Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Iowa Caucuses Tomorrow/Moneybag And Flustered Critics Notwithstanding, Huckabee The "True" Fiscal Conservative/Blog On Romney's negatives

I want to do some more reading, but I want to put this up now, since the Iowa Caucuses are tomorrow. Here are a few blog exchanges that I have had in the past day or two. The first is with a fellow Huckabee blogger, the others are exchanges with expressed (and misguided) Huckabee detractors. At bottom is a blogger question about
Romney that I thought merited consideration.

I was referred to a post at Matt's Corner and read down to Thursday’s post:

Thursday, December 27, 2007
How Fiscal Conservatives Use Social Conservatives
In an article at bloomberg.com, columnist Matthew Benjamin succinctly describes the division of labor (and rewards) in the Republican Party:
In doing so, he [Huckabee] threatens the uneasy if effective coalition Republicans have counted on for three decades: abortion opponents and other social-issue activists supplying foot soldiers, proponents of tax cuts and business-friendly regulatory policies putting up the money and getting the biggest economic benefits.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aW4kA.Dle4BU&refer=politics

Fiscal conservatives have used social conservatives to do all the heavy lifting so that they (the fiscal conservatives) can make a sizeable return on their investments. However, while the fiscal conservatives are making money off of the efforts of social conservatives who labor for their selected candidates, the social conservatives end up getting stuck with the bag. Instead of having a truly pro-life, pro-family candidate who will go out on a limb and say, "Right is right, wrong is wrong," social conservatives are told to be pragmatic. "Would you rather have Hillary Clinton?" they are told.

Well enough!

Even though he may lack financial backing, Mike Huckabee is demonstrating that social conservatives can unite behind a viable cnadidate. In fact, he has demonstrated that money cannot buy elections; otherwise, Mitt Romney would already be picking curtains for the Oval Office.

Larry said:

I have written about so-called fiscal conservatives taking social conservatives for granted. I wrote that social conservatives have always been asked, "Do you want to see the Democrat elected?" And, social conservatives have usually gone along.

But I then asked, "If Huckabee is nominated and the shoe is on the other foot, will the fiscal conservatives go along? I'm not so sure. Democrats too, are up to their necks in corporate money and commitments. And socialistic tendencies favor established financial interest: they will take a tax hike with policies that restrict entry into markets, maintaining/expanding established market-share.

True conservative/free-market policy like Huckabee advocates is friendly to market entry and innovation for enterprises not yet established. That's why all of this so-called fiscal conservative criticism is nonsense. When he talks about being Main Street and/or small business friendly, and about things like the Fair Tax (which would fairly tax EVERYONE'S expenditures, that's what he's talking about. The established money have teams of accountants to make things tax-free and shift the tax burden downward to the middle class.

Now, which side do you think multi-millionaire investment counselor Mitt Romney, looking for sure investments in a less-dynamic and unpredictable economy would be on? You can almost see the hair of he and other big-money investors curling when the consider the Fair Tax. "Fair," means that they won't be special, anymore.

Here is one critical excerpt at Below The Beltway , John McCain’s New Hampshire Surge , and a response:

>So it looks like the Republican race in New Hampshire will be a battle between McCain and Romney, with the rest of the field battling it out for third place. If Huckabee wins in Iowa and McCain takes New Hampshire, we could see a quick end to Mitt Romney’s campaign. And, more distressingly, I may actually find myself rooting for McCain over the Huckster.

• Larry Perrault Says:
January 1st, 2008 at 5:55 pm
I would like to ask, speaking as a lifelong conservative, who many have considered an extreme ideologue, especially after I left being a Republican activist to vote 3rd-party for 2 cycles, what at this point does one who spends a lot of time on the Internet where the truth can be uncovered (as opposed to misguided scuttlebutt), find offensive about Mike Huckabee? This seems especially ironic from someone who has found an appeal in Mitt Romney.
I have speculated about these objections from conservatives and only come up with a few possible explanations beyond the apparent absence of a PRIMARY concern about the sanctity of human life.
Many large money-movers, accustomed to writing off every luxury as a “business expense,” might find the Fair Tax that Huckabee supports, which would levy a tax on everything from paper clips to jets. Accustomed to special treatment, a “Fair” tax system might not be so appealing.
Also, among some “establishment” Republicans, an unshaded evangelical Christianity might be considered just culturally gauche: a little “creepy.” Speaking of that, it’s a little interesting to me to consider a man with his personal history a “cynical opportunist.” (as I began writing, I saw the reference to this post in the margin, which I’ll check out - again, and converesly(?), Romney is just the most genuine and straightforward guy in the race?
Lastly, I think for a lot of particularly aggravated conservatives, there may be some displeasure with Huckabee’s disposition: he often says, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody about it.”
Some conservatives might say, “I’m a conservative, AND I’M MAD AS HELL AT A LOT OF PEOPLE!” Would they find “cynical,” a conservative who is not perpetually angry?
--By the way, I’m a conservative who is working not to be mad about it.

One libertarian blogger at http://www.jasonpye.com/ wrote to Neil Boortz, the libertarian radio talk-show host, expressing dismay at Boortz endorsement of Huckabee. Boortz is a Fair Tax supporter who has actually co-authorerd a book with US Rep. John Linder. But, this blog lists the familiar laundry list of conservative (and inaccurate) objections to Huckabee.


