Friday, October 26, 2007

Fiscal Conservative Challenge And Responses

A prominent social conservative in Texas passed me John Fund’s article today, which raised questions about Huckabee’s conservatism on other than social issues:

The Huckabee campaign blog has posted this link in response. Former Arkansas journalist Lucas Roebuck writes about the vicious and misleading attacks on Governor Mike Huckabee's record.
here to read the story.

I questioned Sam Brownback’s commitment to life for remaining and dividing the clear and consistent pro-life contingent. Even if you grant Huckabee’s fiscal conservative heterodoxy, which I don’t (It’s called “conservatism” not myopic avarice), If Eagle Forum is going to oppose Huckabee, I might be tempted to question their priorities as well. Maybe they should rethink their opposition to terrorism and join Ron Paul or The Constitution Party?...I didn’t think so.

This is how I responded to the message:


Thank you… The progress hasn’t been rocket-like. But it’s been relentless. The pace is picking up in the past few weeks and days. If it continues without incident, I think things look very good. But, I think there will be a big incident. Romney will attack Huckabee, fiercely. In fact, Romney, Giuliani, and Thompson should cooperate (I don’t think McCain would want to be seen as part of that).

You recall that I met you at a Constitution Party state convention in 2000. I left the CP by ’94, though I still voted for their presidential candidate. I think most of them are very good people, but there are now some pretty stark differences in objective, outlook, and approach. I’m pretty certain that they wouldn’t think much of Huckabee. I probably would have been tepid about him myself, a few years ago.

I actually have some differences from him, in the way I would approach and explain a few issues. But even if I had a platform, I couldn’t win any significant fraction of the vote. I usually agree with Huckabee. But, the MOST important thing is his positive Christian spirit, which I think America sorely needs in a leader.

Obviously, the support of your organization would be a great help. I imagine that if we prevail, you will be there. I know Phyllis Schlafly is still holding her tongue on the presidential contest, and obviously much of that is because the so-called “leading” candidates present more than a little odium. I would guess that she’s waiting on what ultimately washes out between Thompson and Huckabee.

Unless Thompson has some tricks up his sleeve that he’s shown no evidence of, I don’t think he can make it. And of course, his record is fairly spotty, too, which I find to be no surprise because I think he has at best, sentiment inclinations and no lucid philosophy. He clearly wasn’t repulsed enough to turn down political advocacy for a pro-abortion group when they flashed a check. He may have progressed since then, but his advocacy of McCain-Feingold told me that he had no constitutional perspective and touchstone.

Perhaps, there is concern among the Eagle Forum crowd about Huckabee’s language relative to immigration and spending. I assure you; Huckabee is straightforward and clear about the importance of securing and regulating the border and opposes an amnesty that does not penalize lawbreaking. However, he is always careful to specify that he doesn’t oppose people who want to come here to work, but rather our government that has made a hash of immigration regulation. In Arkansas, Huckabee declined to restrict the CHILDREN of illegal immigrants who had passed through the school system from applying for college scholarships, saying that it’s one thing to punish a law-breaker, but another to penalize their children who had done all of the necessary work.

And, on fiscal questions, of course you know that I am conservative, to say the least, about government activism. But, I would refer you to ‘s posting of Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative and yesterday’s posting by three bloggers: Justin Taylor (Between Two Worlds), Joe Carter (Evangelical Outpost) and Matthew Anderson (Mere Orthodoxy) jointly endorsed Governor Huckabee. Read their endorsement here.

With respect to the SCHIP program, what Huckabee said was that he wasn’t certain that it would play well, politically. I wouldn’t have said that. But again, he's a politician and I’m not. It seems like he’s leaving open the question of whether this expansion could cost us next year’s election, and would it be worth it? In that case, more and worse would certainly be passed, next year.

And Huckabee never confronts the anthropocentric global warming (which frankly, I think is hogwash) issue head on. Instead, he diverts the discussion to stewardship of God’s creation, which he also ties to advancing toward energy independence, which I think are both worthy objectives. Is the Independent going to support this guy who is positive about the integrity of the environment and reducing largely foreign-based fossil fuel dependence or the “hogwash” guy?

Huckabee is also unequivocal and forceful about the atrocity and unconstitutionality of The Law Of The Sea Treaty and any subversion of American sovereignty.

