Monday, December 31, 2007

Huckabee Shows Real Guts on Immigration

I was just watching a YouTube replay of Mike Huckabee on "Meet the Press" , and am grateful that the web often makes it unnecessary to remember how to program the timed-record on the old VCR. At one point, Tim Russert set up a real "gotcha" on illegal immigration.

Russert first played a clip of Huckabee from a debate, in which Huckabee said; "We're a better country than to punish children for what their parents did." Then Russert showed a quote from Huckabee's "Secure America Plan", that gives a 120 day window for illegals to register and return back to their country of origin, otherwise be barred from re-entry for 10 years.

After quoting both statements out of context to set it up, Russert executed his seemingly perfect "gotcha".
  • Russert-"Children born here are American citizens..."
  • Huckabee-"Mmm Hmm"(agreement)
  • Russert-"..and you were saying that, don't punish those kids. A week later, you said no, no, no send the parents home. And what happens to the kids?"
Now I was certain that any politician would find some way to dodge such a question. But what did Huckabee do? Without even the slightest pause, he said; "They go with their parents. I mean I can't imagine a parent not taking th..." While this made my heart fairly sing, Russert's "gotcha" clearly wasn't having the desired effect; so he cut off Huckabee for another pass at it.
  • Russert-"But they're American citizens. Why do they have to leave the country?"
  • Huckabee-"Because they're...they're first; before they're American citizens, they're the children of their parents."
No it's important to know that they had just finished discussing (by Russert's choice) Mitt Romney's position changes and dishonesty in campaign attack adds. He was clearly trying to make Huckabee look like he had either changed his own position between the two statements or was being dishonest himself.

Russert even continued trying to make it look like Huckabee's answer resulted in punishing the child, in contradiction to his previous position statement. When he found that didn't work, he started another "gotcha" setup, about how sending home all those illegals might hurt our economy, which Huckabee quickly countered before letting the host complete his new setup.

Huckabee stood firm, his primary position being that we absolutely must secure the border. His not directly stated, but clearly suggested, idea being that if we discover negative secondary effect after securing the border; we can certainly find solutions that work. But first and foremost, we must secure the border.

Even those who, like me, think children born of illegals shouldn't be citizens have to give Mike Huckabee a lot of credit. He showed a great deal of courage in giving such an honest answer. I'm sure a lot of liberals will see Huckabee as an outright villain for daring to say the children should be expected to leave with their parents, and I'm sure he knows it.

But it still allows for those children to re-enter the country later, as citizens; thus, not punishing the children for the crime of the parents. And it still stays firm on securing the border and enforcing Huckabee's Secure America Plan.

I'm sure there will be times and issues where changing conditions or new information will result in Huckabee changing his mind. But it seems pretty clear that he's a man of integrity, and he's no flip-flopper.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rush Limbaugh Sawing a Leg Off Reagan's Stool

Many credit Ronald Reagan (and I think rightly so) with building the "3-legged stool" that is the modern conservative movement. The three legs being Defense Conservatives, Fiscal Conservatives, and Social Conservatives.

Rush Limbaugh needs to realize his own marginalizing of moral and social issues (at the root of his attacks on Mike Huckabee) is in danger of cutting off the Social Conservative leg. A leg that the leaders of the Republican party have been doing little beyond rhetoric to shore up in recent years.

I think there are two basic reasons Rush is attacking Mike Huckabee. Number 2 is that Huckabee does, admittedly, often lead with a populist sounding attention getter up front and one often has to sift for his solutions; which ARE CONSERVATIVE.

The Number 1 Reason is the one area where RUSH IS NOT CONSERVATIVE. Rush strikes me as having become too much of a hedonist (or at least giving a wink to hedonism) to be able to support anyone who takes issues like fighting homosexual mainstreaming seriously. As one who has listened to Rush for years, it's obvious that he thinks homosexual mainstreaming is no big deal. For me, it's the biggest.

We can recover from a temporary tragic bout of liberalism in fiscal areas. All but the most extreme far-left liberal loons become "Defense Conservatives" when our nation is obviously threatened. But a governmental sanction of homosexual practice would shatter our basic culture to such a degree that we would never recover.

