Repeal ― or Make a Deal?

Wherein Mitch Daniels proposes a "truce" on ObamaCare in the Wall Street Journal:
Many of us governors are hoping for either a judicial or legislative rescue from this impending disaster, and recent court decisions suggest there's a chance of that. But we can't count on a miracle—that's only permitted in Washington policy making. We have no choice but to prepare for the very real possibility that the law takes effect in 2014...

If there's to be a train wreck, we governors would rather be spectators than conductors. But if the federal government is willing to reroute the train to a different, more productive track, we are here to help.
[emphasis added]

I'm not encouraged by Daniels' use of the word "miracle" to describe repeal of Obamacare. Does Daniels think that repeal of Obamacare would be a miracle because he thinks a Republican is unlikley to win the White House in 2012? Does he think Republicans would somehow fail to repeal Obamacare if Americans entrust the GOP with opportunity to do so?

I understand there's a need for a "Plan B," but I see no reason to suggest that a repeal of Obamacare would be miraculous, even if the courts don't make it especially easy for us. And speaking of miracles, I see no reason to think that Obama and the Democrats would ever agree to the truce that Daniels has proposed.

Pointing to some red meat in Daniels' article, Jim Geraghty assures us that Daniels' proposal to reform the reform is not an "acquiescence to the permanence of Obamacare."

I hope Jim is right. But Mitch Daniels has not earned a reputation for an appreciation for smaller government:
“He’s kind of a more of a ‘trains run on time’ kind of guy, like a balanced budget kind of guy. He wants the government to be efficient but he doesn’t necessarily want it to be smaller... I get a sense from some of the things he’s done that his political instincts aren’t quite where they should be in a terms of limited government point of view. ”
Unfortunately, this new truce proposal from Mitch Daniels seems to comport with his reputation.

While conservatives are working night and day to derail the ObamaCare express before it derails our economy and our freedom, Mitch Daniels is thinking of ways to ensure that the train shows up on time, telling the Obama administration that he's "here to help."

I don't like that.

PS: Remember, this isn't Daniels' first time calling for a unilateral truce.

Update: Good questions from Protein Wisdom...
Is this the GOP trial balloon for “principled” compromise?

And if so, is this the kind of conservative-friendly usurpation of liberties that the Republicans believe they can sell to country at large?

Update II: I should hasten to add that anyone running for the GOP nomination for POTUS should seriously be considering the options relating to defunding Obamacare.

Update III: Mark Levin: I can’t vote for Mitch Daniels (2-14-11)

Update IV: Mitch Daniels’s Obamacare Problem: "Why is Governor Daniels extending the hand of peace . . . when Obamacare has been mortally wounded in the courts and the U.S. House of Representatives?"


  1. Mitch Daniels really only has one tick, doesn't he?

  2. Richard:

    It's starting to look that way. Hopefully, if Mitch is nominated by GOP in 2012, he'll become a short, bald Ronald Reagan, but I have doubts.

  3. sorry to be reading so many of your posts today but they are thought-provoking to say the least.

    The reason why Mitch Daniels is saying it would be a 'miracle' is because it is true. It would rival the Immaculate Conception and the Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris combined if Obamacare were to be repealed in toto in the next 2 years, or at least until a Republican won the White House AND the US Senate had 60 Republican Senators in it.

    which might be 2013...but could be which case ObamaCare will be fully implemented.

    Obama will veto any and all total repeal; partial repeal; tiny repeal of his signature bill and dare the GOP to run against any aspect of it he thinks is the inability to discriminate against any pre-existing conditions in his bill.

    Daniels is just telling the would be a total miracle if Obama woke up from his slumber one day and said: You know, in the best interests of our nation and way of life, I am going to ask Congress to send me a bill to repeal ObamaCare and I am gonna sign it in the Rose Garden!'

    that is Alice-In-Wonderland sorta dreaming...and It. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. Before. 2013. if then.

  4. @Frank

    Thanks for following the posts...

    On the "miracle" of repeal, I'd say that there at least a couple of false assumptions.

    1. The courts are unlikely to strike Obamacare down.

    2. Democrats will stick together in in the Senate.

    Moreoever, I don't think that there's any chance that Sebelius is going to cooperate with Daniels on his list of demands.

    Instead of "improving" ObamaCare with imaginary cooperation from the Obama administration, Republicans should be derailing ObamaCare.

  5. "Collaborator" is the best description. There parasites exist everywhere. This guy just smells better than most, but he's an enemy of liberty.

  6. @Nickie Goomba

    Good word choice. A big part of the GOP's success over the past 2 years can be attributed to their refusal to collaborate with the Dems. They've forced the Democrats to own their own messes 100%. Now is not the time to change that strategy with unrealistic expectations of voluntary concessions from the Obama administration.