I responded:
These points could be responded to one by one: perrault@sbcglobal.net , if you like. But, all of this dispairing about Huckabee is misguided. In the first place, the idea that Huckabee is a liberal spendthrift is nonsense. People believe that who believe other peoples' words without doing any study of their own. Money inflates and budgets grow. Over the course of Huckabee's governorship, his state's budget grew at about half the rate of the average American state.
In the second place, it is a CRASHING irony for these concerns to be stated over Huckabee, given the conservative/constitutional infidels who are the nearest competitors: Romney, Giuliani, McCain, Thompson? Philosophically clueless. At least Romney knows to pull any leg that sticks out in front of him. None of these are close to as constitutionally constrained as Huckabee. He constantly cites the appropriate state v. federal distinction of powers of the 10th Amendment. Anyone who was paying attention would know that.
The supposed "fiscal conservatives" that oppose Huckabee have ultrior motives, and opposition to The Fair Tax is one of them. People who write off nearly every luxury as a "business expense," effectively shifting the tax burden down to the middle class, don't want it "fair." They are used to being privileged.
The idea that Huckabee is cynically using The Fair Tax to gain power and will then ignore it and tax away is unmitigated paranoia. Huckabee has signed the Americans for Tax Reform "no new taxes " pledge and constantly says the federal government doesn't need more money. Again, pay attention.
And lastly: so-called "populist" rhetoric does not define liberal policy. Huckabee is a smart and honest man who grew up in a Democrat family, in a Democrat town, in a Democrat state, and BECAME a Republican. But not just because he doesn't care about middle and lower class people. He knows that true conservative free-market policy (like our current tax system ISN'T) provides the most opportunity for EVERYONE!
The sound of that rhetoric is the sound of the Democrats' most powerful emotional tool being cut right out from under them. It's the sound of general election victory for conservative principle. Take a muscle relaxer.

Another critical excerpt at http://hardstarboard.blogspot.com and a response comment
>…Nothing shocking or unusual about that (Romney’s) thirty-second spot. It just seeks to remind Republican voters that Mike xxxxx Huckabee is no conservative on foreign policy, national security, fiscal policy, or crime. And it does so very effectively
---I'm sure Mike Huckabee is a swell guy, but in my eyes, he's a mixture of everything I didn't like about Bill Clinton and George Bush.
A big government conservative with a history of accepting gifts from donors, a compulsion to legislate morality, and an "aw shucks," personality designed to catch you off guard, right before you find yourself taxed more to get less freedom.
If our friends in Iowa could give us a hand, we could Chuck Huck January 3rd.

Larry says:
Huckabee is well aware that success breeds criticism. He doesn't expect otherwise. He is just replying that the content misrepresents the facts.
He's not a big government conservative like a Bush. While he was governor, his state raised taxes to tend to state essentials, as state governments must (roads, education, parks, most notably) Huckabee is well aware of and outspoken about the 10th Amendment distinction between federal and state responsibilities, which some pupular culture-saturated "conservatives" evidently no longer are.

Romney’s negative campaigning: is Romney willing to take the party ...
By dotan
“MANCHESTER, NH - The battle between Mitt Romney and John McCain in New Hampshire’s Republican primary took a significant turn yesterday as Romney unveiled his first television advertisement attacking McCain’s record,” writes Michael ...
who is willard milton romney? - http://dotan.wordpress.com

2 comments:

bigjolly said...

Larry,

That was a pretty good post. Huck is taking many broadsides these days, I'm not sure he can hold on but I'm hoping!

Larry said...

I assume that this is THE bigjolly at Lone Star Times. I'm in Texas and I've been there several times (got into a decent scrap, once). But, I don't visit regularly. I don't recall that you backed Huckabee, then. But, you probably thought that he wouldn't be a player, then.

The enthusiasm looks good. But, the enthusiasm of the campaign stop crowds won't necessarily win the caucuses.

Huckabee has fairly gotten the crap beaten out of him by Romney, which I knew was coming when he closed on him in late November. But, the real disappointing thing has been all of the establishment writers going after him, too.

I don't know if you looked much at the rest of my blog, but I have been speculating as to why that is. I and many others have spent a lot of time showing that the accusations are mostly inaccurate. There are a lot of people out there who really fear that a President Huckabee would expand the federal government size and intrusion as much or more as happened under Bush. Most of these people on the web and on the street have just caught these ideas in the wind and run with them. One blogger I read today, concluded that Huckabee is a Christian socialist. All I could say was, "For Pete's sake! What do you think I am, an idiot. For years, people have been calling me an unreasonable right-wing extremist.

Anyway, you man have read that I saw it as 1) dislike for The Fair Tax: emphasis on "fair." And 2) frustration in some conservatives with his positive disposition: he's just not mad enough for them to consider him a genuine conservative. And 3) I think some of these establishment guys are just uncomfortable with a Christian who talks about it and cites scriptural examples. It's a cultural discomfort.

Anyway, if he wins the Republican nomination, it will set the Republican establishment on its year. If he wins in Iowa, I think it will only increase the howling. They'll probably start to trash the ignorant Iowans.

Anyway, if he wins the nomination and the establishment supports him, I think he'll thrash the Democrat. But, WILL the establishment support him?

As for Iowa, I have to wonder if Romney's attacks won't hurt both of them and McCain will finish closer than expected. If there's any smoke in the Thompson stack, no one is talking about it.

But, a lot of these writers obviously have the capacity to look at the facts of Huckabee's record and what he's been saying on the campaign trail. So, I have to think that there's some unmentioned discomfort.