Huckabee needs to put his conservative solutions more up-front in his speeches and answers. This would help put those at ease who, after hearing Rush's false charges that Huckabee is liberal in the Defense and Fiscal areas; and may not look deep enough into his record and statements to see Huckabee's firm support for all three legs.

Although it's apparent that Rush does believe in God as the Creator (see his "Undeniable Truths of Life" #s 20&23); he seems to worship at the altar of the "Almighty Dollar" first and foremost, and seems incredulous that any candidate mentions any subject more often than money.

Rush has enough staff and history of deep research that he either knows his charges are false, or he is predisposed to believing the worst about a candidate who is dedicated to supporting the Conservative stool by three firm legs even if he has carve a replacement for the fragile Social/Moral leg himself from a tree of basically Biblical values. I have enough reason not to doubt Rush's honesty that I believe it's the latter, and therefore he simply hasn't bothered to get all the facts about Huckabee.

In either case, it seems to indicate Rush believes more in a stool supported by two legs and a broom-straw, than the 3-legged stool of Ronald Reagan. [note (2008-01-03): My opinion of Rush's intention have changed after a statement Rush made the night of the Iowa caucus. I now think he believes Huckabee would be very likely defeated by the Democrats, and his loss would marginalize "the Christian right." Look for a more in-depth post on that subject later today.]

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rush is Wrong about Huckabee Supporters

Rush is rarely wrong, but he is absolutely dead wrong on his perception of the reason for the Huckabee surge. He claims it's a result of "identity politics"; that is voting for someone because they are a member of a particular group.

Rush says Christian Conservatives are supporting Huckabee because he is a Christian and is a former Baptist minister. In this, Limbaugh is absolutely, completely and infuriatingly wrong!

I have been trying for 3 weeks to get through to enlighten Mr Limbaugh as to the reason at least I am supporting Huckabee; and I don't think I'm alone in my reasons. It has a lot more to do with my goals as a Christian in America than with Huckabee himself being a Christian. And I think Limbaugh is basically insulting us and Huckabee for actually sticking to our core values.

I am sick and tired of the Republican party talking the talk on moral issues, and not walking the walk. Does Limbaugh actually fall into the Liberal trap of thinking the GOP lost the House and Senate because of the war? Anyone who believes that needs to open their eyes to the moral questions being raised during the last election and especially as relates to the issue of homosexual activity and turning a blind eye to it.

As much as I'm with Limbaugh on a number of conservative issues, I'm much more concerned about the moral degradation in this country. To quote Mike Huckabee; "What's the point of keeping the terrorists at bay in the Middle East if we can't keep decline and decadence at bay here at home?"

Limbaugh has repeatedly brought up the issue that Democrats somehow keep getting the support of black voters by playing to their concerns; even though they never really do anything to resolve the issues. He verbally wonders when they will get wise to the Democrats and start looking for real solutions over rhetoric.

In the same way that a growing number of "African Americans" are reportedly starting to look to more conservative solutions, we "values voters" are done with having Republicans talk about "our" issues and then do nothing legislatively. We're also appalled at seeing their lives filled with just as much hedonism and elitism as the furthest left-leaning Democrats.

To sum it up in a single phrase that even those who seem to put economic policy above all, such as Limbaugh, can understand; It's Ethics and Morality Stupid! And if you can't understand that it's not dependent on someone "being" a certain religion or of a specific sectarian persuasion; then you're in the same boat as those Bible-hating ACLU lawyers who argue for suppression of religion in the name of a mis-interpretation of "the establishment clause" of the first amendment.

While Rush may be the bastion of conservatism on fiscal and security issues, he's too busy joking about having "mistresses" in various states to entertain the notion that our support is due to the fact there are ways in which Mike Huckabee is more conservative than Ronald Reagan!

For one thing, Mike Huckabee has remained in a faithful marriage to his first and only wife, which is something that not Ronald Reagan, nor Newt Gingrich, nor Rudy Giuliani, nor a host of other Republican "icons" have managed to do. When he talks about the sanctity of marriage as the union between one man and one woman, you know he not only means it but he lives it.

