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Dick Armey: Huckabee's Counterproductive Sweet Talk
Real Clear Politics ^ | 1-8-2007 | Dick Armey

Posted on 01/08/2008 5:07:00 AM PST by bstein80

With a definitive win in last week's Iowa caucus, Mike Huckabee talked himself into the frontrunner position for the Republican presidential nomination. His folksy demeanor and populist promises are central to his appeal, but they mask a strategy designed to divide the conservative movement. If the Republican party chooses to follow Huckabee's lead, it will allow political sweet talk to destroy its greatest electoral and policy-making advantage: the GOP's traditional political consensus built around limiting the size and scope of government.

Mike Huckabee abandoned conservative governance long ago. As governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007, his record on economic issues was long and dismal. He raised the sales tax and passed a tax on gasoline, increasing the state's overall average tax burden by almost 50 percent. Spending shot up more than 65 percent under his leadership. In the current campaign, he supports expensive, restrictive energy legislation, a misguided new national sales tax, and nanny-state notions like a federal smoking ban.

By now, these facts are well known. Fiscal conservatives have spilled gallons of ink decrying his record, and for good reason. Yet the social conservatives who support him should be concerned as well, for Huckabee undermines the GOP's longstanding unity between its traditional and economic wings, a coalition built to serve the goals of social as well fiscal conservatives.

This coalition, solidified in the Reagan years, rests on the principle that freedom--individual and economic--is not in conflict with virtue, but rather is the key to it. Social conservatives are served by promoting economic freedom, and vice-versa. Moreover, the alignment of these interests is the foundation for the GOP's electoral successes, no small thing in the realm of politics. The enthusiasm for Huckabee from the party's socially conservative wing is not just misplaced; it's counterproductive.

(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; dickarmey; election; huckabee
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1 posted on 01/08/2008 5:07:04 AM PST by bstein80
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To: bstein80

Huckabee doesn’t tell it like it is...

It’s hard to say when we will see
A Lib more glib than Huckabee.


2 posted on 01/08/2008 5:11:05 AM PST by syriacus (It's hard to say when we will see -- a Lib as glib as Huckabee.)
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To: bstein80

~snip~

By now, these facts are well known. Fiscal conservatives have spilled gallons of ink decrying his record, and for good reason. Yet the social conservatives who support him should be concerned as well, for Huckabee undermines the GOP’s longstanding unity between its traditional and economic wings, a coalition built to serve the goals of social as well fiscal conservatives

~snip~


3 posted on 01/08/2008 5:11:39 AM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: bstein80
The Huckster: another friggin *Compassionate* Conservative. As Rush calls it: the NEW Conservatism.
4 posted on 01/08/2008 5:11:53 AM PST by wolfcreek (The Status Quo Sucks!)
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To: bstein80
"Honest, I never noticed that glowing white cross hovering behind me for 16 seconds. Honest."

“Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”


5 posted on 01/08/2008 5:15:44 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: bstein80

The way I see it the 4 main groups of people who vote for Rats and Pubbies respectively can be broken down like this.

A: People who want to control social/value issues based on traditional religious values but readily blame big business for problems- Pubbie (social conservatives)
B: People who mostly care about free business - Pubbie (libertarian wing)
C: People who equate social issues with economic issues and think the government is always the solution RAT (communist wing)
D: People who generally believe in free business but want the government out of their bedrooms RAT/Independent (Reagan Democrats & Swing voters)

It seems that these could form 4 separate parties and that an alliance via a truce on the religious front could lead to A & C joining forces. That would be truly dangerous for America.

But, the strongest and most American force would actually be between C & D. It is also where the majority - at least based on polls and (personal) observation - appears to lie. Most people want the government out of the bedroom and out of the boardroom. About a quarter want it more intensely in either one.

So why are these groups - who don’t appear to belong together, actually together?


6 posted on 01/08/2008 5:19:49 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Most men would rather die, than think. Many do.)
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To: bstein80
Indeed, Huckabee explicitly seems to want to destroy the longstanding partnership that has defined the Right...Thus, he has worked to make his small-minded populism a credit by pitting his socially conservative supporters against the GOP's business wing.

Yes he is. If he wins it will tear the party apart.

He and his Hucksterettes forget that the word Conservative requires no modifier, to be one you are both fiscally and socially like minded.

7 posted on 01/08/2008 5:23:53 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (Feed a cold, starve a llort!)
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To: bstein80

Excellent article. I was in almost 100% agreement. The one area I disagreed with was this: “Thus, he has worked to make his small-minded populism a credit by pitting his socially conservative supporters against the GOP’s business wing. One of his favorite lines is that he represents the interests of “Main Street, not Wall Street.” But this assumes that the interests of the two are not in alignment, that somehow, one group can only gain at the expense of the other - never mind that the jobs and livelihoods of America’s workers and small towns are tied inexorably with the larger economy. It’s a dark form of class warfare shrewdly masked by his sunny chatter.”

I do think there is a difference in the economic interests of “main street” and “Wall Street.” You see it clearly in areas like immigration. Wall Street benefits from the cheap labor of the illegals. Wall Street levels of wealth also benefit from the dirt cheap servant class since they have houses large enough to accomodate the maid and the nanny and yards large enough to use the gardening service. Wall Street also benefits from offering services and products for sale to these illegals (witness the huge number of mortgages issued to them etc.). Main Street is who pays the price for the illegals. They are close to their neighborhoods in the cities, while the rich are in the suburbs or gated communities or doorman buildings. Main Street sends their children to school with the illegals children; Wall Street sends their children to private schools.


8 posted on 01/08/2008 5:28:41 AM PST by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: bstein80
Huckabee is using the 'good old boy' Baptist Preacher, guitar playing approach.

Being a Baptist Preacher does not make him Conservative. Huckabee's record as governor sucks.

9 posted on 01/08/2008 5:30:11 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I say the divisions among Republicans are more artificial than real. Proof of my assertion is found in the fact that only the artificial conservatives inspire Republicans to choose sides seemingly against each other.

A Huckabee, McCain, or even Romney nomination would cause various subgroups of conservatives to stay home on election day. If a real conservative like Fred Thompson is nominated, there are no subgroups of Republicans who would stay home because they all know instinctively that Fred has no negatives.


10 posted on 01/08/2008 5:34:54 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Donating to Fred Thompson is the antidote to media bias.)
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To: bstein80

Like Huckabee, Jimmy Carter ran as a “Christian” and voters honestly believed he would advance Christian values. But his presidency greatly harmed the agenda of social conservatives.

Huckabee is the same threat Carter was.


11 posted on 01/08/2008 5:38:01 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Donating to Fred Thompson is the antidote to media bias.)
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To: reasonisfaith

Romney and McCain are conservatives and traditionalists who would support the constitution and place justices in our courts who are sane.

Hillary would put more Ginsberg types on the bench and Obama would probably nominate Al Sharpton for the USSC.


12 posted on 01/08/2008 5:43:58 AM PST by Bushwacker777
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To: Clint N. Suhks

It certainly will tear the party apart, and Ed Rollins of Perot fame, sounds gleeful at the prospect. How exactly does he think Huckabee’s going to win in November without all, and I do mean all, the fiscal conservatives on board?

And yet more than one Huckabee supporter on this forum excoriates fiscal conservatives as only caring about money. No, it’s not about freedom, nor individual autonomy, not about limiting the power of government, if you’re against Huckabee you’re just a selfish money-grubber. Insulting fiscal conservatives who have principled, constitutionally-grounded reasons for opposing ever larger government is a good way to destroy the coalition that is essential to getting Republicans elected.

Some here say that Huckabee will outcharm Obama. Guess again. By the time the MSM is done, Obama will be a cheerful, upbeat, moderate, centrist, problem solver and government reformer and Huckabee will be a dangerous uber-religious demagogue who’s out to take away people’s rights.

If this primary season so far has taught us anything, it’s that the MSM still has an amazing amount of power over the electorate. I mean, honestly, McCain is up in NH? McCain?

By the time they are done heralding Obama as the source of all that’s right and good in the world and excoriating Huckabee as a dangerous religious extremist, it could be a Dem landslide.

The socons are gleeful. But the socons need the fiscons as much as the fiscons need the socons, or get used to saying, “President Obama.”


13 posted on 01/08/2008 5:45:30 AM PST by LadyNavyVet (I'm a monthly donor, are you?)
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To: Dustbunny

“Being a Baptist Preacher does not make him Conservative. Huckabee’s record as governor sucks.”

Actually, Huckabee’s record as Jimmy Carter sucks.


14 posted on 01/08/2008 5:46:16 AM PST by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: bstein80
the GOP's traditional political consensus built around limiting the size and scope of government.

Mike Huckabee abandoned conservative governance long ago.

As did the GOP. If anyone running has any thought of turning back that tide, it might be Fred Thompson.

But, do the American sheeple want any part of it? More and more of today's "conservatives" have socialist leanings.

15 posted on 01/08/2008 5:52:31 AM PST by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Holy Bible AND the Constitution. Words mean things.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit; reasonisfaith

The common denominator for Republican coalitions is a belief that laws based on the assumption of personal responsibility and liberty in public matters will make better, smaller government. The assumption is that everyone is an adult.

The Libertarians tend to put too much emphasis on liberty without the acknowledgment that adult “responsibility” includes voluntary charity and protection of the weak, vulnerable and abused and that sometimes government can facilitate these. The assumption is that everyone is an island.

The Dems, socialists, and some conservatives tend to believe that laws can be written to protect us from the consequences of our own liberty as well as that of others. In doing so they kill liberty and denies or pervert personal, voluntary acts of responsibility. The assumption here is that everyone is a child who needs the State to be Mama and Daddy.


16 posted on 01/08/2008 5:53:53 AM PST by hocndoc (http://www.LifeEthics.org)
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To: LadyNavyVet
Of course you are absolutely correct, without both the social and fiscal conservatives no republican will ever win. One side in part will stay home, right or wrong, and therefor not give us enough to win the election.

And as far as what the MSM would do with the Huckster, Susan Estrich is on record as saying he is the preferred candidate above any other repub. You bet your bippy they will label him, again right or wrong, as a religious nut one step in front of Pat Robertson.

17 posted on 01/08/2008 5:55:04 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks ()
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To: Bushwacker777

“Romney and McCain are conservatives and traditionalists who would support the constitution and place justices in our courts who are sane.”

You’re using the term “conservative” to mean candidates with a record for supporting big government, tax increases, and either illegal immigration or various aspects of the pro abortion lobby.

That’s not what conservative means. Take a look at Fred Thompson (or Duncan Hunter) and you will be able to figure out what a conservative is.


18 posted on 01/08/2008 6:07:36 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Donating to Fred Thompson is the antidote to media bias.)
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To: Bushwacker777

Romney is currently broadcasting his own weakness. Notice how quick he was to jump on the “change” bandwagon? This is a guy we want for president? No.

Romney may look smooth, sound articulate and appear “focused.” But the only thing he is focused on is his desperate grab for votes. Romney is as much a demagogue as are the liberals on the “change” issue.

On Sunday night Fred Thompson led the pack in raising questions about this silly “change” hysteria. Only Fred stays focused on the truth.


19 posted on 01/08/2008 6:08:35 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Donating to Fred Thompson is the antidote to media bias.)
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To: Greg F

Man, I thought my post was wonderful. Really expected a wreath or laurels or something for it . . .


20 posted on 01/08/2008 6:10:55 AM PST by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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