I’m just listening to Hugh Hewitt with Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke, all of them saying that Huckabee (the fiscal “moderate” nonsense), Thompson (not making anything happen) and McCain (no money) can’t make it, and it’s a two man race between Romney and Giuliani. I’ll leave that in God’s hands. But Hewitt and Barnes are satisfied to ask social conservatives, the largest single interest group in the country, to hold their noses and trudge out to vote for a Republican nominee who not only doesn’t excite, but repels them.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

As you know, I've said that some of Mike's "supporters" are his worst enemies for demanding that he adhere to far-right orthodoxy. As far as "Eagle Forum," it's basically an outgrowth of Phyllis Schlafley's bizarre beliefs. Plus, it seems to have about 500 members nationwide, so Mike can live without them. What Mike has to do is convince what one observer called "normal Republicans" to vote for him. He does well with evangelicals, although many of them continue to support Giuliani, McCain, and Romney, but evangelicals make up about 30% of the Republican vote. As for Brownback, I think he'll sit this one out until the primaries. I don't believe Mike will get over 10% in a national poll, although Rasmussen, who seems to make it up as he goes along, might be an exception. The Gallup and ORC polls seem to be the most credible. The poll evidence seems to be that a decent chunk of Mike's supporters have Rudy in mind for their number two choice. Mike's bloggers are paying a positive role in his campaign, but they have to learn how to welcome supporters who don't go to mega-churches in the Southwest. Some of Mike's bloggers (Triva at ThinkAware being a good example) will not reprint comments that disagree with them on seemingly any points. What are they afraid of?


Note: On Zogby's Polls: In the past, they've used Internet polling, which even Ron Paul's supporters might admit is a crock.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

The biggest problem with Mike's "Celebration of Life" is that it doesn't tackle the problem of millions of children who are living in atmospheres of poverty and/or abuse. I read about Dr. Laurence White's Gabriel group that provides assistance to (a few) troubled women who are pregnant. Two months after the baby is born the Gabriel Group apparently goes on to other matters, leaving the mother on her own. That is not good enough. The key political problem now is that pro-life candidates, including Mike, are ignoring a point Larry made some time ago: that the chances of passing a constitutional amendment overturning Roe are about the same as a snowstorm in Miami. The issue then becomes which candidate is going to do the most to reduce abortions (and, relatedly, increase adoptions). I think discerning evangelicals are beginning to recognize that candidate, based on his record, is Rudy Giuliani. That's why more than half of the Republicans polled list Rudy as either their first choice or their second choice.

steve maloney

Larry Perrault said...

First, I don't fo to a maga-church. Second, I'm not sure what planet your posts come from: whatever reality comes along, you define according to your wishes. Rasmussen "makes it up as he goes along..." ?? What have you (NOT) been watching? How many polls will you discount as they report Huckabee over 10%? As many as it takes, it would seem. As things stand, the only way that Huckabbe's polls will NOT break into the teens is an abrupt halt or reversal of the trends OF THE ENTIRE YEAR.

Frankly, you talk a lot about Christianity but make a diversion of ridiculing Christians, not merely for their errors but for their supposed evil. This is not temperate or brotherly. And, I frankly cannot understand how a Christian can be so gung ho about Rudy Giuliani. And again, it's not about his divorce(s) or his Monty Python drag skits, and I don't dislike him. He is simply unqualified for the job he's applying for. He won't make it and if he does, the Republican Party is dead for the 2008 election and has made a great stride back to the Rockefeller Republican 60-years in the minority wilderness. You can't possibly be the dupe that you play, with all of this talk about "strict constructionist" judges and positive movement for the cause of human life. I could bet you about how Huckabee will continue to climb in the polls and will finish AT LEAST second in the Iowa Caucuses, but I have no reason to expect that you would honor the bet. Are you pulling my leg or are you honest-to-goodness as foolish as you sound?

Larry Perrault said...

I can talk about the formidable task of passing a constitutional amendment. But, I"M not running for anything. Such axplanations do not fit into a political campaign. If Huckabee had been making them, he would be closer to Duncan Hunter-Tom Tancredo Land, right now. To say that you support a constitutional amendment is, as I said, shorthand for "I think abortion is an unconstitutional and socially corrosive practice: sentiments that I am entirely in agreement with. There's an example: you can't seriously believe that Rudy Giuliani poses a more productive potential for enhancing the respect and protection of life than Mike Huckabee. You clearly seem foolish, but you don't seem to be an idiot.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Why did you quote the Rasmussen Poll when you could go to RealClearPolitics and see what the average of the major polls is? Larry, the most obvious sign of a dishonest approach is, according to a New York Times bestseller, the person who makes up his mind and then goes around searching for statistics somewhere (anywhere) to back up his preconception, which is exactly what you do. I wrote a piece a month ago why there would not be a constituional amendment on abortion, and then you wrote basically the same piece, without attribution. I cited a few national polls on your site to help give your readers some sense of where Mike stands nationally. He's somewhere between 5%-7% nationally, with most polls closer to the 5% figure. You have no respect for anybody who disagrees with you -- and I assure you 95% of the world does. When I say something that does in fact reflect the views of people who do serious polling or serious analysis, you might at least consider it. As for your mega-church (a large group of people radiating smugness & self-righteousness), I was speaking metaphorically. I doubt seriously that my views of Mike's followers, the Romans and their ilk, differs from the candidate's own thoughts.

steve maloney

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Here's the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll conducted last week.

Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll 10-25-07 GOP Nomination (trends since Oct. 10 poll) Rudy Giuliani 31% (+2) Fred Thompson 17% (+1) John McCain 12% (even) Mitt Romney 7% (-4) Mike Huckabee 5% (even) Duncan Hunter 3% (+2) Tom Tancredo 2% (even) Ron Paul 1% (-1).