Mike Huckabee helped pass a constitutional amendment in Arkansas that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and helped pass an "Unborn Child Amendment". If such had been done nationally by Ronald Reagan or during any of the subsequent Republican administrations, I'm convinced that not only would congress would still be in Republican control, but we would be well on our way to solving some of our worst social problems.

Rush and other conservative commentators have revealed amazement at how disconnected politicians seem to be from the concern of most Americans over illegal immigration. Well I'm flabbergasted at how disconnected and blind Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, and a host of others seem to be on the issue of homosexual-mainstreaming. So called "gay-marriage" is a big part of it, but that's not the whole issue.

Now I'm not saying that practicing homosexuality is somehow "the biggest sin". However, societal acceptance of homosexual practice is a good barometer of the general moral condition of that society. The marginalization of marriage has already been a huge problem in this country, and that needs to be reversed.

Instead of working to strengthen the family unit, we have Liberals wanting to put a governmental stamp of approval on the practice, whether as "gay-marriage" or "civil-unions". Meanwhile, many supposed conservatives are content to sit idly by or even gladly accept governmental endorsement of homosexual practice as just an "alternate lifestyle", as long as it's not called "marriage".

It makes my blood boil when I hear Rush talk about Liberals accusing Republicans of being "Racist, bigot, sexist, homo-phobes". Rush seems to be suggesting that Republicans who stand against acceptance of homosexuality deserve the ire of those who rail against us; the same as if we were racists, bigots, and sexists.

Furthermore, a phobia is a fear of something that there is no reason to fear. In case Mr Limbaugh hasn't noticed, there is a real movement to force acceptance of homosexuality as part of the American (and world) culture. How can one conceivably be considered a conservative, if one is willing to make something part of the American mainstream which would fundamentally and change the basic fabric of American society forever rather than conserve it?

I'm full to bursting on the subject of "conservatives" who scoff at social conservatism, but I'm trying to stay on topic of things either said directly by or quoted (without contradiction) by Rush Limbaugh; and specifically those things that allow for his view of "identity politics" as the only reason he sees that we support Mike Huckabee.
  • You say Mike Huckabee went along with raising some taxes as Governor of Arkansas? Well Ronald Reagan went along with raising taxes as governor of California. (Plus Huckabee lowered taxes many more times than raising them)
  • You say Mike Huckabee is soft on illegal immigration because he was in favor of allowing scholarships for the children of illegals in Arkansas, even though he now proposes a Border Security First plan? Well Ronald Reagan gave us an Amnesty for illegal aliens themselves, in advance of a promised border security that never happened.
  • You say Mike Huckabee is taking the Democrats side on Iraq, because he said Bush showed an "arrogant bunker mentality". Well Ronald Reagan was accused of condoning the Holocaust, for placing a wreath on a grave at the Bitburg military cemetery in Germany, in 1985. Both accusations were false. Reagan was simply trying to ensure solid relations with Germany (as an ally against the Soviet Union), 40 years after WWII; and Huckabee said the battle in Iraq should have been supported with more strength, not less. So he was actually taking a position opposite the Democrat view that our troops were either too aggressive or shouldn't have been there at all.
I'll admit that in some areas, I'd like a candidate more conservative than even Ronald Regan ever was. But I don't see that Huckabee is noticeably less conservative than Reagan was prior to the White House; and Huckabee certainly isn't less conservative than Romney, McCain, Thompson, or (God-forbid) Giuliani.

I'm not abandoning my conservative principles to follow someone who happens to be called a "Christian." I suggest rather that Rush, along with the majority of "conservative" pundits and Republican legislators, is simply continuing the tradition of which he accuses Liberals; looking at Christian Conservatives as "a bunch of rube, hayseed hicks".

Are they so obsessed with worshiping at the alter of "Fiscal Conservatism" that they feel threatened or confused by the idea that we actually take other areas of conservative thought just as seriously? Why is it so hard for them to realize that we can have conservative social issues as our highest priority, without abandoning other conservative issues or blindly following some religious label. Yes our social views are in line with religious convictions. But as the Declaration of Independence says, our inalienable rights are endowed by our Creator, not by Wall Street.

