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Are Mike Huckabee’s Supporters Ignorant of his Policy Positions?

I came across Laura’s blog, Pursuing Holiness, after I read a comment of hers left at HotAir, and I am glad that I did.  She has one of the best posts I have seen deconstructing Mike Huckabee and explaining the base of his support.  From the way she lays it out, his base seems to be very ignorant about his policy positions.

Mike Huckabee is getting support despite the fact that he is not a fiscal conservative, supports illegal immigration, is completely ignorant on foreign policy, is weak on the war effort based on his flip flopping on Gitmo and waterboarding, has taken donations from embryonic stem cell research companies and also has a history of commuting criminals, including some who have donated to his Party in Arkansas, only to go on to commit more crimes once they were allowed to go free by Mike Huckabee. 

Knowing all this, why on earth does he have any support whatsoever?  From what Laura explains, it seems that the sad reality is that most of his supporters are simply completely ignorant about his policies and are just supporting him based on his slick talking and his Christianity.

[ … ]  But I have been following the Republican side of the race, and I think this is a good description of how Huckabee won. Rather than look closely at his record and policies, people looked at his faith and personality. He’s the “Christian leader” so his record and policies must be okay, right? After all, he’s a Christian. A former pastor, even. And it’s about time one of our own got some recognition. The GOP is OUR party, and it’s time people accepted that fact. Well, that’s the mindset of an awful lot of people. So they “feel” a certain way about Huckabee and voted accordingly.

I’ve had email exchanges with a friend who I believe is representative of Huckabee supporters. She’s a long-time Christian conservative who homeschooled her daughter. What follows is a summary of those exchanges.

My friend knew about the commutation issue, but thought it was overblown by the drive-bys. After all, wasn’t one about a kid with a BB gun when he was five? I said that wasn’t exactly representative of the controversy, which has actually been going on for some time. Here’s what Arkansans were saying in 2004 about the situation. For example, beyond the BB gun, there was a serial drunk driver whose wife donated $10,000 to Arkansas Republicans just before he got out – and who later re-offended.

Well, the big money is behind Rudy and Romney, right? I said maybe so, but how is that relevant to Huckabee’s merits as a candidate? I understand the desire to root for the underdog, but the underdog isn’t necessarily right.

Still, he’s good on the war, isn’t he? My friend didn’t know that Huckabee flip-flopped on Gitmo. He wanted to keep GITMO open in June 2007, but after hearing from a few ex-Generals a few months later, wanted to shut it down and move the prisoners to Leavenworth. The only benefit to that is the very nebulous “world opinion” – and let’s face it, most of the rest of the world really only likes us when we’re victims. 9/12 syndrome. Moving them to Leavenworth would end up giving them full access to US courts, but these aren’t really prosecutable criminal cases, so many would be set free. Huckabee took the alleged “moral high ground” right alongside the Democratic party on this issue, and to the detriment of our national security. There have been numerous cases of released detainees showing right back up on the battlefield, including Abdullah Mehsood, featured in the Gitmo Cookbook. Speaking of flip-flops on Gitmo, he also flip-flopped on the Cuban embargo.

And don’t even get me started on his “arrogant bunker mentality” Foreign Affairs article, which was fisked here. He’s also clueless about what breeds terrorism – it’s not poverty. Other than staying in a Holiday Inn Express, what conservative foreign policy qualifications does Governor Huckabee have?

But Huckabee is fiscally conservative. Didn’t he cut taxes umpteen million times? Sure, but he raised them fewer times, in higher amounts, for a $500 million increase.

My friend is against illegal immigration. She didn’t know – or forgot – that Huckabee’s soul requires him to spend our tax dollars on incentives to increase it.

“Some people want me to be a lot harsher [on immigration policy],” Huckabee explains. “When I realized that there are kids [children of illegal immigrants] out there who are as good as me and they didn’t have a choice where they were born; they didn’t have a choice to whom they were born; then I have to ask myself do I really want to put my heel in their face no matter how hard they work? My soul won’t let me pander that issue any further than that and I’m not going to,” he says with determination.

Children in Darfur are as good as me, and they didn’t have a choice where they were born. What do we owe them? I have sympathy for children of illegals, but they are the problem of the country they were born in. Rewarding the families of illegal aliens only encourages more people to break our laws. But Huckabee says that my position on this is “un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life.” What bible verse or accepted Christian doctrine mandates income redistribution by government? Taxes have no part of Christian charity. Charity is voluntary. Still, Huckabee’s soul evidently had a change of heart, because he cribbed a much stricter illegal immigration policy.

