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Huckabee : The Compassionate RINO

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October 15, 2009

I’m a practicing Catholic, but to the extent that Huckabee allows a simplistic understanding of Christian tenets to lure him into political decisions that run afoul of the government’s duty to secure those creator-endowed rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, voters should be wary. Under his ten-year stewardship as Governor, spending exploded more than 65% (between 1996 and 2004) and the average overall Arkansas tax-burden increased 47%. Huckabee is no ‘fiscal conservative’.

Some label this as being a “Christian Socialist.” Whatever you want to call it, it is NOT what any Reagan conservative should want its party to become. As grassroots conservatives learned in 2008, who a candidate is and what he stands for has political consequences. The Republicans voted for John McCain once, they can do it again.

Sure, he sounds good in the debates with his witty one-liners, folksy style and good explanations. However, is anyone in Iowa looking into this guy’s record? If you believe in illegal alien enforcement, limited government, less taxes, and transparency then Mike Huckabee belongs nowhere near the Presidency. He is a fiscally liberal, big government Republican, who just happens to be a social conservative. And, a TV talk show host; leave him there.

In the 2008 primaries, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) told staffers to hold all fire on Huckabee, until he secured the party’s nomination. The DNC will ignore the opportunity to slam Huckabee in the future too. They would love for the GOP to nominate Huckabee in 2012. Wonder why? During the 2008 primaries, the DNC didn’t put out a single press release criticizing his rapidly rising candidacy. The DNC Press Release Attack Summary:

Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) 37% (99) (press releases)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) 28% (74)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) 24% (64)
Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) 8% (20)
Governor Mike Huckabee 2% (4)

If social conservatives are honest with themselves, they know that Huckabee would never win in the general election. Too many people are wooed by the fact he was a preacher and are failing to assess his record. Governor Huckabee has consistently supported and initiated measures that increase government’s interference in markets and is on record in support of higher taxes, more spending and big government programs that elbow out private-sector solutions.

Beyond his stance on immigration, much of conservatives’ concern about Huckabee centers on his record of raising taxes. With not a hint of irony, he signed Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR) no-tax pledge, but only after dismissing such covenants as dangerous. He blasts the fiscally conservative Club for Growth as the “Club for Greed”. He publicly opposed repealing a tax on groceries and medicine, though he claims that he’s “always philosophically supported” axing the tax. According to ATR, after his 10 years in office, Huckabee had raised the state’s sales tax by 37 percent, motor fuel taxes by 16 percent, and cigarette taxes by 103 percent.

Huckabee supports a touchback amnesty plan for illegal immigrants where they leave and return legally and permanently in a matter of “days” or “weeks”. His antipathy for free trade, expressing doubts about the U.S. trade agreement with South Korea and calling for “fair trade” instead of free trade is sobering. When he is not giving clemency, his leniency towards criminals takes over. Huckabee granted 1,033 pardons and commutations during his term.

As governor, Huckabee drove ARKids first, a multimillion-dollar government program to provide health insurance for 70,000 children. He supported President George W. Bush’s 2003 massive expansion of Medicare by adding a prescription-drug benefit. He called the No Child Left Behind Act, which increased federal education spending by 48 percent and expanded big-government control of local schools, “the greatest education reform effort of the federal government in my lifetime”.

Michael D. Huckabee is no conservative. Mike Huckabee is a populist. Once you get past the preacher-man façade, it’s Huckabee who most resembles the old Rockefeller Republicans. Take away his pro-life position and his primary posturing, and the populist preacher is a bible-thumping John Edwards. A populist with bumpkin-speak and charm to spare. It’s tough not to like him. If you base voting decisions by who you like. Besides Super Sarah, he’s the most skilled retail politician in the Republican party.

He talks a class-warfare game that would make John Edwards blush: business elite against regular folk; populists versus establishment; middle-class versus working class; evangelicals against Mormons, Catholics against Baptists, Wall Street versus Main Street, small state versus big city, elites versus grassroots, Harvard-educated, venture capitalist, Mitt Romney versus preacher-turned-politician Huckabee, blue bloods versus blue collar, etc. Huckabee is a one-man class warfare cheering section.

He has successfully risen because of identity-based politics. The bottom line rationale for his candidacy is frighteningly close to that of John Edwards. Addressing a sliver of the electorate, Huckabee in essence says, “vote for me because I’m one of you.” Look through his “awe schucks” act and see him for what he really is and you’ll see a compassionate, fiscally liberal, big government, nanny state Republican disguised as a guitar-picking populist.

Mike Huckabee is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that uses the religion card to push his own agenda for political gain. When Huckabee touts class warfare by lambasting the profit levels of oil companies, saying they ‘are stealing from absolutely the poorest people’ you can now just sit back and snicker with ad nausea. Governor, when you tout your fake populist message, you really enjoy speaking in metaphors, don’t you?

“How is our government benefiting from an abandoned 1-year-old?”

“You don’t punish a child because a parent committed a crime or committed a sin.”

“In all due respect, we are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did.”

“There are single moms, who are working two jobs, and still just barely paying the rent as we are the people at the top of the economy.”

“Arkansas needs to make the transition from a traditional Southern state to one that recognizes and cherishes diversity “in culture, in language and in population.”

“Spend more money than John Edwards at a beauty shop…”

Huckabee continues to use his faith as a weapon against those who question not his faith, but his political populism — much of which he shares with secular progressives. He is both slick and evasive. He sure acts like a TV evangelist. He sure is affable, charming and aloof. Likeable fella. An everyman persona, capable of rousing his evangelical core constituency. Gushing with charisma, Huckabee makes up facts faster than you can speak …and he’ll freeze out anyone who disagrees with his plans. Given his Rockefeller Republican past, Huckabee will always have to neutralize his past. Those that claim that Huckabee is a good Christian politician will look beyond his opportunistic rhetoric as he constantly tries to reinvent himself.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and the last thing this country needs is another liar and bubba from Arkansas. Mike Huckabee is simply not being honest about his record on taxes, spending and his illegal alien stance. Politicians will be politicians. Presidential material? Not on your life. He sure has Chuck Norris fooled. Are the American people willing to accept another LIAR in office? This man is another “Slick Willy” except Huckster isn’t as smart as Clinton. Huckabee decries flip-flopping politicians whereas he is the standard bearer of one himself. Immigration isn’t the Governor’s only flip-flop.

I am not mesmerized by his clerical credentials. Christian charity does not include turning a blind eye to truth. It’s easy to blind people with the shining halo over a former religious spokesperson’s head to make them believe he is “good”. Upon a cursory glance, people see him as genuine. A Christian Leader. Yet, research like this hurts an image.

I don’t trust Huckabee. His actions speak different from his words. A two-forked tongue isn’t Christian – it’s a liar trying to pretend to be a Christian. The traditional-values agenda is as much an economic initiative as anything else. His populist propaganda is so out of touch with the reality of his record as governor, it is amazing that anyone would buy it. Maybe they’re a single issue voter. No doubt, I don’t trust him with America’s problems. I wish people would look into his record. They can start with Judicial Watch.

In 2007, Judicial Watch announced its list of our national capitols “Ten Most Corrupt Politicians” Here they are, in order:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY)
6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby
8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

With conservatives like Mike Huckabee, who needs liberals?

For a Full Scorecard and History on Mike Huckabee’s record click here.

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