Second Choice for Republican Nominee Rudy Giuliani 22% John McCain 20% Fred Thompson 14% Mitt Romney 11% Mike Huckabee 4% Ron Paul 3% Duncan Hunter 3% Tom Tancredo 2%.

If the United States were suddenly in an extremely serious crisis, which presidential candidate would you want to be president at that moment? (Republicans Only) Rudy Giuliani 39% John McCain 12% Fred Thompson 11% Mitt Romney 3% Mike Huckabee 2% Ron Paul 1%.

Among Independents (Only included Republican candidates) John McCain 17% Rudy Giuliani 12% Fred Thompson 3% Mike Huckabee 2% Ron Paul 1% Mitt Romney 0% Polling was conducted by telephone October 23-24, 2007, in the evenings.

Larry Perrault said...

First: get real! Give YOU attribution for having stated the obvious? I'm not an idiot, nor do I need to rely on them to confirm patent facts. What, do we owe you attribution before we can acknowledge that 2+2=4? I didn't and wouldn't go to school on YOU.

As for polls, I don't need a FOX poll to tell me that most Americans are restricted to the information that they get from changing the channel from Survivor to Office. I don't, but my typical family does. They are very bright people, but if they did not live with a mole who tunnels through all the information about the ground-level progress of the campaign and trends among those who already are certain to participate in the nominating process, they would only know that funny name, "Huckabee," from having heard it mentioned a few times on NPR. Being underestimated by you is just one of a plethora of annoyances that you so eagerly bring. I'm quite happy to wait and see what happens rather than engage an inane prognosticatory urinary competition. It's more interesting to imagine how you might explain it (away), when you are wrong. It will probably involve a good deal of depredation of the evil agents who perpetrated this injustice upon the system.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

If the Republicans win the presidency in 2008 -- and that's a big "IF" -- there's a good chance the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. Frankly, there are four votes to do so right now (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito). There is an extremely shakey fifth vote, that of Justice Kennedy. There are four certain votes to sustain Roe. Again, if the Republicans win -- and the candidate who can do so probably will be Giuliani -- and Roe goes, the issue of abortion will be in the hands of state legislators and governors. Some states (about half) will have relatively permissive laws on abortion and some (about half?) will have restrictive legislation. At the state level, social conservatives will have to learn something they don't do well: persuade people (independents, Democrats, pro-choice Republicans) that restrictions on abortion are beneficial to society. Hysterical statements will persuade no one. Mike Huckabee today on CNN called abortion in the U.S. a "holocaust," apparently comparing it to the Nazi destruction of European Jewry. I'm sure Mike's words warmed the heart of far-right evangelicals, but it didn't win him any NEW friends, which he desperately needs if he's to become a serious candidate for President. Historically, civilized societies have not regarded early-term abortions as "murder" (or some sort of holocaust). In the U.S. currently, about four-of-five people support early-term abortions being legal.

Also, as William Blackstone pointed out long ago, English Common Law did not regard it as a form of homicide. In the New Testament, abortion, which was known at the time, is not mentioned. These are not my "opinions"; these are historical facts. (Something similar to abortion is mentioned in the Book of Exodus.)

There are good summary discussions of abortion in Wikipedia, especially those listed under: "Human Life Amendment" and "Quickening."

Larry Perrault said...

I'm posting something today, that states my strong conviction that, in fact, Rudy Giuliani canNOT win.

I in fact, doubt that the four SC justices you mention would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Scalia and Thomas would, and maybe Alito. But, I'm very iffy about Roberts. If they felt stronly about it, why wouldn't they be inviting considering of a case to challenge it? I served on the board of a pro-life organization a lawyer of which was preparing a brief in a case to challenge RvW. He actually thought his sound argument might succeed. I was pretty certain that that was unjustified hope.

I saw Mike on "Late Edition, today. Of course, that isn't the first time that the issue of the "holocaust" language has been raised, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, for starters, took great exception to it.

My immediate reaction was that I would explain that I meant in no way to diminish the WWII Jewish holocaust. Rather, it suggests how strongly I feel that the legitimizing of the practice of abortion is an atrocity. What anyone "feels" is not the issue. People "felt" a lot of things in history. A whole lot of people "felt" in American history that slavery was legitimate, and they would have described themselves as "civilized." So, what? By the way, certainly in the 1930's, Germany was considered a "civilized" society as well?

Listen, I think the legitimization of abortion in the USA is an American heresy, in addition to being a social calamity that I think presents a terminal social illness. But that being said, I don't tyhink the "murder" language is helpful. We are looking to heal the problem. And I think that language repels more often than it persuades. That's a BIG reason I support Huckabee: he is not unnecessarily aggressive, but tries to be persuasive.

Hey, I'm well aware of the very unique circumstances of abortion. I think we need to consider and address them, and that's a challenge to Christians as much as to others. But, that in no way diminishes the social sickness that practices and legitimizes abortion.