I think what will really impact people like my friend’s support of Huckabee is Rush Limbaugh’s opinion of him. Rush has specifically said that Huckabee is not a conservative, and that’s the kind of thing my friend would take seriously. Rush has also said that Fred Thompson is the “one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism.”

As for me, I truly believe that the GOP is the frog in the pot. We’ve been gradually moving further and further left. At this point, I will even vote Hillary before I vote Huckabee. I’d rather turn the heat up with an unabashed leftist that Congressional Republicans will fight than continue simmering. It’s time to adjust our feelings to the facts. The fact is that people who call themselves conservatives (as opposed to Republicans, which includes a much broader spectrum of people) should not be voting for Huckabee. The question is, how many conservatives are left in the Republican party?

I am wondering that myself.  I am also wondering how many informed, educated people are among the Republican voters out there.  Are people actually informed about the candidates and are simply rejecting Conservatism or are people simply completely uninformed and ignorant on the policy positions and are voting and putting their support behind candidates based on style over substance?

Hopefully it is just a matter of ignorance and being uninformed and not that people are starting to reject conservatism and accept socialism and populism.

January 5, 2008 , 4:49PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Christianity, Mike Huckabee | 1 Comment

Mike Huckabee Wishes to Enslave Americans

First of all, don’t get too worried about the results in Iowa. The only Presidential nominee that Iowans have gotten correct in history has been George W. Bush in 2000. Other than that, their history is abismal. Put simply, they don’t represent the nation or the Republican Party. So as disgusting as the gushing over Mike Huckabee’s and Barack Obama’s wins in the Iowa Caucus has been, it really doesn’t mean much in the big picture, if things stay true to history.

However, since it seems pretty obvious that people are supporting Mike Huckabee on style and his slick talking rhetoric which covers up his socialism, I feel obliged to start posting more about Mike Huckabee to expose him as the dangerous fraud that he is. Bruce Walker touches on the main thing that really grates on me about Mike Huckabee: the fact that he uses Christianity as a political tool, instead of as personal inspiration. As Mr. Walker explains, not only is Mike Huckabee a bad politician, he is also a bad Christian, misinterpreting the message of Christ.

Via Bruce Walker at The American Thinker: Mike Huckabee and Christian Duty

Mike Huckabee said last Sunday on Meet the Press that his faith was important to him and that it drove his views on everything from the environment to poverty to disease and to hunger. Huckabee then went on to say that he thought the Republican Party needed to take a greater leadership role on these sorts of issues and that, as a Christian, he wanted to make sure that Republicans spoke out more on these issues.

Excellent. As a Christian Republican myself, I will express support for protecting God’s Creation, fighting sickness, and ending hunger. All are profoundly Christian ideals. But Mike Huckabee, as a Christian, is not really talking about protecting Creation, fighting sickness or ending hunger. Mike is talking about using the coercive power of government to force other people to pay taxes and to comply with onerous and arbitrary laws to do what Mike thinks, as a Christian, he should be doing.

That is the salient fact: as a Christian, Huckabee can be a witness to Christian behavior; he can exhort others to themselves become a witness to Christian behavior; but he cannot demand the enslavement of others to do those things which, as a Christian, he feels that he should do. The term “enslavement,” of course, is relative. Americans are comparatively free. But everything that Huckabee feels government should do requires a loss of freedom for every American. Moreover, Huckabee is not just asking for the greater enslavement of Christian Americans, but he is asking for the greater enslavement of all Americans. This is most un-Christian. Does my verdict sound extreme? Substitute “Rome” for “America” and substitute “publican” for “tax dollars.”

Did Christ ever say his followers should ask Rome to do more for the welfare of its subjects? Or did Christ ask each individual Christian to personally do more to feed the hungry, to comfort the sick, to care for the widows and orphans, and to seek justice and mercy? Rome was a welfare state. The urban masses of Rome lived on bread and circuses. Roman power, outside Rome, buil[t] good roads, aqueducts, baths, bridges, libraries and undertook many other public works projects. Pax Romana was a very real blessing to nations who had fought wars around Mare Nostrum for centuries.

