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January 4, 2011

Memo to GOP 2012 hopefuls who are addicted to corn alcohol

The Iowa caucuses have become so ridiculously overinflated in their importance that even many of the professed small-government conservatives can't seem to resist groveling at the feet of this tiny fraction of the electorate.

NRO notes today that it really does matter what the GOP's 2012 candidate believes about ethanol subsidies:
There are four potential midwestern 2012 Republican presidential nominees: Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota senator John Thune, and Indiana congressman Mike Pence. When it comes to doling out favors to the ethanol industry, none of them can credibly claim his attitude was “just say no.”

Does it matter? Absolutely: As this year’s tariff and tax-credit extensions showed, even a Tea Party–driven small-government surge can’t stop politicians from kowtowing to the ethanol lobby. Further, a Republican president who is willing to carve out exemptions for ethanol interests will lack credibility when he battles spending or tax breaks benefiting other special interests. And finally, while some claim that ethanol will allow our nation to achieve energy independence, the fact that the highest approved corn-gas blend is only 15 percent ethanol (and is approved only for certain automobile models from 2007 or later) suggests that an America running on corn is unlikely in the extreme.
GOP candidates, please take note that the reenergized constitutionalist/conservative base that brought you back to power hasn't disbanded.  You are being watched closely by people who think that corn alcohol is not fit to be served at a tea party.

If you don't give up your addiction, Obama will have no trouble whatsover observing that the GOP seems to differ from the Democrats only in its spending priorities.

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