Friday, November 30, 2007

Star Parker: The unfair rap against Mike Huckabee

Star Parker: The unfair rap against Mike Huckabee

Star Parker explains how the attacks against Huckabee are inaccurate and unfair. As she did in her original announcement of support for Huckabee, Parker concedes that there is some legitimacy to the complaints, before saying much of it is illegitimate. I’ve always loved Star Parker and have been to a few pro-life banquets where she spoke. Her article has the signal qualification of being sincere. However, her concessions still bear the great liability of being inaccurate. I will excerpt the paragraph in which she allows these, concessions, insert corrections, and then discuss what Huckabee is guilty of, if you still want to call it guilt. I don’t, incidentally.

There's some justification, of course, to these labels. Huckabee invites them when he expresses reservations about free trade, which he does,

fair trade. That is, imported goods should be subject to the same safety standards as the American products they will compete with. And by the way, if a Fair Tax were implemented, the tax/subsidy inequity would be eliminated: imbedded taxes would be eliminated from American products, and the sales tax would apply equally>

when he talks about energy independence, which he does,

It’s more than unclear how talking about energy independence translates to big-government, unless you reflexively translate to government regulation of private interests, which liberals almost always do and many conservatives appear to reflexively fear. But, Huckabee has proposed no such thing. From what he has said, I would speculate that the extent of government involvement that Huckabee would offer would be tax incentives for the achievement of energy alternatives in which private industry might invest. The development of alternative energy technologies not only seeks cleaner energy production but enhanced national security. As Huckabee says, we could tell Middle Eastern oil producers that their oil is no more important to us than their sand. Incidentally, Huckabee supports expanded domestic oil exploration in the interim.

…and when he endorses ideas such as a nationally mandated ban on smoking in public places.

I’ve been over this: Huckabee never introduced such an idea. At Lance Armstrong’s cancer forum, while discussing the law passed in Arkansas, Chris Matthews asked Huckabee if he would sign a smoking ban as president, if Congress put one on his desk. Huckabee said he would, but NOT as an intervention in places like bars and restaurants (he later explained that that would (implied improperly) impose on the public. But, rather he would endorse it as an OSHA sort of workplace safety regulation. In a world where the federal government has (unconstitutionally, but nevertheless) assumed a liability for an enormous bill for health care services. To discourage poor diet, inactivity, and smoking is just bare economic prudence, beyond the potential life benefits.

But read Star Parker’s article. She’s a good lady. I want to write something about how a conventional approach to information is leaving ole political hands behind the ordinary person who can and will scour the Internet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More On Huckabee, Attacks, And Predictions

The blogger replied and I to his reply:

DMOnline said...

My gut tells me that Huckabee is peaking about 4 weeks too soon.

I fully expect him to come under fire in tonight's debate. That fire will primarily be coming from Romney but also a bit from McCain & Thompson. Rudy will likely hold his fire unless Huckabee goes after him. It's in Rudy's best interest to see Huckabee do well in IA. But that's it. Then he needs to be stopped.

Since evangelicals make up the overwhelming majority of those who participate in IA caucuses, doing well there is a natural for Huckabee. The questions are, will any mud stick and has he simply peaked too soon? It's too bad this isn't New Years Day.

But Huckabee's surge in IA also points out a very real problem for Romney most don't want to mention. He's a Mormon - not a Southern Baptist. Or even just a Methodist for that matter. For religious conservatives, Huckabee offers a viable alternative to Romney with whom they may not feel entirely comfortable.

As for Florida, Rudy has built a substantial firewall there. Barring the unforeseen, Rudy will win Florida and much of the February 5 contests.


November 28, 2007 7:20 PM

Larry Perrault said...

One might well ask if Huckabee is peaking to soon, especially in the context of a contest where the popular culture barely registered him on the map a few months ago. But objectively speaking, it is quite reasonable to ask why we would think he is "peaking," which implies 1) that his ascent has reached an apex, and 2) that he will decline henceforward. What God said either of those things?

Yes, the mud is sure to come and the question is whether it will stick. From my perspective, if it does stick, then it was well thrown, because the formidable task, especially in today's open communications world is: to make a false attack stick. Whether that will happen is the true question. The matter of "peaking" is a reflexive question based on a the context of a mindset conditioned by pop-culture that has no factual substance behind it.

It WILL get ugly. Mitt Romney hasn't poured close to 25 million dollars into Iowa for nothing. And, the money-cons aren't going to sit still for a social conservative commandeering their party.

Dick Morris: Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative

Dick Morris has published an article today respecting the false attacks against Huckabee. Here is the article and a comment I left at another blog:

Dick Morris: Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative

You should bear in mind that Morris is not a social conservative and was a Giuliani supporter last time I checked. Hugh Hewitt and the Hewittettes will say that’s why he is defending Huckabee: to hurt Romney and help Giuliani. But Morris has watched Arkansas politics for a long time. He worked for Huckabee and this other guy before him named Clinton.

