Friday, October 12, 2007

Today's Buzzes, Web Traffic and "Frontrunners," and Coulter's Criticism Of Huckabee and Latest Controversy

Today, I just note some of the campaign info on the web and some of today’s social buzz. And, I post a question about Ann Coulter’s dismissive article about Mike Huckabee:

A New Hampshire Independent had her letter published in the Concord Monitor, that is typical of a lot of non-partisan or even opposite party comments in political discussions: Huckabee for me

The Bulletin in Philadelphia published Huckabee’s opposition to the UN “Law of the Sea Treaty” proposal to turn over regulation of 70% of the world’s oceans to the United Nations:

Huckabee Denounces Power Grab By UN

I also read this story: Brownback Trying to Revive Campaign Brownback says he’s trying to show that he is more than just pro-life. Perhaps he should, because if the issue of the sanctity of life was primary for him, when the “frontrunners” are dubious or ambiguous in their expression on that subject, Brownback wouldn’t be looking forward to divide the pro-life vote by pulling away even the few percent of votes that he may draw in the Iowa caucuses

Huckabee got another interview with the not-so sympathetic (in terms of understanding both ideals and situation) people at Newsweek/MSNBC: The Gospel According to Mike Huckabee .

A web traffic monitor has some interesting numbers on the presidential candidate web sites:

Oh, yes. And, of course, that giant of our time, Al Gore won The Nobel Prize, which has plainly demonstrated its plunge to utter frivolity. Do you think mine is just the ordinary 50-year-old perplexity over the foolishness that his world has become? I’ve been pondering the dogma of the secularist religion, which has its own metaphysical faith statements, creation myth, blasphemies, profanities, heresies, etc. Disaster from anthropogenic global warming is the secularist Apocalypse.


Anyone who has been involved online with the campaign for president in 2008 knows that activists for Ron Paul swarm the Internet discussion. “Hitwise” web traffic monitoring shows that Paul’s site is getting more than twice as much traffic as any other Republican candidate, over a 37% market share.

Second at 17.4% is the one that media has celebrated as the supposed “great conservative hope,” Fred Thompson, despite his variance on issues like marriage and the 1st Amendment (campaign finance reform), and even his willingness to have represented pro-abortion groups as an attorney/lobbyist. There’s more than enough for James Dobson to have declared Thompson no hope for him. Fortunately, Thompson left at least enough time for people to investigate him for 3 months, before the voting begins.

But just behind at 3rd in web traffic is…MIKE HUCKABEE! Wait! How can THAT be? Where are the “frontrunners? Well, at 10.34% is Mitt Romney, who was the only alternative to Giuliani and McCain before Fred was thrust into the breach between conservatives and the “frontrunners.” Rudy and McCain? 5.45 and 4.73%, respectively, around 1/3 of Huckabee’s traffic and well behind Duncan Hunter.

This reflects what I have talked about and highlight below: people who care enough to investigate for themselves and or are more aware of what is happening on the ground (as opposed to on the air), are not so interested in the media’s circus. But polls reflect that more people still get their political information primarily or entirely from the conventional media of television, radio, and print. As I’ve said, habits are changing, but old habits die hard. I hope we can assume that as the voting approaches, more people will investigate online for more details.

Why Are The “Frontrunners” Frontrunners?

Maybe it is a sign of how jaded many people are by the media faux-reality, that no one asks this obvious question. Even people that I consider more thoughtful and attentive than average, seem to fall under the spell of this fabricated perception.

Today again, I heard these supposed authorities surmise (3 months ahead of the first votes, mind you) that “…it looks like the (Republican) nominee will be either Giuliani or Romney.” More “generous” people may allow that Thomson or Giuliani still have a shot.

But, I’m pretty certain that things are not going to fall out as simply as some people imagine: We’ve already seen it and it wasn’t that for me, then. But, expect the word “surprise” to make another indecorous entrance into the campaign coverage, in the coming months.


I have been an ardent Mick Huckabee supporter. But I am disturbed by an article on World Net Daily wherein Ann Coulter makes the following quote:

Writes Coulter: "On illegal immigration, Huckabee makes George Bush sound like Tom Tancredo. He has compared illegal aliens to slaves brought here in chains from Africa, saying, 'I think frankly the Lord is giving us a second chance to do better than we did before.'

"Toward that end, when an Arkansas legislator introduced a bill that would prevent illegal aliens from voting and receiving state benefits, Huckabee denounced the bill, saying it would rile up 'those who are racist and bigots.' ...

If that is Huckabee's stance on illegal immigration, I am afraid I can no longer support him. Do you have any knowledge of his position on this, or why he would make such a statement?

Yes, I do have knowledge of Huckabee’s immigration posture. As you’ve noticed, I’m paying rather close attention, both to information from within the campaign and from without, and thank you for asking.