Rush rages against Liberals when they accuse his listeners of being "mind-numbed robots" who agree with anything he says; when we're really agreeing with him when he says what we already believe. Now Rush Limbaugh has basically accused us of supporting Huckabee like mind-numbed robots because he's a "Christian"; when in fact we're supporting Huckabee for demonstrating he can get the results in which we already believe.

In spite of what Rush has been saying recently, I want to credit him for influencing me to choose Mike Huckabee as my candidate for President. It's largely at his urging over the years and in investigating things Rush has said (and others have said about him) that I've learned to investigate the whole matter and whole record in politics; rather than taking the most repeated or harshest statements at face value.

It's not a shared religious label, as Rush Limbaugh supposes, but a result of my personal search for the facts that is at the root of my support for Mike Huckabee.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Cry of the Far-Left-Loon

Although I actually moved to get out of Cynthia McKinney's (former) congressional district, I was most amused to see she recently announced her campaign for President, on the Green Party ticket.

McKinney is credited with being the first black woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House. She is, however, most famous for her outrageous statements and behavior; such as her ubiquitous race-baiting, accusing George W Bush of having foreknowledge of the WTC attacks on 9/11, and striking a capitol hill police officer. Her Bush-hating 9/11 conspiracy theory alone should make her appealing to some of the "far-left-loons", who in recent years have been a mainstay of the Democrat party.

I found her campaign site at, and couldn't help but to immediately think of "run Forest run." The phrase is of course from the popular Tom Hanks movie, "Forest Gump"; in which the title character was fictionally given credit for, or interjected into some notable events in history. It was a masterful use of then-new video technology to paste Hanks into existing historical footage.

I expect that as Cynthia "runs", her only impact on historical events will be to draw a small percentage of those "far-left-loons" away from the Democrat party; splitting the socialist vote so we can get past the residual impact of the Soviet social meddling targeted at the baby-boomers. (that and being a source of amusement for rational voters)

Maybe she'll even serve as poster child for what's wrong with the Democrat party, and pave the way for a return to paths trod by those such as Joseph Lieberman and Zell Miller. Yes, many of their ideas are still a bit too liberal for my taste. But unlike the radical "bomb-throwers" that seem the Democrat norm under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, I can consider those such as Lieberman and Miller respected members of a worthy opposition.

If on the other hand, Democrats want to continue as "fellow travelers" along the path of the "far-left-loons"; taking a good look at Cynthia McKinney will give you a clear idea of their inevitable destination.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Huckabee Doesn't Have Time for the Whole Sermon

I'm getting a bit frustrated with hearing from conservative talk show hosts, that Mike Huckabee sounds too liberal. This is especially true of THE conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh. However, I can't fault Rush too much for that. I have to lay it at Huckabee's doorstep.

I'm not agreeing with those who say Huckabee is too liberal, just that he sometimes sounds too liberal in the media sound-bites. After reading and listening to many of the former baptist minister's whole speeches; it seems he often starts with a "centrist"/liberal sounding introduction, and then develops a case for his conservative solution.

I suspect this is the result of both having to deal with a heavily Democrat legislature in Arkansas, and the "sermon" format he was used to in the pulpit. In those situations, he had to make the message sound appealing to the listener he was trying to engage; and then as the speech developed lead them to the details of the real solution.

A perfect example of what I believe Huckabee is doing is found in the Bible itself, in John 3:16-18; which begins; "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Most Christians can quote John 3:16, but how many remember that in verses 17&18, Jesus makes the point that he didn't come to bring condemnation to those who wouldn't believe in Him, but that all were already condemned before He came; and His sacrifice offers the chance to escape that universal condemnation. Now how many would recite that passage if John 3:16 began with; "He that believeth not is condemned already"; even though that's really the reason Christ came to begin with. If we were not in peril we wouldn't have needed saving.

As this applies to Huckabee's speeches and answers to press questions; he's got to realize that they're only going to report the conservative details of his speeches if he makes them an integral part of the quotes they are going to pick. Most voters will not look for, nor pay attention to, the extended details contained within sermon-length speeches or articles.

