Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Huckabee Ads/Romney and Huckabee on Taxes/For Republicans And For America, There's Huckabee Or There's Business-As-Usual

There are two new Huckabee ads running on Iowa television before Thursday’s caucuses Two New Iowa Ads
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MA for Huckabee looks closely at the respective records in light of Romney’s Critical Ad About Huckabee Mitt Romney Attacks Mike Huckabee Again, The Truth Behind The Ad . The report is enlightening…if tedious.

The bottom-line is this: both men governed Democrat states with different established infrastructure, government structures, and public expectations. Is Romney due great criticism for his efforts to deal with those needs and expectations, which involved increasing fees? Not really, I think.

The issues are these: Unable to compete with Huckabee on the level of personal passion and appeal, Romney must engage in the Kabuki dance of ostensibly conservative criticism of Huckabee, which really amounts to no more than the same kind of Bush-bashing, posturing one-upsmanship that is going on among Democratic candidates. In terms of the reality of governing, it amounts to little or nothing, with the apparent possible exception that, having gained the Massachusetts governorship, Mitt Romney might have been looking ahead to a presidential dance in actions like raising hundreds of millions in “no tax” fees, shifting costs down to local levels to constrain “state” spending (which I really have no problem with: the nearer the responsibility, the better), and not even looking at the possibility of worthy pardons, for the sake of waving a “tough on crime" banner.

Besides being less visionary, less engaging, and less compassionate, Romney may overbalance these factors with personal interest and ambition. Maybe the question for voters is whether you want to exalt Mitt Romney or lift up America with Mike Huckabee.

Of course, all of the Republican candidates with the exception of Rudy Giuliani (at least he’s honest about it) wear the obligatory “pro-life” confession. Every Republican presidential nominee in the past 28 years has done that. And, politicians have not done a fraction of what technology has in terms of illuminating the reality of what the nation has been about, let alone informing the nation of a soul-sickness that is settling in to the American consciousness. In brief, a society that comes to assume that the sanctity of human life (even its own offspring!) is a question of perceived personal convenience is on a definite slide in terms of the most fundamental social civility. This is not the presumption of a ruling tyrant. It’s the passive indifference of the very people, themselves, and thus far without a leader to even shine a light in a more noble and civilized direction. Who do you trust, with what and WHY?

Unlike previous presidents and all of the other candidates, Mike Huckabee understands that there is something seriously amiss at the heart of American society, and he has the facility to make a case to the country. After over thirty years of a contrived state of “legal” abortion (legislatures make laws, not courts), America has the opportunity to chose a leader with the ability and the disposition to lead on this and other social problems like the complex, crooked, and unfair tax system. In 2008, it’s Mike Huckabee or business as usual.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Passion Videos From Illinois For Huckabee





On Dec 26, 2007 9:11 PM, Larry Perrault

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thinking About The Perpetually-Heating Criticism Of Huckabee

I got an email from a friend today:

Huck has been getting hammered on liberal behavior when it comes to illegals and taxes based on what he has said and done. What do you say to that.

Of course, the criticisms get worse and probably will continue to until Huckabee wins or loses. Why might that be? Lacking a crystal ball, here are my speculations.

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I have written about the fact that this criticism comes not from liberals, but from conservatives. Of course, I understand it coming from Republican competitors and their supporters. But, what is bothersome is when it comes from ostensibly conservative sources. The fact that it comes from acknowledged smart people highlights to me that it is frantic grasping at everything but the kitchen sink by people who otherwise would know better than what they are saying. So, why are they so agitated?

I’ve only come up with a few possible factors, which I’ll list and qualify. But first, anyone who knows me might ask why I would support such a supposed conservative infidel? I wrote about this in my last post: If I thought these accusations were valid, I wound not support him. But, I don’t think they are true or totally sincere. Some of these conservatives say that once Republicans get informed about what Huckabee is really about, his support will fall. But, the fact is that 99.9% or more of even the active and engaged Republicans are not as informed about Huckabee, his competitors, and even conservatism in general, as I am. Am I just stupid? Well, I guess people will decide for themselves. If so, I have read a lot on all sides of many questions, for nothing.

Let me emphasize that a lot of this criticism comes from people who are certainly smart enough and should be informed enough, not to throw out the things that they are. So, I would ask anyone who says or repeats these things what, specifically, they are referring to relative to immigration and taxes; and I hope we can dismiss the nakedly politically motivated assertions of Romney and Thompson. Speaking of that, consider this: why do I not support Romney, Thompson, Giuliani, or McCain? In the simplest terms: because they are not conservative. They have some propensities in a conservative direction. But, they have no clear view of the proper role of government at its various levels and about human nature, in general. That is clear with respect to every one of those I mentioned. I’m not mad at them, personally. You aren’t mad at someone for their incapacities. I am not near in the position that I can determine intentions. But, I can say that there is a problem either with intentions or perceptions and the facilities to form them. As I have said before, if they are serious, I don’t want these incompetents as chief executive charged with defending American principle, anymore than I would hire an honest carpenter to perform surgery.

So, set aside the politicians. What about the conservative writers? They are saying things that literate people (and some of them are very literate) are plenty able to find invalidating information about. If you know what you are talking about, you know that the charges are inaccurate and/or unfair. And again, the suggestion of insincerity is underscored by the fact that many of these are vested in other candidates, all of whom as I said, are eminently vulnerable to criticism on conservative grounds. So, what might be an unspoken motivation for these criticisms?

First, I’ll mention the most nakedly visceral possibility: There are a few public observers who simply have a sentimental reaction to the fact that they do not see enough fury from Huckabee about things that they are themselves all in knots about. That’s why it’s easy to fall for the immigration criticism. If you look at Huckabee’s immigration plan (at his website), I see nothing to object to: immigrants should leave the country within 4 months and get in line for legal entry, if they want to come back.