Despite the ways in which Roman power could be used to improve the world, Christ never looked to Rome to bring paradise or earth or even to be the agent of doing good in this world. Christ, rather, enjoined his followers to personally sacrifice and work for the rest of the world. He did not want Christians running for Roman offices to use the hated Roman taxes to “do good.” His message was personal.

Christians have heeded that call. Newt Gingrich, for example, does care about the environment and ecology, but as a private citizen. Rush Limbaugh quietly and privately helps many charities. Each Christmas the Salvation Army has hosts of volunteers who raise money to directly help the poor. Christians throughout America have healed the sick, comforted the distressed, and preserved the glory of Creation – but they act personally, and not through the enslavement of other Americans.

Mike should want to be a disciple of Christ and not a consul of Rome. At the time of Christ, everyone knew just how much good Rome did, but they also knew the price of Roman benefits. It was by no means clear whether Rome, on balance, did more good or bad. But it was always clear that the Christian who gave of [his] own purse to feed the hungry did pure good. That is the distinction between using Rome (or any government) to try to do good and using one’s own Christian conscience and will to do good.

But there are other problems with Huckabee’s pining for more government intervention. Not only is the enslavement of others to do what one thinks is right fundamentally unchristian, but it is also horribly inefficient and produces much wickedness disguised as goodness. Creating bureaucracies of government employees to “care” for the poor, the environment, the sick and so forth has proven the least cost-effective way of helping people, but worse, these bureaucrats are not acting out of Christian love: they are just doing their job. These “dependency” bureaucracies actually coarsen the consciences of both recipients and administrators.

Huckabee also misses the theological fact that caring for Creation, curing the sick and feeding the hungry is not just a Christian injunction, but a Judeo-Christian injunction. The Blessed Creator spoke clearly to the Jewish people about their duties in this area as well. If Huckabee is speaking as a Christian, perhaps he might do well to note that the Jewish people have the same moral imperative. And, of course, Jews have done much to relieve human misery, to research cures for diseases, to help preserve nature, and to do the other things Huckabee wants government to do – and these actions, like the actions of good Christians, have been done privately, without the help of enslaved taxpayers.

Often this service to the poor and the frightened in America by Jews has been dramatic. My father-in-law spent six tortured years as a slave laborer in Auschwitz, but he spent the last seventeen years of his life as an unpaid volunteer to keep Henry Hudson Park in New York free from gangs and other unhealthy influences so that families and children could have a safe, happy place to recreate themselves in the middle of Riverdale. No one asked him to do this: he did it.

Mike Huckabee is quite right to enjoin all Christians and Jews to help the poor, comfort the sick, preserve the beauty of our Blessed Creation, to give jobs to the unemployed and all the other moral commands of the Judeo-Christian religious and moral tradition. Mike Huckabee is quite wrong in perceiving this duty as a function of an impersonal, ineffective and unaccountable government. What Mike says we should do, we should all do individually, as our conscience commands us to do. We cannot replace our hands and our wallets with the hands of slaves or the federal treasury.

January 5, 2008 , 4:46PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Christianity, Mike Huckabee | Comments Off on Mike Huckabee Wishes to Enslave Americans

More Speculation on Mike Huckabee’s Support

Some great comments left this morning at this HotAir post. First, a general assessment of the CINOs (Conservatives in Name Only) in the GOP race:

Imagine that the Conservative Coalition is a table with five legs. Each leg is a group within the tent: the Social Cons, the Fiscal Cons, the Foreign Policy Cons, the Law and Order Cons, and the Small Government Cons. Sure there’s some overlap, but go with it for now.

Now, most people can see that if (insert candidate) is nominated, he will saw off one or more of those table legs. The question now is who will saw off a leg or two, but still leave the table standing?

If Mitt takes the nomination, he might saw off the Social leg (Mormon/Abortions) and/or the Small Government leg (Health Care). If McCain gets the win, he saws off the Fiscal leg (Bush Tax cuts) and the Law and Order leg (Immigration). If Rudy gets the win, he saws off the Social leg (abortion, gay marriage), and some amount of the Law and Order leg (gun-grabbing and plummeting crime balance in some manner).

If Huckabee gets the win, he preserves the Social leg… and he saws off the Fiscal leg (taxes and spending), the Foreign Policy leg (let’s hug Iran like it’s Thanksgiving dinner), the Law and Order leg (let’s free 1300 criminals who “found Jesus”), and the Small Government leg (Let’s ban smoking, for the children).

