appeasement, and it is the great obstacle that stands between America and its future. We can rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Obama, but we will not do so if you or those of your political persuasion are the ones who will lead it. We now need leaders who will plainly say that Obama is wrong, and more, that he is willfully so. We need leaders who will say this truth without respect to which media pundit might take offense. You are not apparently that leader, as your response has demonstrated, and so I say to you: Go home to Indiana, and do what you can for your state, and prepare its people for the disaster awaiting us if we do no better than to discharge Obama and adopt your pastel-painted positions. Learn to speak the words of justice and truth without fear before you make frivolous use of our time once again.