Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Huckabee on the Issues

Your list of Huckabee positions looks very nice. At the very least, it gives me greater assurance of your commitment to conservatism. If Huckabee really did and does hold these issues as core principles, I would feel much better about supporting him. Unfortunately, I have some doubts:

While declaring his support for Bush's amnesty:
“‘I do believe some of it is driven by racism or
nativism,’ he said of the opposition within his
party to Mr. Bush's view that illegal aliens should
not be deported but rather fined and eventually
allowed U.S. citizenship. ‘It's not amnesty to
make people pay for breaking the law,’ Mr.
Huckabee said.” (Washington Times , 5/17/06)

“Another bill in the draft stages, backed by
Gov. Mike Huckabee, would make illegal aliens
eligible for state-funded scholarships and instate
tuition if they graduate from high school
in Arkansas.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 1/27/05)

“...Last week, Huckabee described it [the bill] as
‘inflammatory ... race-baiting ... demagoguery.’
He said the bill, which seeks to forbid public
assistance and voting rights to illegal
immigrants, ‘inflames those who are racist and
bigots and makes them think there's a real
problem. But there's not.’” (AP , 2/3/05)

Q: Did you support tuition breaks for children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas?

A: It wasn't a break. What I supported, and I still do, was the idea that you don't punish a child for the crime of a parent. I still don't believe that. I don't believe that this country has reduced itself to the point that when a parent commits a crime and breaks the law, that you grind your heel in the face of 6-year-old. What I did support was when a child had been in our schools all his or her academic career and wanted to go to college, if that student would apply for citizenship, then they would be able to go to college. It was a meritorious scholarship. Quite frankly, I would rather have them college-educated, I'd have those folks become citizens, college-educated, paying taxes, rather than being in a position where their income was so low they ended up becoming tax-takers. We punish people who break the law. We don't punish the children of those who break the law. (Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Nov 25, 2007)

"What we cannot do is allow our laws to be flagrantly broken, acting as if the economic benefits to consumers justify their utter disregard for not only our laws, but potentially our security. In the case of immigration, our laws are clearly out of sync with the economic realities of our global marketplace. It would be sheer folly to attempt to suddenly impose strict enforcement of existing laws, round up 12 million people, march them across the border, and expect them to stay.

What does make sense is a revision of our laws, one giving those here illegally a process through which they pay a reasonable fine in admission of their guilt for the past infraction of violating our border laws and agree to adhere to a pathway toward legal status and citizenship. In exchange, our government gains the capacity to know who is here, why they are here, where they are, and whether they carry a communicable disease. But much of the debate has become mired more in definitions than in a real solution." (Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p.117-118 Jan 4, 2007)

“In the spirit of federalism, the proposed GOP
revision [to the platform] also would replace the
abortion amendment with a statement saying the
issue should be left up to the individual state
legislatures ...‘That's exactly what we have looked for,
and if it's left up to the states, more of them are going
to put some restrictions on abortion,’ Arkansas Lt.
Gov. Mike Huckabee said.” (Washington Times , 2/12/95)

“The Governor, a Republican, said yesterday that
private donations would finance abortions requested
by Medicaid-eligible victims of rape or incest until
1998, when Arkansas voters would decide whether to
amend the state constitution to bring it into harmony
with Federal law.“ (New York Times , 8/14/96)

Health Care
As a long-time sufferer from extremely sensitive allergies to tobacco smoke (I take an allergy shot each week for this condition), I would like to see smoking banned in public places, or at least a requirement that smoking cannot take place when it would infringe upon the clean air of nonsmokers. For some of us, it is not a mere nuisance--it represents a very definite health threat. It should not be appropriate to indiscriminately blow toxic smoke on other people. (Source: Responses to Associated Press Questionnaire for AR Senate Nov 1, 1992)

“...the average Arkansan's tax burden grew from $1,969 in
the fiscal year that ended June 30, 1997, to $2,902 in the
fiscal year that ended June 30, 2005, including local
taxes...the Department [of Finance and Administration]
counts 21 tax increases that raised collections by $883.1
million.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 10/9/07)

“During Huckabee’s 10 years as governor, state
spending more than doubled, from $6.6 billion
to $16.1 billion in the fiscal year ending June
30, 2006. Meanwhile, the state added about
8,000 full-time workers to its payroll during
that period, according to the Bureau of
Legislative Research. That’s a 19 percent
increase.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 10/4/07)

For economic policy:
Huckabee and Clinton earned a “D” lifetime
rating on the Cato Institute’s scorecard of
governors. Huckabee received a “F” rating for
his last two years in office.
(;; Club For
Growth, “Is Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a Pro-Growth,
Economic Conservative?”; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/10/03)

Q: Should Internet sales be taxed?

