Category Archives: Huckabee Watch

Inconvenient Convention Facts and Fictions Exposed

Now that the conventions are over, it’s time to separate the facts from the fiction. With so much misinformation being peddled by the political campaigns (not to mention rumors spread through e-mail, the internet and the MSM), this is very often a difficult task. My approach is to be skeptical until I am satisfied that I have looked at a variety of sources which I believe to be objective. Snopes and Factcheck.org are among the sources I use as a starting point.

The video below comes from factcheck.org. I generally trust this site because, in my judgment at least, they seem to be very even handed in their analysis,* they cite their sources, and go into detail as to how they arrive at their conclusions. This video provides an overview of the misleading statements made in Denver and in St. Paul; the website goes into more detail about these statements complete with sources.

(If the video fails to play, click here to watch)

A few observations:

This b.s. about “giving tax breaks to Big Oil companies” is maddening. Businesses, whether large or small, should neither pay taxes nor be subsidized. Businesses only pay taxes on paper; taxes are passed down to employees in the form of lower wages and higher prices for consumers. Why do we assume that the money that companies or individuals make belong to the government in the first place? If McBama was truly interested in creating jobs, reducing the price of groceries and gas, and improving the overall economy,** he would eliminate taxes and subsidies for all businesses. This would encourage businesses to bring jobs back to America rather than leaving America to escape the tax code. If the practice of subsidizing failing businesses ended, companies would have to survive by producing goods and services people actually want. Now that’s the “change” that I believe in!

Mike Huckabee. What can I say? As bad of a choice as John McCain is for the Republican ticket, the Republicans would have done much worse with Huckabee. Either Gov. Huckabee is insanely bad at math or he deliberately lied to the G.O.P. delegates and the country about Sarah Palin receiving more votes as Mayor than Joe Biden did in the Democrat primaries. Did he really think that no one would check? Did he really think that he was helping the McCain campaign?

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The Huckster — “Libertarians Want To Steal Grammy’s Meds!”

It’s obvious to all people with functioning brain cells that the Republican party’s reputation has taken quite a beating over this decade. When it’s been dominated by the profligate spending and mismanagement of the “compassionate conservatives”, Mike Huckabee lays the blame at the people who have been criticizing that profligate spending all along, and makes an utter fool of himself in the process:

What can the party do to reverse course?

Republicans need to be Republicans. The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it’s this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it’s a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says “look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don’t get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it.” Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it’s not an American message. It doesn’t fly. People aren’t going to buy that, because that’s not the way we are as a people. That’s not historic Republicanism. Historic Republicanism does not hate government; it’s just there to be as little of it as there can be. But they also recognize that government has to be paid for.

Huckabee makes two logical errors here.

First, he conflates libertarianism’s goals with methods. The goal is a government that is not providing these services, and a private sector that replaces the government provision of services. The State has been built incrementally over the last century and beyond, and society has grown accustomed to the infringement of their own methods for handling social problems by the government. Most libertarians want to see a dramatic reduction in the State, but understand that the methods must also be incremental. Societies such as post-Communist Russia show what happens when you simply disintegrate heavy-handed state control in a society which does not have the natural infrastructure to support it– the State is replaced by other goons, like the mafia.

Second, he assumes that if government doesn’t provide these social services, all hell will break loose when the vacuum forms. As a Baptist preacher, he above all should understand the amazing capacity that Americans have for voluntary charity. He seems to impugn libertarians with the motives of “well, if all hell breaks loose, it’s too f’ing bad.” Instead, our belief is that the government is an inefficient, uncaring, and ultimately unreliable provider of social services, and that the poor and elderly will be better off and our children will be better educated if we get the government out of the way. After all, government didn’t socialize medicine for senior citizens up until a few years ago, and the world hadn’t ended. Government has constantly been “improving” (read “throwing more money and bureaucracy at”) education for 50 years, and watched as American children have fallen further and further behind our international rivals.

Oh, and I don’t understand what Huckabee’s Republican view of government, “to be as little of it as there can be”, defines him any different from that of a Democrat. His view of “as little of it as there can be” seems to include lots of “compassionate conservative” programs, which sounds like it includes a lot of prescription drugs for the elderly and a big federal education bureaucracy. As is true of most politicians, he’d simply prefer that his team be pulling the strings instead of those dirty liberals.

But, if you can believe it, it gets worse. He goes on to prove that he doesn’t understand a thing about libertarians:

My experience in Arkansas was, a lot of the so-called conservatives said “Let’s cut the budget.” But they wanted to add prison sentences, they wanted to eliminate parole, they wanted to have harsher sentences for various crimes. And I said “OK, that’s fine, but that’s going to be expensive. So which do you want?” You can’t have both

I think most libertarians would tell you that our prisons are FAR too crowded, and that we’re wasting our time prosecuting victimless crimes while actual dangerous people roam free. These “so-called conservatives”– who don’t actually call themselves conservatives, mind you– aren’t usually the ones asking for tougher sentences, mandatory minimums, and fuller prisons. We’re the ones arguing against that!

