Tuesday, December 11, 2007

BS Laid Bare, This Year

Mitt Romney launched a new ad yesterday in Iowa Choice: The Record , comparing himself to Mike Huckabee. On the staple social issues, he says, the two are the same, sharing the same values (at least in hetoric). But on immigration, the ad says that Romney opposed driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal aliens, while Huckabee supported in-state tuition for illegal aliens. Romney is stretching it, of course. But, he has to: it’s desperation time. Huckabee supported a failed bill to let he children of illegal aliens who had gone through Arkansas high schools and qualified academically, apply for a specific merit scholarship program IF they were drug-free and applying to become citizens. Huckabee says, 1) that we shouldn’t punish the children after years of work, for the earlier crime of their parent(s), and 2) that we should prefer a productive tax-paying citizen to a lower-wage potential tax-taker.

Also yesterday, Huckabee introduced his 9-point Immigration: Secure America Plan . You’ll see there is nothing objectionable about this plan. And, the desperation accusations of Romney and Thompson aside, the more important thing is that there is nothing inconsistent with what he’s always said: Secure the border, immigrants must return home and if they wish, initiate the process of legal immigration. I will say that if you are a Tom Tancredo conservative who wants to punish and/or purge Hispanics from The United States, Huckabee does not say that, and he doesn’t intend it. If that’s what you want, he isn’t it. And really, it does not describe anyone in this nomination race, but Tancredo and a not-so-strident and curt Duncan Hunter.

But, Bill Cli…err Mitt Romney will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear, as in he aforementioned commercial, for instance. Also, to put a cherry on Mike Huckabee’s posture on immigration, Jim Gilchrist who started the Minuteman program to monitor the border, endorsed Mike Huckabee, today: Jim Gilchrist Endorses Mike Huckabee . That flush you hear may be the sound of Mitt’s money going down the toilet. And Fred Thompson’s campaign aid Mary Matalin appeared on Hannity & Colmes Tuesday night, saying vaguely that Huckabee is a tax-raiser and weak on immigration.

In a more than ¾ Democrat state, Mike Huckabee pushed through the largest (the only) broad-based income tax cut in Arkansas history. He cut and clipped at scores of other state taxes. But yes, under Mike Huckabee, sales and fuel taxes were raised to do extravagant things like…oh, rebuild the most dilapidated highway system in the country (with the state’s full approval) and fund an improvement in the Arkansas education system in response to a state Supreme Court order. But, Huckabee didn’t just throw money at the education system as is usually done. He implemented measurable accountability standards, which were met because they had to be, with student performance improving. And the roads went from the worst in the county to the most improved.

So, what we have here is demonstrated flip-floppers accusing a non-flip-flopper of flip-flopping That’s an ambitious strategy. But like I said, there is no choice: Romney is a wealthy man who has big-time investment tied up in Iowa, and Thompson has done nothing but fade since his late entry into the campaign. Rigorous and compelling campaigning isn’t Thompson’s style, anymore than is the strident conservatism that the 1st Amendment infidel (McCain-Feingold sponsor) now feigns. But wealthy men like Romney watching his huge investment slip away, don’t like it when they can’t buy what they want. Just ask The Club for Growth’s huge benefactor, billionaire Jackson Stephens Jr., who didn’t get the cooperation he wanted from Governor Huckabee in Arkansas, and so has had The Club for Growth on a dishonest jihad against Mike Huckabee all year.

One of the things The Club for Growth has harped on all year is that during the 101/2 years of Mike Huckabee’s governorship, the overall tax burden on Arkansans went up 47%! Pretty scary, huh? They leave out the fact that in that time period, the average tax burden in all states went up twice that much! And, it increased more than Huckabee’s 47% over 101/2 years in 4 years under Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Both had Democrat legislatures, by the way. But, Huckabee’s record looks pretty good now, doesn’t it? And, where are The Club for Growth’s attacks on Mitt Romney?

Remember that I called The Club for Growth’s campaign dishonest? It isn’t about growth and economic vitality. Besides Jackson (Steve) Stephens Jr.’s vendetta, big money people don’t like The Fair Tax that Mike Huckabee supports, which eliminates income, corporate, fuel, capital gains, death taxes…everything, and replaces them with a 23% sales tax on new items.

You might say that a simple explanation for their dislike is right in the name: people accustomed to being on top, don’t like to just be treated “fairly.” They have teams of financial advisors who get most everything written off from taxation as “business” expenses. The net effect of this is to shift the overall tax burden downward. Under The Fair Tax, they won’t have to pay their accountants to prepare their taxes. But, every extravagant expenditure will have an equally extravagant tax. You aren’t taxed according to your production minus write-offs. You are taxed according to your lifestyle.

The sad irony is that there will be some people who buy all of this blather and vote for a manifestly more liberal (or elastic, in Romney’s case) candidate over a genuine conservative one. And, there’s more attacks to come: desperation time, remember? Everyone knows that negative ads will be run right before the Caucuses: probably about Wayne Dumond, the rapist who the parole board released after 30-some years of a life sentence, while Huckabee was governor, who then raped and killed someone else. Yes, Governor Huckabee had agreed with the release and had expressed so. But, 6 years afterward, during a campaign, when some of those Democrat appointess hadn’t been reappointed by Huckabee, Huckabee’s agreement was called “pressure.” Huckabee of course, now regrets the release, but he had denied clemency so a parole board could parole Dumond with oversight, a few years later. But, those details will not be the point of a negative campaign commercial.

And, if you really care about the sanctity of life, Mike Huckabee’s conviction about that, isn’t just words. I’m pretty confident that the others would pass their terms as president without moving the country away from its socially deadly indifference to the sanctity of life. We’ll see how many people buy the noise in Iowa. A significant part of Huckabee’s positive reception has been that when voters see and hear him, they don’t see and hear the manipulation and deception of the accusations. That is natural for most politicians and journalists take it for granted in all of them. And with widespread Internet access today, the truth can usually be found. BS is getting harder to sell.

6 comments:

Quiverdaddy said...

FoxNews is doing another "BS Laid Bare" headline, saying Mike Huckabee asks in a NYT article whether Mormons believe the devil is Jesus' brother.

Nevermind the questionable relevance of political candidates discussing religion at all, a Mormon apologetics brochure explains the LDS position in answer to that very question at this site.

The short version is that LDS people view the Gospel differently than Evangelical Christians because they believe in a pre-existance in the Spirit World. They do not believe Lucifer was a created being, he was the spiritual offspring of God the father; we are all the spirit brothers and sisters of both Jesus and Lucifer.

Now the REAL question: Does Mitt Romney's adherance to this or other LDS theological positions disqualify him from serving as president? The answer, most Huckabee supporters would agree is a resounding no! Perhaps we should make a point of letting the media know we support our candidate(s) because of their fidelity to their own positions on the issues and not their fidelity to a church.

Larry Perrault said...

Quiverdaddy

I read that quotation of Huckabee last night, and repeated on the radio just as I read your comment. When tey are after you, you really can't protect yourself: even raise a question to anyone. Huckabee asked this in the context of being asked what he knew about Mormonism and saying that he hadn't studied in intently.

He also has been explicit that Romney's Mormonism shouldn't disqualify him. Rathe, consider his ideas, his consistency, and his authenticity.

Frankly, there are dogmas of Mormonism that raise a lot of questions for me. But, there are dogmas in every sect that raise questions for me. If the man's speech and actions said exactly what I feel about the country, my questions about his religious dogma are irrelevant.

BTW, George W. Bush's Methodist Church is pro-choice, among many other liberal positions, in its official book of government policy positions. The government has become the agent of Christ's ministry and government policy the expression of His "love," "compassion," "kindness," etc. I don't agree with that: Christ's call is to His followers. The government is not a follower, it is not even a moral agent, and it doesn't even have its own resources or love to give. But, we voted for Bush on what HE said.

I know plenty of Mormons whom I respect and trust their moral integrity. My questions about Mitt Romney's suitability to be president have nothing to do with his Mormonism.

Both the inconsistency of his history and the unclarity of mind that it reveals, are the issue with Romney. And to me, he transparently has tuned his rhetoric to a reflection of exactly what polls of the conservative base suggest. And, I often plainly see the split second of pause while he calculates exactly how he should respond to a situation. That "Bill Cli...err Mitt Romney..." that I wrote was no accident.

Yes, its possible that he has had genuine convictions of conscience and really changed his mind that coincidentally (Massachusetts to the Republican base - talk about "suspending disbelief) coincides with the Republican base. But, I'm not betting the country on it. Chameleon-like "flexibility" is common financial and political success. And as I said, to me it reveals an ambiguity of philosophical clarity.

And also, it's important to me that Mike Huckabee not only understands that there must be integrity in the law and immigration must be regulated, but he does NOT extend that to hostility toward human beings such that, for example, you would punish children for the crime of a parent. Knowing the full picture, Romney's commercial is an endorsement of Huckabee for me. And frankly, I'd feel better about Romney if I though his suddenly striden anti-immigrationism was insincere.

AnnaT said...

thanks for bringing the truth to light. it's kind of sad how candidates have to stoop to put others down in order to make themselves look better.

that's one pretty cool quality of huckabee... his popularity and attention based on his strong values and beliefs seen through his firm stance on issues across the board- not on how well he can dig up the dirt to diss other candidates.

Larry said...

annat

I just listened to Laura Ingraham and Michelle Malkin, after Laura had interviewed Huckabee, fairly pull his hair out, suspicious of his supposedly disguided liberalism. I sent Ingraham an email saying that if conservatives are going to destroy any conservative who doesn't look angry at the world, we can plan on losing a LOT of elections and a permanently divided and dysfunctional country... Oh, it probably won't be permanent: the nation will die, if it insists on living that way.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I read the piece below (no, I didn't write it but a politically of mine did), and I thought it might be a relief from Larry's continual "Mike didn't say what he said, nor did he do what he did" dissertations. I agree with it.