But!: the process for legal entry should be streamlined for people who plainly want to be law-abiding and work. And in Arkansas, he supported a failed proposal to allow children of illegal immigrants who have attended Arkansas public schools for years, to apply for a merit scholarship program IF they are drug-free and apply to become citizens. Huckabee said 1) that we shouldn’t punish children for the crime of a parent, and 2) we should want them to become productive tax-paying citizens rather than being long-term low-wage potential tax-takers.

I entirely agree with that. But for some people whose anger is not just with the legal chaos that government has allowed, but extends to people who like ordinary human beings have exploited chaos to provide for themselves and their families. And, that does extend to the children of illegal immigrants. And, they often don’t want them in the country, under any circumstances: Tom Tancredo proposed a moratorium on legal immigration, which is basically to redefine America. All you can do is state what you believe. Mike Huckabee says, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody about it.” There are some people who could say, “I’m a conservative, and I’m mad as hell at a whole lot of people!” (and I’m not gonna take it, anymore!)

Ann Coulter for instance, though she is bright and her books are usually well-documented (never mind the snide and provocative comments) has blistered Huckabee about even accommodating statements toward people who disagree, previously criticizing Huckabee’s comments about immigration, among other things. Last night she took another tack: like Alan Keyes the night before, she credited Huckabee on things like abortion. But then, flipping the liberal criticism about not believing in evolution, she suggested he was “backing down” because when pressed in a debate, Huckabee said, “I don’t know how God did it…I wasn’t there. But, I believe that God did create.” Coulter’s last book heavily criticized the lack of evidence of the case for evolution, and I agree with her. But, I think Huckabee is absolutely right that that argument is only a distraction and has nothing to do with the business of being President of The United States. Ann Coulter likes Duncan Hunter: a serious and decent guy, last polled at 1% in Iowa and between that and nil, elsewhere.

Now, let’s consider these other people like Robert Novak, George Will (who attacked again, today), Charles Krauthammer, Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Fred Barnes and others. For one thing, I think a lot of wealthy people don’t like The Fair Tax that Huckabee is proposing. They are doing fine with accountants writing off most of the luxuries in their life, thank you very much. Under The Fair Tax, they will pay for everything new that they or their businesses purchase, from paper clips to vehicles for road, water, or air or for real estate and developments. The net effect of all of those tax write-offs is to shift the tax burden toward less wealthy Americans: people accustomed to being special, may not be happy about a system being “fair.”

But larger than that, and this is admittedly speculation encouraged by what seems to be hollow and unnecessary criticism, I think a lot of establishment people are just ill-at-ease with someone at the head of their party who is an undaunted evangelical Christian: “EEEuuuww!” To quote Frank Costanza: “This guy…he’s not my kinda guy!” They’d prefer a flip-flopping and posturing plastic man like Romney, a social liberal Mario-Cuomo-endorsing cosmopolitan who doesn’t understand bedrock American principle like Giuliani, or a muddled-headed infidel to constitutional principle like McCain or Thompson. “Evangelical Christians are great for delivering us votes, but not for sitting at the head of our tables: Ick!”

This noise gets ever more frantic, the longer Huckabee sits at the top of the polls. On the blogs of course, particularly the viscerally conservative ones, you read al the people who in their zeal have picked up and run with these charges about Huckabee’s supposed fiscal liberalism and illegal immigration friendliness. I ask as a lifelong conservative and intense observer of the process, “Never mind what you’ve HEARD. Can you tell me what you have heard Mike Huckabee SAY that tells you that he favors illegal immigration, or even amnesty or sanctuary? Or why would you think that he just loves to spend government money without constraint and would do so as an American President?”

Mike Huckabee has opposed amnesty and sanctuaries all along. He opposed the “comprehensive” immigration bill that would have defined a path to citizenship for illegal aliens (amnesty with a slap on the wrist) and which gave John McCain’s campaign a huge blow earlier this year. And on taxes, Mike Huckabee governed a state with a Democrat legislature and a constitutionally mandated balanced budget. At one budget shortfall, he consented to the legislature’s choice of tax hikes to balance the budget AFTER the legislature had rejected spending cuts. The Club for Growth’s mercenary attack-Huckabee campaign made an ad of this special balance-the-budget session of the legislature, splicing together Huckabee’s listing of the tax options left available, to make it appear that Huckabee was inviting taxes.

Huckabee signed on early to the no-tax pledge of Americans for Tax Reform. He correctly says the federal government doesn’t need more money. And unlike his relative dullard competitors for the Republican nomination, Huckabee perfectly well understands and respects the 10th Amendment distinction of federal and state jurisdiction and power, and cites it, frequently. That’s why I suspect that there is underlying motivation: many of these critics are not so silly and incompetent as to not understand these facts. I think their words are a way to try to spook conservatives from a cultural interloper.

Here’s what Huckabee is “guilty” of. He doesn’t let differences of opinion drive him to either scorn or to neglect of a problem because he can’t unilaterally impose the solution. And yes, he would use the bully pulpit of the president to verbally admonish Americans to strive for morally prudent behavior in their commercial operations (from this is derived criticism of his supposed disrespect of free markets), and he would ask foreign imports to meet basic American standards of safety (from this arises criticisms of his supposed disrespect of free trade) If you prefer spite and dysfunction, then yes, perhaps he isn’t the candidate for you.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Huckabee Foreign Affairs And Response To Attacks/The Testimony Of An Ideological Conservative Who Supports Huckabee

Here are links to video of Mike Huckabee’s appearances Sunday on CNN’s Late Edition and FOX News Weekend Live. In these videos, he responds to some of the attacks which, now that he’s leading in Iowa and other early states, and contending with Giuliani nationally, are all the news on Huckabee. The foremost matter was his second-guessing of this administration’s policy in one line of this extended article in Foreign Affairs magazine Foreign Affairs - America's Priorities in the War on Terror ... , which is linked below. And of course, as with the question asked of the New York Times reporter about Mormonism, that is the single passage lifted out and made an issue of in most media. Indeed, that is the very statement abstracted at the introduction of the article in Foreign Affairs, itself.