I responded on another blog that conceded Huckabee might win Iowa but couldn’t carry on in New Hampshire and would drop out after losing in South Carolina:

“What happens if Huckabee wins in Iowa, finishes 3rd in NH, and wins SC? A poll yesterday, showed him moving into 2nd in Florida. If he wins SC and gets to 20% in MI (I predict around 19% in NH, right now), he can still compete strongly in Florida.

He definitely has to have an answer to the conservative critics. But 1) the people in Iowa don't seem to be buying it. And 2) they are mostly untrue and disingenuous. There is plenty of information available online to refute this stuff, including an article today by Dick Morris: Huckabee Is A Fiscal Conservative. Of course, Morris is not even a social conservative and in fact got into this contest as a Giuliani supporter. He did, however, work with and observe Huckabee in Arkansas and cites that experience in his case.

To me, that is the question: can the establishment Republicans make some mud stick to Huckabee? Maybe the old political strategy of throwing mud and expert endorsements is weakening with the facts immediately available on the Internet.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Contribute To Online Fundraising Goal

Monday, November 26, 2007

What's With Novak And Other Conservatives Resistance To Huckabee?

Robert Novak published another conservative denigration of Mike Huckabee today, The False Conservative .

The Huckabee campaign web site posted a response by a Huckabee-supporting K-Street lobbyist:

Robert Novak is trying to stir the waters against Governor Huckabee. Well K Street Mole has set him straight.

I must say that all of this supposed conservative disparagement of Huckabee has been something of an eye-opener for me. Were it not for the fact that the lines of rhetoric are transparently fictitious, I might feel rather insulted. As have others, Novakdepicts a problem of the competing interest of social and fiscal conservatives. There are obviously potential competing interests if you assume the horses act to pull the conservative sled in diverse directions.

However, as I have said before, I was conservative before there were adjectives or prefixes to conservatism. Social, fiscal, defense…I’m all three. I was born under Eisenhower and my first political consciousness was of Barry Goldwater, whom my family supported in all quarters in 1964. My cousin is not named Barry for a relative. We were fiscal conservatives before adolescent baby-boomers introduced a need for social conservatives. And as Novak acknowledges, the reason that Republicans gained power in America in my lifetime is because all three have tended to pull in one direction.

I refer to transparent fiction promulgated by these howling fiscal conservatives: The unsubstantiated sloppiness of Novak’s piece is not typical of his reporting or writing. I said I could be insulted because the tone of his rhetoric suggests that as a social conservative, I have been unable in a near year of intense observation, to recognize a fiscal liberal when it hits me right in the face. I’m not stupid and neither are the many millions of us who were unaware the supposed potential dissolution of our fiscal conservatism by our social conservatism.

I suppose we’ll see just how strong the fiscal conservatism is among social conservatives. Because in my case, many of these people are in the process of discrediting themselves: not because my social and fiscal conservatism cannot dwell together as they always have. Rather, it is because Mike Huckabee presents no strain between the two. And contrary to what Novak suggests, it is clearly not the social side, but the fiscal side that is fomenting division. To consider why, drives me into the realm of speculation.

Oh, I understand that Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson must create contrast because they are competing for the nomination. As a Huckabee supporter, to me this points up the distinction between personal on their part and social ambition on Huckabee’s part. You may disagree. But, consider Huckabee’s explanation that the course is easier for him, because he does not have to consider what he once said or how strategists have coached him. His Republican convictions have not changed since he formed them as a teenager in a Democratic fishbowl: family, town, and state. As he has said, you won’t find YouTube video of him taking positions contradictory to those he takes, today. I beg you to look at all of the candidates... Giuliani and Romney have sung different tunes in the past. And, though Thompson’s charges sound desperate in his waning campaign, I won’t criticize the character of him and McCain, though they clearly haven’t a crystal clear view of the fundamentals of America’s founding, and shouldn’t be the chief executive charged with protecting and defending The Constitution. Neither should Giuliani. Romney may have had a recent epiphany?

But, back to the non-competitor critics: You can search this blog for comment on The Club for Growth’s criticism, which I think is motivated by political and contributor ties, and for links to others’ meticulous combing of Huckabee’s record, for which Novak only offers a broad rake. Radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt has something large vested in Romney and has been talking Huckabee down, though today he said Huckabee will be on his program this week, which airs daily at 6pm ET, 5pm CT. Hewitt’s comments also seem shallow and contrived. For example, today when a caller asked why Duncan Hunter has not fared better with conservatives, Hewitt said that he doesn’t have the money to get his message out…Huckabee is now getting it out because he’s finally getting some money. Hugh Hewitt doesn’t strike me as a stupid man. But, anyone can clearly see that it’s the other way around: Huckabee’s now getting some money BECAUSE he’s gotten his message out. Hewitt also said the Huckabee boomlet is over once word like Novak’s column, which he repeated twice before I tuned out, gets out. He was also asked about the Zogby poll that showed Huckabee beating Hillary Clinton by the widest margin. “Well, that’s Zogby,” Hewitt said dismissively.

So, what’s up with these fiscal conservative critics? Honestly, I can’t say, but something isn’t straight up. Is it just jealousy that money conservatives might not be distinctly primary in The Republican Party? Who would they like to be the Bob Michel in a new permanent House minority?

Novak was raised Jewish but began attending Christian services in the 1990’s and was baptized Roman Catholic in 1998. So, I wouldn’t expect a violent reaction to social conservatism. Or are his fiscal roots just older and deeper? I don’t know. But Novak isn’t known for specious reporting, and this looks weak to me. Again, I’m a conservative who has been called an extremist by other conservatives. I argued with liberal teachers in junior high-school. The only Democrat I ever voted for was a South Texas judge that a fellow conservative recommended to me. The great irony of all of this is that Huckabee represents the best opportunity to firm up the conservative divisions. In fact, I have the most confidence in Huckabee to press forward fiscal conservatism!

I will add this: I’m not a fiscal conservative because I don’t care about the non-wealthy, but because I feel strongly that a fiscally conservative system bodes best for everyone in America. I have always hated having to explain that a fiscal conservative is not just an avaricious and heartless derelict. Have I been too confident in some cases? I hope that’s not the case. Anyway, these people at least make me confident that I’m in the right boat.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The campaign hit the 20-day goal. Now, let's really hit the last ten days of November. Compared to earlier in the year, Huckabee is swimming in the contributions. And up omtil now, he's only challenged the Iowa lead of Romney, who has spent well over 20 times as much!
The accounting widget is not working on my blog. I seer that it is on others. But it isn't working, here...I know because I donated through it MYSELF, hours ago.

Fundraising Drive

Monday, November 19, 2007

Maybe The "Conventional Wisdom" Is About To Get The Snot Knocked Out Of It

One certainly hopes so, in one way or another. We’ll discuss the possibilities. But consider Ramesh Ponuru’s Rudy Wins the Pundit Primary , to be published in the December 3, National Review. It discusses how the punditocracy has lined up behind Rudy Giuliani in a considerably lopsided way: a couple for Thompson, a couple for McCain, talk-show host Hugh Hewitt for Romney…and the rest for Rudy. Perhaps the consensus of these heretofore “experts” sheds some light on the endorsements of social conservative political veterans. If you have learned anything from politics in recent decades, it’s that you want to be with a “winner.” And winners are determined by this insular clatch of “experts”: you just have to listen to the right people.

Hewitt for example, has staked his reputation (and one wonders what else) on the “fact” that “it’s a 2-man race,” between Giuliani and Romney. Today, Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke marveled at the movement of Mike Huckabee in Iowa, so that he’s now in a position to actually win in Iowa! So, what do the “experts” say now?

Well…you discount Iowa. Giuliani and to a considerable extent McCain are already doing this, hoping to hold a profile through a sure sound defeat. Fred Barnes wondered, “So, where does (Huckabee) go from there? (Iowa)” Barnes mouthed aloud the consideration of whether Huckabee could actually compete for the nomination. Kondracke assured us that he could not. He ‘s in single digits in very secular New Hampshire and in South Carolina, they noted. So, we might as well be talking about the parting of The Red Sea. Now, never mind that the one responsible for that is still around. But this may be a good example: these guys know what all the “experts” say in their traditional way of sizing these things up.

Anyway, how can “experts” discuss Huckabee’s prospects in South Carolina with no reference to the facts that:

1) a former SC governor and another late governor’s family are leading Huckabee’s SC campaign. And

2) A few months ago, when Huckabee’s poll numbers were even worse, he trounced the rest of the Republican field in Republican straw polls of two of SC’s largest counties. I’m no one, in terms of being a media celebrated expert. But, that’s the point:

All these supposed experts know is that Huckabee trails even Thompson in South Carolina polls.

Houston, Texas is a city of over 3 million people. Thursday night, we had a meeting gathered from those paying close attention to the Huckabee campaign.. There were maybe 15 of us. We can all see that something big and significant is happening. But at least 90% of even Texas voters, have no idea what Mike Huckabee is about. Most don’t even know he’s running for president. But, the few who pay attention to such things know.

A Texas poll today, would show Huckabee far behind here, too. But like in South Carolina, people with their ears to the political ground, know that something is happening. I don’t need any experts to tell me that if Mike Huckabee finishes 1st or 2nd in Iowa and in the top 3 in New Hampshire, he wins South Carolina hands down. And, what the polls say today doesn’t mean a thing. And by the way, if that happens and he’s in the race through February, he wins the Texas primary in March, too. And it matters neither what polls say today, or that Texas’ feckless Republican Governor Rick Perry has endorsed Rudy Giuliani. The only way that Giuliani could finish even second in Texas is if there are more than two people left that include two who will have already been considered hopeless, and I wouldn’t even bet on that.

So yes, the “experts” are perched on a wire and on borrowed time. In ten years, to whatever extent they matter, it won’t be to inform the masses about what’s happening. The conventional wisdom is already an anachronism and will soon be recognized as such…right before they go find a real job. There are six weeks yet to go, but already im place to do very well in Iowa. To stop that now will require not slowing him down, but knocking him back with negative attacks, which are surely coming. But in the new environment, misleading mud will not stick like it used to and could easily backfire: the shriller and riskier it gets, the more we know that Romney is desperate and willing to be risky. Huckabee does need to be certain to get his certain voters out in New Hampshire But if he does, he could pretty much run the table in the South, Florida being the biggest challenge, where he would still be favored. and finish at least in the picture.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mike Huckabee On Fox News Sunday

These interviewers bring up the same issues every time. Chris Wallace has already interviewed Huckabee twice. But, here comes the same o’ stuff: “The Club for Growth… “ Surely, you are all on the Internet enough to know of the Club for Growth’s campaign against Mike Huckabee, that’s been going on since he announced.

Hey, I’m a fiscal conservative and so is Mike Huckabee. We don’t advocate spending, even in a state, which is more than necessary and serves only to tamp economic vitality. The only problem here relative to economic vitality is the fact that economic vitality is not The Club for Growth’s concern. That is clear from the nature of their campaign and the identity and affiliation of their largest contributors.

For example, The Club for Growth criticizes Mike Huckabee because while he was governor of Arkansas, fuel taxes were raised to rebuild a dilapidated highway system. And, the state Supreme Court ordered that something be done about education funding. Huckabee was not satisfied merely to increase education funding, but imposed standards whereby improvements would be measured, and measured improvements happened. Anyone who is concerned about economic vitality knows that you won’t optimize it with a lousy highway system or a lousy education system, Supreme Court rulings or not.

No, The Club for Growth’s campaign is a mercenary one, first instigated by the fact that one of its largest contributors is an old adversary of Huckabee’s. And more recently we have seen that another of its largest contributors is a Mitt Romneyite. Besides the obvious Romney interest in Iowa, multi multi millionaire investment capitalist Romney is the favorite of the high-roller class. There’s nothing wrong with that. But most of these folks have tax preparers and lobbyists who work full-time to shield assets from the income tax, which is why the most wealthy carry a smaller percentage of tax burden, relative to us po’ folks who don’t earn 7 figures. Therefore, these people don’t like The Fair Tax that Huckabee promotes. With the Fair Tax, we would file for and pay no income taxes, no capital gains, no corporate taxes, no inheritance taxes…nothing. Rather, taxes would only be assessed at the point of purchase of any new product. Imagine the tax on John Edwards’ 25,000 square foot home, and on every other daily luxury that are routinely “written off.” Eeek!

There’s a wealth of ignorance afloat on this matter, which I suppose is no great surprise among a people that has only considered what advantages it can angle on April 15, which Huckabee says he’d like to see as just another pretty spring day. The last time I heard Huckabee challenged on The Fair Tax, it was with the supposition that only the poor and the wealthy would benefit, not the vast middle class. Horsepucky! Have you ever noticed how no matter how many tens of thousands of dollars you earn, you manage to spend more at every level? It doesn’t change, no matter how many millions you make. And more spending would be taxed more.

Under The Fair Tax, if you want to shelter your money from taxes, YOU SAVE AND INVEST IT! : An essential art that many Americans have long forgotten. We may only buy what we need, but the more we make, the more we NEED! Speaking of helping the middle class, what do you think it will do for middle-class opportunity to haul back into the country, the trillions of dollars worth of industry and commerce that has fled offshore to avoid America’s onerous taxation of business?

From where I sit today, I just hope that most people will do their own investigating on the Internet, rather than swallowing these 3rd-party words whole. It’s all there, and Huckabee has nothing to hide. I was disappointed today to even hear from George F. Will on ABC’s "This Week" say dismissive things about Huckabee. When the question came up about whether the criticism would hurt Huckabee with conservatives, Will only said that conservatives wouldn’t like it when they hear that he favored giving scholarships to the children of illegal aliens or that he wants to have a 23% (there was emphasis on the number) national sales tax.

