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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee Lacks Understanding of the Nature of Evil

Well, it's been at least a few days since I posted anything negative about Mike Huckabee, so I suppose it's time to stoke the fires again.

The Washington Times has a piece today on the chaos Huckabee left in the Republican Party in Arkansas. More specifically, it examines how he was at odds with his party on so many key items.

If you've researched much about Huckabee at all, you may know that, outside of being pro-life and pro-marriage, his record is predominately a liberal record.

Oh, I know he's talking a good game now. He makes himself sound a lot like Reagan-reborn most of the time. But how much weight should the talk of a politician on the campaign trail carry when his record says something different--a lot different.

Consider this excerpt from the Times piece:

Almost immediately after taking office from Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, a Democrat who resigned after federal fraud and corruption convictions, Mr. Huckabee campaigned for his first tax increase — one-eighth cent on the sales tax to dedicate to conservation projects. He followed up with both budget cuts and increases, but the net effect was nearly $500 million in new taxes and an accompanying rise in spending.

What followed were clashes over the growth of government and, as the issue heated up nationally, over immigration policy. Republicans and conservative Democrats wanted a crackdown on illegal aliens, but Mr. Huckabee resisted.

The war of words was just as harsh. In 1998, when he faced a primary challenger who said Mr. Huckabee lacked certain conservative principles, the governor replied that his opponents weren't really Republicans, but rather libertarians or independents.

By the end of his tenure, Mr. Huckabee was calling his Republican opponents the "Shi'ites" and they called him a "Christian socialist."

When Republicans are this divided, you know there's something severely lacking in the conservative credentials of one party or the other. And I think Huckabee's record indicates the problem lies with his credentials.

I think "Christian socialist" is a pretty good description; almost as good as "pro-life liberal," as some have called Huckabee.

I don't doubt Huckabee's faith in Christ, but I do believe he fundamentally misunderstands some things about Christian doctrine that leads him to fall woefully short of a Christian worldview.

For one thing, he seems imminently predisposed to use the power of government (and the taxpayers money) to further what he sees as good things: public education, the arts, the humanities, and so on.

As for public education, that institution is so woefully inept and inefficient at this point that it is highly irresponsible, both from a practical and fiscal standpoint, to throw any more money at it without a solid plan for some fundamental changes in it.

And the arts and humanities are great things. But money for them should come from private sources, not from the taxpayers. Especially when they involve things like a crucifix in a jar of urine, or a painting of the Virgin Mary made out of elephant dung.

Huckabee is also dangerously naive when it comes to dealing with foreign nations that are hostile to us. He has been critical of President Bush's steadfast determination in fighting the war on terrorism. He also wants to close the terrorist prison camp at Club Gitmo because, oh my, some countries don't like it.

In fact, I believe Huckabee is fundamentally naive about the nature of evil altogether, as evidenced by his pathetic record on clemency as governor of Arkansas.

During his tenure as governor, he issued more clemency than the six surrounding states--COMBINED! You may have heard about Wayne Dumond, the convicted rapist Huckabee worked to free (who then went on to rape and kill two women), but you may not have heard about some of the other heinous criminals he let go--many of whom went on to pursue their criminal careers after Huckabee let them out of prison early.

He's also weak on immigration and border control (despite his recent tough-talk). He opposed efforts to deny drivers licenses to illegal aliens, and called such efforts "racist" and "bigoted." He opposed immigration raids to round up illegal aliens, and wanted to provide scholarships and in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens. He's even said illegal immigration isn't really a problem.

If you're seriously considering supporting Huckabee, you should examine this long and thorough examination of whether Huckabee is actually a conservative, as compiled by someone at Free Republic.

All these things add up to a conclusion that Mike Huckabee does not understand the deceptive and aggressive nature of evil. He also does not understand that it must not be tolerated or coddled, and be dealt with firmly. He does not understand that the state has a God-instituted duty to protect its citizens from evildoers within and outside the country. And he does not understand that the rule of law must be upheld, and when it isn't, it breeds lawlessness and contempt for morality.

As a fellow Christian, I'd like to support Mike Huckabee. After all, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Jay said, "It is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

However, I believe that implicit in Jay's statement was that such Christian candidates have a solidly Christian worldview.

Mike Huckabee does not.


Anonymous said...

I think you err greatly in believing a christian world view is linked exclusively to the conventional conservative rhetoric. It is not. You and the conservative establishment do not own the monopoly on the correct christian world view.

Bob Ellis said...

Anonymous, I think you err in missing that conservative philosophy and a Christian worldview line up almost all the way across the board.

If you disagree, tell me where you think they don't.

Anonymous said...

Form Times article you quoted:

Huckabee said, 'Look, if I'm going to be governor I have got to build coalitions here, and reach out. I do not have a legislature full of conservative Republicans,' " Mr. Baker said. "At that point he decided, 'Look, I'm going to do the best I can from a conservative standpoint for my state.' "

The point, Mr. Baker said, was that Mr. Huckabee had to govern.

"He did some incredibly conservative things within the context of a Democratic legislature. Every possible pro-life piece of legislation was passed, defending marriage," he said.

"Some of our guys couldn't understand that he was governor and we weren't. We were legislators," he said.

I would said Huckabee did the best he could under the circumstance; let us pray (actually) for the candidates.

Also please listened to people in Arkansas who actually benefited from his efforts.

Bob Ellis said...

I understand that when different branches of government are under the control of different parties, sometimes you have to do a little compromising.

But Huckabee's statements indicate not that he was "trying to get the best deal he could," but that he actually agreed with liberal positions.

No one forced him to give more clemency than 6 other states combined.

No one forced him to work against immigration and border control, and to call such efforts "bigoted" and "racist."

No one forced him to go soft on the war on terror, criticising Club Gitmo and Bush's steadfast position in fighting that war.

I'm sure some folks in Arkansas benefited from Huckabee's policies. But ironically, as much or more of the criticism of Huckabee is coming from Arkansas Republicans--his own party.

A private person who underestimates evil can get themselves hurt. A leader who underestimates evil gets other people killed (ask the mother of murdered Carol Sue Shields). We can't afford that on a national scale.

Chris Graham said...

There is another governor in the race who so destroyed his own party in his state that he was unable to run for a second term.


Just a few years after entering office, he began preening himself for the presidency, taking a hard turn to the right, yet leaving controversial positions to the legislature. Many charge that he was more interested in polishing his political resume than in forwarding the cause of his party in the state.

As a result, he left the Republican Party in Massachusetts in shambles. They lost the governor's office for the first time in 16 years. Registered Republicans have fallen by 31,000 since Romney took office, and their legislative presence is at historic lows.

Romney left his state with a 59% DISAPPROVAL rating. Huckabee had an APPROVAL rating closer to 58% in his last years, and disapproval of only 32%. Romney could not get re-elected after only 1 term; Huckabee was re-elected twice.

It seems Huckabee was more effective than Romney at governing, bridging the partisan divide to solve problems, even when it wasn't always politically expedient for his ambitions. It is true some Republicans were angry at Huckabee, but that might say more about their own rigidity and political philosophy than it does about Huckabee's.

Anonymous said...

Every candidate has negatives, but Huckabee's aren't so bad. His first political office was a statewide office, and he learned politics on the job. But he learned well, and he served the people of Arkansas so well that Time Magazine named him one of the top five governors in America and Governing Magazine named him one of its "Public Officials of the Year" in 2005.

Politics is all about results, and I think this blogger has the blinders on. Huckabee's results as governor of Arkansas were spectacular.

Bob Ellis said...

As a Christian, I had actually hoped to support Huckabee...until I started looking into his record. That's when I took the blinders off.

Huckabee wouldn't be so bad, for a Democrat. But that's not what he's running as. As a Republican, he's a great disappointment.

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