If Huckabee is nominated I will vote for:
The opponent with the best chance of ensuring he never sees the inside of the White House or any position within the Cabinet. Almost certainly then, a Democrat.
Huckabee's impulse to make his idea of Christian charity into government policy fails to render unto Caesar. Huckabee's pride in his humility prevents him from recognizing this.
Mike Huckabee is a socialist. He may be a Christian evangelical socialist, so he'll resist federal funding of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, but he'll happily raise your taxes to fund causes he does find moral. For example, benefits to illegal aliens. As governor of Arkansas, he campaigned for illegal-alien students to be eligible for college scholarships and financial aid, complained about federal raids on work sites that employed illegal workers and supported drivers licenses for illegals.
His moral pretentiousness may well exceed that of Dhimmi Carter, and he has already announced an intent to revive Carter's “turn the other cheek” foreign policy. His naïve apology to Pakistan over the Bhutto assassination was certainly worthy of Carter.
Huckabee has made religion a centerpiece of his campaign in a fashion made no less odious by its wink-wink nudge-nudge, aren't I the clever rascal smarminess. For example, his comment to the New York Times that “Mormons believe Satan is Jesus' brother, don't they?,” is either naïvely bigoted or a cynical ploy to politically exploit religion. You pick which characteristic you want in a President. Huckabee's denial that a commercial he prepared for Christmas intentionally featured a cross in the background is simply not credible. I have no problem with the cross. I have a problem with lying about it in order to preserve his appeal to people who do have a problem with a cross at Christmas.
Huckabee's affable moral condescension insulates him from the need to confront his own hypocrisy in non-doctrinal matters as well. He is able, with apparent sincerity, to hold a press conference announcing that he's got a negative ad, but his conscience won't permit him to run it. Which would be worse, that he is sincere or that he isn't? Before you answer, consider what happened as a predictable result of the presser.
This ad begins with “I’m Mike Huckabee and I approved this message because Iowans have a right to know the truth about Mitt Romney’s dishonest attacks on me, and even an American hero, John McCain.”
How do I know what's in the ad? Huckabee screened it during the press conference while announcing he wouldn't run it, making sure it was all over the Internet and on television news. For a cash-strapped campaign this was a clever, if not necessarily ethical, move. Huckabee claims he revealed the content that had so troubled his conscience out of a moral concern for truth. The press can't be expected to just take the word of an honest Christian boy for the ad's existence, so in the interest of truthiness, he must show it to the assembled multitude. Not in private. No, he makes sure they can run it on national TV news programs, and that it can be virally spread on the Internet. That's more than enough hypocrisy for me, but that's not the end of it.
The ad Huckabee said he wouldn't run as a matter of conscience ran at least 10 times on four different stations in Davenport and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
So the answer to the question, “When didn't Mike Huckabee not run a dishonest attack ad?” is, “He always never didn't run a dishonest attack ad.”
How stupid does Mike Huckabee think the rest of us are? That he could receive even .02% of the Iowa vote would be frightening. As it is, I recommend mobilizing for any other GOP candidate except:
If McCain is nominated I will vote for: The opponent with the best chance of delivering a message to the GOP that they will never get my vote until they nominate someone within spitting distance of classical liberalism.
Like Huckabee, McCain is a TRUE BELIEVER. In McCain's case that belief is that his sense of what's right, proper, moral and ethical is superior to yours, and he'll pass a law to prove it. From steroids in baseball to the Keating 5, where his moral sense inexplicably seems to have lapsed, he'll try to improve your behavior; and to save you some stress he'll stop you from speaking about any of these issues 60 days prior to elections.
Those of you out there who consider McCain's objection to NSA "wiretaps" of overseas terrorists to be principled; or believe his defense of Gitmo detainees proves his concern for civil liberties; or think his whimsical regard for the economy of the United States, through a backdoor implementation of Kyoto, to be appropriate; or judge that his joint sponsorship with Ted Kennedy of an illegal immigrant amnesty demonstrates libertarian sensitivities... You should reconsider. He won't apply these "sensibilities" to your right to speak.
McCain's respect for civil liberties includes everybody whose name is John McCain. He regards the First Amendment as a barrier to his Presidency, so don't get in his way.
John McCain is objectionable for many reasons, some of these he shares with Guiliani, Romney and Thompson, but he manages a larger collection of anti-principles than any GOP candidate except Huckabee. A list:
**Founding member of Keating 5
McCain's take? "Even the Vietnamese didn't question my ethics." Well, Senator, ethics are a lot more clearly differentiated and narrowly defined when you're a POW at the Hanoi Hilton. Besides, not having the North Vietnamese question your ethics means what exactly? That you won't be sent to serve as Pol Pot's personal slave? In this case, extrapolation is obfuscation. In your passion for unconstitutional restrictions on the First Amendment you have conflated your courage in a prison camp with an ethical lapse as a Senator.
**Campaign Finance Reform
**Promotion of Anthropomorphic Global Warming
**Opposition to Dubya's tax cuts
**Irrational objections to Gitmo & Waterboarding
**Amnesty for illegal aliens
**Inconsistent, some might say “maverick,” 2nd Amendment support
**Gang of 14
If you don't recognize them all, look 'em up. McCain deserves the random scrutiny as much as anyone, and more than most.
Huckabee further reading:
Among presidential candidates Clinton, Guiliani, Obama, and Huckabee made Judicial Watch's list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007
Mike Huckabee Wishes to Enslave Americans
More Speculation on Mike Huckabee’s Support
Back to Basics Time for American Conservatism
Why Conservatism Matters Most
McCain further reading. All but the first, from Reason magazine, are TOC posts.
Be Afraid of President McCain
Nonsense and Sensibility II
Show us the way John
The Z-1 Bomb Project
USA Today to the rescue of Soros and Bloomberg?
McCain-Feingold, where would we be without it?
Don't need your damn help
A combination of "Uriah Heep, Elmer Gantry and Richard Nixon." Very good.
THE PHANTOM MENACE
FAUX POPULISM OF HUCK, EDWARDS
By GEORGE F. WILL
January 6, 2008 -- Like Job after losing his camels and acquiring boils, the conservative movement is in distress. Mike Huckabee shreds the compact that has held the movement's two tendencies in sometimes uneasy equipoise. Social conservatives, many of whom share Huckabee's desire to “take back this nation for Christ," have collaborated with limited-government, market-oriented, capitalism-defending conservatives who want to take back the nation for James Madison. Under the doctrine that conservatives call “fusion," each faction has respected the other's agenda. Huckabee aggressively repudiates the Madisonians.
...Huckabee, a compound of Uriah Heep, Elmer Gantry and Richard Nixon, preens about his humble background: “In my family, ‘summer' was never a verb." Huckabee fancies himself persecuted by the Republican “establishment," a creature already negligible by 1964, when it failed to stop Barry Goldwater's nomination. The establishment's voice, the New York Herald Tribune, expired in 1966.
Huckabee says “only one explanation" fits his Iowa success “and it's not a human one. It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people." God so loves Huckabee's politics that He worked a Midwest miracle on his behalf? Should someone so delusional control nuclear weapons?
Update: 5:17 PM, Powerline
Layer upon layer of deception