Conservatives: Fear Huckabee, Not Paul

Jonah Goldberg gets it at least half right: true conservatives shouldn't be griping about Ron Paul's consistent constitutionalism and libertarianism; they should be running in fear from Huckabee's big government right-populism. From his LA Times column today:

Huckabee represents compassionate conservatism on steroids. A devout social conservative on issues such as abortion, school prayer, homosexuality and evolution, Huckabee is a populist on economics, a fad-follower on the environment and an all-around do-gooder who believes that the biblical obligation to do "good works" extends to using government -- and your tax dollars -- to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

For example, Huckabee has indicated he would support a nationwide federal ban on public smoking. Why? Because he's on a health kick, thinks smoking is bad and believes the government should do the right thing.

And therein lies the chief difference between Paul and Huckabee. One is a culturally conservative libertarian. The other is a right-wing progressive.

.......for Huckabee -- as with most politicians, alas -- his personal preferences matter enormously because ultimately they're the only thing that can be relied on to constrain him.

In this respect, Huckabee's philosophy is conventionally liberal, or progressive. What he wants to do with government certainly differs in important respects from what Hillary Clinton would do, but the limits he would place on governmental do-goodery are primarily tactical or practical, not philosophical or constitutional.....

Indeed, Huckabee represents the latest attempt to make conservatism more popular by jettisoning the unpopular bits. Contrary to the conventional belief that Republicans need to drop their opposition to abortion, gay marriage and the like in order to be popular, Huckabee understands that the unpopular stuff is the economic libertarianism: free trade and smaller government.

The real lesson of the Ron Paul phenomenon might be not, as standard right wingers now seem to think as they rise to attack him, that the country is unexpectedly full of dangerous freaks who are being arbitrarily ordered by the voices they hear in their fillings to venerate this out-of-nowhere madman Ron Paul, but rather that the "smaller government" stuff isn't as unpopular as Goldberg thinks, especially when it is surgically detached from the endless international policing and adventurism that, alas, Goldberg's institutional home of National Review has tried to link with small government rhetoric for the past half century.

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  • SIV||

    Progressives

    What do I keep telling you people?

    They are the root of all evil.

  • ||

    But Huck got the endorsement of Chuck Norris. Cancel the election.

  • GILMORE||

    SIV | November 20, 2007, 1:11pm | #
    Progressives

    What do I keep telling you people?

    They are the root of all evil.



    Try telling one. its ugly.

    I was schooled as a 'progressive', and only figured out the problems with the basic premise of populism when i started analysing the results. the main problems they have is they care less about results than intentions. Good intentions = good policies in their book. They never look back at their own record.

  • Reinmoose||

    I remember the first time I saw Mike Huckabee in the first debate. I was terrified of him, and it's only gotten more frightening as he climbs in the polls.

  • ||

    Isn't Paul beating Huck in NH? Sounds like Paul's brand is more popular than Huck's.

  • ||

    Not to instantly Godwin the thread, but I think the point is salient: could one not classify Hitler as a right-progressive? I mean, at least in the context of the times, when eugenics was a progressive movement.

    Something to think about.

  • ||

    He only scores well in polls because all his supporters have phones installed by their parents or caretakers.

    This would also explain the low donations; they aren't allowed to have credit cards anymore.

  • Jozef||

    Huck will become the next President. There's no doubt about it, not after Chuck Norris has told us to vote for him. Not after The Nature Boy has told us to vote for him. I wonder who's gonna be next...

  • ||

    they [progressives] care less about results than intentions

    Exactly; I made the mistake of telling somebody recently that his concept was admirably generous-spirited, but would be turned into a gigantic nightmare if it ever were implemented. The fall-back response to that sort of argument seems to be: "Yeah, well it's the thought that counts. And besides- if we could just get the right people in office, all this stuff would work great."

  • Bingo||

    Progressives are fascism lite. They want to use government to mold you into the model moral citizen. I think that many of the frontrunners are fascist in the classic sense, and they share many of the sentiments of the leaders of the first half of the 20th century.

  • SIV||

    Not to instantly Godwin the thread, but I think the point is salient: could one not classify Hitler as a right-progressive?

    Progressive most definitely.
    I'd still put Hitler mostly on the left.
    Nazism is National Socialism which put it at odds with International Socialism or Communism.

  • KipEsquire||

    It's a bit retarded to suggest that the James Dobsons and Pat Robertsons of the right are fleeing from Huckabee because he supports a national smoking ban or a federal sales tax.

    This is pure spin by the radical right to try to rationalize the refusal of social conservative theocrats to choose principles (Huckabee, Brownback) over winning (Giuliani, Romney, McCain).

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Huckabee and Gravel should switch parties.

  • SIV||

    Not the Nature Boy!

