Consummate dilettantism!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mike Huckabee's Meteoric Rise... bad. Really, really, bad. His numbers just keep increasing. Apart from the fact that he's conservative on social issues, he's a complete liberal. Herewith, my indictment of Michael Dale Huckabee.

1. Economics.
Mike Huckabee's record on fiscal policy is sordidly chronicled here, and it's certainly not pretty. During his tenure as governor of Arkansas, he supported and/or enacted, among other things, an internet sales tax, a general sales tax (he's especially fond of this), and taxes on gasoline and cigarettes and nursing beds. By the time he was all done, quoth the Club for Growth,
Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies "toward the people at the top end of the economic scale" (Washington Examiner 09/13/06), even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.
The report also notes that Huckabee massively increased (state) government spending and government intervention in market activity. He calls Wall Street "greedy," ripping a page straight out of the Democratic playbook. Evidently, he's no fiscal conservative.

2. Civil liberties.
This story is perhaps the most brutally revealing component of Huckabee's general philosophy.
Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, now requires annual fat reports. These are sent to the parents of every single child aged between 5 and 17; a response, he says, to “an absolutely epidemic issue that we could not ignore” in the 1,139 schools for which he is responsible.
This is not freedom, this is tyranny. When government forces individuals' to report their children's weight to government, they lose the ability to set their own standards for their children and indeed to reap the consequences of their actions.

3. Crime.
In another action generally typical of liberals, Mike Huckabee urged the state to release a rapist, writing in a personal letter to the accused that "My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel that parole is the best way for your reintroduction to society to take place." The rapist was released and went on to rape and kill two women. More here. Obviously, Huckabee had his heart in the right place, but that's no excuse for being soft on crime. In his defense, I should note that he used the death penalty frequently as governor. Nonetheless, his letter evidences a typical sympathy for those who don't deserve it, and therein lies the problem. Welfare, higher taxes, spinelessness on crime are all symptomatic of a broader ideology.

4. Science.
This one's easy. When a politician reveals his outright disbelief in evolution, there's a good chance that he's not scientifically literate (at least in an extremely bare sense). In the 21st century, this is absolutely unacceptable.

5. General knowledge.
A devastating indictment of Huckabee, partly coincident with that above, is his incredible lack of knowledge regarding the NIE. From the post:
It’s something of an understatement to say that Mike Huckabee, now leading polls in Iowa, has a national security problem.

This is from a CBS News story covering the former Arkansas governor in Des Moines last Tuesday:
Now a reporter was asking Huckabee about the National Intelligence Estimate report, which had found that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago. The report had been front-page news, and it seemed likely to transform the rhetoric about Iran coming from the presidential candidates.
Huckabee, to the surprise of the reporters gathered around him, was unfamiliar with the report.
And my comment:
A presidential candidate unfamiliar with a week-long, front-page news item with potentially very significant national security implications? That’s mind-boggling. Huckabee’s ignorance is astonishing.
The issue here isn't so much that Huckabee has absolutely no foreign policy interest (or knowledge, as it appears), but that he is unaware of extremely basic developments around the world.

Huckabee is clearly a likable and fundamentally good man. His charm is almost irresistible. But if we're ever to break the back of big-government, nanny-state "conservatism," we've got to ditch Mike Huckabee. His strong religious beliefs combined with his manifest desire to use the hand of government to impose social policy is a volatile and dangerous mix.

Interestingly, Huckabee and John Edwards are practically idealogical twins. The only difference is that the former is very religious. Indeed, fifty years ago, Huckabee would likely be running as a Democrat.

1 comment:

  1. And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( )?