Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Crime Has He Committed? "Crucify Him!"

Below is a comment on my last post, which complained about my exasperation with “conservative” critics of Huckabee, and my response.

Some of these “conservatives,” I think may be serious, though misguided. But, some are certainly driven by anti-social conservative, anti-Fair Tax, or anti-humane motives. I say "anti-humane" because I feel some of these critics though probably a relatively small minority, are simply reactive to Mike Huckabee’s expressions of concern for people other than Wall Street and investment professionals. I say “reactive” because Huckabee has no record or intention of the kind of expansive and wasteful government that some conservatives instantly fear because they hear a certain tone of concern for the common man. And, he doesn’t have such a record or intention, not because the concern isn’t genuine. He just knows that this kind of activity is socially destructive: he’s conservative not in being dispassionate, but in principle.

And here is the great irony: Mike Huckabee believes that conservative approaches to governance really are the most productive way to help not just upper, but middle and lower income people as well. He just has the temerity to actually TELL people that he would like to help them that way, which jolts some conservatives to apoplexy. Not Fred Thompson, by the way. Heck, Fred Thompson is WAY more liberal than Mike Huckabee is. For example, unlike Thompson who advocated and supported it, Mike Huckabee wouldn’t have touched the 1st Amendment shattering McCain-Feingold “campaign finance reform” bill with a ten foot pole. Huckabee has said that contributions should be unlimited, with full and prompt disclosure on the Internet, which I have thought for years. No, Fred Thompson is no conservative or constitutional idealist. He’s just waving a red flag at those conservatives I was speaking of, who can be agitated. None of these critics are as philosophically conservative as I am.

And, speaking of the constitutional oblivion of McCain-Feingold, that’s just one of McCain’s many demonstrations of that disability. I have watched John McCain for a long time: I think he’s a decent and noble patriot. He just has no sense of what the federal government can and can’t do; either constitutionally or practically. Maybe he’s been swimming in the Washington water for so long that he’s gone native enough to really believe that they can do anything.

Anyway, Huckabee obviously can’t and shouldn’t back off on his expressions of concern for the middle and lower classes. Besides that being morally derelict, Huckabee is exactly right that Republicans can expect to lose a lot of elections if they don’t even want to speak to the concerns of the vast majority of Americans. And, that is something that sunk in with me a few years ago. Certainly I was at one point, one of those conservatives motivated primarily by annoyance at what runaway government had done to America. I still don’t like it. But, do we want to sit on the tack and whine or do we want to steer the country in a positive direction? Do we want America to improve or do we want to perpetually scream while it gets worse? If we choose the latter, we will be doing a lot of screaming, because it only will get worse. The model of aggressive combat doesn’t work. I decided that I’d rather discuss what is right with people with whom I disagreed, than work with people on either side who didn’t care what was right, but only cared about power or short-sighted benefit.

Then, last January, I saw a man who had served as a Republican governor in a Democrat state, who said, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody about it.” And, as a governor, he worked to actually improve the lives of the people in his state, more than to make political points. And, he did it as a conservative in a prudent and restrained way. Sure, Mike Huckabee is unhappy with the consequence of liberal government, but he isn’t angry at people. A long time ago, a man came to an evil-scarred world and mourned what men did, but he didn’t hate them. He came to serve a broken world, and in fact, they killed him. But, he still didn’t hate them. That’s the model: We should ask how we can serve our neighbors and society, speaking for what is right, but working with and for people who aren’t always right. Similar to how it was the religious people who hated Jesus and turned him over to be killed, it’s his fellow conservatives who hate Mike Huckabee and want his candidacy dead. And, if they succeed, we’ll all have to work not to hate them. But, though I’m a conservative too, I won’t see them as infinitely superior to Democrats.

Here’s a response to my irritation with the anti-Huckabee diatribes of Rush Limbaugh who is nether the neither first nor will he likely be the last to scorn in this way. Tonight I heard Mark Levin misguidedly snarling about Huckabee’s anti-conservatism. Huckabee is the punching bag to be knocked down going into Saturday’s South Carolina Primary. Fred Thompson’s been at smearing Huckabee for days, and Romney will join him is he remains determined to play in South Carolina. I don’t know what McCain will do. He may stay decent. But, if he goes after Huckabee as not conservative, it would be being called unfaithful by a practiced heretic. Anyway, the short comment is followed by my short response.

Family Mentors said...

I would encourage as many people as possible to engage Rush and the NeoLib Commentocrats, issue-by-issue.

First, today he went out of his way to endorse a threatened boycott of the general election if one of his guys doesn't win (saying the GOP will be destroyed if McCain or Huck wins). Funny how the NeoLibs always tell social conservatives they'll hurt the party if they sit out like they did in 2006.