One example I can think of is Huckabee's view that arts and music are an important part of a well rounded education. He makes statements such as "Music and the arts are not extraneous, extra-curricular, or expendable - I believe they are essential." But in more extended articles and interviews has also said things like "education is a function of the states, not the federal government".

The latter, more conservative statement is not in conflict with the former; but one would certainly not expect the latter from hearing only the former. Now which of those statements do you think a liberal media is more likely to report? And which part will conservative commentators see, especially if the second is buried ten or more paragraphs into the story?

I'm no political speech-writer; but let's try something like this:
I believe that education is a function of the states, not the federal government; just as strongly as I believe that music and the arts are an essential part of education. So as President, I would use the "bully pulpit" to emphatically recommend that the States include these in their education programs. But I would not make this a Federal mandate nor create a new Federal program for this purpose.

Get the idea? I'm sure Mike Huckabee will do a much better job of articulating such; if he will just realize he doesn't have time for the whole sermon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hunter Calls on Bush to Pardon Border Agents

A Washington Times story about members of congress calling for a presidential pardon of Ramos and Compean, after noting that their names were again absent from the list of the 29 pardons Bush issued this week.

These two Border Patrol Agents were given multi-year prison sentences for what amounts to having apparently failed to fill out some paperwork; after firing at a drug-smuggling illegal alien who they were trying to apprehend; but who escaped back across the border into Mexico.

Among those quoted, Republican Presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter had this to say:

"By refusing to pardon agents Ramos and Compean, the president has missed yet another opportunity to correct this miscarriage of justice, The fact that the drug dealer, whose testimony sent the agents to jail has been indicted for running drugs across the border while serving as a federal witness necessitates a presidential pardon. Agents Ramos and Compean deserve to be pardoned and returned to their families for Christmas,"

I must say I agree with Hunter on this point. (actually on enough points that he's probably my second choice among the presidential candidates, but that's beside the point of this posting)

I think President Bush has generally done a good job of fighting the war against Terrorists (more properly labeled Islamic fascists); But I continue to be concerned about the personal war Bush is apparently waging against American Sovereignty. His unwillingness to pardon Ramos and Compeon is just more evidence of the biggest glaring fault that can be seen in his presidency; his failure to protect our borders from illegal invaders and outright promotion of turning over parts of our country and culture to the "re-conquistas".

Friday, December 14, 2007

O'Reilly Fair on Faith, Spins on Immigration

I'll have to admit that Bill O'Reilly was civil rather than hostile in tonights interview with Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris. The two issues he touched on were Liberal attacks on Huckabee's faith and illegal immigration.

Huckabee was asked about religious attacks and O'Reilly gave him a fair chance to respond on the subject. However, O'Reilly still seems stuck in the "secular government" rut. He said something about Huckabee executing his office as Governor of Arkansas in a "secular" way; which he seemed to have intended as a compliment.

It makes me wonder if Bill really doesn't get the fact that religious freedom, rather than secularism, is a cornerstone of our country's founding. Religious freedom certainly allows for a secular world-view, but they are not by any means the same thing.

O'Reilly then brought up illegal immigration, playing cuts from Huckabee's first commercial with Chuck Norris. Norris was then asked what he thought about being Huckabee's plan for border security, as per the obvious joke from the Huckabee commercial. What O'Reilly didn't do, however, was offer Huckabee himself a chance to speak about the immigration issue.

With the fact that Mike Huckabee recently released a nine-point plan for immigration enforcement and border security, I'm disappointed in O'Reilly for not doing his homework enough to ask about it. I'm also a bit disappointed in Huckabee for not forcing himself to be rude to the Spin-Meister at least long enough to push out that vital bit of information. (I guess it could have been edited out, but I think it was a live interview)

While I didn't notice Bill O'Reilly saying anything directly untrue, it seemed he was trying to leave the impression that Mike Huckabee is a bit of a light-weight on immigration. Let's see; giving only part of the information or allowing only part of the answer, in a way that leads to an inaccurate conclusion is called... uh...hmm... what was that again? Oh yeah.. SPIN!

Huckabee Shows Fiscal Conservatism

I was just listening to a Mike Huckabee interview on BlogTalkRadio with Ed Morrissey, and heard him say something I think all of us Fiscal Conservatives have been waiting to hear said so plainly from one of the current Preasidential candidates.

