Friday, January 11, 2008

Up and down Huckabee's y-axis

As a former Huckabee supporter, y'all don't know much it pains me to do this. I really think he is a nice guy. I think the boy just started playing with the wrong crowd on the playground.

  • Up and down Huckabee's y-axis
  • Wednesday, Jan 9, 2008
  • By David Sanders
  • Plotting his presidential candidacy along the y-axis, Mike Huckabee, ever the vertical politician, claims he wants to "change the Republican Party." What exactly does he mean?...

I'm starting to wonder that too. Any of you out there who are afraid of the "Mormon Cult" be like me and see the light. I am more afraid of a Huck-a-cult. Don't any of you out there say I am being prejudiced against Baptists. Because I don't see Mike Huckabee's denomination coming into play in this. I think the Huck-a-cult could come from outside factions, outside of Mike Huckabee, with Mike Huckabee being used as a puppet.

I cut out the last sentence from that paragraph. So here is that part, to make sense of what the author of this article is talking about.

  • ...Does he want to do for the national party what he did for the Arkansas party?
  • (The numerous out-of-town journalists who've dropped in have focused their on-the-ground assessments, justifiably so, on Huckabee's commutations, lavish gifts and scheme to supplement his income with money from a tobacco lobbyist. The conservative press continues to suffer apoplectic shock trying to figure out how the party of Reagan could possibly nominate a candidate whose populist rhetoric sounds more like John Edwards than the Gipper.)
  • In July of 1996, Huckabee entered the governor's office with high expectations. Arkansas had missed out on the rest of the South's Republican realignment during the 1980s. Republicans here thought Huckabee would lead their party into the political promised land.
  • But Huckabee's relationship with the party faithful got off to a rocky start when he retained high-profile agency heads who worked in the Clinton and Tucker administrations.
  • Despite cutting taxes in his first legislative session, Huckabee also embraced the ARKids First program, which was then the cornerstone of an agenda pushed by an advocacy group started years earlier by Hillary Clinton. Even then, some were concerned that Huckabee's conservative instincts didn't stretch beyond social issues.

During a blogger call I had asked a question regarding welfare reform and he answered back about ARKids. I had onlyu slightly heard about it. And he did give a convincing answer about it and how it helped get welfare mothers into the job sector. I believed in his answer. Although he never did say anything about wanting to reform welfare, if elected president. Perhaps that is because he would rather see low paying jobs go to immigrants who "just wanna come here to pick lettuce and make a better life for their kids."

  • What should have been a close working relationship with his party organization wasn't and it wasn't entirely his fault. As early as 1998, distrust of Huckabee by many conservatives, as well as an emerging rivalry between his supporters and those of Hutchinson, turned internal party politics into a family feud. But while Republicans fought each other, Democrats regrouped. Later that year, Blanche Lincoln was elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • In 2001, when conservative Republican lawmakers opposed a higher sales taxes and fees the governor supported, he began calling them "Shiites." Huckabee's positions on fiscal policy became indistinguishable from Democrats' positions. A year later, he openly campaigned against a ballot initiative to remove the sales tax on food and medicine. While he and Rockefeller won re-election in 2002, Sen. Tim Hutchinson didn't.
  • In 2003, Huckabee not only begged lawmakers for new taxes to make up a budget shortfall, but he rebuffed conservatives' (Republicans and a couple of Democrats) plan to cover the shortfall by tapping one-time money and cutting pork. In 2004, President Bush won re-election, but Huckabee campaigned for some Democrats - even some who had Republican opponents - and Republicans lost state legislative seats for the first time since 1990. [more here]

Ya know, I can understand wanting to work bi-partisanly and come up with solutions that everyone can agree with. But for a Republican governor to campaign for Democrats, that ain't right.


destilando cafe said...

Yes, Huckabee is the only Republican who actually "feels your pain"--he does actually sound like John Edwards at times. However, with the widening income disparity in this country, it is harder and harder to sell trickle-down Reaganomics to a public tired of Republican deficits, failure of government to function, economic uncertainty, and empty rhetoric. BTW, I had barely heard of Fred Thompson before reading this blog, and I thought he came off very well in the debates last night. But in the general election, a strong foreign policy stance will win votes, old-school Reaganomics won't cut it.

Michigan Redneck said...


Thank you for your comment. I think some blame can be shifted to both Dems and Reps. Thompson doesn't just have econ cred, he's also got the best foreign policy cred.
It is rather sad that the only way for people to find out about Fred Thompson is to read blogs. The only reason I really was able to learn about him was when I decided to find a candidate better than Mike Huckabee. Don't just read my blog to find out about Fred Thompson. Check out his website and read about his stance on the issues.