Mitt Romney

Who Hearts Huckabee?

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Libertarians John Tabin and Shawn Macomber, blogging at the American Spectator, are scratching their heads about Mike Huckabee. Not just the candidate, but the media love-fest. Tabin:

Am I the only one who finds Huckabee viscerally unappealing? There's nothing endearing to me about a cross between a diet guru and a televangelist selling condominiums in Heaven, which is how Huckabee strikes me. The guy's so full of crap I can smell it wafting out his ears. He's running on a quirky-at-best tax plan that has no chance of passing, and gets a free pass from some of the same people who harp endlessly on the alleged phoniness of Mitt Romney (whose left pinky is better qualified for the presidency than Huckabee).

Tabin's not alone. Monday night I talked with a former GOP congressman/Romney endorser about Huckabee's surge and he seemed just as mystified. But he wore a sort of shit-eating grin when he talked about the anti-Huckabee backlash to come. "He's been so under the radar that no one's taken a look at his record on immigration," he said, giving one example. "I think you're going to see that change soon, though."

However… what if it doesn't? The Huckabacklash hypothesis relies on the mainstream media getting bored of Huckabee and deciding to exposes his personal weirdness and scandals. There is no indication of this happening. Here's one (admittedly flawed) metric: Do a Lexis search for mentions in major newspapers of "Romney" and "Tavares," as in Daniel Tavares Jr, the murderer released by a judge Romney appointed. There were 59 mentions from January 1 to December 3 for a story that broke about two weeks ago. Then I did a search for "Huckabee" and "Dumond," as in Wayne Dumond, the paroled rapist who committed murder after a parole board, urged on by Huckabee, let him out. Twenty-five mentions from January 1 to December 3 for a story that had been pushed by various people all year.

The fact is that reporters really, really like Huckabee. One reason is his general affability but another is something the other GOP candidates can't steal: His liberalism. Much as reporters want Barack Obama to succeed to diminish the power of more radical black politicians (something I noodled three years ago), I think most (less me) like the idea of a Beliefnet/Michael Gerson big government conservative taking the religious right over from the Bill Bennetts and Pat Robertsons.

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  1. Why we’re put in this mess
    Is anybody’s guess
    It might be a test or it might not be anything
    You need to worry about

    I’m still in doubt that anything can take down Mike Huckabee at this point other than his own surge being too late to take out Mitt Romney.

  2. Could it be that libertarians are hating on Mike Huckabee because he is the dark horse candidate who’s risen from the back of the pack to become a media darling and top-tier candidate, when they wanted Ron Paul to be that guy?

    Both Huckabee and Paul can claim to be more genuinely conservative than the frontrunners – though in different ways – which is a good place to be when the frontrunners are widely viewed as not real conservatives. Both candidates were hoping that dissatisfied primary voters would end up turning to them out of dissatisfaction.

    As different as they are, Huckabee and Paul have both been fishing in the same pool, and it looks like Huckabee is landing more fish.

    Still, there’s plenty of time for things to change. Paul will live or die in New Hampshire, and Huckabee is most certainly NOT a New Hampshire-type candidate.

  3. The Huckabacklash hypothesis relies…

    I’m getting pretty hucking tired of the plays on that hucker’s name.

    Oh, and joe? It ain’t over yet.

  4. Naw, it’s over, sage.

    Haven’t you seen any polls? Dean has this race locked up! 😉

    (Srsly, that’s what I said in my last sentence – there is still plenty of time for Paul to make a move, and New Hampshire should be friendly territory for him.)

  5. Good one. I should actually reply to your post, tho:

    Could it be that libertarians are hating on Mike Huckabee because he is the dark horse candidate who’s risen from the back of the pack to become a media darling and top-tier candidate, when they wanted Ron Paul to be that guy?

    Personally, I’m hating on him because he only likes free speech when he agrees with it, thinks the earth is 6,000 years old, will continue to pay subsidies to wealthy farmers (and has clearly stated as much), and will probably escalate the drug war much as Clinton and Bush 41 did. But that’s just me.

  6. Aside from that sage, how was the play? 😉

  7. I think libertarians are skeptical of Huckabee because he gets a “D” on his Cato report card. He’s our worst fear: liberal spender plus he’s got all the God baggage. Where’s the upside?

  8. Joe, I do know the best thing that could happen to a Democrat is to have Huckabee as the Republican nominee. The guy is too much of a fundie to have any appeal north of the Potomac or west of Texas. He’d be creamed even by Hillary.

    We hate him because hes the anti-libertarian. A moralizing, nannyish, self-righteous fundie with a Democratic spending record.

  9. I’m not saying that libertarians should be hearting Mike Huckabee.

    None of the other non-Paul candidates are any better on the libertarian scale, and yet the volume of the anti-Huck sounds from liber-stan has increased dramatically as he’s risen over the past few weeks.

    Cesar,

    I think you’re wrong. Liberal opposition to fundie politics isn’t based on hostility to people with old-fashioned Christian beliefs, but on fear that they’re going to start sending us to the special Jesus Camps with the guard towers and waterboarding rooms.

    Huckabee comes across as pretty innocuous. I’d be more frightened of Rudy.

  10. About the flat tax. It would be better than the gross civil rights violating tax system that we have now.
    If the IRS were repealed those complaining about the Patriot act might have a leg to stand on.

    Also
    Dondero was ranting about Huckabee in a previous thread, and I didn’t have an opportunity to answer.

    I think I would prefer every candidate in the field, left and right to Guliani.

    I don’t really care how old Huckabee thinks the earth is.
    I do care that he wants to continue the drug war and farm subsidies. As far as I know only Paul is different in that regard.

    Also liberals might like vouchers a little more if the alternative is mandatory bible study.

  11. Flipping the dial on the radio recently, I stopped on Limbaugh’s show. His listeners (who still say “Mega dittoes, Rush!” Can you f*cking believe that?) think the media’s love for Huckabee is a liberal conspiracy because Huck is the weakest candidate. Rush didn’t poo-poo this idea, either. What a weird world some people live in.

  12. Heres how I look at the Republicans right now, FWIW

    1) Paul

    2) Thompson

    3) Romney

    4) Everybody else.

  13. None of the other non-Paul candidates are any better on the libertarian scale, and yet the volume of the anti-Huck sounds from liber-stan has increased dramatically as he’s risen over the past few weeks.

    There is no point in wasting time on losers. Im sure there would be hearing plenty about Duncan Hunter if he shot up too. As Fred falls out of the race, we will talk less and less about him.

    Its the same reason the number of anti-Paul screeds have increased. Some people didnt bother when he was polling at 1%.

  14. THE LURKOTARD WISHES TO INFORM EDWARD AND DONDERO THAT GIULIANI WAS RECENTLY SEEN DRINKING PEPTHI WITH FUCKABEE. THERE’S THE LOVE.

  15. Here’s how I look at all the worlds politicians right now, FWIW

    1) Paul

    2) Corrupt self-serving power-lusting evil vampires.

  16. Cesar,

    I agree with your placements but wish to point out that there’s VERY large gap between numbers 1 and 2.

  17. I agree with your placements but wish to point out that there’s VERY large gap between numbers 1 and 2.

    Oh, suredefinitely. In a more sane world it would be Ron Paul, Jeff Flake, and Zach Wamp running for the Republican nomination.

  18. Lurkotard, if you keep posting in all caps no one will take you seriously.

  19. LURKOTARD??!

    [Scratches head. Calls the Weibskobold. She’s not home. Worries.]

  20. He’s the guy that appeases the Christian right, he’s their only candidate; of course he’s going to have some short lived success

  21. He’s running on a quirky-at-best tax plan that has no chance of passing, and gets a free pass from some of the same people who harp endlessly on the alleged phoniness of Mitt Romney (whose left pinky is better qualified for the presidency than Huckabee).