We may have to be willing to suffer through four years of HillBillary or Oprahbama in order to be heard. I hope not, but the NeoLibs are hell bent on preventing any social conservative from succeeding. Their opposition to McCain will evaporate if Rudy continues to fade. Flag this post and flog me if I'm wrong ;-)

I have remarked on the irony of the possibility of others being asked to suck it up and support a social conservative. I don’t know, in fact I tend to doubt, that that is the ground of Rush’s problem. Maybe he’s just a sentimental conservative who has inhaled the scuttlebutt and failed to do his homework. Anyway, I do think it’s true that social conservatives have to be prepared to watch Democrats win. If they watch a social conservative actively destroyed and turn in their votes, the message will be that it really doesn’t matter to them. Their leverage (and respect) in the party will be destroyed; and with it, much of the potential to heal American society. Believe me: I was an activist in the Republican Party and I’ve been saying that for years, and suffering scorn for it.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

Larry, those of us supporting Senator John McCain for the nomination would like to thank Fred Thompson -- known both as the laziest candidate and the one with the fewest accomplishments -- for draining votes away from Mike Huckabee. I knew there was something good about Fred.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

Cindy at the Pink Flamingo is asking everyone to sign her "I vote the Elephant" pledge, wherein people swear to vote for the Republican candidate. I asume Larry will be the first to sign in and that all other Mike supporters will do the same. There is no way Mike can win even two states without support from the other candidates and their supporters. Here's the pledge and link:

I have created an I Vote the Elephant pledge.

I've had enough with the nasty attitudes, esp. from the top bloggers and talk show conservatives who seem to be more interested in destroying than building. Once the primary season is over, we will need to start working together. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a candidate, but things are getting out of hand. If we do not stop behaving like children, we are going to be so splintered we will lose. I don't care if you are liberal, moderate, or conservative. All I care about is that you pledge to vote the elephant, sign the pledge, and start forwarding it to everyone you know.

Please forward this to everyone you now who is a Republican, even if they do not blog. I know this is a small effort . It only takes takes a spark to get a fire going.

We need to start behaving like Republicans, with some manners, respect, and stop defaming our Republican candidates, even if we don't like them.

I have said, and will repeat the fact that I will vote for whoever is the GOP nominee. It doesn't matter. The name of the game is keeping the White House and all those lush little Supreme Court nominees.

"If we do not hang together surely we will all hang separately." Benjamin Franklin

Larry said...


Yes, and Thompson is doing so while lying his keister off.

Though McCain is philosophically ambiguous, I have said that I would vote for a ticket with McCain and Huckabee, in either order. I might even vote for Romney, though I'm not impressed with his campaign and it would be one mother of a "hold your nose and...," and I wouldn't defend the man even the way I have defended George W, Bush, whom I didn't vote for. Fred Thompson ios as ambiguous as McCain, but he isn't half the man with half the honor. I doubt I'll have to give him any kind of consideration.

Giuliani, I WOULDN'T vote for, for certain. And in fact, The Republican Party would have to come crawl;ing back to me with apologies in the future.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

The following is the somewhat controversial column I wrote on Mike Huckabee's comments about Jamie Spears's pregnancy. As always, comments are welcome:

In my previous column, mainly devoted to John McCain, I wrote about Mike Huckabee's unfortunate comment that Jamie Spears's pregnancy was a "tragedy." Now, my comments seem to be controversial with some Huckabee supporters (of whom I'm not one). I wrote about . . . Mike Huckabee's criticism of Jamie Spears, who is pregnant at age 16. Mike called the pregnancy a "tragedy," which is a rather wild misuse of that word. He then apparently complimented Miss Spears on not choosing to have an abortion. Which is it, Mike? A good thing or a bad thing? Is she being irresponsible -- or is she demonstrating real courage.Later, I heard that Nikolodeon (which run Jamie's show directed to pre-teens and young teens) was planning to have a special (with Linda Ellerbee) on teen pregnancy. I wish Mike had suggested something like that approach, rather than being the clueless Southern Baptist minister we all have come to know and love. I've been on the scene with several teen pregnancies (including two in my own family) and the very last thing you should say to any mother-to-be is that being pregnant is a "tragedy" or even the the result of "bad behavior." Frankly, most young girls who are "with child" don't regard it as a tragedy but more like a blessing from God. That's the way members of my family looked at it, and abortion was never a consideration. Why does Mike Huckabee regard it as some terrible development? Characterizing a teen pregnancy or any kind of pregnancy as some awful, tragic event is a great way to induce young women to have an abortion. Frankly, when a woman (or a girl) is pregnant, the "horse" has left the barn, and decent people (even Baptist ministers) have to move into a supportive role. If Mike is this easily horrified by something that happens 800,000 times per year (teen pregnancies), he needs a basic course in reality. The time to condemn Miss Spears ended at the moment of conception.Parents and friends who tell pregnant children that it will be the ruination of their lives are a major cause of abortion in the U.S. Pregnancy is NOT a tragedy. So, wake up, Mike. What I hope Jamie Spears will do is to advise other teens to avoid becoming pregnant when they are 17 or younger. At the same time, I hope she'll urge those teens who do become pregnant to carry their child to term -- and to bring him or her up with the support of family and friends. I also hope she'll take courses in parenting. In the past, she's been the rational, practical member of the Spears family, and I hope those qualities manifest themselves in the future.

steve maloney

Larry said...

I long ago commented on Maloney's goofy over-intepretation of Huckabee's language. Unfortunately, this is not the only example of Maloney's...is it silly misrepresntation or shallow misinrerpretaion? In any case, he is impervious to correction so consider it verbal smoke.

You might be interested to look at his blog at http://camp2008victorya.blogspot.com/ , tonight or tomorrow to see how he spins it if McCain lose4s in SD, and we go into FL with both his boys, McCain and Giuliani, lagging in the polls.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

One of my biggest problems with "Mike" is his embrace of the Confederate Flag, a symbol of racism, slavery, and segregation to many in S.C. and the nation. A little good ole Arkansas racism seems to be the way to get some vote from the so-called "evangelicals," who make up most of his votes. A little offense against Black folks isn't going to hurt him in Dixie.

Mike Huckabee claims to be a Christian. Of course, many politicians in the Republican Party (including Mark Foley) make the faith claim. But I have no idea what Mike Huckabee believes -- if anything.

As I've tried hard (but failed) to explain to Larry Perrault, people can claim to believe anything, and of course some of them believe nothing. I tend to think Pastor Mike falls in that category.

The only way we can determine an individual's beliefs -- be it Larry or Pastor Mike -- is by their acts. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Mike's "fruits" right now seem to be confined to cozying up to the primitives and racists in S. Carolina. The push-polling on his behalf is Exhibit B of the racism and foulness that afflicts his campaign.

The admonitions of Jesus Christ are difficult ones, and the "evangelical favorite" is falling far short of living up to them. He's a disgrace.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa

Larry said...

Excuse that Maloney guy. I haven't spent any time with him, so I'm not certain whether he is distorting for political purposes or is simply insane. At least he's consistent. 90% of what he writes is dopey. At times, he's actually been relatively decent. Again: moody? schizo? politically manipulating (seems to best explain his erratic behavior) But, I don't know.
Mike Huckabee has never embraced anything. Either Maloney knows this or he's so irresonsible that his keyboard should be revoked.

Mike Huckabee merely said that it wasn't federal business, including presidential to interfere in South Carolina's internal affairs...I'm sure he would add: unless they interfere with human life, liberty, property, or equality under the law (14th Amendment)

Ruling out those violations of The Constitution, Huckabee is absolutely correct. When pressed about his own feelings, he explicitly refused to inject himself and his presidential campaign into South Carolinian affairs.

I won't speak for Mike, but I usually (not always) agree with him, and I can tell you what IIIIII think, for which he is obviously not responsible. But, if he said this, he would no doubt be accused of trying to have it both ways. It so happens that my convictions put me on what some would consider both sides.

Mike Huckabee is absolutely right that it is no business of outsiders to determine how an individual state conducts itself and I would not presume to try. However, if I WERE a South Carolinian (which I am not) and it came to a vote whether the flag should be flown on public sites and I thought a considerable number (not a majority, but a considerable population) took great offense at the flag, my ONE vote would probably go against it.

It would not go against it because I foolishly thought anyone or any place that waived it was necessarily racist, which is absurd. But, when this issue arose in 2000, I thought of Paul's instruction in I Corinthians 8, advising against eating meat sacrificed to idols. He said even though we know that idols are nothing and we are perfectly free to eat it, we should not if it represents a great problem for someone else who feels strongly otherwise.

In the sane way, we may see the flag only as a reverence of Southern Heritage and heroes. Still, if many feel great injury by it, it is not worth it. Fly it in your museums, front yards or stick it on your vehicles.

Again, that's MY reaction and no statement for Governor Huckabee.

Fleeting_Thoughts said...

I don't quite understand the Fair Tax. Isn't Huckabee saying that even with a downturning economy he is going to lay off 150,000 IRS employees and put hundreds of thousands of trained tax lawyers, small business owners out of business?

If the USA only created 43,000 jobs in November of 2007 how is getting rid of the IRS a good idea just now? I think Michigan probably knows what it feels like losing a lot of jobs at one time.

I just don't think Huckabee is smart for the economy.

Larry said...

Fleeting_Thoughts :

In the first place, never mind the IRS. Just think of all the tax-preparers and filers that will have to invest their time in more productive work.

And speaking of productive work, none of us have ever seen anything like the avalanche of investment and economic activity that would take place if business taxes were removed, and money put in pockets.

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Anonymous said...

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