Romney charged him with insulting Bush (like a Democrat) and Romney radio-host henchman Hugh Hewitt has been using this article as his latest cudgel with which to bludgeon Huckabee, in this case with the assertion that Huckabee is na├»ve and simple. When challenged about having Huckabee on, Hewitt says that though invited, Huckabee refuses to appear. As far as I know, this may be the case and it may not. If it is, Huckabee may be certain that there is no way that he will be treated fairly, which I’m sure, is the case. But, I can’t determine what is true because it is evident that he’s dishonest in some cases and I don’t know of a clue that will indicate when. I usually want to leave open the possibility that a person is mistaken OR deceitful. But, I know that Hugh Hewitt is not as completely ignorant as many statements suggest, and his ignorant statements ONLY serve a single agenda. It is also clear that if Hewitt treated Romney’s inconsistencies with the same scorn that he does Huckabee’s statements, he would have nothing to do with Romney. I wonder what Hewitt has of such value vested in Romney, that he is willing to discredit himself for the possibility of doing damage to Huckabee.

Last week, there was one day in Rasmussen’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll in which Huckabee’s percentage dropped, putting him back into a first place tie with Giuliani. But, his margin returned on the following day, clearly illustrating the imprecision of the system. However, tonight there were suggestions that the surge has leveled off, with Scott Rasmussen himself appearing and citing a drop to a tie with Romney in South Carolina, and saying he expects to see the same in an Iowa poll, later this week. If this doesn’t snap back as well, are we seeing results from these attacks as the commenters suspect? I would certainly incline to think so, as broad and fierce as they have been, except for the long time that the rise continued as the attacks mounted, which made me think that perhaps the Internet has become a new buffer. After all, there is more information on all sides available on any question than could ever have been delivered through conventional media. Maybe, Huckabee’s version of Mitt Romney’s religion speech should be: “I’m a conservative and here’s what I mean and don’t mean by that…”

In any case, I want to present my case as a lifelong conservative who in fact, has been considered extreme by some, for Mike Huckabee, which I will do following the mentioned links.

Gov. Huckabee on Late Edition - 12/16/2007 - Part 1
- Gov. Huckabee on Late Edition - 12/16/2007 - Part 2
- Gov. Huckabee on Weekend Live - 12/16/2007

Rockin’ Huckabee posted “Why Not Huckabee?” Could not have said it better myself!

from Human Events: Social Conservatives Ask: Why Not Mike Huckabee? - HUMAN EVENTS

Also, be sure to investigate Huckabee’s official web site’s policy statements (there are also plenty of videos – also at HucksArmy.com - [Unofficial] Grassroots Headquarters for Mike Huckabee) and responses to the attacks

An Ideological Conservative Who Supports Huckabee

In the past 12 years, I have supported Alan Keyes in primaries in 1996 and 2000, and third parties in the general elections of 2000 and 2004. Fred Thompson has labeled Huckabee “a liberal.” Tonight he simply said, “He’s not a conservative.” Of course, Thompson is running for the same nomination. But, Alan Keyes also appeared on the same program, saying of Huckabee that (unlike some of the others mentioned) “…he’s good on the moral issues, but he’s liberal on everything else.” Keyes is a brittle ideologue: an able and cultivated mind that never set practical foot on the sullied ground after his work in the Reagan administration. He now makes of lucid conservatism, a caricature. A Christian, he makes of the attentive Christ, a scolding Jeremiah.

But anyway, if Huckabee is not conservative, why would an extremist like me support him? I’d say that I wouldn’t. But, I will say that my ideals have not changed, but in the past few years, my disposition has and perhaps consequently my approach to those ideals has shifted. Before the US engagement with terrorism, I might have been enthused, if futilely, by Ron Paul. My difference with him on that matter is one H-U-G-E and insurmountable difference. Unlike many posturing Democrats, I think Paul is sincere, but ideologically blinded to a grave reality: the world is a different place than it was in 1800. Terrorism today has been a bracing slap in the face. But frankly, our security and moral obligations have not been the same for a century or more. And also, like most politicians, Paul has little or none of the facility I am about to describe in Huckabee.

A few years ago, I submitted to the reality that social obligation was more than an ideological standoff. It came home clearly to me that the MOST significant division of men was not an ideological but a moral one. For the improvement of society, it is more important to work with those of noble intentions, even if they are mistaken, than with those who ideologically fall on this or that side of an ideological fault line with no necessary commitment to virtue: better to deliberate on the definition of goodness than to plant inflexible barriers to discussion. This is plainly so when your erstwhile ideological allies are more concerned with their own satisfaction than they were about social betterment, as was often the case in every y group that I had identified with, including Republicans, among whom I had clearly seen selfishness and deceit at work, just as I do, today.

The same is true of course, among Democrats. And that unfortunate truth is more alive among the activists in both parties, than it is among the many voters on the street who are immersed in their lives and only voting their consciences, whether judging productively or not. I would rather disagree and discuss what is right, than argue tactics with someone who agrees more closely on objectives but is indifferent on the virtues of the tactics by which those objectives are pursued. The old saying says that if you are not liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if you are not conservative at forty, you have no brain. That’s harsh of course, and obviously popular among older conservatives. But, it brushes on a noble element on both sides.