So it would appear that the Huckster’s main point is that for Republicans to reconnect with electoral success, they need to leave those elements asking for reduction in government behind. Instead, they need to be the party of fiscal responsibility, and not grow government QUITE as quickly as the Democrats want (or spend the money in the same places). Yet government growth hasn’t been a problem over the last 7 years of the Bush administration, and increasing government nannyism has not led to widespread acceptance of Huckabee’s version of Republicanism.

I disagree strongly with Huckabee, if that hasn’t been evident already. It truly says something when potential voters respond to a centrist-libertarian Republican candidate in record numbers, preferring him to an idealized Democrat, even if he isn’t real:

And after the debate, a Zogby poll found that even among the young, liberal-skewing viewers of “The West Wing,” Vinick had crushed Santos. Before the episode, viewers between 18 and 29 preferred Santos over Vinick, 54 percent to 37 percent. But after the debate, Vinick led among viewers under age 30, 56 percent to 42 percent. McCain could only dream of such numbers. Or maybe he should try sounding like Arnie Vinick.

“West Wing” producers were taken aback by the reactions of real live “voters” to their real live debate. After seven years of heroically portraying the honest, decent, liberal President Jed Bartlet–an idealized Bill Clinton who wouldn’t take off his coat, much less his pants, in the Oval Office–they weren’t about to let a crotchety old Republican beat their handsome Hispanic hero. So they conjured up a meltdown in a nuclear power plant that Vinick had supported, and Santos won the election.

I remember thinking that during those West Wing episodes… “Why don’t real Republicans ever sound like this?” If they did, I might have a reason to support them instead of Bob Barr come November.

Mike Huckabee vs. The First Amendment

In an interview on NPR, Mike Huckabee said that he wants to outlaw all independent speech in political campaigns:

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on Wednesday disavowed the use of a negative campaign tactic known as “push polling” being used on his behalf by an independent group ahead of the South Carolina primary.

Huckabee said he disagreed with the automated phone calls purporting to be part of a survey that instead disparage rival candidates. The “push polling” calls were being made by Colorado-based Common Sense Issues in support of the Huckabee campaign.

“We don’t know who these people are,” the former Arkansas governor told NPR’s Morning Edition. “I personally wish all of this were outlawed. I think that every candidate ought to speak for himself.”

More detail from the radio interview itself:

I personally wish that all of this were outlawed. I think that every candidate ought to speak for himself, and that everything that involves the candidate’s name or another candidate’s name should be authorized and approved by that candidate, otherwise it shouldn’t be spoken . . . The point is that candidates can’t force these special interest 527 groups to stop. I wish we could.

The Club for Growth’s Pat Toomey puts it best:

“Under a Mike Huckabee presidency, no individual or group would be allowed to criticize a politician’s policies without the politician’s approval. Which part of ‘Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech,’ is lost on Governor Huckabee?”

Maybe that’s one of the parts of the Constitution he wants to amend

Mike Huckabee “Clarifies” His Views On The Constitution And God

On Wednesday Jason noted that Mike Huckabee had stated his desire to amend the Constitution to bring it in line with “God’s law.”

Later that day, he appeared on Hannity & Colmes and attempted to clarify what he had said earlier in the day:

On last night’s Hannity & Colmes, Colmes cited Huckabee’s quote about changing the Constitution and said, “That makes people a little worried. It sounds like you’re looking to have a theocratic state when you make statements like that, talking about changing the Constitution in keeping with your view of God.”

Huckabee responded, “Not at all. On two things. The context is two things: Human life amendment, which I support and which has been in the Republican platform since 1980. And, by the way, Fred Thompson doesn’t support it. Nor does John McCain. And yet it’s part of our platform. And it’s a very important part of our platform to say that human life is something we’re going to stand for. And the second thing is traditional marriage. So those are the two areas in which I’m talking about. I’m not suggesting that we rewrite the Constitution to reflect tithing or Sunday school attendance. I want to make that very clear… Except for you, Alan. I think maybe you should, maybe you should obey those things.”

Colmes said drily, “Well, thank you for the suggestion.”

And here’s the video:

I don’t buy it. Huckabee meant what he said, his effort to “clarify” the statement seems to be in response to the generally negative reception it got in the press.

Tax Hike Mike Sees Conspiracies

Christian leader and GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee sees a vast right wing conspiracy against him:

MIKE HUCKABEE: We’re doing OK in South Carolina. We’re up on television, we’ve got a good budget here, a good buy. We also have an extraordinary ground operation in South Carolina. I really believe we’re going to win here; it makes sense for us to win here. We’re working hard. We don’t take anything for granted. Voters in South Carolina are very smart.

I don’t think they’re responding very well — there’s so much negative. There’s a bunch of Washington special interest groups that are coming into town today [the Club for Growth and Freedom Works are holding a joint presser on the Huckabee record] to attack me. It’s amazing. I’m the only guy who’s just getting hammered from some of these special interest groups, and I think that’ll really turn for me and against some of these folks. Because it’s pretty obvious that, there’s gotta be, almost this, I don’t want to use the word conspiracy, but there’s just an anxiety that exists in the Washington power circles about our candidacy.

Huckafraud should be kept away from the nuclear football at all costs.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The Hayride.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
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