    Worst news all day. My 35 years of respect for Ric Flair is down the toilet.

  • ||

    The Nature Boy has spoken, eh? Well, this race is still open until the coveted Rowdy Roddy Piper endorsement is given.

  • ||

    War on some drugs is an awesome example of a progressive policy.

  • SIV||

    It gets worse.The Motor City Madman backs Huckabee too! Not the Nuge!, he has always been semi-libertarian.I'm checking the basement and garden for alien flower pods right now.

  • ||

    With Ric Flair on board, look for Huckabee to win the next debate by putting his feet on the bottom rope.

  • Elemenope||

    I'm pretty sure it was Nietzsche who wrote that all the methods ever used to make men moral were themselves immoral; that quote always struck me as being right on the money. Progressive statism is 'fascism lite', just like all other statist ideologies, though not all progressives believe in the power of the state. Some argue for other methods.

    SIV, there is no form of recognized progressivism that endorses an ideology of ethnic cleansing. I know you hate progressivism with a fiery passion, but attributing the ideology to Hitler is beyond the pale, an exercise in weasel wording of the most faithless sort. Seriously, stick to hating what it actually is, rather than buttressing your hatred with ridiculous associations.

  • Episiarch||

    If Huck shows up to the next debate sporting a folding chair, the other debaters might want to watch out.

  • ||

    they [progressives] care less about results than intentions

    I contend that the misery resulting from the progressives' policies is the intent. The policies are sold "for the children", "the environment", and "the elderly" but the ultimate goal is the enslavement of humanity.

    My premise is based on the well known fact that progressives are smarter than me. They are the best and brightest among us. If the intent is not misery then that would make them not just failures but congenital failures who are incapable of learning from their past failures. Sort of like progressive failure...

    Thus, the best and brightest intend their policies to deliver the results that are delivered.

  • Episiarch||

    Anybody who wants to force you to behave the way they think is right is a totalitarian scumbag. You can argue about the tiny differences between progressives, national and international socialists, and fascists, but it all comes down to force in the end.

  • SIV||

    Elemenope,


    Ethnic cleansing is little different from eugenics. Progressives trying to change the population to those with "good genes" and their associated traits for the betterment of society as a whole.

  • ||

    How dare you insult TV wrestling by comparing it to modern American politics! Everyone knows wrestling is much more honest.

    I'm 100 percent behind Ron "The Patriot" Paul in the big cage match of '08.

  • Timothy||

    Randian: You doing all right, mate? Glad to see you!

  • crouton||

    The republicans over the last decade have successfully combined the worst of both parties. Government expansion to enforce their religious beliefs. Government expansion for popular social programs. Government expansion for aggressive foreign policies.

    And, pay for it? Nah. Just put it on the credit card.

  • crouton||

    (not the democrats are a big step up)

  • Fluffy||

    Elemenope -

    You can't just look at progressivism today. You need to look at it during its origin period - the turn of the 20th century. At that time it was one of a handful of interrelated cultural and political movements that believed that the application of the methods of science to the problem of political progress could lead to broader prosperity. To its advocates eugenics was just a form of "hygiene", and its forcible implementation just another government planning reform.

  • ||

    Episiarch typed:

    Anybody who wants to force you to behave the way they think is right is a totalitarian scumbag.

    You mean my mom is a fascist? Maybe mommy state is more accurate than nanny state.

  • Friends Of Liberty||

    My motto is this: Good politics is based on good economics. Bad politics is based on bad economics. Statism is bad politics, and it is based on Keynesian, Socialist and Marxist pseudo-economics. These pseudo-economics are the reason Economics is called "the dismal science." Ron Paul believes in Austrian Economics, and will implement this exact economic science to reverse the damage caused by the above fruitcake beliefs. I fear every one of the clowns currently running for President on the Socialist Jackass Party and the buffoons on the Fascist Pachyderm Party. Only Ron Paul can halt our slide towards Hades.

  • ||

    Jonah Goldberg is outraged that Gov. Huckabee wants to use "your tax dollars -- to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth."

    Whereas he ought to want to use your children's tax dollars to invade the Middle East, to, um, to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

    It just depends on what your definition of "the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth" is.

  • Doctor Duck||

    You mean my mom is a fascist?

    Fuckin' A, dude.

  • shecky||

    What I learned from this thread: progressivism means anything to anybody.

  • TLB||

    True "libertarians" - those Reason-style "libertarians" who believe in "free minds" and "free markets" - should cheer Huck.

  • shecky||

    Alan Vanneman sized up Jonah correctly. The urge to spend other people's money knows no political boundary.