Many years ago, I fretted having to explain to liberals that conservatives are not necessarily the selfish derelicts that they may be defined as. I believe that The United States is deep in defiance of the constraints of its founding documents. The Constitution was devised as a constraint on government power and a very rudimentary restraint on social morality. And it certainly was not to license government’s usurpation of the exercise of a supposed social morality. However the fact is that that is a battle long lost in a society of pervasive mass-communication. If I am going to communicate about American policy with many people, I have to acknowledge what their concerns are, even if I believe they are not in the province or capacity of the federal government to solve. We need to try explain and support what we believe ARE legitimate concerns, even if we don’t accept their prescriptions. There are many on both sides who are more concerned with power than with principle, however it is defined. There are THOUSANDS of them and among them are most with platforms or microphones. Forget them! Let’s focus on the MILLIONS who are pursuing goodness with their votes. And in order to get their ear, we must embody goodness in our actions and attitudes. If you insist that that has no place in government discussions: welcome to a lifetime of standoff and no prospect for the betterment of society. But, I wondered however ideological antagonists might ever be brought to practical cooperation. Now, that would be a mean and perhaps unattainable trick. Perhaps it was only a dream?

Then early this year, I saw Mike Huckabee engaging a partisan of the other side, who was disarmed because Huckabee was not the caricature he expected of a conservative. I probably saw for the first of many times, Huckabee’s statement that, “I’m a conservative but I’m not mad at anybody about it.” I bought Huckabee’s latest book and began tracking his moves relative to the presidential campaign that he was then only considering. I saw that he WAS a conservative, not only socially but in terms of both foreign and domestic policy. Huckabee cited the Constitution and social and fiscal government prudence more frequently than any major party candidate that I had seen in my lifetime. And that was particularly notable as this year’s field of infidels developed. That was particularly notable when he came under attack from people who claimed that they gauged him not “conservative” enough. First, The Club for Growth was clearly deceitful with an unseen agenda. (It turns out that money and alliances explained a lot of that). And of course it was remarkable as Huckabee gained ground on the pre-anointed “frontrunners,” who attacked his lack of conservatism irrespective of their own inconsistencies and posturings. The only one with any extraordinary character was John McCain, and his philosophical deficiencies were evident in both his rhetoric and his history. All of this made the criticisms of they and their supporters ring all the more hollow.

Especially given the manifest weaknesses of the other candidates, I can only account resistance to Huckabee to either dissatisfaction with his lack of anger or discomfort with his unshielded evangelical Christian faith: “My faith doesn’t just influence me, it defines me.” Bah! What kind of talk is that for the GOP establishment? Again, I’ll just describe it as “Icky!” But that is the foundation for not being angry. That is the disposition that would be adversaries find disarming. And, that is the unique potential spotted by new campaign Chairman Ed Rollins and Doug Patton in this article Huckabee Confounds Elites as Reagan Did , both of whom liken Huckabee’s engagement of the public to that of Ronald Reagan. Rich Lowry’s despairing of “Huckacide” if Mike is nominated, could not be farther from the truth. Huckabee alone can engage and lure voters of the sort I’m talking about who mean well, but incline to be Democrats, just as Reagan won the unifying support of “Reagan Democrats.”

I have written how, a few months ago, I came across a web site of constitutionalists with a blogging constitutional guru. I had come upon them because they had picked up on the story about Huckabee’s reception of the idea of a smoking ban, and were busy about trashing him. As I have previously said, Huckabee sad he would agree to such an idea as a workplace regulation, not as a regulation of the public. Checking the law that was passed in Arkansas, I saw that it exempted businesses open only to adults and/or employing 3 or fewer people.

I conceded that there is no constitutional license for such a thing. However, I said, we live in a society that is waist deep in libraries full of unconstitutional laws and government involveme4nt with the private sphere. Prominent in this relative ocean of reality is the fact that government has assumed liability for trillions of dollars worth of medical expense. Constitutional or not, those commitments were a bald and inevitable reality. Given that reality, ideological intransigence is a socially meaningless posture. And, it is mere prudence to encourage or discourage behaviors that will both heighten both expense and diminish quality of life. Recognizing these realities, Huckabee is the one to lead the country to a more unified course of social improvement. He isn’t conservative because he’s selfish or dispassionate, or angry or ideologically inflexible to the point of dysfunction in reality. He is conservative for the right reason: because unconstrained liberal government does not improve but only diminishes a healthy society.

Why did Mike Huckabee, from a Democrat family, in a Democrat town in a Democrat state, become a Republican? Not because he hates Democratic PEOPLE, but because Democratic philosophies are socially detrimental. When Republicans care more about their party or their feelings than they do about America, they deserve to lose, and they probably will. Huckabee refers to a preference for vertical policy that reaches upward than horizontal politics that divides. His modus operandi and the source of the acrimony in his own party are all right up front in his repeated aphorisms and stories. And he is what I set up as a worthy ambition f a few years ago: a conservative of the mind (frankly more so than any of his competitors or any president of the past 30 years, at least) and a liberal of the heart.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Curses From The Damned And A Christmas Look At The Rebublican Presidential Candidates

Mike Huckabee appeared on CNN's Late Edition on Sunday, discussing the latest in the endless string of desperate accusations. The indefatigable Mr. Maloney screeches on, ever more shrill and clawing as his candidate sinks over the horizon. Giuliani started with just a media profile, and whatever profile they preserve for him is about all he has left. But, he raises an opportunity to discuss the Candidates for President of the United States, with Christmas just over a week away and the primary season less than 3 weeks away.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

It's true that I think Larry Perrault is a model of verbosity and dishonesty. If you cut through the endless layers of crap that he dispenses, you find an adult mimicking a two-year-old. Larry's point since the beginning has been: "My way or the highway," that is, if Mike Huckabee doesn't get the nomination, then I sit home with my pacifier and blanket. But at the same time he believes traditional Republicans, a group three times the size of the evangelical group has some sort of obligation to support Huckabee if he gets the nomination. Well, Larry, this is politics (imperfect as it is) rather than the theological absolutism you prefer. If Huckabee gets the nomination, he will perform about as well as Goldwater in the 1964 election, when Barry carried five states and got roughly 34% of the vote. Mike Huckabee seems to be a decent guy, but he is clueless about foreign policy and military affairs, which is rather an important limitation. In short, he's no Giuliani and no McCain.

Some of the people endorsing Huckabee, such as Dr. Laurence White of
Houston and blogger Larry Perrault, are America-haters who have no comprehension of what it means to live in a diverse and free society. Basically, they're theocrats who would be more comfortable in John Calvin's era than in 21st century America.
As this becomes clear to people, the support for Huckabee will sink like a rock. Who would be a better President of the
U.S., Mike Huckabee or Hillary Clinton? My frank view is that Mrs. Clinton would be far superior. That's a problem for Mike because I've never voted for a Democrat for President, and in all modesty, I believe I speak for a lot of people. I do predict, however, that Huckabee would carry Mississippi, although not Arkansas, New York, California, or Illinois. As the Rev. Rudes (and trust me, he is no along) and Larry Whites surface, Mike might have to start worrying about carrying Mississippi. Meanwhile, I wait for Larry Perrault to denounce his favorite pastor (and Mike's?), Dr. White, and his garbage-laden piece in "God and Caesar." If Mike agrees even in part with Dr. White, then what is he doing running for President of this country? To Larry in Houston, I ask: have you ever considered Venezuela?

Larry

Mr. Maloney, who showed up months ago as a nice guy, has gone all ugly now that his money (or whatever it is) horse has fallen from his perch even in his erstwhile "firewall" of Florida. Call me wrong, but if anything, I’m honestly wrong. I’m also not the slightest bit tempted to “correction” by Stephen Maloney. Man, you’re too old to act that way! Don’t meet God in a bitter snit! Oh, and though I haven’t seen him in a couple of years, Laurence White is always smiling and pleasant to speak with. But, this conversation raises the opportunity to take a look at the Republican presidential field, as it stands.

Maybe you want to take a look at Mitt Romney, Steve, who at this point still holds forth in New Hampshire, though he's flailing in Iowa, where he should get 2nd, but if he doesn't win Iowa, he WON"T win South Carolina or Florida or probably not even his papa's stomping grounds in Michigan. But, he looks better than Giuliani. And btw, I might vote for Romney if he wins, though it's looking like I won't have to face that awful choice. It's bad enough that he is just a political opportunist who uses polls as a tuning fork for his rhetoric. But, the really awful prospect is that he poses another eight years of relative inaction on restoring the American spirit: he has more than adequately demonstrated his incompetence in that regard. Romney would be another establishment Republican administrator. George H.W. Bush confessed that he wasn’t much on “the vision thing.” But even he had the substance of more integrity and resolve than Romney. But, Dick Morris said that Romney “doesn’t have a prayer in Hell of beating Hillary.” Maybe he could beat Barrack on resume and plain o’ life experience.

But, it’s correct that I WON”T be voting for Rudolph Giuliani for a job for which he is definitionally unqualified, but for which he looks unlikely to even attain an opportunity to contest a Democrat for. John McCain is also demonstrably philosophically opaque and unsuited to be the chief executive charged with protecting and defending The Constitution. But, it’s conceivable that he could finish strong in New Hampshire and the public forgive him and turn back to a known quantity after rejecting everyone else: in some ways, he looks more likely than Giuliani or Romney. But, I think he’s a good man and an honorable patriot and would be happy for Huckabee to give him a suitable post in an administration, which doesn’t seem unlikely. Fred Thompson is also philosophically ambiguous and one might raise the same question about whether he should be in an administration but…WHY and WHERE? Anyway, if he doesn’t gain a respectable 3rd in Iowa, he can probably start looking for acting jobs, again.

??What is Rudy Giuliani's experience in foreign policy? I ask not because it’s such a sober question: it isn't. America has, in fact, elected mostly governors as president. Governors don't have the kind of "experience in foreign policy" that Maloney is talking about. It doesn't take this vague idea of "experience in foreign policy," which surely people have who are all over the map in terms of ideology and wisdom. It takes principle and resolve. In fact, probably the two 20th century presidents with the most resolute and successful accomplishments had none of this prior "foreign policy experience": FDR and Reagan. Neither did G.W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

Though Giuliani’s “foreign policy (in)experience” doesn’t dazzle me, he would rely on military strategists and thinkers like Norman Podhoretz, like any defense-responsible president would. (Come to think of it, Thompson might first need to hire someone to assemble a cabinet) Do you seriously think President Huckabee would leave the world untended and America undefended? In addition to McCain, he’s lean on people like Duncan Hunter and Frank Gaffney and others.