    Mitt Romney’s Left Pinkie for President!!

  22. If there was any doubt left in your mind about the GOP supporting smaller government, this should extinguish it. Face it people: neither major party supports smaller government. Those who bet on toilet paper have lost. Claire Wolfe put it best when she said, “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to start shooting the bastards.”

  23. The fact is that reporters really, really like Huckabee. One reason is his general affability but another is something the other GOP candidates can’t steal: His liberalism. Much as reporters want Barack Obama to succeed to diminish the power of more radical black politicians (something I noodled three years ago), I think most (less me) like the idea of a Beliefnet/Michael Gerson big government conservative taking the religious right over from the Bill Bennetts and Pat Robertsons.

    You really think so? You don’t think it’s because he’s Chuck Norris approved?

  24. Immigration is becoming the big Republican issue, so if Huck’s been soft on immigrants, our boy Ron Paul (7% and climbing) should blow him out of the water:

    “We must reject amnesty for illegal immigrants in any form. We cannot continue to reward lawbreakers and expect things to get better. If we reward millions who came here illegally, surely millions more will follow suit. Ten years from now we will be in the same position, with a whole new generation of lawbreakers seeking amnesty.”–Ron Paul “The Immigration Question”

    “Birthright citizenship sometimes confers the benefits of being American on people who do not truly embrace America.” Ron Paul “The Immigration Question”

  25. Edward –

    the war is kinda of a biggie, too. And the general, socially-conservative agenda…

    So, do you agree with joe that Huck and Paul are already have a base of support, and they’re fishing in the common pool for the rest? If so, how do you think Paul should differentiate himself? (taking into consideration your past posts and clearly-stated opinions)

  26. LURKOTARD??!

    [Scratches head. Calls the Weibskobold. She’s not home. Worries.]

    THE LURKOTARD?? WISHES TO SOOTHE THE URKOBOLD AND REMIND HIM THAT IMITATION IS BUT SINCERE FLATTERY. THE CELLS NEEDED FOR CLONING WERE COLLECTED FROM A PAIR OF THE URKOBOLD’S DISCARDED THONG UNDERWEAR.

    ALSO THAT THE LURKOTARD? WILL NOT BE ‘ROUND THESE PARTS MUCH.

    EDWARD, YOU ARE WANTED AT LURKOTARD? HQ.

  27. ON THE CONTRARY, SAGE, THE LURKOTARD? TAKES ITSELF QUITE SERIOUSLY.

  28. “You really think so? You don’t think it’s because he’s Chuck Norris approved?”

    The legend is that Chuck Norris doesn’t have a chin underneath his beard, just another fist. That’s why he’s able to satisfy himself and fist Huckabee at the same time.

  29. Immigration is becoming the big Republican issue

    Not exactly. Immigration is the issue Republican candidates want to talk about because it’s the one issue where it’s too early to point out that everything they said was 100% wrong and how what they did so utterly fucked this country.

  30. Look, Huck is a story because this infinitely long election cycle has run its course and it still has almost a whole friggin’ year to go and fresh angles are at a premium. Pundits who covered this election from the beginning are starting to retire. This cycle began so long ago we were still losing in Iraq. Britney Spears was still hot. Lindsay Lohan had wrecked only one vehicle! My god, Katie Couric is starting to go bald. Madness, madness!

  31. I do think joe has a point –

    RP and Huck have differentiated bases, but have to appeal to a broader constituency even to have a chance. It is not unreasonable to think that there would be overlap in the groups where they seek support.

    Then, it becomes about which of the issues that separate them are more important to their courtship group. And maybe the war and maybe the “ooh, kookie libertarian” badge hurts Paul.

    So where else can he look? Pull a Nader and reach across to a segment? Why not? Probably because of the war and the anti status quo nature of him, he can garner support. But is this a motivated group to vote in the primaries?

