Can’t agree with Huckabee on this. Number one, I think it’s a really bad idea to continue to harp on his Christian Leader status. At some point he’s going to have to start appealing to the small government crowd. This is a firm step in the opposite direction.

From the Washington Post.

Last month in Iowa, Huckabee noted the criticism against him for supporting tax increases while governor of Arkansas, and he said the “Washington establishment” was opposed to his candidacy in a party where social conservatives often do not wield the same power as do small-government conservatives.

“Many of us who have been Republicans out of conviction . . . the social conservatives,” he told reporters, “were welcomed in the party as long as we sort of kept our place, but Lord help us if we ever stood forward and said we would actually like to lead the party.”

If anyone was worried about the demise of the Reagan coalition…keep worrying. First, I think the statement is inaccurate…Social Conservatives have had a strong voice and a lot of power in the Republican Party, and small government types have been the ones that have been completely ignored (if the severe lack of vetoes until Embryonic Stem Cell research is ANY indication).

Second, I’m just waiting for him to say, “Yes I raised taxes in Arkansas, but I did what I had to do for my state…it was a State issue and State responsibility; and one thing I DIDN’T do was beg the Federal Government for more money. As President, I will leave the Governors to take responsibility for the welfare and education of their States’ citizens. At the same time I will address the issue that IS my responsibility, and that is secure the borders and fix the immigration system so that States like Arkansas don’t have to deal with the issues they SHOULDN’T have to deal with.” Or something like that…It would be a sound argument…accurate, and constitutionally sound.

If we don’t hear that, and soon, we have to operate under the assumption that he is going to “improve the lives” of Americans in exactly the same way as President as he did as Governor: more taxes and more programs. So instead of simply giving lip service to the tenth amendment, he’s going to have to cite specific examples why he would be a good arbiter of that right.

Also, someone interviewed Mr. Limbaugh the other day, and he has the opinion that the Democrats WANT Huckabee to be elected so Hillary can tear him to shreds and shut the “Evangelicals” up once and for all. It won’t work, but it does make you think.

And THIS is even worse:

“Especially with the economic insecurity people are feeling, they like that there’s a leader who, because of his religious belief, really wants to care for everybody,” said Hunter, who recently announced that he is backing Huckabee in the upcoming Florida primary. “It’s about evangelicals who are willing to care for people who are hurting, who are marginalized.”

Huckabee’s aides have been eager to dismiss the notion that he is only a Christian candidate, and Huckabee complained Saturday in Grand Rapids that debate questions about his faith are of “an unconstitutional nature,” since the Constitution forbids a religious test for potential officeholders.

I’ll admit that it must be aggravating to ALWAYS get the religious questions, but he’s obviously gotten used to it. Romney has to love it. But unconstitutional? Stop it. You’re killing me.

But we’re still waiting for evidence, or at least a strong affirmation, of this:

Instead, what Huckabee seems to have tapped into is what he is himself: a traditional Republican who advocates keeping taxes low and maintaining a strong military, but with strong roots in the social conservative movement.

Huck on Evangelical Leadership

2 thoughts on “Huck on Evangelical Leadership

  • The notion of the small gov’t conservative versus the social conservative got me thinking…just who is the mainstream (translated as popular/not Ron Paul) small gov’t conservative for this cycle? McCain? Romney?

    I think it is indeed correct that the small gov’t constituency of the Republican party is in peril. Where to turn to feel assured that the gov’t will not continue the bloating?

    I’m not sure that the Republican Party consistently stands for either of these things anymore. Their identity to me right now is their foreign policy and not much else.

  • You’re absolutely right, except you’re missing the social/moral part of the equation as well. What Ron Paul is missing (and honestly what Barry Goldwater was missing) was a call for social conservatism and family values as well.

    And I don’t mean gay marriage and abortion (the depressing part is that I feel I have to explain that); I mean family values in the classical sense–meaning valuing family over government, valuing faith over government, and valuing personal morality over government’s right to enforce their own morality.

    It’s essentially a three legged stool: Family Values, Economic Freedom, Strong National Defense.

    And I don’t think ANY of the candidates has all three of those in spades. Reagan did, and that’s how it worked. Huck claims two of them, but he lacks credibility (or experience maybe) on the foreign affairs part, which makes the economic leg (which he is up till now missing) that much more important.

    But the reason Huckabee has been so successful is he is the only one that effectively talks the Family Values game, and believe it or not, it was Reagan’s speeches on those subjects that were often the most inspiring, and as you may have already picked up, my family values tendencies run dead in line with my Libertarian tendencies, and I unlike many find them inexorably linked.

    The reason why the core conservatives of the Republican party supported Reagan was the same reason that they supported Barry Goldwater. The difference is, Reagan tapped into social conservatism (on both sides of the aisle) and that’s what got him elected.

    The real secret here, I think is that many people more closely link morality and family values with national security (as in wiretaps and Patriot Act is somehow an indication that the RWNJs want to regulate our morality)…

    I have a tendency to link family values more to economic principles (as in, don’t think you can dictate to me what is right and what is wrong by taking my money and giving it to someone you feel deserves it more).

    I’m rambling, but I hope you get my point.

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