It's getting a little scary out there. With about a month between now and the Iowa caucuses, Iowa GOP voters seem well on their way to losing their minds and giving Mike Huckabee the win.



Have these voters been paying any attention to the Democrats? Obama and Hillary aren't just annoying they're flat-out scary. The thought of the United States being run by the devious and despicable Hillary or the ultra-liberal, pathetically inept Obama should cause any sane Republican voter to think very, very carefully before pulling the lever for their nominee.

And yet, a large portion of Republican voters have jumped on the bandwagon of an underfunded, inexperienced, out-of-touch politician who has no chance - none - of even being competitive, much less beating, the Democratic nominee.

It's one thing to make a statement, for whatever reason, but quite another to flush your party, and your country, down the toilet to make that point. If Iowa goes on to give Huckabee the nod, then I think it's time to admit the Iowa voters are just plain stupid. The GOP should take measure to ensure that "first-in-the-nation" Iowa Idiotfest is given the relevance to future Republican primaries that it deserves - NONE. Deny them delegates, punish candidates for campaigning there, whatever it takes, make Iowa irrelevant.

Voters who would rather "make a statement" with Huckabee than elect a leader of the free world don't deserve to have their votes count more than voters in other states who are actually sane. This should have been done in 1988 after Pat Robertson came in second. Why are we still listening to these Iowa Idiots?

This election is serious business. Yes, morons like McCullough sing Huckabee's praises while claiming to speak for all Evangelical Christians, but serious Republican voters have to realize that Huckabee, aside from being a poor conservative on any assiue aside from abortion, does not have what it takes to defeat the real villian - not Giuliani, but Hillary or Obama.

To argue that a tax-raising, pro-immigrant, criminal-coddling, big government-loving pro-lifer is more of a contrast to Hillary than a tax-cutting, Mafia-busting, pro-GWOT fiscal conservative whose pro-choice is ridiculous, but to push the liberal pro-lifer despite the fact he will certainly lose to Hillary is nothing short of insane.

Nothing helps restore one's sanity better than staring true terror in the face. Spend five minutes listening to Hillary or Obama. Then tell me the vitrues of "making a statment" in a primary during this election year.

Time to wake up, voters. This election is not a joke.

Larry said...

"To argue that a tax-raising, pro-immigrant, criminal-coddling, big government-loving pro-lifer"

Mr. Maloney, is this politically practical smear-my-opponent talk, or are the clothes coming off of your fax posturing of earlier?

That, was a stunning diatribe: "The people of Iowa are idiots." Count me in. I'm such an idiot that I'm not for unrestrained tax-raising, I do not favor or encourage illegal immigration, and I do not favor criminal coddling, but I support Huckabee enthusiastically. I've seen enough of you to know that I am more conservative than you are in every respect: fiscal, defense/foreign policy, and socially. To get a lecture on those things from YOU is the heighth of irony.

If you really believe what you just wrote, you were misrepresenting yourself a few months ago. If you DO believe those things, then you haven't done your homework: you are swallowing the pre-digested baby-food that someone else has tossed out, hoping to deceive the dumb masses.

Social conservatives are the largest identifiable interest group in the country, of either party, and since Reagan they have done the lion's share of the campaign work for The Republican Party. Even Robert Novak admitted that social conservatives sprung The Republican Party from several decades of shuffling in the minority in America.

Rudolf Giuliani has NO chance - NONE - of beating anyone that the Democrats put up, unless you think they might nominate Kucinich or Gravel. I predicted a few months ago that Giuliani would have no choice but to begin to talk down Iowa. Now, he's wavering on whether that is a good idea. Admittedly, he is counting on Huckabee to knock Romney off-stride. But, you clearly are into talking down Iowa with both feet.

Dick Morris said that Romney doesn't have a prayer in hell of beating Hillary.

You can see a few posts down, that I raised the question of whether establishment Republicans would, in fact, rally around and support Huckabee if he were nominated, like they have always asked social conservatives to do. They may not.

So, it is THEY, not social conservatives who would be ready to watch Democrats take control. The truth is that the established money people are not the ones who will be hurt by the expansion of socialism. The established corporate interests are rewarded with the constriction of markets. The direction of the investment of the Warren Buffets of the world will be made easier: go with the pre-established market winners. The ones who will be the middle and lower class aspirants who will be denied entry into markets unavailable to those not extordinarily wealthy.

I don't know what drives you, but it is plainly not an understanding of basic classical economic principle. But, THIS is the great irony: if Giuliani or Romney are nominated, they will be defeated by DEMOCRATS. If Huckabee is nominated and loses, he will have been destroyed by establishment Republicans. Huckabee beat the Clinton machine in Arkansas FOUR TIMES. Establishment Republicans have beaten the Clinton machine...NEVER!