Mitch Daniels’ response to Obama’s State of the Union: reality or rhetoric?

I must admit that I did not watch Obama’s speech, nor did I watch the response from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. I have heard enough of Obama’s empty rhetoric over the years and had better things to do. Nonetheless, Daniels’ response is worth a read. It represents Republicans at their very very best, at least in terms of rhetoric and it is hard for a fiscal conservative to disagree with much of what it contained. While Daniels is not running for President, these are the sentiments (not social policy, foreign policy, or immigration) that should form the basis of Republicans’ pitch to the American people.

That said, it is worth comparing Daniels’ real track record to his rhetoric. Daniels headed up the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush. While not in Obama’s league, Bush was a very big spender as President. Yes, I realize that Congress is in charge of budgets, but Bush didn’t exactly wield an effective veto pen…Also, while Daniels was in office, Bush was promoting his massive Prescription Drug Entitlement and got No Child Left Behind (a massive expansion of the federal role in education) passed. While I can’t blame Daniels entirely for Bush’s policies (and he did resign after just a few years of service), I have no record of Daniels protesting Bush’s big-spending expansions of government, but if a reader has one (or more), please post them in the comments section.

I’m not trying to dismiss Daniels’ track record of public service. He is doing a good job as Gov. of Indiana and I wish he was running for President. I do wish that more Republicans adhered to their rhetoric when it comes to government spending and actually downsizing Washington.