Now, George Will is an extraordinarily bright and educated man and writer. I started watching Will’s writing as a teenager. He’s not a shallow reactionary sentimental conservative. He knows and understands the rest of the story in these cases. Shouldn’t even the mention of a 23% sales tax (Yes, it’s high. That’s how much tax America already pays in income, imbedded business and other taxes) also mention that entails the complete elimination of other federal taxes, never mind specifying the breadth of social benefit that poses? And, Huckabee opposed the withholding of a specific scholarship from applicants who were the children of illegal aliens who had qualified in Arkansas school systems. Huckabee says that children shouldn’t be punished for the earlier crimes of parents, and asked if we want a permanent low-wage potential tax taker or an educated and productive tax payer? Yes, if your most urgent priority is to punish illegal aliens even via their children, or you prefer your big-dollar tax evasions, perhaps Huckabee isn’t your guy. But, avail yourself of the facts, not just the questions.

And George Will knows better, so one is left to speculate about what animated his comments. Based on many years of familiarity with Will’s writings, my first speculation might be that Will, the son of educators who earned graduate degrees at Oxford and Princeton and taught in Universities before passing nearly 35 years as a Washington DC-based writer and commentator, does not exactly identify with the Southern evangelical. George Will has written columns about the vulgarity of the mass-abortion culture. But, I’ve also seen and read his dismissal of people who don’t hew to a contemporary pop naturalist dogma. Will’s too smart to be concerned about Huckabee’s conservative credentials, especially relative to the other candidates in the field. The idea is laughable. And Will isn’t a “round ‘em up and deport ‘em all (and their families, too)” or a fan of a manipulable income tax system. Maybe, it’s just a simple provincial, “he’s not my kind of people.”

As Huckabee has said, it makes it a lot easier on him that he just says what he believes and doesn’t have to remember what he said before or what an advisor told him to say. But, I’m certain Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson will make him have to say it over, and over, and over…

Friday, November 16, 2007

It Looks Like It's Happening - Let Your Servant Depart In Peace

Of course, polls of the last few days have shown Huckabee to be within the margin of error of Mitt Romney’s lead in Iowa: first Wednesday’s CBS/New York Times pool with 27% for Romney to 21% for Huckabee, then Thursday’s American Research Group poll showing Romney – 26% and Huckabee - 24%. It’s two different polls and polls vary. But, the trend is consistent with tat of the last three months, including the accelerating pace of change. It means more notice on conventional media and on political web sites, including a quickly scheduled appearance Thursday night on FOX’s Hannity & Colmes, which will continue to increase the buzz and the movement.

We’ve been hearing that the level of commitment to favored candidates has been soft for months. As Huckabee shows his viability, the soft top of Romney and Thompson’s support should tumble to Huckabee which would feed itself. The only thing the move will tread through is an inevitable barrage of attacks from opponents, including Romney who has tens of millions of dollars vested in his lead. And old political opponents will be dug up to tell horror stories about Huckabee’s past.

The great news is that Mike Huckabee isn’t worried. He has nothing to hide. He will just continue to face the questions and leave it to the people to judge and for God to control. The touchiest thing is for Romney to calculate how to plant doubts without overstepping and being caught in an obvious and outrageous deception or becoming Mr. Negative, either of which of course would only make things worse for him with a faster fall. I’d rather be in Huckabee’s shoes, for sure. He has the message and the truth, and Romney has LOTS of money. That’s where we’ve been for 4 or 5 months. Result? About a twenty point increase in Romney has burned many millions in advertising to stand still, at best.

I’ve been keeping and tweaking predictions since June. I picked Romney and Huckabee’s 1,2 finish in the Aug. Ames, Iowa Straw Poll and almost picked Romney’s numbers dead on (32% while he finished with 31.5%) and missed Huckabee’s by 2 percentage points.

I’ve been doing the same since, and have projected Huckabee winning for a couple of weeks, now. It’s going to be an interesting holiday season with all the feathers flying. But, I’ve been praying for months and haven’t been so thankful since I got married and my kids were born!

By the way, today's Rasmussen national tracking poll has Huckabee tied for 2nd.

We had a Houston Huckabee MeetUp, Thursday evening. No big surprises there: just a bunch of people who are struck by an unprecedentedly promising prospect for America, and just kinda fired up about it and talking about what we can do. The MeetUp organizer picked me up as I no longer drive. As I told him, I’m 50 years old now, and have paid close attention to society, the world, and politics since JFK was assassinated when I was 6. I went to a Nixon rally in 1968. But I haven’t ridden with a winner through the primaries since Reagan in 1980, whom I had lost with against Ford in 1776. I think it would be fair enough to win twice in your life. I was excited in 1980, but this sentimental ol’ dude has way more emotion wrapped up in this one. It almost seems like after this victory I’d feel like Simeon, as my father always quoted from The King James Version when something good happened:

Luke 2:29 (King James Version)

29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

Now THAT, was a bigger deal!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

See This Short Video: What We Need/We Just Need To Do The Right Thing

This video was posted at the campaign blog, today: What We Need

One of the friends that I sent it to responded…” Thank you Larry, I agree completely! I truly hope he wins....I will forward this to friends...”

