Over the past seven years, Mitch Daniels has attempted to paint his Indiana reign as one of an orderly haven of wondrous progress in our Midwest sea of woes. But Daniels has failed on numerous occasions. Who can forget his magical disappearing act when the Indiana House of Representatives flipped to a majority and he found himself unable to pass many of his legislative initiatives.
And, who can forget his privatization mess with IBM – a situation that is still in litigation. And, to top it off, just as the new legislative session was underway this year and his presidential star appeared to be in quasi-rising mode, the uppity Democrats walked out of the legislature. Like a laser beam, the national spotlight shifted to Indiana with questions about Daniels’ struggle to govern given a missing delegation – not the type of publicity the Guv wanted as he continued to mull over a presidential run.
And, now, Daniels finds himself hoisted “on the horns of a dilemma” – the Indiana legislature has given him a gift-wrapped opportunity to take a stand on abortion by defunding Planned Parenthood. But, if he signs the legislation, he puts the state at risk to lose an additional $4,000,000 in federal grants for family planning services – a loss that will hurt an already somewhat precarious financial situation.
On the other hand, if he vetoes it, Daniels could antagonize ardent social conservatives already wary of his public statements about the importance of focusing on economic issues by calling a “truce” on social issues. Although he is not expected to make a decision for a few days, Daniels will, more than likely sign the bill, taking away millions in funding that is marked to help low income women obtain health care services.
As Daniels mulls over his dilemma, the horns he finds himself riding are nothing compared to those of the women who will be deprived of much needed health care that has been available for decades through Planned Parenthood. But, when it comes to a potential presidential bid, why let the health of thousands of low income Hoosier women get in the way?