Republicans Chose Bush’s Budget Czar for SOTU Rebuttal – Mitch Daniels’ Message: Doom, Gloom and Mourning in America

What were Republicans thinking when they gave Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who served as George W. Bush’s first budget czar, the job of rebutting Pres. Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday? During Daniels’ tenure as head of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. annual surplus of $236 billion was turned into a deficit of $400 billion.

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is to make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.”
– GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, October 2010 (amended)

This man has no credibility on any topic. If there ever were accountability on the right, he would be working in the mail room at a conservative “thimk” tank, not running one of the 50 states.

The paradox is that, as recently as last week, Bill Kristol, formerly Dan Quayle’s brain and now the editor of the neocon propaganda sheet, The Weekly Standard, was beseeching Daniels to make a late entry into the presidential race. This provides yet more evidence, though none is needed, that Bill Kristol is seriously delusional.

Daniels decided not to run for president in this cycle after consulting with his family about his and his wife’s troubled marital history. In 1994, Cheri Daniels divorced Mitch, left him and their four young daughters and married a surgeon in California. A few years later, she changed her mind again and remarried Mitch. The Danielses apparently did not want to have their personal history dragged out onto the national stage this year. (Of course, his own dicey marital record has not stopped Daniels from preventing gays from marrying in his state.)

Daniels has been in the news most recently because of his efforts to gut union rights in Indiana — a “Me Too!” emulation of what Gov. Scott Walker did in Wisconsin. Walker may be facing a recall over his radical efforts to strip union rights, but he is enjoying a shower of millions in cash from the Koch brothers and their ilk for his troubles.

As a Democrat, after watching Daniels’ wooden, bloodless and depressing delivery of the GOP response to the president’s optimistic State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I say to Kristol and Daniels, “Bring. It. On.”

Republicans have spent that last three years doing everything in their power to sabotage the recovery from the economic crash caused by the fantastical trickle-down, anti-regulatory economic policies of George Bush, Mitch Daniels and Bush’s rubberstamp Congress in the early 2000s.

Now that there are signs that, despite their best efforts, the U.S. economy is struggling to its feet, they trot out Mitch Daniels in a naked attempt to stoke voters’ worst fears about the future.

And why are they so determined to stifle the economy? As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously put it after the 2010 midterm elections: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is to make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.” Or words to that effect.

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