A: Yes.

(Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002)

Huckabee claimed he would get rid of the IRS, a disappearing act that isn't so easy as he makes it sound. Huckabee said, "The first thing that I would get rid of would be the Internal Revenue Service--a $10-billion-a-year industry. I'm not being facetious. If we enacted the FairTax, we will get rid of the IRS."

It is true that the FairTax would get rid of the agency that we now call the IRS. But, according to the bill Huckabee supports, the Fairtax would "eliminate" the IRS by replacing it with a new Sales Tax Bureau, which wouldn't necessarily be much smaller than the existing IRS.

According to the Bush administration study on the FairTax, "The federal administrative burden for a retail sales tax may be similar to the burden under the current system." The FairTax would also require an entirely new type of bureaucracy to "keep track of the personal information that would be necessary to determine the size of the taxpayer's cash grant."

(Source: on 2007 GOP YouTube debate Nov 28, 2007)

Huckabee praised a "FairTax" without noting that it would actually impose a stiff retail sales tax & ease the tax burden on the richest Americans:

"A FairTax would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, personal income tax, corporate tax, & al the various taxes that are hidden in our system & Americans don't realize what they're paying."
The FairTax proposes a "prebate" to soften its impact on low-income persons--a monthly check for the amount of tax paid up to the poverty level. But any sales tax also would lower taxes for those upper-income persons who save large portions of income that would be taxed under current law.

Pres. Bush's bipartisan Advisory Panel on Tax Reform rejected the idea, saying it would substantially increase taxes for 80% of taxpayers. The panel calculated that a sales tax would have to be set at 34% of retail prices, and the monthly cash prebate would amount to the largest entitlement program in history, at least $600 billion per year. (Source: on 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007)

Q: Are unions good for America?

A: The real fact is, unions are going to take a more prominent role in the future for one simple reason: A lot of American workers are finding that their wages continue to get strapped lower and lower while CEO salaries are higher and higher. And the reality is that when you have the average CEO salary 500 times the average worker, and you have the hedge fund manager making 2,200 times that of the average worker, you're going to create a level of discontent that's going to create a huge appetite for unions. So unions are the natural result of workers finally saying, "Look, I can't go from a $70,000-a-year job to a $15,000-a-year job and feed by family of four." That's when unions are going to come back in roaring form. (Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007)

The War in Iraq
"The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists." (Source: America's Priorities in the War on Terror: Foreign Affairs Jan 1, 2008)

The War on Terror
Q: You came out against waterboarding and you also came out for closing Guantanamo Bay because you said that it had become a "symbol," that it represents to the rest of the world about something bad about America. As president, how important would foreign opinion be in your determining your policies?

A: Well, I wouldn't let foreign opinion determine our policies, wouldn't let it dictate it. But we do have to make sure that we live in such a way as Americans that we have friends, not enemies, across the world. And over the past several years, it seems as we've made even our friends our enemies. We've got to change that. There is an important role that the United States has as the most powerful nation on earth militarily and economically, to act in such a way that people respect us and that people also realize that we are a great nation, not one that wants to push ourselves on others. (Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 "Choosing the President" interviews Dec 9, 2007)

The reason for the NEA endorsement:
“Governor Huckabee is on record opposing the most
important element of genuine school choice -
voucher programs” (Club for Growth White Paper)

Crime & Law Enforcement
“For 12 years, Ashley Stevens was a nameless rape
victim...Stevens, now 29 and living in Little Rock, came
forward to ask Gov. Mike Huckabee to reconsider his
intention to free convicted rapist Wayne Dumond. ‘I fear
for my safety and I fear for every woman that walks the
streets. He's a repeat offender and I think he will do it
again,’” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 9/24/96)
Less than a year after being released, the parolee murdered
39-year-old Carol Shields in Kansas City, Missouri.
(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 6/27/01)

“Gov. Mike Huckabee has reduced the sentences
of more state prison inmates than the previous
three governors combined. He has used his
clemency power to cut short 111 sentences for
prison inmates since he took office eight years ago.
That's 27 more than the combined number
receiving time cuts during the 18 years Bill
Clinton, Frank White and Jim Guy Tucker were in
office.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/25/04)

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette titled the bill “Meth Makers
Relief Act of 2005.” “The prisoners who would
benefit...are the dealers-the source of the plague, the ones
who cook up the drug and spread it around. These are the
folks who prey on addicts lower down the drug chain.
These are the manufacturers and merchants of so much
misery in Arkansas...This bill not only cuts the time to be
served to half the original sentence, it also allows prisoners
to earn up to 12 days a month off their sentences for good
behavior.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 3/16/05)

Wow, that was a lot of quoting. I know that all these statements might not sway your opinion. I only want to give the best evidence I have for my disapproval of Huckabee. Nor do I really want 5,000 more lines of analysis as to why he really didn't mean what he said or did. Let's just agree to disagree on this one and move on. Surely we all have better things to do than sit up typing this stuff over and over for hours at a time...


todd said...

Ah . . . issues. His immigration stance is certainly the most troubling for me. This is where he gets so close to amnesty I can smell it (even though he claims "no amnesty" as one of his principles).

In my view the fix for illegal immigration problems is not a two-term administration fix. We got into this hot water gradually and it's going to take some principles handed down for a few administrations to get us out. It starts with enforcing our definitions of legal immigration then security and the jerking up of the rewards for illegal activity.

What Huckabee's proposals lacks is 1) feasibility - I don't think he can get the votes for his ideas as they stand and
2) (and most importantly) the right motivation for citizenship-- I'm all for someone becoming an American through the legal channels that currently exist because I believe it goes a long way toward validating their loyalty to this country. In fact, to those that have immigrated legally and became citizens are this country.

I do not want a concession plan enacted that makes someone a legal citizen and includes no encouragement to be loyal to the U.S. over Mexico or Iran or wherever.

Philip said...

I agree... and before we do ANYTHING, build that stinkin' fence!

Anonymous said...

Just to touch on one issue here, I find it really interesting that we are supposed to ignore the fact that Thompson lobbied for an abortion group in the 90's and now says that it should be left up to the states, but yet Huckabee saying that it should be left up to the states is supposed to be a reason NOT to vote for him! I see a lack of consistancy here somewhere.

In regards to the other quote you posted (under abortion), I don't really see where that's a reflection on Huckabee personally--it sounds like more of a State decision to me. (Maybe I'm reading that wrong? Was it a decision made by him?)


Stephen said...

Cherrypicking quotes is not a great way to analyze a person. If anyone's corpus of recorded words is sufficiently large, it's easy to distort reality.

For instance, I could adduce just as many quotes of George W. Bush saying things like "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning." One could easily infer from such an unbalanced picture that our president is unintelligent, and yet we know this is a false conclusion.

Furthermore, I could assemble just as many Fred Thompson quotes to make him appear like a liberal sympathizer. But it wouldn't be anything more than a weak rhetorical device.

todd said...

Side note - but related to issues:
Just stumbled on this

This site tries to match your issues with the candiates. My results were:
1) Hunter-83%
66% and below for the rest (in order)
2)Huckabee 3) Romney 4) McCain 5) Thompson 6) Guiliani 7) Paul

I'd be interested in how everyone lands. I thought this site does a fair job of telling you why also.

Anonymous said...

I got:

1) Huckabee (79%)
2) Hunter (77%)
3) Romney (73%)

(Thompson at 68%, McCain at 64%)


Philip said...

I told you it wouldn't convince you. Like I said, I just wanted my explanation on the record. Now on to other topics...

Anonymous said...

Mine was:
Fred Thompson 78%
Hunter %77
Huckabee %76


todd said...

"I told you it wouldn't convince you."

You're right -- I'm not convinced. But, then again, NOTHING has really been discussed yet -- has it?

(Maybe your line was intended for Stephen specficially?)

todd said...

Thanks to those that posted your glassbooth results -- how did you find the explainations of the matching?

Anonymous said...

I thoght the test was pretty good. It was one of the better ones that I've taken this year...and I've taken as many as I've found!

I think it goes to show again that I'm voting for the guy that is right in line with my views. That is the thing most people need to look at. Don't vote for the guy because of his name, or his looks, etc....but because he stands on the same things you do.


Anonymous said...

Good article here on WND called, "A Rush to judgement":


todd said...

Morgan -

I agree with many of the principles in that article - that stuff is going on this campaign - not to mention on this blog!

Philip said...

So you all really think Chuck Norris has the better political acumen and commitment to and understanding of true conservatism than Rush Limbaugh?

Just checking...

Philip said...

He is pretty funny, though:


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Todd!

Quoting Philip: So you all really think Chuck Norris has the better political acumen and commitment to and understanding of true conservatism than Rush Limbaugh?

Probably. :P I dislike Rush.

I know, I know, that had nothing to do with the issue at hand, actually, but it's the truth. :)