Tuesday, May 6, 2014

J&C Witchhunt Against Mitch Daniels Getting Old

The following letter appeared in today's edition of the Journal and Courier, and since it reflects the sentiments of many in our community, we are reprinting it here.

By Mark Lubbers

When Mitch Daniels was recruited to lead Purdue University, he swore off partisan politics. Fortunately, for the country and Purdue, he did not quit the discussion of public ideas and policies.

Devoted Daniels haters such as Joe Perkins, a member of the Society for an Open, Accountable Purdue will continue to press a serpentine argument that any Daniels utterance related to the cultural, economic or governmental life of the nation is politics. And no doubt they giggle every time the J&C races out, sirens blaring, to find a false alarm.

If President Daniels gets involved in the Republican Party or the process of elections, let him have it. But please stop indulging the ridiculous idea that dialogue on public policy is politics, especially when the forum for the dialogue is an organization such as the American Enterprise Institute. A two-minute excursion on American Enterprise Institute’s website would reveal an ideological bent that is slightly center-right and an Academic Advisory Board that is a who’s who of leading national scholars from the very best universities in the land.

National leaders – of both parties – are interested in what Mitch Daniels thinks. And in that arena, Purdue benefits immensely from his reputation, not vice versa. The J&C would do well to accept what Daniels meant by quitting politics and exercise appropriate news judgment going forward.

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