  32. Katie Couric is going bald?

  33. Heres how I look at the Republicans right now, FWIW

    1) Paul
    2) Thompson Octogenarian Betty Ford
    3) Romney Former First Lady Betty Ford
    4) Everybody else. Recovering alcoholic Betty Ford

    There. I listed ALL the Republican I still respect.

  34. Of topic:
    Who would be a good running mate for Paul?
    Who would be the least worst of those running now?
    And who would be the overall best?

  35. Who would be a good running mate for Paul?

    See my previous.

  36. J Sub D, Jeff Flake would be pretty good. He said when hes the only no vote, he knows that Ron Paul is on a plane somewhere.

  37. Here is how I look at the candidates:

    1) Paul
    2) Thompson
    3) Huckabee
    4) Bill Richardson
    5) Gravel
    6) Romney
    7) Anyone else running against Guliani.

    Of course I could come to dislike or like numbers 3 & 2 more by knowing more about them. Will they really stand up for gun rights? Who is worse on the drug war?

  38. Who would be a good running mate for Paul?

    A no brainer. The late Aaron Russo is the logical choice. Americans are sick and tired of having an activist VP.

  39. See my previous.

    Ok so to win the election he has to pick one from either side of the isle, who is it going to be?

    Also, I just remembered that Fred signed the McCain-Feingold so he should really be at my 3 instead of my two. Unless he comes out against the WoD or something.

  40. how do you think Paul should differentiate himself?

    He should keep pushing “the Constitution is replete with references to God” line. Making claims that are demonstrably false shows guts. It proves he has the stuff to become Commander-in-Chief

  41. IN THE SPIRIT OF TICKET BALANCING, I NOMINATE EDWEIRDOOOOO FOR RON PAUL’S VP.

  42. Kwais,

    I think the 3rd party ticket that would be interesting would be

    Richardson-Paul (or Paul-Richardson, whatever).

  43. Ron Paul/Aaron Russo in 2008!

  44. And the 4th party ticket:

    Bloomberg-Kucinich

  45. What would be the theme of a joint Edwardo/ Dondero ticket?

  46. Okay, Edward, besides wanting to give you a thread win for the russo comment, I am actually interested in your real thoughts.

    How should Paul differentiate himself. You have clearly established that you cannot see a difference between RP and the rest of the theo/neo con thugs. Fine. So, if RP is competing for a shared pool with Huck, how can Paul differentiate himself?

    c’mon, Dan – I know you don’t believe in intellectual honesty, but this question actually calls for some.

  47. What would be the theme of a joint Edwardo/ Dondero ticket?

    “Rawhide”?

  48. Here in San Francisco the GOP had themselves a straw poll last night but when RP revolutionaries flooded the scene guess what, they canceled it.
    Ron Paul, bitches!

  49. “Ron Paul/Aaron Russo in 2008!”

    Aaron Russo just recently passed away.

  50. Edward | December 5, 2007, 11:39am | #
    Who would be a good running mate for Paul?

    A no brainer. The late Aaron Russo is the logical choice. Americans are sick and tired of having an activist VP.

    jake – yes – that’s why EDWARD has earned consideration for a thread win…

  51. VM

    You really want to know? Okay, I think Ron Paul has already distinguised himself from the rest of the pack by being (outside Texas and libertarian imaginations)an unelectable loon. That’s my honest opinion.

  52. Edward,

    If you were on Ron Paul’s campaign planning team.

    And it behooved you to swallow your visceral dislike for the guy and get him the most votes possible. If it was necessary for you and for America.

    And you couldn’t change any of his positions or lie about him.

    What stances of his would you highlight?
    What would your strategy be?

  53. And, Edward, I’m not gonna argue with that. Remember, I’m not a RP fan, either.

    Is Huck an unelectable loon, too?

    Besides his theocon tendencies you’ve outlined, what other areas of looniness make him unpalatable for GOP voters?