Morrissey asked questions about the size and role of the federal government. Here are some of my favorite parts of Huckabee's responses in this area:
  • "What government really ought to do is to provide a sort framework in which we can live our lives with as much liberty and freedom and with as little government as possible."
  • "Essentially my attitude would be that Government should protect it's people but shouldn't provide for them. It's up to us to provide for ourselves."
  • "I'm a big believer that education is a function of the states, not the federal government. If there is any role at all; and there doesn't have to be one; but if there is one, it's to be a clearing-house for the best-practices of the states."
  • "The concept is that we have a limited federal government, with power pushed to the states and to the local communities."
Please don't take these quotes out of context and think Huckabee has some secret plan for ending all social programs and taking a slash-and-burn approach to reducing the size of government. These are general statements on his philosophy regarding the role of government, and as such this is the heartbeat of fiscal conservatism!

One thing Huckabee desperately needs to do, is to say these things more often and louder. By louder, I mean he needs to fight to make space for these statements whenever he has a higher profile interview or event. ( such as those Hannity and Colmes hit-pieces where all they seem to want is to bring up the smears against him)

He needs to be really careful when sharing his views about what "we" should do in regard to things like education, health care, are helping the poor. Having spent a good deal of time watching and listening to Huckabee; I understand the "we" of these statements to range from State government to Federal government to Local Government to the collective effect of individual actions; as appropriate to the subject under discussion.

But there is a tendency to think the "we" must mean the Federal government when coming from a candidate for the highest Federal office. This is especially true for those whose only exposure to the candidate in question has been "drive-by media" sound bites. It's this misunderstanding that has allowed some to erroneously pin a "big-government liberal" label on him. This has served as a weapon of mass distraction for social liberals who don't want voters to notice Huckabee is the only candidate (among those getting serious attention) who is serious about social conservatism.

So Huckabee needs to make clear who the "we" is when talking about the need for social action. And while he's in no danger of joining the teeny-tiny-government-libertarian camp; he needs to be much more insistent about sharing his smaller-government-conservatism. Because when you hear Mike Huckabee say these things, you can tell he means them.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Kudos to Romney on Faith Speech

Just because he's not my choice for President, doesn't mean I can't recognize the positive contribution Mitt Romney made with his speech on Faith. Some are saying he was wrong not to specifically include atheists in his speech.

Wait a minute... "wrong"? Yes, even atheists have things they consider "right" and "wrong". From where I sit, any belief that includes a moral code is a religion. The only distinction is that in atheism and humanism, it is man (whether individual or plural) who is seen as the source of the moral code, rather than God. So by including all "religions", Romney did include atheists and humanists.

Because some have attributed the timing of Romney's speech to the rapid rise of Mike Huckabee (also a former Baptist minister) in the polls, I want to mention two things. First, that Mike Huckabee strongly denounced an Iowa push-pole that brought up the question of Romney's religious beliefs. Second, that Huckabee himself has also been the target of repeated attacks on his religion; primarily over the fact that he was a minister and his strong belief in Divine Creation.

Like the upset of these atheists over Romney's speech, I think the attacks against both men are probably grounded in a disdain for anyone who actually believes the basis for "right and wrong" comes from a Divine source, and is not subject to our human whims.

also see:
No Law Respecting An Establishment of Religion
Huckabee accused of believing in God
A Candidate with Moral Clarity

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Crow Dinner for Bill O'Reilly

As of today, Mike Huckabee holds a solo first place in the Rasmussen "Daily Presidential Tracking Poll".
  • Huckabee 20%
  • Giuliani 17%
  • Romney 13%
  • McCain 13%
  • Thompson 10%
I can't help but be reminded that Bill O'Reilly recently lost a steak-dinner wager with Dick Morris, when Huckabee reached 10% in another poll; an event the master of the supposed "No-Spin Zone" said would never happen. Even after losing his bet with Morris, O'Reilly has repeatedly said Huckabee "has no chance".