  • Elemenope||

    Fluffy-

    I understand that there were some proponents of eugenics in the beginning of the "progressive era" that associated with the movement. However, they had all been fairly thoroughly denounced by the 1920's by the Progressives themselves. It's much like saying "I understand that Hitler was a vegetarian. You're a vegetarian...you approve of Nazi ideology, don't you." Eugenics had little to do with the core of the movement, and since every budding movement gets painted by its fringes, here we are arguing over whether most progressives at the turn of the century would be in favor of tying tubes and cutting people's balls off if they were an undesirable sort. It's absurd and basically ahistoric.

    More to the point--what I was objecting what SIV was doing-- Nazi ideology did not draw any of its inspiration from American Progressive ideology whatsoever, and to insinuate so is as dirty as painting modern Libertarians by associating them with ultra-right/neo-Nazis who happen to share the goal of getting the fed out of their lives. I'm pretty sure most libs have denounced neo-Nazism...is it fair to say that they are nevertheless "associated" or really related in any way? Of course not.

    In my experience, focusing on "Progressive" and "liberal" defocuses the main point and target, which ought to be "statism" and comes in many guises both left and right. This is particularly why I am irritated with the modern lib movement's cozy relationship to the GOP. They are as guilty of forwarding statist policies as the dems, if not moreso, and simultaneously lie about how they'll "shrink government". Libs automatically turn off a whole slew of folks who otherwise would be right on board with affirming state's rights and individual liberty because they are too busy kissing the elephant's ass.

  • SIV||

    Elemenope,

    To be polite about it: Read some history.You could do worse(and much better) than to start with the wiki entry on eugenics.Eugenics was denounced by the "fundies" and Catholics of the day while it was enthusiastically promoted by scientists, mainstream protestants,wealthy philanthropists and various social do-gooders.

    wiki excerpt:

    Some who disagree with the idea of eugenics in general contend that eugenics legislation still had benefits. Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood of America) found it a useful tool to urge the legalization of contraception. In its time eugenics was seen by many as scientific and progressive, the natural application of knowledge about breeding to the arena of human life. Before the death camps of World War II, the idea that eugenics could lead to genocide was not taken seriously.

  • Elemenope||

    Apparently you didn't read very closely. Many of the proponents were laissez-faire types who argued that by limiting government interference in social welfare, geniuses and talented men would naturally "rise to the top". Only after a period of, ahem, downright Libertarian hands-offishness, would it then be appropriate to sterilize the hopelessly mediocre. Excerpt from wiki article:

    The idea of "genius" and "talent" is also considered by William Graham Sumner, a founder of the American Sociological Society (now called the American Sociological Association). He maintained that if the government did not meddle with the social policy of laissez-faire, a class of genius would rise to the top of the system of social stratification, followed by a class of talent. Most of the rest of society would fit into the class of mediocrity. Those who were considered to be defective (mentally retarded, handicapped, etc.) had a negative effect on social progress by draining off necessary resources. They should be left on their own to sink or swim. But those in the class of delinquent (criminals, deviants, etc.) should be eliminated from society ("Folkways", 1907).

    Does this mean that Libertarians ought also be tarred with the eugenics brush? No less a personage than Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. saw no conflict between human freedom and eugenics, and he was a justice concerned more than most with issues that libertarians now care about.

    Or is this whole line of argument on either side just too stupid for words? Seriously, Hitler was no progressive. Come back with actual progressive bugaboos (you have SO MANY to choose from; why bother making them up?) and it might be worth talking about.

  • ||

    This guy does not believe in the theory of evolution. Why should his qualification to be President of the United States be debated beyond that?

  • SIV||

    This guy does not believe in the theory of evolution. Why should his qualification to be President of the United States be debated beyond that?

    Just because Huckabee shares a position on evolution with a majority of Americans does not make him qualified to be President.

  • MattXIV||

    I never understood why anybody with half a brain would want to associate themselves with a term tied to the vacuous Modernist conception of big-P Progress.

    But then I realized that having half a brain and being a progressive are generally mutually exclusive and my mind was placed at ease.

  • MattXIV||

    elemenope,

    Don't cite a guy that dissented from Lochner to libertarians as an authority. It could get messy.

  • greenish||

    My motto is this: Good politics is based on good economics. Bad politics is based on bad economics. Statism is bad politics, and it is based on Keynesian, Socialist and Marxist pseudo-economics. These pseudo-economics are the reason Economics is called "the dismal science."

    This is entirely wrong. Thomas Carlyle coined that term while arguing against free market economists who believed that slavery was contrary to economic principles.