To begin with, Mike Huckabee is straightforward that America needs to control its border. Unless you live in liberal unreality, which he does not, that should be obvious both for the sake of security and the integrity of the law. And, we can’t propose anything as a solution which holds no price for having broken the law.

Secondly, it sounds like you are familiar enough with Ann Coulter to know that she yields both instinctive reflexes (hasty reactions can easily be inaccurate, as she is here) and harsh hyperbolic responses. “Makes George W. Bush look like Tom Tancredo?” Ann Coulter provides a good example of two things: 1) impetuous responses based on imperfect information, which is particularly ironic, given that Coulter is, herself, a scalding critic of the distortion presented in shallow pop-culture accounts. And 2) the kind of visceral reflexes of some conservatives that I was talking about. But, read this carefully.

Huckabee blogger One Mom addressed Ann Coulter’s article Somebody give Ann Coulter a bone to chew on please , saying Ann Coulter is “the worst thing that has happened to Republicans.” I probably wouldn’t state it that simply and starkly (it seems sort of a Coulteresque thing to say), but I agree in that I think she’s hurting the Republican cause. Listen, I’ve read Ann Coulter’s stuff and looked at her books. She’s bright and usually correct in what she is criticizing. And her books and points are well-documented. But, her snide abrasiveness only repels people that we should be and Mike Huckabee is appealing to. She’s usually accurate, but she’s no evangelist. Her trade is war and the artillery is the most dripping disdain. Unfortunately, that’s the game today, especially in popular culture media, and she’s probably the right’s greatest shark at that game.

I suppose I could categorize my objections to Coulter into two main points: First, she is not spreading the conservative gospel to unbelievers. She is only titillating conservative hecklers in the grandstand. You should recall that I have in years past, been guilty of the same kind of focus. And, I wasn’t even making a lucrative living at it. Anyway, I repent of that unproductive disposition. And speaking of money, she wears that success like a badge of honor. EVERY TIME she is questioned about the harshness and/or immodesty of her rhetoric, she refers directly to her book sales. I’d love to make a living writing articles and books. But, God help me do it by manifesting the character of Jesus Christ, not as a rhetorical conservative headhunter.

That is the other major problem I have with Coulter: she’s very assertive about being a Christian and she’s able enough about the superiority of a Christian worldview. In her last book, “Godless,” she’s very pointed about the error underlying the pseudo-scientific bluster of evolution and secularism, and again, very accurate. But, I’ve said about other people who are even professional Christian ministers: I’m particularly troubled by people who talk a lot about Jesus and don’t make near as much effort to act like him. Anyway, I think her reactions are often knee-jerk and unproductive. And in the case of Huckabee I think they are downright destructive because her noise undermines what is good for both The Republican Party and America…and probably the world. Anyway, back to Mike Huckabee:

Huckabee has made such references to the error and intemperance of some dispositions to immigrants. I sincerely believe that conservatives should veer away from actual and perceived…let’s say ethnic hostilities. It is true that Republicans have done a dismal job of appealing to black Americans, even though many of them are very conservative, especially on social issues. I believe that much of this is an expression of concession to liberal classification of conservatives as instinctively bigoted and the consequent domination of ethnic voting by Democrats. And, in surrendering by doing things like skipping appealing to historically Democrat-dominated constituencies like blacks, unions, etc., Republicans in fact lend credence to these accusations.

In Arkansas when Governor Huckabee was attacked by anti-immigration zealots because he would not sign on to a bill to deny scholarships to qualifying high-school graduates who had gone through school and done the necessary work , but were the children of illegal immigrants. Huckabee said essentially, that it’s one thing to hold an illegal immigrant responsible for breaking the law. But, it’s another thing to penalize their children who have done the work and qualified for the opportunity to go to college and become more educated and productive students.

Protesters focused on the granting of benefits to illegal immigrants (in this case, to their children). Again, I only see Huckabee as striving to exhibit Christian character of the sort that even the Old Testament exhorted toward people of alien cultures. These children are precisely the ones who are applying themselves to positively assimilate into American society.

And, even bigotry that is not overt and aggressive, is based in fear and discomfort with difference. And, it’s hardly a uniquely American phenomenon: it’s historically and geographically ubiquitous among humans. People are instinctively anxious about physical and cultural traits that are not native to their home culture. And, those anxieties are easily inflamed with rhetoric. I know a lot of conservatives who are not overtly hostile to other groups. But, they are disturbed by 1) the unhealthy historical actions of liberal government, with favoritist policies like coerced affirmative action. And 2) these are added to or combined with the broadcast fears of conservatives.

Liberal activists inspire Hispanics for example, to rally for cultural “pride” and group favors.