In light of Huckabee reaching the number one position in the Rasmussen poll, and at double the percentage O'Reilly said he'd never reach; I'd like to state publicly that I would be more than happy to by Mr O'Reilly a "crow dinner".

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Who Do You Trust?

With the new Rasmussen "Daily Presidential Tracking Poll" showing Mike Huckabee in a tie for first place with Rudy Giuliani; I'd like to offer my opinion on how the new "Man from Hope" has made such gains on the Golden Boy of the NYC news elites. I think it has a lot to do with the attacks made in recent days, including in the CNN YouTube Republican debate , against both Huckabee and Giuliani on their respective perceived weaknesses.

Both were questioned, in the YouTube debate (an obvious far-left-leaning assault against Republicans), about their history regarding illegal immigration. Mitt Romney accused Giuliani of a sort of passive amnesty for illegal immigrants in running New York as a sanctuary city; and accused Huckabee of what is basically leniency regarding the children of illegals applying for scholarships in Arkansas.

Although a hard-liners on immigration like me don't agree with Huckabee's position on children brought here (possibly born here) by parents who broke our immigration laws; it's a far cry from giving sanctuary to the lawbreakers themselves, as seems to be the case in Giuliani's record. Still, this is at least a perceived weakness for both candidates.

Apart from immigration, each has been labeled as lacking in conservative in a different area. For Huckabee, some have questioned his credentials as a fiscal conservative, primarily over a few tax increases he agreed to as governor of Arkansas. For Rudy his long standing positions of supporting abortion-on-demand, gun control and gay-unions are a challenge indicate a lack of social conservatism.

In Huckabee's defense, he offers statistics of having cut taxes over 90 times, reducing discretionary spending, and balancing the Arkansas budget. Meanwhile, Giuliani offers to "nominate strict-constructionist judges" when asked about abortion; says gay-unions should be a matter for the states (as does Fred Thompson); and pays a weak lip-service (it seems to me) to the Second Amendment by claiming the Federal Government doesn't have the same authority cities (and possibly states) do in the area of gun control.

I think it all comes down to a matter of trust. Do you believe those making the accusations, or do you believe the candidate's defense? This is where character really counts in the public eye. I think today's Rasmussen poll results are a good indication of who people think more likely to live up to promises to secure our border; and that people trust Mike Huckabee to be a Fiscal Conservative more than they trust Rudy Giuliani to be a Social Conservative.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Perfect Liberal Presidential Candidate

I don't consider myself a Liberal by any means. However, I've just posted about my ideal of a perfect Conservative Presidential candidate; and am asking for reader comments on the same. I thought I should create a separate place for any liberals wandering by to leave their comments on liberal "perfection."

The Perfect Conservative Presidential Candidate

I'll admit that in my view there is no "perfect" candidate in the current field of Presidential hopefuls. Nevertheless, I want to list some characteristics and issue positions that I think would make my "perfect" candidate. I'd also like to see comments on what others would like in a candidate.

Moral Values Issues:
  • Human life is sacred, from the earliest moments in the womb until the last breath leaves the body. While I see potential for some "gray" area in extremely rare cases such as detectable fetal abnormalities that would be fatal outside the womb, or pregnancies almost certainly fatal for mother and child; abortion as a convenience absolutely must end. It's nothing less than murder. Likewise, "euthanasia" is an abomination. Therefore, I demand a candidate that will actively work for a sanctity of life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Good examples of this are the one passed in Arkansas under Governor Huckabee, and the one currently under consideration by the Georgia state legislature. "Overturning Roe-vs-Wade" on grounds of sloppy adjudication (which it was), is desirable, but not enough at this point.
  • Homosexual unions cannot be government sanctioned at any level in any form. No "gay-marriage", no "civil unions", and no supposed "anti-discrimination for sexual orientation" laws. Any governmental stamp of approval on the practice of homosexuality would not only be supporting a religious abomination, but would be nothing less than a powerful weapon for anti-Christian activists to use in attacking religious free speech, is the guise of slander and "hate-speech." A candidate must support a federal preservation of marriage amendment, as between one man and one woman. While homosexual unions do touch on a religious issue, this is not particular to just one sect ("an establishment of religion" in the Constitution) or a small subset of religious bodies. Plus is has widespread consequences if we allow general disruption of our basic social structure.
  • Religious Free Speech is not only a long-standing tradition in America; it is absolutely demanded by our Constitution. While I can't think of additional legislation required, a candidate must firmly express the importance of this value and a return to a proper view of the First Amendment. That view is for freedom of Religious and Political speech. It is not for suppression or religion and promotion of vulgarity and pornography, as modern liberals have successfully misused it in our courts.

