The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, December 07, 2007

UPDATED The Problem with Huckabee

The more I learn about Mike Huckabee, the more problematic I find him to be when it comes to choosing a Republican to run against Obama or Clinton. Yes, I will vote for whichever Republican wins (with the possible exception of Ron Paul), but that does not mean I would necessarily be happy about the choice.

Of
all the candidates, the one person who clearly would be the best President according to the things I care about--is Fred Thompson. Still, I could enthusiastically support either Mitt Romney or Duncan Hunter, and I could even get behind Rudy if he would only man up when it comes to guns and immigration. Even John McCain--who at least recognizes and understands the seriousness of the War and of this moment in History--would be preferable to any Democrat running, squishy as he is on other issues.

But--aside from Ron Paul--Huckabee scares me the most, because the more I see and hear him, the more difficult it becomes to understand just what exactly he really stands for. Huckabee's cheap platitudes are more troubling to me than they are reassuring; he seems mostly to be a Republican version of Clinton the Triangulator. And the Democrat candidates provide more than enough triangulation to go around. I think one triangulator from Arkansas is enough for one lifetime... which is why I think Clarice Feldman really nails it when it comes to Huckabee:
... I understand why his star has risen. I've said it before, the voters are sick of slickly packaged parsers, saying one thing to get the nomination in primaries and leaving dancing room for the general election. The CNN pretend "debate" gave him many opportunities to display his debate skills and obvious personal charm. But a close look at his record and character suggests that behind the façade there may lurk the wishy-washy thinking of another Southern governor, Jimmy Carter, covered by the clever rhetorical skills of the other recent Southern governor, Bill Clinton, who also grew-up in Hope, Arkansas, the town of Huckabee's birth.

If it's a true straight talker you're looking for, go with Fred Thompson, who has all the charm of Huckabee and whose house is built on a bedrock foundation of federalism.

Let me explain. Right now we are in the middle of the most pressing foreign policy dilemmas and national security challenges.
Not a single Republican candidate in the top tier is as lacking in experience on defense and foreign affairs that Huckabee. He mouths the right platitudes on the issues, but then tips his weak hand with offhand comments in which he concedes that Gitmo has been run properly but we should close it because it makes us look bad to foreigners. He has said we need to work "to restore relationships and rebuild the kind of positive attitudes people have historically had toward our own nation...."

These two statements reflect, I think, a startling naiveté about what has been happening over the past four years. I believe the uproar about Gitmo is part and parcel of the European myopia, not a failure of U.S. policy. Indeed, I've never seen one person who yelped about Gitmo offer any reasonable and practical alternative. Nor have I seen a persuasive legal argument against the segregation of irregular combatants offshore. As to "restor[ing] relationships and rebuild[ing]...positive attitudes ," what planet has he been on?

No reasonable and reasonably informed person could have missed that the persons most involved in whipping up anti-Americanism were Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Jean Chrétien, all of whom were replaced by leaders far less corrupt and far more sympathetic to American positions than their predecessors. Outside of Europe, in the Middle East, in particular, it is hard to imagine that any policy short of abject surrender to the forces of jihadism would make a dent. People who can be brought out in the streets by the thousands to protest the publication in Denmark of a Muhammad cartoon are not likely to respect or admire a country like ours, based on the best thoughts of Western civilization including free speech and freedom of religion, no matter what else we do. These statements, to my mind, reflect that at heart Mr. Huckabee, likeable as he is, is a man too swayed by squishy sentiment and emotion to be determined wartime leader.
Bingo. What it really comes down to is that Huckabee seems to be more about doing what is needed to "be liked" by an envious and hostile world than he is interested in preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. And that could get us all killed.

The quoted portion of Feldman's piece above does not even address Huckabee's "Clintonian" problem; fortunately you can read about that and the rest of her excellent column here.

I hope the folks in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina start to pay a little bit closer attention to what is really "there" when it comes to Huckabee, because he gives me the (slick) willies...

UPDATE: Not to mention: the guy is a flat-out Liar. Just like his predecessor and his predecessor's wife are.
DiscerningTexan, 12/07/2007 04:30:00 PM |