Huckabee flatly denied being a "pro-life liberal," an accusation often made in certain quarters on the right. Not a trace of defensiveness could be detected on this point. To the contrary, the governor gave an all-out defense of his tax hikes while governor of Arkansas on the grounds that they were the only responsible course of action to repair state roads. He snorted with derision at "libertarians" who fail to recognize that "we don't have a health-care crisis in this country, but a health crisis." He spoke with passion and knowledge on the need for preventative care to bring down exorbitant costs. And then, without the least amount of prompting, he mustered a vigorous defense of Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" campaign against childhood obesity. This was the "art of governing," he argued, rather than the cheap "science of campaigning." He finished his call to a compassionate conservatism by echoing recent comments made by Governor Daniels touting prison reform. Invoking a "Biblical standard" of crime enforcement, he granted that criminals must be punished while stressing that the status quo needs to be replaced. Opposed though he is to the decriminalization of drugs, he endorses a more "hopeful," therapeutic approach that would thwart the creation of "monsters" within our prison walls.
In 2008, you may recall, the Huckabeester railed serially against the "libertarian faux-cons" who were threatening "to not only split the Republican Party, but render it as irrelevant as the Whig Party." And a year ago he was banging the same gong.