Daniels 1, Obama 0

I'll get to president Obama's fiscal cowardice and downright irresponsibility later today, as it now appears quite apparent he has no intention of doing anything to tackle the country's greatest fiscal crisis in its history. But first off, someone who takes fiscal conservatism seriously, unlike Obama. The speech Mitch Daniels gave at CPAC reminded me why the Dish is such a fan. Check out his riff on budget cuts:

Lost to history is the fact that, in my OMB assignment, I was the first loud critic of Congressional earmarks.  I was also the first to get absolutely nowhere in reducing them: first to rail and first to fail.  They are a pernicious practice and should be stopped.  But, in the cause of national solvency, they are a trifle.   Talking much more about them, or “waste, fraud, and abuse,” trivializes what needs to be done, and misleads our fellow citizens to believe that easy answers are available to us.  In this room, we all know how hard the answers are, how much change is required.

And that means nothing, not even the first and most important mission of government, our national defense, can get a free pass. 

Later on, he delivered this dose of reality:

We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean.  Who surf past C-SPAN to get to SportsCenter.  Who, if they’d ever heard of CPAC, would assume it was a cruise ship accessory.

And when did you last hear a Republican talk like this:

We must display a heart for every American, and a special passion for those still on the first rung of life’s ladder.  Upward mobility from the bottom is the crux of the American promise, and the stagnation of the middle class is in fact becoming a problem, on any fair reading of the facts.  Our main task is not to see that people of great wealth add to it, but that those without much money have a greater chance to earn some.

Rich Lowry commented that it was impressive "for Daniels not to strike one pandering note." That isn't quite true. He did say, "our opponents are better at nastiness than we will ever be.  It comes naturally.  Power to them is everything, so there’s nothing they won’t say to get it." Still, a very imppressive speech on the whole - from easily the most plausible and fiscally honest Republican in the field.