I answered with these comments about what forces were at work:

Thanks. I honestly think that the battle is in the early states. In Iowa, conservative Christians like Huckabee. In a vacuum, he would win, especially after he has aired some television ads. What’s working against Huckabee is ironically, the people that should be for him. The old guard social conservatives like him, but they are so tuned to the conventional media that they don’t have confidence in the work that Huckabee has done and what he has accomplished in the early states. How much will their neglect persuade people who like Huckabee to not vote for him? Prominent talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt has been declaring that it’s really a two-man race and any social conservative who votes for Huckabee or Thompson is taking a vote from Romney and in effect voting for Giuliani. He even went so far as to say that supporters of McCain and Giuliani are working for Huckabee and Thompson to derail Giuliani.

That’s an interesting thought, but it has crossed over into delusion when he says he thinks that’s what Giuliani and McCain did at the Ames Straw Poll in August to give Huckabee a strong showing. Giuliani and McCain passed on competing in the Ames Straw Poll and snubbed Iowa Republicans, obviously because they knew that they couldn’t win by trying. And, EVERONE knows that that didn’t sit too well with Iowa voters. Huckabee’s success at that straw poll was simple straight-up face-to-face engagement and persuasion.

Voters just need to ignore what they always thought were their “leaders,” which is now an especially inapt word because the “leaders” are really followers. And they aren’t even following their constituents but the faithless winds of the popular culture. People can now do all of their own investigation and should. You can access information in any form on the Internet and weight it and see what you like for yourself.

Anyway, if Huckabee does well in the early states, I’m sure he’ll do just fine in Texas.


Monday, November 12, 2007

About The Previous Post And Other Provocations

J. Ritterbush at has written another response to all the accusations that Huckabee is a tax-hiker. You can go here to read the entire article. As I said before, it is clear to me that The Club for Growth and its “Tax Hike Mike” campaign are just acting as mercenary attack dogs with an ulterior motive of contributor(s) or in the interest of another candidate. They couldn’t possibly be as stupid or ignorant as their attacks plainly are if you honestly look at the actual record. They now have zero credibility with me.

A comment on the last post got me to thinking about some things I thought merited mention. Usually I think that because a matter is too rarely discussed by anyone.

Something I saw yesterday was really striking. I have already written that I think that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is perhaps the most serious and sober among the Democrat candidates for president, but has had to throw out the most extreme, “I want all American personnel out of Iraq in a year” rhetoric in hopes of attracting a little attention in the Democratic race.

Yesterday, Richardson appeared on FOX News Sunday and affirmed that that is still his position. When Chris Wallace asked how he could say that in light of the evidence that the violence is way down and the surge is working, Richar5dson could only say “…I don’t believe that the surge is working.” It’s pathetic what that party is demanding of people and it must be painful to be forced to defend these ridiculous ideas.

Joe Lieberman gave a speech last week that described the progress in Iraq and described the Democrats (Lieberman of courser, is a longtime Democrat and 2000 VP candidate who lost his party’s re-nomination in 2006 when he had the audacity to support the effort in Iraq against Islamic extremists, but won reelection running as an Independent) as “vested in a policy of defeat and withdrawal. I can’t find a video of it, yet. Major traditional media didn’t even report the story. The New York Times put the report of the dramatic reduction in violence…ON PAGE EIGHT!

Remember again, Senator Lieberman was the Democrats’ candidate in 2000. He’s still a liberal, but he has a very inconvenient trait in Democratic politics: a conscience. But, here’s Lieberman’s own account of his speech:

Senator Joe Lieberman: News Release

Here are other accounts of recent Iraq news

Iraq: Sharp Drop in Rocket, Mortar Fire

If It’s Good for the American People, Democrats Are Against It
North Star Writers Group, MI - 6 hours ago

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let's Look At "Conservative" Criticism Of Mike Huckabee

One wonders why the air is full these days of “conservative” criticism of Mike Huckabee and why his nomination rivals are resorting to curt falsehoods. Well, many apprehensive conservative spokespeople just repeat claims that have been thrown out. And maybe rivals just simplify and exploit falsehoods because unlike in the record of many of his rivals, there are no truths to politically exploit. I discuss The Club for Growth’s relentless crusade against Mike Huckabee and then balance other general accusations with the specific truths for which Huckabee is responsible.

