Phyllis Schlafly, conservatism’s “first lady,” had this to say about presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: “He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas and left the Republican Party a shambles, yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a ‘compassionate conservative’ are now trying to sell us on Huckabee.”
“He has zero intellectual underpinnings in the conservative movement,” another of Huckabee’s countless conservative detractors told the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund. “He’s hostile to free trade, hiked sales and grocery taxes, backed sales taxes on Internet purchases, and presided over state spending going up more than twice the inflation rate.”
“[Huckabee] was pro-life and pro-gun, but otherwise a liberal,” reveals Betsy Hagan. The Arkansas director of the conservative Eagle Forum was a key backer of Huckabee’s early runs for office, and was once “his No. 1 fan,” explains Fund. Hagan now cautions that, “Just like Bill Clinton [Huckabee] will charm you, but don’t be surprised if he takes a completely different turn in office.”
So too has Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator been out-and-about chatting to folks in Arkansas. A fair number of them describe Huckabee disdainfully as “a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics.” For instance, Huckabee used public money to fund his family’s Falstaffian appetites, and “tried to claim as his own some $70,000 of furniture donated to the governor’s mansion.” He was also in the habit of scolding “the media for reporting [his] transgressions rather than demanding that the transgressors make things right.” Consequently, Huckabee had been investigated 14 times and reprimanded five times by the ethics commission.
Like Michael Dukakis, Huckabee waded into the moral miasma of penal abolition. Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988, fought to secure a prison furlough for convicted murderer Willie Horton. Horton went on to assault a Massachusetts man and rape his fianc?e during his recreational weekend off. Wayne Dumond, the recipient of Huckabee’s helping hand, raped and murdered a Missouri woman. When asked about his difficult-to-defend role “in an apparently illegal and unrecorded closed-door meeting with the parole board lobbying on behalf of a rapist,” Huckabee has offered a thesaurus of excuses.
On economics, Huckabee is also a habitual offender. The Club for Growth, which is dedicated to promoting a “low-tax and limited-government agenda,” has few good things to say about him. Apparently, there is nothing invisible about Huckabee’s heavy regulatory hand. His consistent contempt for the taxpayer has earned him “a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute.” “By the end of his 10-year tenure,” writes the Club’s Andrew Roth, “Gov. Huckabee was responsible for a 37 percent higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16 percent higher motor fuel taxes, and 103 percent higher cigarette taxes.” State spending under Huckabee increased a whopping 65.3 percent from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation.
GDP growth declines as the government’s share of the GDP rises. Huckabee, that economic wrecking ball, inaugurated new programs and expanded existing ones so that “the number of state government workers rose 20 percent during his tenure, and the state’s general obligation debt shot up by almost $1 billion.”
Needless to say, Huckabee hopped for joy when George Bush, his evil ideological twin, passed a prescription-drug benefit that would add trillions to the Medicare shortfall. But not even Bush stooped as low as to support raising the minimum wage. As someone possessing “zero intellectual underpinnings in the conservative movement,” Huckabee obliged. Understandably, he was incapable of grasping that fixing the price of labor above market rate or the employee’s productivity increases unemployment among the poor and the unskilled.
Huckabee’s philosophically limp conservatism led him to slip between the sheets with the Democrats in his support for expanding the SCHIP health-care program, and favoring the “cap-and-trade system to limit global-warming emissions.” The last is a scam that’ll cause massive job and income loss.
“F” for immigration: That’s how Roy Beck, president of “Numbers USA,” has graded Huckabee on that front. It’s only fair to point out that by sheer fluke Huckabee reversed his left-liberal stand on illegal immigration when he decided to run for president.
The CAFTA and NAFTA so-called trade agreements are not free trade, but managed trade. This is why Rep. Ron Paul, Mr. Liberty himself, has rejected these usurpations. The Hegelian Huckabee, however, has sided with the statists who’d sooner subordinate America’s sovereignty and allow powerful, unaccountable bureaucracies to dictate the terms of trade.
Indeed, Ron Paul is the gold standard for personal and political principles. “When it comes to limited government, there are few champions as steadfast and principled as Rep. Ron Paul,” vouches the Club for Growth. “On taxes, regulation and political free speech his record is outstanding.”
Who other than Dr. Paul has “voted nine out of nine times against raising his own pay”? Who other than Dr. Paul has refused to partake in the obscene congressional pension scheme, a veritable shakedown of the indentured taxpayer?
Nicknamed “Dr. No” for voting against all legislation that isn’t expressly authorized by the Constitution, Ron Paul has never voted for an unbalanced budget; never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership; never voted to increase the power of the executive branch; and never taken a government-paid junket.
And he voted no on the Iraq war.
Huckabee, on the other hand, is as wasteful about lives and limbs as he is about material assets not his own. During a recent presidential debate, he recommended goose-stepping Americans into supporting the Iraq war: “We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country: the United States of America, not the divided states of America.” How convenient; Huckabee wishes to collectivize the responsibility for the wrongs he went along with.
To this fascistic folderol, Dr. Paul replied: “No, when we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people, through their representatives, to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake.”
And it is the obligation of evangelicals to heed Mrs. Schlafly and refrain from “selling” Americans on another confidence trickster worthy of a P.T. Barnum circus, not of higher office.
Related special offer: