Monday, December 24, 2007

Mike Huckabee: The GOP Liberal

Much has been made of the meteoric rise of Ex-Governor of Arkansas Michael Dale Huckabee in the political polls in the past couple of months. He is wowing the social conservative voters of Iowa with his views on abortion and the social issues. He comes across as a good-ole-boy who can charm the socks off the average voter.

Nevertheless, he is the most liberal candidate on fiscal issues. And while a lot of Southern Baptists are supporting him because he is a former Southern Baptist preacher, he is actually a liberal in the Southern Baptist wars.

In 1979, the conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention (Hereafter abbreviated as "SBC.") wrested control from the moderate wing. They elected Adrian Rogers as President, who was a well-known conservative from Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn. When Huckabee became president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention in 1989, he appointed liberals to head major committees in that state convention. NOT ONCE DID HE APPOINT A CONSERVATIVE TO A MAJOR POST. Paul Pressler, one of the architects of the 1979 takeover of the SBC, considered Huckabee a liberal in the Baptist wars. He is not supporting Huckabee for President. Oh, yes. Huckabee will not allow the churches he formerly pastored to release any of his sermons he preached. How come?

I agree with him on abortion and gun rights. I have mixed feelings about his stand on the homosexual marriage issue. As an Old Right Conservative, I think the homosexual marriage issue should be settled on the state issue. If a state wishes to legalized homosexual marriage, that is that state's business. But under no circumstances should another state be forced to recognize that marriage. Huckabee would have a Constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage.

His record as Arkansas' governor is one of fiscal liberalism. Under Bill Clinton, the per capita tax burden rate was 9.8%. When Huckabee left office, it was 11.1%. He was for raising taxes to pay for his pet programs. He wanted to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants to go to college paying the same tuition rate as in-state students. He was all for illegal immigration in his state.

When it came to crime he made Mike Dukakis look like a flaming conservative. In his 10 1/2 years as governor (July 15, 1996-January 9, 2007) he gave 1033 commutations. In the 17 1/2 years of his three predecessors, only 507 commutations were given out. One of his parolees, Wayne Dumond, went out and raped and murdered a woman.

I'll admit a Presidential candidate has a faith that influences his stands on politics. But there is a difference between the other Republican candidates and Huckabee. He is a Shining Path believer. He's personally against smoking. Fine. But he wants a NATIONWIDE ban on smoking. Period. Would we have a Federal Agency to Rid Tobacco (F.A.R.T.) to implement this? He lost a hundred pounds because he was diagnosed as a diabetic. He's to be commended for that. But he wants to spend Federal funds to make people lose weight. He has always been in favor of illegal immigration and giving them benefits because "That's what Jesus would do." His foreign policy would be "Christ-like" and initiate a lot of talks with hostile powers. Well, I have no objections to that. But what happens when they don't want to talk? He wants to abolish the income tax and have the "Fair Tax"of a 23% sales tax? He said that is the kind of tax a "true Christian" would support. A 23% sales tax on groceries and prescription drugs would be a horrendous burden to the poor.

In the past twenty-eight years, Arkansas had three out of four governors that had morals or ethic problems. Bill Clinton (1979-1981, 1983-1993) had problems with the fairer sex. Jim Guy Tucker (1993-1996) had financial scandals and was forced to resign. Frank White (1981-1983) was honest and had a scandal-free administration. And then there was Huckabee.

Huckabee didn't mess around with the babes. You won't find any scandal remotely connecting him to any of that. Give him credit for that. But he sure liked the gifts. He tried to run off with $70000 in furniture that was donated to the Governor's Mansion when he was governor. He was cited on five occasions by the state's ethics commission for his accepting gifts. He made appointments to various boards and commissions to some of those donors. He demanded the state GOP pay for some of his personal expenses.

Huckabee as a person is not as nice as he seems. On the outside, he is very charming, witty and kind. But when conservative Republican state legislators in Arkansas challenged him on his policies and programs, he would get nasty and vindictive with them. He would tell them they "didn't drink the same Jesus juice he did." He made it seem like you were challenging God Himself if you disagreed with him. Is this the guy you want for President?

Do not take Huckabee lightly in Mississippi. I have talked to a lot of people in the Southern Baptist church I attend and they like him a lot. Even though our Presidential primary isn't until March 11th, the primary may still be very important because the Republican Presidential nomination may still be undecided and in a state of flux. Huckabee comes from a state that borders Mississippi and the Southern Baptist connection may just be the right combination for victory in this state.

But if Huckabee is the nominee, the Clinton machine (assuming Hitlery is the nominee) will make toast out of him. He'll be beaten like a bongo drum. The Clinton machine will make him look like a religious kook and ethically challenged (They should talk. But the mainstream media will pick up the Clinton attacks and skewer Huckabee.).

Under no circumstances will I vote for Huckabee for the Republican Presidential nomination.


Winghunter said...

Excellent info on the Huckster, thanks!

Candidate Research - Know Who You're Voting For!

Big Daddy Weave said...

No well-informed Baptist or person familiar with Baptist life over the past 25 years would consider Mike Huckabee to be a liberal or a moderate.

Yes, he did run against the fundamentalist candidate Ronnie Floyd. But Ronnie Floyd now sits on the advisory board on Huckabee's campaign. Almost all moderates and any liberals left the SBC a decade ago. Mike Huckabee stayed and has the endorsement of several prominent SBC Leaders including Jerry Vines, Jimmy Draper, and Daniel Aiken (President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

It's unfortunate for Huckabee that Paul Pressler holds grudges against fellow conservatives/fundamentalists who did not go along with his political agenda. And its more unfortunate that people like Bob Novak believe that Paul Pressler carries any influence these days in the SBC.

KingMaker said...

As most regulars here know, John and I disagree more than we agree. But, I am in total agreement with him on Huckabee. I get a real uneasy feeling about Huckabee and I go into detail about it on my blog.

I have not decided who I am supporting for the GOP nod as of this writing, but I have eliminated Huckabee from consideration.

KingMaker said...

Big Daddy

Remember every Baptist in Mississippi isn't SBC, there are almost as many BMA Baptists in Mississippi as SBC.

Les Riley said...

Great post, John !

I think Huckabee combines some of the worst elements of our last two presidents ( with the obvious exception of Clinton's moral problems) -- not the least of which is his apparent disdain for the Constitution, and lack of concern for government's legitmate functions are -- to the point that he has almost a limitless Statist agenda.