More recently, though, he has appeared at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference to give a speech. Apparently this speech is not about running for president, because of course at this moment in time he is not running. But just in case, there are plenty of reporters there, and plenty of party loyalists to applaud his great non-campaign non-stump speech.
As many other hard-core conservatives have been tripping over themselves to channel and worship the mighty Reagan at every possible opportunity, Pawlenty decided to try a slightly different tack this time. Remember the "thousand points of light" from George HW Bush? How about
four ideas that should carry us forward
Granted, exactly who he refers to as "us" is not clear
From Pawlenty offers 'four principles' at CPAC, provided by our friends at The USA Today:
1. "The first one is this: God is in charge," he said. He spoke of the Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers, who wrote: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "If it good enough for the Founding Fathers," he said, "it should be good enough for each and everyone of us."
I'll leave the separation of church and state alone for a moment, and point out the other bit of this that is " profoundly stupid(TM)". The phrase "Creator" is not inherently exclusive. If the authors had meant "God", wouldn't they have said "God"? Even more so if they meant "Christian God", wouldn't they have said that? The phrase "Creator" does not on its own imply any specific "God", or even a monotheistic entity. For that matter it doesn't imply any entity at all. You could just as easily say that your mother was your creator, and your rights come from her.
2. "We can't spent what we don't have," the governor said. He recalled growing up in a family that "didn't have a lot of money" and his mom saying that they had to "live within our means." He then took a shot at the president. If government spending were an Olympic sport, he said, Obama "would be a repeat gold medalist."
This is a fantastic statement, coming from a governor whose state is nearly $1 billion in the red. Made even sweeter by the fact that he is trying to wipe out around 1/3 of that by counting on the increased medicare payments from the federal government. If the federal government wasn't "spending money it doesn't have" then he would be on the hook for even more than what he is planning to try to pay.
3. "People spend money differently when it is their money." He warned about government wasting money -- our money -- on ways that we wouldn't if we were in control of spending it.
Pretty much the same logical fallacy as the previous statement.
4. "Lastly . . . bullies prey on weakness not strength." He spoke directly to Obama. "I have a message for President Obama . . . Mr. President, no more apology tours and no more giving Miranda rights to terrorists."
So then is The Teflon Candidate(TM) calling himself a bully in that statement? He is, after all, preying on a perceived weakness of Obama.