Memo to Mitch Daniels: Maybe It Was The Marijuana, But The United States Is Not in Europe

Mitch Daniels was invited to give the Republican response at Gridiron Club dinner last night and decided to take a shot at Governor Palin.

Daniels poked both Palin and Mike Huckabee with a single punch, raising the former Arkansas governor’s gaffe in which he claimed inaccurately more than once that the president grew up in Kenya.

“Sarah Palin pounces and says, ‘Wrong, Mike — he’s never been to Europe,” said Daniels, according to a guest on hand for the event, which was off the record to the White House pool.

We are aware of the fact that traditionally at the Gridiron club dinner people poke fun at each other and that’s OK. But Daniels used the opportunity to advance false narratives about Governor Palin who wasn’t even there.

Maybe Mitch is too dumb to know – as was evident from his recent interview with Chris Wallace on Foxnews Sunday where he was all over the place – that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Turns out that it is Mr. Daniels who thinks the United States is in Europe:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels opened the door Thursday to supporting both a value added tax and a tariff on imported oil, bold proposals that could cause trouble for him with conservatives as he flirts with a long-shot bid for the presidency.

The Republican, staying mum about his 2012 plans, was the guest of honor at a dinner sponsored by the conservative Hudson Institute. He received an award named for Herman Kahn, the legendary nuclear theorist who founded the respected institute 49 years ago and helped inspire the character “Dr. Strangelove” in the movie by the same name.

Daniels, once the Hudson Institute’s chief executive, described himself as an acolyte of Kahn’s and marveled at the creative thinking evident in his 1982 book, “The Coming Boom.”

Daniels recited from Kahn’s book: “It would be most useful to redesign the tax system to discourage consumption and encourage savings and investment. One obvious possibility is a value added tax and flat income tax, with the only exception being a lower standard deduction.”

“That might suit our current situation pretty well,” said Daniels, who served as George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget director and was a senior adviser in Ronald Reagan’s White House. “It also might fit Bill Simon’s line in the late ‘70s that the nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose.”

The so-called VAT, common in European economies which have stagnated, is a toxic acronym to fiscally conservative activists like Grover Norquist and Dick Armey. It slaps a tax on the estimated market value for products at every stage of production.

Perhaps Daniels, high on marijuana, was confused about who it was that doesn’t know where Europe is. In any event, there were two people in that room who don’t know where Europe is; Governor Palin wasn’t there.

UPDATE: I received a couple of emails from people wondering if we are so sensitive that we can’t take a joke. Those from the same people who accused Governor Palin of taking a shot at Michelle Obama, when the Governor made a joke about when she heard Michelle Obama encouraging mothers to breast feed, she was nodding her head in agreement. “yeah, you better because the price of milk is so high right now, regardless of the political [implications], do it for economical reasons”

A joke is funny when it has a hint of truth in it. Daniels took a complete lie, one that only last week the Governor pointed out to Jackie Long of the BBC was a complete fabrication. Daniels made this joke to attack Governor Palin’s intelligence and used something that never happened to advance his and the establishments agenda of destroying Governor Palin.

Maybe a better joke for Daniels would have been to say that he can see the White House from his house in Indiana. That would have been a good one and would have had more than a hint of truth in it. His home is the closest Mitch will ever get to the Oval Office.



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