    (immigration, gay marriage, abortion – he’s pretty much solidly in the socially conservative camp, so dunno how Paul-specific looniness could be derived from any of those positions, unless he has a brand of double talk the others don’t share)

  54. kwais

    If I were on Ron Paul’s campaign team, I would get off.

  55. “If I were on Ron Paul’s campaign team, I would get off.”

    PLEASE TO REPHRASE. THERE IS TOO MUCH SEX TALK IN THREADS ABOVE.

    THAT MIGHT BE MISUNDERSTOOD AS A RP GOLDBUGGER SUPPOERTER’S SENTIMENT!!!!!

  56. VM

    Aside from his lesser-known ultra-libertarian views, Ron Paul has allowed himself to be associated with 9/11 Truthers and conspiracy nuts. He has not loudly denounced support from Nazis and white supremicists or returned their money. He has indulged in shameless demogoguery by misrepresenting the founding fathers and the Constitution. If by some miracle he actually became viable, these little flaws would be a gold mine for his adversaries. His supporters either overlook the flaws or embrace them. It all has the aura of an unhealthy cult.

  57. fair enough. thanks!

  58. It all has the aura of an unhealthy cult.

    And Edward has the aura of a stalker.

  59. Franklin has the aura of a man who has run out of arguments.

  60. VM has the aura of a reincarnated circus clown who ran away from the circus to join a monastery but instead joined a group of fifth columnists and went deep undercover to expose them as traitors, but met the leader’s beautiful sister and decided that he couldn’t turn her in to the authorities so, while they were working on a bomd to sabotage the ammunitions plant, he blew them all up, thereby achieving moosehood.

  61. Huckabe makes my flesh crawl and he should do the same to anyone on here. Basically, he is the worst parts of both parties put in one person. He manages to be a moralizer on both social and moral issues. Imagine Jerry Fallwell’s nutso evangelicalism combined with Raph Nader’s unfailing belief in the power of government to do good. UGH!!

  62. “immigration, gay marriage, abortion – he’s pretty much solidly in the socially conservative camp, so dunno how Paul-specific looniness could be derived from any of those positions, unless he has a brand of double talk the others don’t share”

    Huckabe is a died in the wool amnistyista on immigration. He is also soft as hell on crime. He honestly beleives in the whole hallaluh this criminal has found God and been reabilitated line of BS. The story of him lobbying to get some dirtbag rapist out on parole in 1999 is nothing short of appalling.

  63. Will somebody please make the case as to why Romney is qualified to be president? Will somebody please make the case as to why the man isn’t GWB – or She Who Must Not Be Named -all over again, only with Vitalis?

    I may not agree with Huckabee on a lot of things, but I respect the man because (1) he’s risen in the Iowa polls pretty much on talent alone, without dumping a gazillion dollars into the state, and (2) WYSIWYG. It’s more than I can say for anybody else, save Ron Paul and Fred Thompson.

    Paul may be a good guy, but he’s got this whiff of “Crazy…” about him that just won’t wash off. Fred Thompson would make a great president, but he acts as if he decides to campaign sometime between his mid-morning and afternoon naps. Front-porch campaigns are for incumbents, Fred.

    Whoever said that we’re in a bind, because it’s too late to fix the system and too soon to shoot people, has hit the nail on the head.

  64. Maybe the reason the media is giving that hucker a pass, and helping thrust him to the top of the field, is because they know that Gomer Pyle will NEVER be able to beat Shrillery or sadam hussein obama.

    The three that will beat either democrat in 08 are all either lazy, corrupt, or mormon, according to the libtard media..

  65. High:

    actually, it was “part time circus freak”… but the rest is dead-on-balls accurate.

  66. FAILED!
    In case you missed it the first time ’round

    neener neener.

    (but damn is this shit funni!)

  67. “But he wore a sort of shit-eating grin”

    You’re so good with words. Very fresh!