    Truly, my philanthropic friends, Exeter Hall Philanthropy is wonderful; and the Social Science-not a "gay science," but a rueful-which finds the secret of this universe in "supply-and-demand," and reduces the duty of human governors to that of letting men alone, is also wonderful. Not a "gay science," I should say, like some we have heard of; no, a dreary, desolate, and indeed quite abject and distressing one; what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science. These two, Exeter Hall Philanthropy and the Dismal Science, led by any sacred cause of Black Emancipation, or the like, to fall in love and make a wedding of it,-will give birth to progenies and prodigies; dark extensive moon-calves, unnameable abortions, wide-coiled monstrosities, such as the world has not seen hitherto!

    http://tinyurl.com/5z7fv

  • ||

    I contend that the misery resulting from the progressives' policies is the intent. The policies are sold "for the children", "the environment", and "the elderly" but the ultimate goal is the enslavement of humanity...

    ...Thus, the best and brightest intend their policies to deliver the results that are delivered.


    Curly Smith:

    I'm reminded of that old saw about how wonderful a system Communism (Marxist Socialism) would be, if only it would work. Everytime I hear that from someone I want to say, "what makes you think it doesn't? Whether or not it works depends on what one's purpose really was."

  • ||

    elemenope,

    Don't cite a guy that dissented from Lochner to libertarians as an authority. It could get messy.


    Ha... I read "No less a personage than Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr..." and thought I had logged-on to some sort of "Bizarro Hit & Run."

  • mia||

    http://joeleonardi.wordpress.com/2007/11/17/how-liberalism-leads-to-slavery/

  • ||

    Paul believes in Austrian Economics, and will implement this exact economic science

    Austrian Economics is the school of thought that argues that economic activity is too complicated and unpredictable to be effectively understood though positivist research and logic - exactly the opposite of an exact science.

    You, sir, are using BIG WORDS without knowing what they mean.

  • ||

    The early 20th century progressive movement was the ancestor of modern progressivism. It is also the ancestor of modern liberalism, modern conservatism, modern centrism, and modern republicanism.

    Look at drug prohibition - it was a Progressive cause, it was adopted close to unanimously at the time, by people across the ideological spectrum, and is still endorsed all the way across the spectrum.

    If we're going to limit our political theories to names people give themselves, then Vladimir Zhirinsofsky's nationalist, anti-semitic, imperialist party really is made up of liberal democrats.

  • R C Dean||

    Austrian Economics is the school of thought that argues that economic activity is too complicated and unpredictable to be effectively understood though positivist research and logic - exactly the opposite of an exact science.

    You, sir, are using BIG WORDS without knowing what they mean.


    Whoa! HUGE Agreement With Joe!

  • VM||

    THANK YOU JOE!!!!!

    (10:15am).

  • ||

    Huckabee understands that the unpopular stuff is the economic libertarianism: free trade and smaller government.

    So now you're telling me that Santa Claus doesn't exist?

  • V||

    Ron Paul phenomenon? I guess placing at 1% in national polls is a phenomenon now.

  • ||

    "Ron Paul phenomenon? I guess placing at 1% in national polls is a phenomenon now."

    The latest Zogby poll has Ron Paul at 5%.

  • ||

    Just because Huckabee shares a position on evolution with a majority of Americans does not make him qualified to be President.



    Actually something less than a majority of Americans reject evolution. And of the forty-something percent that believe that God created the universe there is some question of how many think He did it by somehow unleashing (with his omnipotent powers) the big bang and evolution.

  • Friends Of Liberty||

    To joe:
    Paul believes in Austrian Economics, and will implement this exact economic science

    Austrian Economics is the school of thought that argues that economic activity is too complicated and unpredictable to be effectively understood though positivist research and logic - exactly the opposite of an exact science.

    You, sir, are using BIG WORDS without knowing what they mean.

    Your definition of Austrian Economics is questionable. Have you even cracked open a book about the subject? Austrian Economics is about the free market, which works under the principle that only the buyer and the seller understand the transaction they are involved in, and therefore are the only two entities qualified to set a fair price for their transaction. The government, which is far removed from this transaction, does not possess enough knowledge of all the factors involved in this one transaction and is not capable of setting a fair price on behalf of the two parties involved in this one transaction; therefore, how could government be capable of having knowledge and understanding of the billions of transactions that occur in the market on a daily basis? Please, Joe, read a little before you stick your foot in your mouth. And I apologize for my use of those BIG words, which are regulary taught in the fourth grade.

  • Friends Of Liberty||

    To greenish:

    "My motto is this: Good politics is based on good economics. Bad politics is based on bad economics. Statism is bad politics, and it is based on Keynesian, Socialist and Marxist pseudo-economics. These pseudo-economics are the reason Economics is called "the dismal science."

    This is entirely wrong. Thomas Carlyle coined that term while arguing against free market economists who believed that slavery was contrary to economic principles."

    Which proves my point. He argued against the free market, which makes him a Statist who believed in pseudo-economics. And he argued against those who spoke the truth about slavery.

    And your point was?

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