December 06, 2007
I've commented more than once on the implications of the migration of the William Jennings Bryan Progressives to the Republican party.
Driven from the Democratic party by the venomous anti-Christian rhetoric of the Maoists that took over their party in the 60's and 70s, they were welcomed with open arms into a Republican party which was eager to return from the political wilderness.
Despite their vast differences in views of the role and function of government embracing these people was rationalized on the grounds that we surely had common cause against the USSR Additionally, the intense anti Christian fervor of the far left was in direct opposition to the values of a Republic founded on a presumption of religious tolerance.
Now it seems we on the right may be reaping the whirlwind for this decision, as the most upwardly mobile candidate in the Republican field is Mike Huckabee.
A successful governor and a likable, apparently decent fellow, he seems to have utter antithapy towards limited government and is no friend of science.
Indeed, he is one of THREE (!)Republican candidates who takes the Bryan position on evolution. That we had three such people (and still have two) as serious participants in the parties nomination process is a bit worrisome to say the least.
Huckabee does not seem to be a bad guy and as unpalatable as they are to many of us, his big government programs in Arkansas (a state with REAL problems with poverty, environmental nightmares and various other Clinton legacies) largely DO fall under the 10th amendment...different states have different needs...that's the point of Federalism.
However, Huckabee is unlikely to differ markedly from any Democratic administration on domestic issues except in the details of his attempts at social manipulations. He'll simply have a largely different set of personal behaviors targeted for harassment. Given the financial crisis that seems to be looming in 20 years or less, a certain frugality is called for. This is not in keeping with Huckabees political philosophy. Conversely, certain emerging technologies (including biological ones), infrastructure projects, energy policies and maintaining capabilities in areas like manned spaceflight require shrewd investment and an understanding of the cost benefits and science involved. The decisions made in these areas will determine if the US is competitive in the future or goes the way China and Portugal did.
Huckabee seems utterly unprepared for many of these issues and his stance on evolution indicate a fundamental unwillingness to learn.
We are in a long war against a virulent and violent strain of Islam. This requires a willingness to use force when necessary but also understanding WHEN it is necessary. This is one of the great threats of he age and requires considerable adeptness at diplomatic brinkmanship and diplomacy in general. None of these are Huckabees forte. One thing we are trying to avoid is to give the Wahabbists and extreme disciples of Shia the religious war they are trying to forment. A Baptist minister in the White House may not be the best way to achieve this. This is NOT to say that a minister, who, pretty much by definition, has years of training in counseling and conflict resolution is inherently incapable of doing this job, far from it, but it requires being informed, and being INTERESTED in being informed. Alas, Huckabee doesn't seem to be.
Alarmingly, as Rand Simberg notes here, Huckabee may be eminently electable. His populism and integrity may appeal to many Democratic voters wary or weary of Hillary and he'll have many of the Religious conservatives sown up. Additionally, he might get enough people on the Republican side to vote if not for him, against Hillary... F
rankly, it is hard to make the case that he'd be the worse of those two choices....neither are likely to be good for the republic but Huckabee does not seem malevolent.
More thoughts from Commander Salamander.
Bookworm and Powerline make an interesting comparison of the differences between Huckabee and that paragon of foreign policy acumen Jimmy Carter...(*spoiler*...Huckabee seems nicer...that's it.)...and over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler relays some lucid points on the importance of science comprehension in a POTUS.
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at
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Posted by: Mitch H. at Fri Dec 7 09:33:56 2007 (iTVQj)
I do like Huckabee wanting to get rid of the IRS though....
Posted by: punchy at Fri Dec 7 14:39:40 2007 (tNc9a)
You're assuming at least a bit too much there. I'd be an evangelical/fundamentalist by most definitions, and I detest Huckabee (as a presidential candidate, not as a person, of course), for most of the reasons you enumerate. I'm sure that a fair number of religious conservatives will support him just for who he is, yes, but I think (hope) that a fair number of us are looking for more than just a co-religionist.
Posted by: Griffin at Fri Dec 7 18:35:55 2007 (oKA9k)
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