For every candidate besides Huck, we at least have a table that can stand. Huck saws off every leg but one.

Lehosh on January 5, 2008 at 9:22 AM

I agree with this assessment to a point. In my opinion, John McCain is just as dangerous as Mike Huckabee. I don’t like John McCain’s foreign policy (weak on the torture argument and I don’t believe he has the will to fight the war. I believe he would be another Bill Clinton and be more interested in good press and following polls rather than leading.) nor his disdain for social conservatives, which he expressed in the 2000 campaign. Thus, John McCain, in my view, would end up cutting off 4 legs of the table, same as Mike Huckabee.

In addition to that, Rudy Giuliani ran a sanctuary city in New York. So the “Law and Order” leg is more than just his gun grabbing.

I thought that “csdeven” and “MT” had some insightful comments as well, regarding Mike Huckabee’s support and where it comes from. By his analysis, it seems that people who are now supporting Huckabee were first supporters of Fred Thompson. But they only jumped to Mike Huckabee based on Christianity and likeability, while completely ignoring the fact that Mike Huckabee is a liberal:

I hear the same kind of thing here in VA… evangelical Christians (I wish we could just say ‘Christians’, but it seems to have gotten to the point where that’s not specific enough) that are frustrated by the apparent lack of Fredmentum and are now excited about Huckabee. If you listen to the guy, he’s astonishingly convincing that he’s not a tax-raiser, that he’s pro-gun, that he’s prepared to defend this country against jihad, etc… I hope that Fred somehow finds some traction, but Mike is resonating and people are buying his message over his record.

MT on January 5, 2008 at 9:04 AM

*****

Fred is not a Jesus candidate like Huck is. He did not, does not pander to a specific group. He speaks conservatism only. These same folks who were really excited about Fred and his conservative positions, have now moved over to a guy who is the antithesis of that? AND the SOB is LYING to them about his record as governor?!

What is the connection? IMO it’s the likability factor. Fred’s likable and so is Huck. Fred became less than likable by making the mistake of speaking seriously about conservative issues after he announced.

This coming from Christians. Christians who have been admonished through scripture to avoid “familiar spirits”. Well, this likability stuff is the epitome of “familiar spirits”.

I don’t want to minimize the abortion issue. But IMO, that issue is the one they use to justify being beguiled by Huck’s familiar spirit. But is he really that pro-life? Didn’t he take money from the stem cell lobby? [ed by Michael in MI — YES, he definitely did] How is that any different than what other candidates have done?

So, the evangelicals that are voting for Huck are serious misguided and cannot be considered true conservatives. Their vetting process boils down to abortion and likability. I think they are easily manipulated by someone who knows what makes them tick.

BUT, there is hope. Less than half of the evangelicals voted for Huck. That means the rest split between Mitt, McCain, and Fred. One of these guys needs to pull that majority together to vote for one of them. If that candidate can do that, the Huckabubble will burst and he will go back to where ever he came from.

csdeven on January 5, 2008 at 9:48 AM

I hate to keep trashing on Mike Huckabee and his supporters, but I don’t like when I see someone whose record is not getting proper scrutiny and that it seems people are only supporting him based on “likeability”. I have heard him and seen him speak and I admit that he is a very likeable fellow. But I have plenty of friends whom I like who are borderline socialists/communists. Just because you like someone and admire how they speak does not make them fit to be President of the United States.

I certainly hope that people do their research on all the candidates and stop getting swayed by media coverage, polls and the “likeability” factor. Turn off your radios and TVs and turn on your computers and do your research on them. Read their statements on the issues, instead of listening to their slick talking about them.

If “csdeven” is correct, it is very disheartening to know that people who say they are conservatives abandoned a conservative Fred Thompson, because he was “boring”, had no “fire in the belly” and was “lazy” only to go support Mike Huckabee, because he was a slick-talking Baptist preacher who lies about his policy stances and covers up his other failings with empty rhetoric and “likeability”.  Barack Obama is a likeable guy too and very good in public speaking as far as giving empty rhetoric and being a populist.  Mike Huckabee actually compared himself in a favorable way to Barack Obama after the Iowa primary.  That should tell people something.

January 5, 2008 , 4:44PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Mike Huckabee | Comments Off on More Speculation on Mike Huckabee’s Support