There are still 3 weeks for Romney, Giuliani, and McCain to smear Mike Huckabee with something that the public perceives as terrible and they will surely mightily try, so I won’t count them out, yet. At least it would be interesting to watch the Republican voters return to sniffing around the reject pile. Thompson looks like the longest shot, but his best chance might be if he’s the only remaining candidate that the voters can stomach. Hunter and Tom Tancredo I like some things about. But, they definitely lack a leadership quality for uplifting America that Mike Huckabee plainly has. Have you really not looked at the Democrat blogs and seen the expressions of either electoral fear or personal admiration, or are you just too proud to admit it? I have conversed with such people on the ‘net and in person. Huckabee definitely weakens one of the strongest sentimental motivations that Democrats have on their side: that Republicans are rich guys only looking out for rich guys. Never mind how true that sentiment is or isn’t. The perception is an indisputable reality. And, it is plainly untrue of Huckabee.

Oh, and what about Ron Paul? He has the money and the intensity (his own and his followers”), so that I don’t think he’s going away. But, I don’t see him getting less than 5% or more than 15%. Look for a melee from his followers at The Republican National Convention

I hope Huckabee faces Clinton, who has unprecedented negatives. There are a LOT of Democrats who wince at the prospect of voting for Hillary Clinton. Oh, well: at least she might have YOU. Hillary’s brightest potential is that her gender might draw out voters who otherwise wouldn’t vote. Otherwise she’d probably need a third-party or a great population of stay at home Republicans protesting social conservatism “stealing OUR party!”

Any Republican nominee would ride the youth and inexperience angle against Barack Obama, and appropriately so. Give him credit for belting out syntactically correct sentences. He needs them, because substantively, there isn’t a lot there.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Talk Of The Past Few Days And An Exchange With A Frantic Giuliani Supporter

New polls continue to come out showing Huckabee now tied with or leading Romney nationally, and leading in many state races beyond the early states. Huckabee still trails Romney, McCain, and Giuliani in New Hampshire, but is gaining there, too. Thompson has almost fallen off the map. He mad such as production of a late entrance that the big question now, is how to perform the most graceful exit. Here are a few other interesting links.

Pinkerton: Huckabee's focus: 'broken humanity' http://politicalwire.com/

Stephen Maloney came by wearing slightly new clothes, evidencing that either the old was or the new is a masquerade. But, the content of the exchange was relevant. Huckabee is now of course in a slightly different position, not to be casually patted on the head as a benign no-shotter. Guns now are a’ blazin' in the campaign in general and here as well. It vaguely reminds me of when my pastor father came under attack for political reasons in a church, facing all kinds of accusations. How do I know they weren’t true? Uh, well, I know him better than you: not just his character but his motive and his reasoning. You can see that people who incline to repeat or even believe these accusations have a predisposition to be skeptical or critical based on other factors. In Huckabee’s case, some are paranoid and cynical and others are outright deceitful and hope to manipulate.

This morning, Laura Ingraham had Huckabee on her program, asked her questions, let him go, and then brought on Michelle Malkin so they could basically disembowel him, after the fact. Ingraham asked her audience to rate on her web site whether she had been fair, too soft, or to hard on Huckabee. After listening to her discussion with Michelle Malkin, I would say that she had been too soft on Huckabee: she had not pressed him with her doubts about his answers while he was there. These two fall into the paranoid and cynical category. Their conversation plainly assumed that Huckabee had not been honest in his answers. But, I assume she didn’t press him because she “knew” that he wouldn’t be honest in a follow-up, either.

Why this cynicism? He was obviously soft on immigration because he wanted to permit the children of illegal aliens to apply for a merit scholarship even after they had gone through Arkansas high-schools and qualified academically. They “knew” that the real truth was that he disrespected American law and wanted to coddle illegal aliens. Therefore his announced and published plan to address the immigration problem is obviously a phony cynical attempt to deceive the voters about his TRUE self. He also was really a liberal because he had the temerity to SPEAK to and (gasp) actually get an endorsement from the New Hampshire NEA (these people really are planning on winning elections, right? - just not by telling the wrong people what you think, I suppose) The same pattern followed on other issues.

How do I know they are wrong? Uhhh, because I’ve been watching his record and his words for nearly a year and I not only know his character, but I agree about things like not punishing children for the crime (yes it’s a CRIME) of the parents; especially when they had worked hard to improve and legitimate themselves. Am I to assume that these cynics believe that if I were REALLY opposed to illegal immigration, I would feel other wise, like Tom Tancredo or Mitt Romney is posed? If it’s his real sentiment, Romney is the one who has flip-flopped. But so what’s new, eh?

And others suppose that they “know” that Huckabee intentionally planted a story with a New York Times Sunday magazine reporter, of all places, to plant suspicions with Christians about Romney’s Mormonism. Of the dozen Christians who read the New York Times Magazine, surely a few of them were going to vote for Romney until they suddenly heard that Mormons might have some beliefs that are different from evangelical Christians. (?) On the other hand, I imagine illiterate Christians especially don’t read The New York Times magazine. But, people who think that other people are out to get them, may have a different opinion…

There’s a lot of good information in the over 8000 words other than the 10 that were lifted to create a story. Read the article for yourself. Huckabee was interviewed for hours on Dec. 3, by the reporter, and when asked about Romney’s Mormonism, said (again) that it shouldn’t be an issue. He said he didn’t know much about it, and asked the interviewer who seemed to know some things about it, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” That’s it. That exchange during a long interview, is Huckabee’s “attack.” When it was picked up in media, Huckabee personally apologized to Romney, who unlike Hugh Hewitt, for example, accepted it, graciously.

But among many other things, the article also contains this on Huckabee’s supposed “liberalism”: “Huckabee’s affability and populist economic and social views have sometimes been misinterpreted as a moderate brand of evangelical Christianity. In fact, as he wrote in his book ‘‘Character Makes a Difference,’’ he considers liberalism to be a cancer on Christianity.” But, read the article, yourself: The Huckabee Factor - Zev Chafets, New York Time

What’s so blatant to me is that these attackers suppose not only to divine the intents of Mike Huckabee. They also suppose to know more about conservatism than I do, when I was conservative before most of them ever got on a bicycle. And throughout my life, I have read real philosophical conservatives, not just sentimental hyper-reactionaries.