Most recently in a new ad, The Club for Growth in its yearlong jihad against Huckabee has outright accused Huckabee of dishonesty in representing his inclinations and record. At least, that is a change from the usual exaggeration/misrepresentation of some of Huckabee’s statements. However, these charges have the even worse attribute of being outright false. And, I have previously said that The CFG’s criticism of tax increases to improve inferior state schools and highways, made no sense in terms of The Club for Growth’s supposed highest objectives. You can’t optimize a state’s economic vitality by standing pat with poor public schools and a decaying highway system. So, why would The Club for Growth spend money to propagate falsehood against a Republican candidate who actually poses no threat to their ideals? I have said for a long time that something smelled funny and speculated that either a threatened competitor or a CFG contributor had an axe to grind with Huckabee.

In fact you can read in the reports below under “Taxes and Economy,” of both an extraordinarily large contributor’s old score to settle with Huckabee, and a similarly major contributor’s affiliation with the campaign of Mitt Romney, whom Huckabee poses a huge threat to as a conservative competitor, especially in Iowa. Maybe it smells rotten because it is rotten! The bottom line is that the Club for Growth’s donors, not the economy, are its first priority. Of course it is not new advice to first follow the money. But, the Club for Growth plainly does not merit a prima facie assumption of trustworthiness.

Generally, it has been said by others, often parroting The Club for Growth, that Huckabee is a big government liberal. A simple disproof of that would be the fact that I support him, and wholeheartedly so. Anyone who knows me knows that I would not support a “big government liberal” and in fact have called out and rejected Republicans who were. But since you likely aren’t familiar with me, I would first direct you to the issues page of Huckabee’s web site: . Also, you can search the web for all the history and evidence that is readily available: we are no longer confined to broadcast media reports and should get over it.. And, I can sincerely tell you that I have watched politics for forty years and Huckabee and his words very closely all year. He not only is uniquely truthful among this year’s candidates, but among all politicians in my lifetime, which frankly is an attribute that is more important than his mirroring of my own sentiments, which frankly occasionally differ.

Paul Weyrich when endorsing Romney a few days ago, said that Huckabee had wavered on so many issues that he couldn’t support him. I simply have no idea what he is talking about and I suspect that neither does he. Paul Weyrich is not a liar, but he apparently relied on the reports of dishonest or similarly misinformed people.

And Phyllis Schlafly said that Huckabee “destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas and left The Republican Party a shambles.” When Huckabee took office in 1996, Republican state legislators were outnumbered in Arkansas by more than 5 to 1. At least by the time he left 9 months ago, Republicans had more than doubled their number, and most Arkansas Republicans support Huckabee’s candidacy. What is Schlafly talking about? Again, she’s obviously offering a second-hand assessment.

A few days ago, Chuck Baldwin wrote Chuck Baldwin -- Christians Need To Beware Of Mike Huckabee. By all means, read Baldwin’s article. But then, do what Baldwin didn’t do: dig up the facts to substantiate the claims.

Again, I don’t think these people are lying. Let me try to describe a thin sheet to cover these people that might have motivated the critics they rely on. I’ll list common accusations and the slightly different facts that lie behind them: what Huckabee is and isn’t “guilty” of: Afterward are some links to criticisms and some responses defending Huckabee.

Huckabee Is A Populist

Falsehood: Conservatives cringe and squeal at “populist” rhetoric which, strictly speaking, is appealing to the entire populus, not just the particularly wealthy and powerful. Think about it: in terms of ordinary diction, should we consider this a “bad” thing? I fully understand and so does Mike Huckabee, that liberals have bolstered populist rhetoric with proposals and actions that have expanded the size and intrusiveness of government into the private realm, which is particularly odious and dysfunctional at the distant, inefficient, and unconstitutional federal level. But in recent years it has even gotten through my thick head that conservatives long ago lost the battle over whether the public will judge federal representatives on their expressions of concern for individual lives and not just the constitutional province of federal government action. Conservatives can’t be the advocates of expanding and intrusive federal government, though in case you haven’t noticed (in which case you’ve paid scant attention) Republicans while calling themselves “conservative,” have done precisely that. Mike Huckabee is quite aware of the 10th Amendment distinction of federal and state powers. And he not only cites it frequently, but somewhat ironically does so much more often than any of his competitors in this campaign, or in fact most Republicans on a national stage in many decades.

Truth: It is quite true that Huckabee has wisely spoken of the interests of ordinary Americans and deigned to speak to groups that have traditionally been dominated by Democrats like unions and minorities. Honestly, what if he hung out with tax collectors and drunks and harlots like someone else did? What was his name?... But isn’t the Republican Party closed off from the majority of America if it hasn’t the confidence of its principles to explain how they are a benefit to everyone? This is a wise course in merely political terms. But given the public’s appetites and evaluations, it is the morally proper thing to do.

Huckabee Supports a National Smoking Ban

This is where I first ran into a den of conservative hounds. After this suggestion broke into the public, I encountered a web site headed by a constitutionalist guru, howling about Huckabee’s unconstitutional audacity. As much as I tried to explain, it was like trying to reason with a swarm of wasps after their nest had been rattled with a stick.

