Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can we believe Mike Huckabee?

Todd took the words right out of my mouth in his comment to Philip's last post, but here's a little more on Mike Huckabee.

In my opinion, what's hurting the discourse here the worst is what you addressed in point 4: "In the case of Huckabee specifically, he is a crafty talker and that should be cause for discarding much or all of what he says." The critics of Huckabee, particularly on this blog, are too willing to disregard any conservative overtures he may make on the presumption that he is not conservative. We have already proven that Huckabee is not a conservative, the thinking goes, ergo any conservative policies or ideas he puts forth are lies with no other purpose than to deceitfully capture conservative votes.

But what reason do we have to believe Mike Huckabee is lying about his positions on issues? Because he raised some taxes when he was governor of Arkansas? Because he released Wayne Dumond? Because he's upfront about being a Christian?

We believe Hillary Clinton when she talks about universal health care and abortion. We believe Barack Obama when he talks about gay rights and the war in Iraq. Why shouldn't we believe Mike Huckabee when he takes conservative positions?

If we give Huckabee the benefit of the doubt as we do all the other candidates, he suddenly appears very conservative:

Immigration
A surveilled border fence by 2010. Increased border patrol. No amnesty.

Abortion
A constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Strict constitutionalist Supreme Court justices.

Health Care
No universal health care. Expand health savings accounts. More control of health care options for Americans.

Taxes
Completely eliminate the income tax and replace it with a consumption tax--the FairTax. Control spending.

Marriage
A constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The War in Iraq
This battle is a generational, idealogical war, a vital component of the War on Terror. No timetable for withdrawal. Win the war.

The War on Terror
We are in a world war against Islamofascism. We must win. Increase defense spending to six percent of GDP, a $200 billion increase.

Israel
The United States must remain true to its long-standing commitment to the Israeli people.

Second Amendment
Second Amendment rights belong to individuals, not cities or states. No gun control based on geography. Against assault weapons ban.

And yet for all this, Mike Huckabee is portrayed as nothing more than a deceitful closet liberal. Philip "wonder[s] about the governor's real intentions." Is it really all that sinister?

Mike Huckabee is mostly conservative, with a streak of populism. He engages in rhetoric that upsets many in the conservative establishment (pitting Wall Street versus Main Street, for instance), and he doesn't toe the GOP line on a few issues. I acknowledge that supporting Huckabee is a compromise for me. He is not a perfect candidate.

And yet, I don't think Mike Huckabee is a liar. I don't have any good reason to. And I agree with him on so many issues--certainly all of the most vital ones. But most importantly, I'm convinced he knows the Lord and has a genuine respect for the Bible. This makes him my best representative in the current field of candidates, and I'll do what I can to help him win.

This decision isn't blind faith in a man. It's merely the result of my own complex, internal calculus of information and beliefs. It's not perfect, and it's subject to change. If you reach a different conclusion, very well. I only ask that you carefully reexamine the popular caricature of Mr. Huckabee as a deceiver. I just don't see the evidence.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot:

Smoking
Enact National Ban

Iran
Apply Golden Rule

Guess they don't fit your pattern.

Stephen said...

Why should I oppose a national ban on smoking? It's immoral and costs American lives and money.

With regard to Iran, Huckabee concludes:

"The bottom line is this: Iran is a regional threat to the balance of power in the Middle and Near East; Al Qaeda is an existential threat to the United States. I know we can’t live with Al Qaeda, but there’s a chance that we can live with a domesticated Iran. There is no way Iran will acquire nuclear weapons on my watch. But before I look parents in the eye to explain why I had to put their son’s or daughter’s life at risk in military action against Iran, I want to know that I have done everything possible to avoid that conflict."

Doesn't sound unreasonable to me ...

Travis said...

This makes him my best representative in the current field of candidates My thoughts exactly.

Anonymous said...

Come on Stephen...you are for a national smoking ban?? That is the main reason I'll be voting against Mike and for Fred.

As Fred said when Mike was talked about the ban---so much for small Government.

Spencer

todd said...

I agree. On balance, he ain't saying nothin that makes me cringe. –Top of that, so far his record IS defendable.

I genuinely DO NOT know why you Fred-heads are so bent on the Hucksters. I know why Fred himself is (and was in the Michigan debate) – because it’s a lot tougher road in the southland for Thompson with Huckabee on the ticket.

Anyways, thanks setting the tone for reviving the issues instead of the propaganda Stephen.