  68. If the Huckster is in a two candidate race,
    then if James Carville doesn’t start flooding the airwaves with remakes of Willie Horton ads,
    then someone else will,
    and the Huckabee candidacy goes down in flames.

  69. Huckabee is the worst possible candidate the GOP could elect. He’s George Bush and even more “compassionate” on domestic spending and even more “faith-based”. Downright awful.

    At least Mitt, Gulianni and Thompson are mildly fiscal conservative. They’ll still run up the deficit waging war in the middle east but they at least know they’re doing the wrong thing.

    He’s easily the most leftist guy running in the primary when it comes to fiscal policy. Taxes, domestic spending programs, subsidies, military spending, you name it he’ll tax it and then happily spend it. He’s an economic depression waiting to happen.

    The guys a pro-life, pro-gun democrat with a hawkish stance on the middle east. He’s the worst kind of Republican.

    If Huckabee wins the nomination (he won’t) the GOP is begging to lose. Why? Because Ron Paul will decimate him in the general election when he runs not only as the anti-war alternative, but now the fiscal conservative one as well.

    If Huckabee wins the GOP nomination then Ron Paul shoots up 20 polling points in his 3rd party run in the general. The GOP should be very very afraid.

  70. “He’s the worst kind of Republican”

    To be honest, its hard for me to think of someone (between both parties) that I would want to vote for less.

    “worst kind of politician” seems more accurate.

  71. “”worst kind of politician.””

    well to me all the gun control guys are immediately worse.

    All the IRS apologists are immediately worse.

    Let’s see, that leaves Ron Paul.

  72. None of the other non-Paul candidates are any better on the libertarian scale

    Huh?

    *looks at libertarian scale

    Huh?

  73. You have to admit, Huckabee has some really original ideas. Like getting rid of the IRS.

    😉

  74. I’ve settled on my choices:

    1. Rudy Giuliani
    2. Wayne Root
    3. Mitt Rommey
    4. Fred Thompson

    Anything after that is a no go for me. I’ll just abstain. (Maybe I could be persuaded to vote for McCain or Steve Kubby, but doubtful?)

  75. I agree with Nash, Huckabee is the very worst GOP nominee we Republicans could nominate, even worse than Ron Paul. At least Paul is good on domestic matters, save abortion.

    All I can say is thank God for Wayne Allyn Root. It looks like finally the Libertarian Party is getting its act together and will run a well-funded, agressive, high profile Presidential campaign with Root.

    If Giuliani tanks, and libertarian-leaners Thompson or Romney don’t get it either, watch for a massive defection of “fiscally conservative/socially tolerant” libertarian-liters to the LP if Root is the nominee.

    If Root isn’t the nominee, watch for a massive number of “fiscally conservative/socially tolerant” GOPers just staying home and sitting out the election entirely.

  76. Mike, you question Romney. But note, former Mass. Gov. and libertarian Republican heartthrob William Weld has been campaiging for him in NH the last couple days.

    I’m leaning more and more towards Mitt, if Rudy doesn’t get it. And Weld’s enthusiastic backing of him, is a very good sign that Romney is friendly to libertarians.

  77. BAWK BAWK

    (this is an automatic so the AMERICAN CHIKUN KOWARD DUNDEROOOOO doesn’t have the last word)

  78. And Weld’s enthusiastic backing of him, is a very good sign that Romney is friendly to libertarians.

    Dondero’s logic:

    1) Weld is a Republican.
    2) Weld supports Romney.
    Therefore,
    3) Romney is pro-libertarian.

    Can anyone spot the disconnect here?

    Also, DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  79. You are obviously a Newbie to our libertarian movement Jake Bonehead. You are obvioulsy unaware and clueless of the early 1990s libertarian movement which was heavily inspired by and connected to William Weld.

    Weld called himself a “libertarian” in just about every interview back then. You really do need to do your homework before you start spouting off nonsense you know nothing about.

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