And, pictures get shot of Mexican demonstrators flying Mexican flags above American flags that are perhaps upside down. A few such pictures inflame conservative people from coast to coast. Affirmative action has people of otherwise good intentions who are not ordinarily racially hostile, clinched in suspicion and resentment upon the introduction of the matter of minorities. And of course, that plays into the hands of liberals who will accuse them of base racism from the start. It’s all a political battle. And, conservatives should assertively reject any appearance of the base hostility of accusations and suspicions. The examples that rile conservatism are not representative of the average minority on the street.

I am not suggesting and neither is Huckabee that we ought to fudge our principles and lean toward government pseudo-solutions to their concerns, which is the fear that jolts some conservatives like Coulter to apoplexy. There are plenty of them. I have been attacked by these groups, myself, which is ironic: I have been and often still am criticized as an inflexible conservative. In fact, I did leave what I deemed an unprincipled Republican Party as you will recall, for which I was roundly scorned.

Anyway, Huckabee points out in the context of asserting that we must control and regulate our border, that the largest part of our immigration problem is not the immigrants who want to come and work and earn money, like immigrants to America always have. Of course we need to screen immigration of dangerous and anarchic elements. But, the largest part of the problem has been the ineptitude of our own government in its failure to regulate the border, screening out bad elements and easing and welcoming those who will demonstrate an honorable intention to be lawful and productive. Instead, the legal immigration process is bureaucratically clogged so as to fairly invite disrespect of the law and illegal overflow.

America frankly has a great demand for dependable labor. I’m in Houston, which is a huge magnet: Yard work and housecleaning and maintenance and minor construction and such are dominated by Hispanic immigrants; mostly Mexican but also Central American. Because our government has made such a hash of labor and immigration law, most of this is carried on in sort of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” fashion, as regards immigration status. Are they legal? People don’t know and don’t want to know. The labor demand pulls people like gravity pulls water downward. If water is poured through an immigration funnel that only leaks legal individuals through the bottom and, in fact, the process of legalization may actually carry a labor market disadvantage, then the water will pour over the top of the funnel, illegally. Our system has as in other places, encouraged law-breaking and made a mockery of law.

Huckabee has no inclination to continue to weaken the integrity of the law and the unregulated flow of immigration. He is no Bush or McCain who would try to sweep the illegality under the rug. But no, he is no Tom Tancredo, either. Tom Tancredo is a well-intentioned man and I like him, but the animus that would lead him to suggest even a moratorium on legal immigration, represents moral, social, and political error. I’m sure you have read my bold statements that I think the Hispanic population may represent America’s best opportunity to revive American values about God, family, and work that have been tainted by a century of Euro-American socialism. I really believe that pollution of the American dream is a problem inside America, not coming in from outside. To me, an airtight border with no regulated inflow locks the rot inside, not outside. I saw it very starkly even in The Republican convention process. Our education system is training people in ideas that corrupt what was the basic genius of America. People from what were recently called “third world” countries are in a much better position to understand equality under the law and creator-endowed human rights than the average white American suburbanite, these days.

1 comment:

Stephen R. Maloney said...

For a change, Larry makes some good points about the immigration debate, where my own position is very similar to Mike Huckabee's. One major failing of Larry's -- and he avoids it in his comments on Ann Coulter's "Christianity" -- is that he praises some highly unChristian people, including Dr. Laurence White and James Dobson. The latter thinks it's fine to hit children ("Suffer little children") with wooden spoons (his version of the "rod") and to pinch them in their necks where there are many nerves. "Evangelicals" who pinch their children in that place leave no marks, so they aren't in danger of ending up in jail, where they belong. The problem with Larry is that he identifies such people as 'good Christians' or perhaps as "values voters." Now, we all known that values voters in general are people who fail to love their neighbors but instead despises people who disagree with them on matters like abortion, abuse of children, immigration, or the rights of gays and lesbians to equal protection under the law. In the case of Ann Coulter, Larry is correct that she titillates the "base" (the basest of the base) while driving away independents and moderate Democrats. One major problem Mike's campaign has shown about evangelicals is that they're mainly cheapskates, leading to a situation where Mike doesn't raise nearly enough money to conduct an effective campaign. The real Republicans are gathering together (in huge numbers) at the new web site: and at my own site. Everyone who is a decent human being is welcome. People who believe in harming children, including the pretentious Dr. Dobson, are not welcome.

Larry is correct in indicating that Christianity is not about sanctimony of hatred of gays, immigrants, and others. I urge him to follow his own advice.

Mike Huckabee has indicated he will support the Republican nominee. That should drive away the small number of egomaniacs who have been marginal supporters of his. No matter, the other candidates welcome their support -- and their advice.