Anyway, here’s the exchange with Maloney, who once only seemed to be suffering from some odd and intractable obsessions, but now appears to be blowing a gasket:

BloggerStephen 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 assize aside from abortion, does not have what it takes to defeat the real villain - 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 virtues of "making a statement" 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 height 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 extraordinarily 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 is 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!

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.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is Something Wrong In America? Michael Vick And OJ...

Listen, I have no sympathy for abuse of animals. I had a dog as a boy. And now, as a disabled and often home bound man, our cats are almost like my kids. (my daughters are now teenagers: no so much pining for my attention, anymore). Heck, I had and have friends who like to hunt. I never have. I played softball and basketball and wouldn'tt enjoy shooting animals, at all. (though I love to eat venison – thanks guys) In some respects, I’m sure it’s the culture I was raised in: my dad didn’t hunt, either. I recall his story of once being dragged on a hunting trip. He reluctantly shot a dear and was disturbed when they approached the still-alive anguished animal, which reared its head. That’s not how I define pleasure, either. I am an absolute defender of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and not just for the sake of sport. I’m glad there are hunters. I’m just not one of them.

Of course, I’ve devoted this blog mostly to the presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee (another 2nd Amendment defender who IS a hunter, BTW), especially as his eminence in the campaign has only trended upward. Today is the first day all year that I have seen a poll in which Huckabee has not shown as high or higher than previous publishing of the same poll: an anomaly, I hope, and not the success of attacks. I’ll have more to say about that.

But sometimes, things just poke you between the eyes. Just as I don’t care for animal abuse (and I’m not saying hunting is animal abuse! It is NOT!), as I age, I rarely watch football, anymore and don’t follow the lives of athletes. But on the news this morning, I was asked to resolve this social dissonance: for raising and disposing of fighting dogs, NFL quarterback Michael Vick is going to jail, apologizing all the way. O.J. Simpson went free…??? Other athletes and cultural celebrities have been accused or convicted of rapes, a buses of women, and repeated drug offenses, and gone on with their lives. And, some people aren’t sure if our culture is adrift?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What's Driving Huckabee's Conservative Critics

I’ve wanted to discuss what Huckabee is actually “guilty” of, if you want to call it guilt. But, other natters have dominated the last few days, which have also served to clarify the question, and maybe the answer. But before I get to that, look at the Rasmussen poll results, which make consideration of this question more urgent.

If you hate Huckabee, read ‘em and weep: After attaining a tie with Giuliani on Tuesday, Huckabee moved a few more points into the lead in Rasmussen’s national presidential tracking poll of likely primary voters, on Wednesday. He maintained a 3% lead on Thursday, and on Friday has increased the lead to 4%. And, in other polls, he now leads in South Carolina in addition to Iowa, is second in Florida, gaining in New Hampshire, now leads Michigan, and leads Hilary Clinton in an Arkansas poll, where Giuliani is crushed. I’m guessing Florida goes Huckabee next, which should get Rudy’s guns out with Mitt’s and Fred’s.

As you can read at Rasmussen’s page, Gallup’s lagging indicator is less frequent and measures “Adults,” while Rasmussen’s tracking poll is 1) daily and 2) screens carefully for likely primary voters.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_2008__1/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

But, I’ve discussed how Huckabee’s most strident adversaries (at least for the Republican nomination. Where will they be in the general, if Huckabee is the nominee? – as a Republican I was used to having social conservatives asked if they would support the nominee or stay home).

But, I have discussed how many conservative sources have criticized Huckabee on taxes, immigration, and the smoking ban clamor. I have explained with regard to the tax issue, Huckabee has only run a state with an 80% Democrat legislature and a constitutionally mandate balanced budget. Some of the largest expenditures were entirely legitimate and the only options regarding others were not whether to raise taxes, but which taxes to raise. Had the governor adamantly resisted. He would have 1) been overridden, and 2) NOT been reelected TWICE! But yes, Huckabee boosted the sales tax slightly for parks and fish and game. And, he had the audacity to boost Medicare eligibility for poor children. What self-respecting Scrooge Republican would do that? Diesel taxes? A rebuilt highway system that moved Arkansas to most improved from some of the worst highways in the country.

In the last post, we discussed how the smoking controversy was created and misrepresented, and how the Arkansas smoking ban in public places, exempted businesses whose patrons are 21 or over. Huckabee believes that cultivating a culture that discourages chronic disease-inducing behavior will save a lot of both public and private money in the long-run, not to mention improving quality and longevity of life.

And the “weak on immigration” charge is constructed on one little fact: Huckabee calls for a sealed border, no amnesty, no sanctuaries (read his immigration prescription at http://mikehuckabee.com . In truth there is no problem except for the fact that Huckabee’s conservatism flows from principle, not hostile sentiment. BUT, his “sin” with respect to immigration is only having supported allowing the children of illegal aliens WHO HAD GONE THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL in Arkansas, to apply for a merit scholarship for college (the measure failed, incidentally), IF they were drug and alcohol-free and applied to be citizens. As Huckabee says: 1) we shouldn’t punish the children (years later after academic achievement, mind you) for the crime of the parents. And 2) we should prefer an educated and productive tax payer to a permanent lower-wage potential tax taker.

Huckabee is fiscally conservative not out of anger or avarice for himself or “rich friends,” as Democrats like to taunt. He’s fiscally conservative because 1) he respects private interests, 2) He knows that expanding government inclines toward waste and usually is counterproductive even to the interests it is ostensibly said to serve, and 3) (not coincidentally) it is usually unconstitutional. He favors government only as a necessary framework for the function of a healthy society.