National Security:
  • The USA is a sovereign nation, owing no higher allegiance to any international governing body
  • The USA absolutely must do it's utmost to become energy independent as quickly as possible; otherwise it will be at the mercy of other oil-producing nations for the remainder of it's needs.

Personal Characteristics:
  • Has a history of demonstrating achievement in line with his positions
  • Has lived faithfully in marriage and never divorced
  • Demonstrates a belief in the God of the Bible (the government is constitutionally prohibited from making this a test, but I as a citizen am not)
  • Is an articulate and engaging speaker, able to clearly and honestly state his positions, be convincing to those who are undecided, and firm but respectful when standing against those with whom he disagrees.
  • Is not given to displays of temper, nor outbursts of vulgar language. (A President must be even-tempered to wield such power)
I'll be adding more to my own list as time allows, and hope to see yours. (Please no comments that are just "I think {candidate name} is the perfect candidate" although you may feel free to include the name of your current choice.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ann Coulter on Candidates at NJC

In a question and answer session at the National Journalism Center, Ann Coulter said there are three key core conservative issues where Republican candidates need to be strong. Those are National Defense, Right to Life, and Smaller Government. She also stated her apparent amazement that Rudy Giuliani is considered a Republican front-runner, when he is clearly not a Right to Life candidate.

She was answering an audience question about who she supports for the Republican Presidential nomination. Her initial response was that she most strongly supports Duncan Hunter, while admitting that he doesn't seems likely to succeed. Coulter also revealed that she's not a big fan of Romney, and described Mike Huckabee as the "new John McCain" (marking them both as lacking firm conservative credentials.

When asked directly about Fred Thompson, she made it clear that she hasn't thought much of the former Tennessee Senator since he displayed a lack of backbone by splitting his own vote during the impeachment of Bill Clinton for perjury and suborning perjury. Even with all that, she did say she would support any of the Republican candidates, "even Ron Paul", over any of the Democrats.

I'm a bit confused by Ann Coulter's take on Mike Huckabee. She and I obviously see either a different John McCain or a different Mike Huckabee. Since she also mentioned John Kerry's flip-flops, I assume her swipe at McCain and Huckabee indicated a perceived tendency to sway with the prevailing political winds. I tend to agree regarding McCain, but not with Huckabee. Is Coulter is seeing something I don't, or have I managed to see something she doesn't?

I do applaud her for continuing to support her favorite candidate, even though it's Duncan Hunter. Not that I have anything against Hunter myself. He seems to be a fine man, and I was considering him favorably until I discovered Mike Huckabee. I think if we would each actively support the candidate we like best, the best candidate would win. I happen to think that candidate is Mike Huckabee.

That same philosophy should prevail when choosing a Vice-Presidential running mate.
I suspect many political strategists will suggest Huckabee choose either Giuliani or McCain as running mate in the general election to "broaden the ticket". Personally, I think he should choose someone whose ideals and performance are most like his own. I think it's that person just may be Duncan Hunter, Ann Coulter's first choice and my second.

Although caustic commentary and hyperbole are Coulter's hallmarks, I've usually agreed with her viewpoints. In the case of Mike Huckabee, I have to disagree. Perhaps she just has a hard time believing one can be conservative without being caustic. Huckabee certainly is a dynamic speaker. He's just not at all caustic. But if I remember correctly, neither was Coulter's idol, Ronald Reagan.

Returning to what Ann Coulter said a Republican candidate needs to be; I think it's beyond question that Mike Huckabee is strong on National Defense, and immovable on the Right to Life. I also think if Ann Coulter will examine Huckabee's record and positions in the fiscal arena; she'll discover Mike Huckabee is also a strong proponent of a smaller federal government.