Falsehood: This is most often simplified to the assertion that Huckabee seeks a national smoking ban. In fact, I called in to a national radio talk show after a guest voiced just such a charge as an example of Republican heresy from limited government.

Truth: As I had tried to do at the web site, I explained that in the misconstrued statement, Huckabee had set aside public businesses like bars and restaurants. But, Huckabee had never volunteered such a proposal. What had actually happened was this: at Lance Armstrong’s Presidential Cancer forum (at which in fact, Huckabee and the now-departed Sam Brownback were the only Republican candidates to attend), Chris Matthews asked Huckabee whether as president, he would sign a smoking ban if Congress passed and put one on his desk. Huckabee said yes, BUT not as a regulation of businesses like bars and restaurants, but as a workplace safety measure, like an OSHA regulation.

The talk show guest said that that would include bars and restaurants, but I replied that Huckabee had explicitly set such aside. Now, I know that there is a live and animated debate about the extent of the dangers of second-hand smoke. And, I know that an employee can choose where he wants and doesn’t want to work. I tried to say this at that conservative blog, but the wasps were in full attack mode. I conceded that there was no constitutional license for the federal government to regulate private commerce. HOWEVER, rooms full of such regulation are already on the books, including many billions of dollars of assumed health care liability! Given that fact, encouraging a non-smoking ethic on the front end to dampen expenditure on the back end is just bare prudence, never mind the reduction in human suffering. This got me called self-contradictory: conceding it was unconstitutional but defending it, anyway.

But, these liabilities are a bare fact carrying a moral obligation. Suppose someone runs up an enormous credit card bill without informing a spouse of the spending. Because a spouse shouldn’t have done that, is there therefore no liability for the accrued balance? Of course not! Payment is due all the same. And payment is due for the promised health care liabilities. On this point, ideological debate is moot!

Huckabee Soft On Immigration

Falsehood: Some conservatives have repeated the same sort of stories charges made by Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson: Romney said Huckabee favored “special tuition breals” for illegal aliens, and Thompson said that Huckabee had wanted to make Arkansas a “sanctuary state.”


Mike Huckabee opposed a bil to deny the children of illegal aliens the opportunity to apply for a specific college scholarship program, after they had progressed through the school system and done the work to qualify. Huckabee says, do we want a permanent low-wage tax taker, or an educated and productive tax payer? As for a sanctuary state, there’s nothing to that suggestion. Huckabee says we shouldn’t have sanctuary cities! Others have complained about a Mexican consulate that was established in Little Rock to expedite the process of legal documentation!

By the way, either Romney and Thomson are guilty of serious ignorance or deliberate dishonesty. Either disqualifies them in my book.

Huckabee Weak On Foreign Policy

Falsehood: America needs a president with “foreign policy experience.”

Truth: 1) America has always favored governors with executive experience over legislators with

posturing experience for their presidents.

2) What is “foreign policy experience, anyway? Serving on a congressional committee?

Being a UN ambassador? Being mayor of a city that is attacked by terrorists? J

3) Governors deal with foreign companies and foreign governments in establishing

Commercial operations..

4) But what is needed is not this nebulous notion of “experience,” which is a guarantee of

nothing, but a foundation and outlook of principle that will be applied to whatever situation arises. Really, what is it someone fears from this “lack of experience” Frankly, there’s plenty of experience outside of that critical principle that I’d prefer that an American president not have.

You can look at All of Huckabee’s issues positions at:

The New York Times just published an interview that asks about some of these criticisms and Huckabee’s faith. Chatting With Huckabee New York Times - United States Part of his answer to the faith question is:

“What is it that matters at the end of our lives? And it’s not the jobs we hold, it’s not the money we make, it’s not the people who know us. At the end of our lives, we need to listen to six words from the creator: ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’ If we get that affirmation, what the editorialists write and what the cartoonists did to us is immaterial. That’s what we live for. Six words. And that’s what I’m living for. I’m living for those six words.”

Mike Huckabee Not Conservative Enough for Some

Taxes And Economy:

Campaign web site

Chris Celizza of The Washinton Post’s “The Fix” column: Club vs Huck

Nuke's News and Views posted an old WSJ article, and about a large Club For Growth Donor’s anti-Huckabee vendetta and another donor’s affiliation with the Romney campaign. In the interest of full disclosure, Nuke is a Huckabee supporter, but the Wall Street Journal he citers isn’t and the facts are objectively verifiable

And here again, is the Evangelical Outpost rebuttal to the Club For Growth

On Immigration:

Campaign web site immigration document here

The Truth on Huckabee and Immigration

Video: Huckabee on Immigration

Mike Huckabee :: Immigration FACTS

Roebuck Report on Mike Huckabee and Immigration

Huckabee tells Brody File: "I'm Stronger Than Most People" on Terror and Immigration November 8, 2007