One of the immutable laws of modern American politics is that no candidate who wants to win the Iowa Presidential caucuses can afford to oppose subsidies for ethanol. So it’s notable—make that downright amazing—that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty launched his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination Monday by including a challenge to King Corn.

“The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out,” Mr. Pawlenty told a crowd in Des Moines. “We simply can’t afford them anymore.”

Intriguingly, Mr. Pawlenty said he’s also ready to take on other taboos of modern politics. “Conventional wisdom says you can’t talk about ethanol in Iowa or Social Security in Florida or financial reform on Wall Street,” he said. “But someone has to say it.” Maybe this Presidential season will be more interesting than we’ve imagined.

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