I know that some people actually believe these criticisms. But, some of the criticizers are pretty transparently disingenuous. What is the real motivation? Before I offer an answer, let me say that some of the critics are clearly socially conservative. Chuck Baldwin is a Christian pastor and ideologically fastidious third-party campaigner, and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum is a longtime social conservative, whose smile seems after decades of battle and much loss, to have worn into a grimace of overwhelmed paranoia.

And Republican blonde brigaders have also dismissed Huckabee. Ann Coulter has recoiled at Huckabee’s so called “populist” statements (which is a matter of interpretation) as well as statements inconsistent with “anyone even related to an illegal immigrant ought to dry up and blow away if they can’t be deported (the animosity stream). And today, Laura Ingraham railed that she’s tired of the Democrats’ coddling of illegal immigrants, and Mike Huckabee who thinks “our kids should compete with illegal immigrants for scholarships…” Again, there was no competition in the program: you qualified or you didn’t. But, now you’re not conservative enough if you don’t want to snuff the ambition of an accomplished high school graduate who wants to actually succeed in America? I’ve always hated having to explain to liberals that common-sense respect and encouragement of individual initiative and appropriate government modesty didn’t mean stuff like that!

Coulter and Ingraham are clearly pro-life social conservatives. But beyond these misguided people, the line is long and lengthening of traditional conservative entities that have taken aim at Huckabee. And, I think these people are too smart to believe and actually fear the horrors that they warn of. These are people I have read and usually appreciated for many years, probably because I am a fiscal, foreign policy (let’s put the Ron Paul-libertarian-paleo-conservative non-interventionism aside, for now), AND social conservative.

Frankly, I can’t help but suspect (the slight deceptions enhance this smell) that the underlying animus is the fact that though they are fiscally and often defense conservatives, they are not so much social conservatives. Even if they can remark on some of the barbaric aspects of abortion or even submit to a pro-life confession (what’s to lose if they can have social conservative votes? Most of these guys are 50 or 60 or beyond), they are a little queasy about these openly expressive Christians. They don’t want to be outright religious bigots, which is a particularly awkward prospect when most favor the Mormon investment manager Romney.

Perhaps it is a matter of an establishment decorum that is ill-at-ease with a freely confessed faith: “OK, I’m an Episcopal Christian but geez, you don’t have to TALK about it!” And, here we have this guy who says things like, “My faith not only influences my decisions, it defines me…” Ick! It’s just so CREEPY! And this guy wants to be the leader of OUR party? It’s presidential nominee? Something just isn’t RIGHT about THAT!

So, the traditional conservatives line up to take their whacks at Huckabee: The Wall Street Journal, The National Review, John Fund, George F. Will, Fred Barnes, Rich Lowry, Charles Krauthammer, Mark Steyn, talk show host Hugh Hewitt and other newer, smaller conservative luminaries who drink these peoples’ columns for breakfast: it’s an irony because even most of the old social conservative “leaders” have swallowed this gruel and either joined in the harping or endorsed other candidates, all of whom are now swooning. What was Richard Land, the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties official, doing on an investor show with Larry Kudlow, playing stooge for his panel’s nods and “amens,” praising Romney’s speech and ignorantly criticizing the Fair Tax that Huckabee supports (Land said it’s “regressive.” Others call Huckabee a “populist.” Go figure) The way Huckabee’s polling keeps rising; it looks like social conservatives are telling these old leaders to go “lead” themselves.

The old establishment Republican journalist warhorse, Robert Novak was pretty barefaced about this cultural discomfort a few days ago in his criticism of Huckabee The False Conservative , in which he said,

“The rise of evangelical Christians as the force that blasted the GOP out of minority status during the past generation always contained an inherent danger: What if these new Republican acolytes supported not merely a conventional conservative but one of their own? That has happened with Huckabee, a former Baptist minister educated at Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”

It’s funny, because I noted a while back, the irony it would be if these establishment conservatives were faced with the decision to support one of those guys, just like the social conservatives have always been asked to do. Believe me; I’ve lived it, both as a citizen and as a Republican activist in the past. Our state conventions, dominated by social conservatives who were thrown the bones of writing rules and platforms, only to have them ignored or outright violated. Many have heard me tell of a conservative leader friend who was slandered and mocked by the party establishment in order to blunt his influence.

So yes, it is rather a novelty and an irony to imagine the shoe on the other foot: “Are you going to deliver your support or let the Democrats run the country?” It’s an amusing prospect, until you consider the possibility that they might not support a social conservative. People with established business interests are not going to be the great sufferers when taxation and regulation expand. Rather, what is dampened is the potential new competition. Once you have a foothold in the market, the creative dynamism of the economy is not so important. Sure, they want to minimize their taxes and maximize their shelters (the Fair Tax that Huckabee advocates would chloroform that angle, by the way. Remember the old 3 martini meals, vehicles, and trips that were “business” write offs? Not anymore). But having power to control that, may not override the indignity of that gauche Christian running our party!

And by the way, Hillary Clinton is up to her neck in corporate subsidy and endorsement. What Democrats takes with one hand, she’ll give back double with the other to the moneyed establishment in market constriction. That’s what socialism is: corporate money, government power. With Novak’s article, I did also ask who was going to be the Bob Michel lackey minority leader in the new permanent Republican House of Representatives minority.

The good news so far is that though these attacks keep piling up, Huckabee’s numbers keep going up, so far. Maybe some sheep are learning to look at the truth for themselves and walk on their own without the traditional guides.