Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the last of the possible Republican presidential candidates to address CPAC on Friday, strode to the podium at tonight’s Ronald Reagan Banquet and turned back the clock to the 1980s: the thing we have to fear, he said, is the growing Red Threat.

“In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War,” he said. “As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat.”

“I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence,” he added. “It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink.”

Original movie poster

And then Daniels — who was President Bush’s budget director — launched into a dense speech about the ways America’s finances, unless cleaned up soon, will crush the nation into oblivion.

Daniels is perhaps best known as the candidate who social conservatives love to hate — attacks on Daniels plan for a short-term truce on social issues (so America can put aside its differences and focus on that Red Menace he mentioned) can be heard all across CPAC. Other possible contenders have been having fun needling him about it, too.


The same can’t be said of the Reagan-friendly older crowd at the CPAC banquet. They ate up his speech, giving Daniels a big round of applause and laughing at Daniels’ many puns.


Daniels made his case that the country was in deep, serious trouble with its debt, even calling for cuts to defense spending (something that would have been big news had he said it while running the Bush budget).

Daniels’ other solutions were pretty straight-line Republican: limit the EPA, drill, cut, eliminate taxes on, privatize, etc.


A few things didn’t get mentioned: Egypt, those aforementioned social issues. But there was one thing Daniels speech included that the other 2012 contender speeches at CPAC didn’t have: an appeal to reason over partisanship.

“We should distinguish careful skepticism about Big Government from contempt for all government,” he said. “After all, it is a new government we hope to form, a government we will ask our fellow citizens to trust to make huge changes.”

At the tea party-fueled, Libertarian-heavy CPAC 2011 even that slight praise of the concept of government was radical stuff.

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32 responses to “CPAniC

  1. jean-philippe

    Well, thank God the wealthies already got their tax cuts before the real talk on debt.

  2. Didn’t Blam-Blam famously say that Saint Ronnie proved that “deficits from tax cuts don’t count?”

    I never learned that theorem when I was studying math.



  3. Friend of the court

    those fuckers ran up the bill so that we can’t even service the interest. now, we should trust them to make “big changes”? i got yer trickle down right here.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention CPAniC | HYSTERICAL RAISINS --

  5. I’m from Indiana and from all the GOP presidential candidates Mitch seems the most reasonable. On occasion, he says things that are very partisan against healthcare reform and the stimulus (but he took the money). He tends to stay away from social issues and every time Sarah Palin visited Indiana he seemed to be somewhere else (so no photo ops with her).

    That said, I wouldn’t vote for him over President Obama.

    • hello circle city news,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      thanks for your comment. i always like it when someone a lot more familiar with the subject of a post chimes in. i admit i don’t know a lot about mitch daniels, and i don’t doubt you when you say he’s the most reasonable. however, that’s like being the least smelly skunk. i might have had a smidgen of respect for him if he had apologized for adding to the problem of the debt while he was chimpy’s budget director. instead, he went to the rethug playbook and pulled out the fear card. what he really has working against him is that he looks wimpy. same thing with timmeh pawlenty. i wish looks didn’t count in politics, but they do.

  6. While the speakers at CPAC hardly mentioned Egypt, it had a starring role at the Michigan State Democratic convention on Saturday. Speaker after speaker mentioned it as inspiration. The only thing bigger was Eminem’s Chrysler commerical. Hey, all politics is local.

    • i love that commercial! the speakers at cpac couldn’t mention egypt, because there wasn’t enough time to get the talking points from frank luntz. they have no real convictions (though some of them should be convicted), so they can’t say what they really think.

  7. Well the ticker sez 2/14 so I must offer Valentine greetings to out Queen of the Raisins, she who puts her HEART into every post that we all LOVE to read and share . Would send chocolate but can’t get the molecules through the modem. I’m just happy that I can call you a friend. Have a good one!

  8. By conservative standards, asking everyone to cool it with the God-hates-fags stuff and focus on the deficit is a model of sanity. Too bad Daniels went nowhere in the straw poll, which was won by Ron Paul (R – In-orbit-around-Pluto), even though a lot of the real religious loonies stayed away from CPAC because they were afraid of the small group of the said hated fags who had somehow been allowed to infiltrate. The core right wing, it seems, is still hooked on nutty.

  9. Uh oh… someone has been listening to Glenn Blech…. he’s on a communist tirade. A friend forwarded me his recent go to hell because I am right about this
    psychotic episode.

    It’s all about fear & hate…. gotta keep that alive!


  10. all they have is fear and hate. that’s how bullies operate.

  11. Now I can speak without ruining the mood. But what can anyone say about Cpac? You would have to go to a hot dog factory to find more assholes in one place at one time.