    Has Daniels taken note of the direction of the momentum over the past 2 years? You don't call a truce when your winning.

  7. @ Right Klik... (here we go again)

    I see that you aren't sold on Mitch and I can agree to that. I don't think his "truce" on social issues is wise (even if I agree). You don't start a negociation with, you win.

    However, I think you are quite a bit unfair here.

    First of all, context! This is not an article as a Presidential platform. As Geraghty points out, his opinion on what should be done at an executive level mirrors your own opinions. Instead, this is a call to governors to subvert the law.

    His plan does dramatically shift the law to the right and that's a victory no matter how you spin it. Moving anything to the right is pretty impressive for a Republican politician.

    You claim surrender, but apparantly you don't know what victory looks like.

    I don't see how gutting Obama's executive authority to set health mandates is anything but a dramatic win.

  8. @conservative generation

    I sincerely hope I'm wrong about Daniels. It doesn't look like we're going to have a constellation of stellar options in 2012, so I'd like nothing better than to be able to count on Mitch Daniels to provide a compelling alternative to our mediocre selection.

    But there are some big problems with the signals Daniels is providing. I'd like to be able to call a truce on social issues and focus on our fiscal disasters, but I've seen nothing from progressives that would suggest that they are interested in a truce.

    Likewise with Obamacare, I'd love to enjoy the luxury of scaling back the war against statist health care, but we can't afford to do that. When the tentacles are in, they're in permanently. From that point forward, we'll be quibbling over the details.

    Perhaps more importantly, there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that Obama has any interest in "compromise" on Obamacare. He thinks he's already ruling from the middle, and he has no intention of budging.

    Unfortunately, I don't see a lot of promising signs that indicate that Daniels is serious about scaling back the size, scope and power of the federal government.

    Maybe Daniels is trying to make a rhetorical point with his WSJ article, but I would suggest that if he is serious about a run for the White House, he should make himself crystal clear on the issues. Daniels' WSJ piece did more to raise questions than to provide clarity on any realistic Obamacare strategy.

  9. @ Klik


    I couldn't agree more with you.

    However, I think you are removing the idea from the context.

    He was proposing a way governors could push back on Obamacare. The guys a governor, so in my opinion, it makes sense to write from that perspective.

  10. @conservative generation

    I don't have a problem with Plan B. But by saying that "judicial or legislative rescue" would be a "miracle," Daniels seems to be giving up on Plan A.

    I know Daniels has to look at this from the gubernatorial perspective, but if he's seriously thinking about a run for the White House, he should broaden his perspective immediately.

  11. Mitch Daniels was known as 'The Knife' when he was the Director of OMB in the W 43 White House.

    He is a die-hard, reduce spending first, fiscal conservative light years beyond any other candidate out there. Namely because? He has read the federal budget backwards and forwards and knows what is in there...and what is not.

    no one else on the radar screen can say that with a straight face. on top of that, in Indiana, he started reductions BEFORE the Great Recession hit in 2008 and ran a SURPLUS as a result when everyone else was floundering in debt.

    His great motto? 'You'll be amazed at how much government you will NEVER MISS!'

    direct quote.

    as to 'compromise', that is about the only bedrock Constitutional principle there is fellas. The Founders were adamant about protecting the rights of the minority in Congress to the point they gave virtual veto power to every Senator via the parliamentary procedures of 'the hold' and 'unanimous consent', both directly lifted from the procedures of the Roman Republic.

    Ronald Reagan was truly the paradigm of the 'Uncompromising Compromiser' along the lines of Henry Clay. He made deals to get things he wanted like a stronger military and lower taxes. Unfortunately he sacrificed his principle of a balanced budget to get them and we are still digging out from those decisions 30 years later.

    He signed bills that raised taxes 11 times in 8 years. It is in the Congressional Record..check it out yourselves.

    I would take a deal that reduced federal spending by $4 trillion in return for a $1 tax hike on the 50% of the American people now not paying any income tax. Why? #1- I think everyone should have some skin in the game...$1 seems like a base floor for participation in a collective defense system, for example.

    #2---If we could ever get a deal for $4 trillion in spending cuts versus a $150 million tax hike...we should take that deal and run like we stole something.

    but many would reject that as a violation of a tax principle. In which case, all I can say is that would continue the accumulation of debt just like we have seen for the past 10 years at unprecedented levels.

    Obama and the Dem majority in the Senate are not going to vote for or sign a deal that is 100% spending cuts in the next 2 years. Are we willing to add on another $3 trillion in debt before we find out if we get a new occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue AND 60+ GOP Senators?

    I think that is too dangerous at this point in our nation's history. Debt. Kills. Republics. And Economies.


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