Campaigns/Elections

One Cheer for Huckabee

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I have to confess I'm enjoying Mike Huckabee's victory, even though I disagree with virtually all of his platform. Mitt Romney represents everything Americans hate about politicians: the empty man hungry for power and willing to say anything to get it, the privileged man who thinks he can buy an election without actually standing for anything. Intellectually I know I should prefer him to Huckabee. I'd rather my rulers be driven by personal ambition than by ideology, except in those rare cases where their principles bear some resemblance to mine. But for now I'm happy to let my visceral reaction to Romney rule my mood. If I can't have optimism, then at least I can have schadenfreude. If politics were a 1980s teen gross-out comedy, Mitt would be the Alpha Beta frat and the Iowa caucuses would be the revenge of the nerds.

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  1. So, Giuliani would be a character actor who appears in a single scene, then?

  2. Who knows? Maybe he’ll play Ogre in the sequel.

  3. in before edward says paul is “comic relief”

  4. We all thought the Paul was retarded.

  5. According to Washington Post feed, Tancredo got two votes!

  6. The good news is that Ron Paul is in a statistical dead heat for third. The bad news is that he is on the short end of that dead heat and the other two candidates he’s bunched up with (McCain and Thompson, both back from the dead) are his main competition in New Hampshire.

  7. Hell, 10% is about 5 times more than was predicted. RP is off to a good start.

  8. Paul needs to beat real candidates in New Hampshire or he’s a sideshow freak for the rest of the campaign.

    Bad night for Paul. Sorry.

  9. Agreeing with joe *sigh*

  10. So Jesse Walker says that he likes Mike Huckabee, the most anti-libertarian of all 8 GOP Presidential candidates.

    Wow. What a revelation.

    Jesse, are you sure you’re at the right place? This is Reason Magazine after all, a LIBERTARIAN publication.

  11. Is that Chuck Norris behind Huckabee?

  12. So Jesse Walker says that he likes Mike Huckabee

    I see the evening’s events have not improved Eric Dondero’s reading comprehension skills.

  13. Franklin, how can you say Paul is in a “statistical dead heat” with Thompson and McCain.

    They are at 13.5%. Paul is at 9.2%.

    That’s quite a difference there. Even my High School Math teacher would say that 13.5% isn’t quite equal to 9.2.

  14. So? Paul beat Giuliani by more than twice over. The fact that he scored double digits in a protectionist, populist evangelical state while running on a “fuck your ethanol” platform is pretty impressive.

  15. I would love to see a fucking asteroid burst through the ceiling and crush Huckabee’s head during this crappy speech. What a piece of shit.

  16. Romney’s cold, calculating and soulless businessman is what every libertarian really wants in charge but is afraid to admit. Huckabee’s win is terrible for the party and the chance of it adhering to fiscal conservatism.

  17. SRC wrote: “Is that Chuck Norris behind Huckabee?”

    Yes.

  18. I read enough Jesse. You’re clearly bashing Mitt Romney and favoring the ultra-Statist Religious Rightist Mike Huckabee.

    Romney at least leans libertarian, and has some prominent libertarians like William Weld backing him.

    Huckabee is almost the polar opposite of everything we libertarians stand for: He’s fiscally liberal, socially conservative, and weak on Defense.

    He’s the anti-Goldwater. And now Jesse Walker says nice things about him.

    Sheesh!

  19. “Even my High School Math teacher would say that 13.5% isn’t quite equal to 9.2.”

    And your high school English teacher would probably say that you should stop randomly capitalizing things.

  20. Dear Jesse:

    When Bhutto was assassinated, Huckabee made a crazy statement about Pakistan having the most illegals here next to Mexico, which he never retracted. I think he is much more of an opportunist than Romney. That kind of piling on is bad.

  21. Yeah, four percentage points, that’s huge, Eric. And what’s with the lack of Rudy 9/11 boosting tonight? Maybe it has something to do with Rudy 9/11 pulling in about one third of the votes Paul is.

  22. You’re clearly bashing Mitt Romney and favoring the ultra-Statist Religious Rightist Mike Huckabee.

    Half right.

  23. If I can’t have optimism, then at least I can have schadenfreude.

    Unfortunately…you’re still left with Huckabee…a willfully ignorant hick who can’t answer a straight question because he’s to busy making a joke out of it.

    There’s no ‘at least he’s better than…’ nonsense to enjoy because they all (except Ron Paul, of course) pretty much blow.

    On the plus side, Obama has trounced HillBillary.

  24. I think Jesse’s point was that as unlikeable as Huck is, it’s fun to watch the goofy little guy who doesn’t have much in the way of a war chest beat the smug, soulless, unctuous uber-politician once in awhile. RTFA next time, kay?

  25. I think I taught Dondero in one of my remedial English classes.

  26. I think Jesse’s point was that as unlikeable as Huck is, it’s fun to watch the goofy little guy who doesn’t have much in the way of a war chest beat the smug, soulless, unctuous uber-politician once in awhile.

    Yes, that’s it, except that it doesn’t even matter that Huckabee is a goofy little guy. I just like watching Romney lose.

  27. has some prominent libertarians like William Weld backing him.

    Who the fuck is William Weld?

  28. Fascinating data here:

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#val=IAREP

    Paul got 29% of the independent vote in the state, beating out McCain. He also did well among 17-29 year olds.

  29. Well, that’s just great there Jesse Walker. A prominent libertarian Republican, the guy who practically put the word “libertarian Republican” on the map, former Mass. Governor William Weld, enthusiastically backs Mitt Romney and you A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT, have the audacity to bash Romney.

    Dude, we are facing the most Statist Republican to come down the pike in years in Mike Huckabee.

    We need to unite behind a Fiscal Con – Romney, Giuliani or Thompson to stop this guy.

    And all you can do is bash one of the three Fiscal Cons.

    Shame on you!

  30. I read enough Jesse. You’re clearly bashing Mitt Romney and favoring the ultra-Statist Religious Rightist Mike Huckabee.

    My name is Eric Dondero.

    I like hookers with coupons; gripping the soles of my shoes with my toes so I’m not flung into space; and saying ridiculous things like “I’m running for Ron Paul’s TX14 seat in Congress”, hoping nobody notices when I figure out what a loser proposition that was.

  31. Hello, whine one one? Mr. Dondero needs a waaaambulance!

    Also, dude, Huckabee’s not going to win a general election, so you can relax.

  32. Taktix, how dare you say that!! William Weld handed out flyers in the freezing cold to support libertarian causes. Who the fuck are you to come into my libertarian movement and be a libertarian exclusionist!! Anyone with a score of 80/80 on blah blah blah.

  33. Dondero actually beat me to it.

  34. RTFA next time, kay?

    I did…my comment didn’t negate walker’s article at all. Don’t be so quick on the trigger, kay?

  35. It figures Huckabee played well…

    Iowa’s practically a theocracy.

  36. idk Jesse, I kinda liked that Mitt Romney didn’t seem to have an agenda other than getting elected. It encouraged me that he wasn’t some idealist gunning to change the world, and therefore couldn’t probably care less about what he did in office.
    Huckabee however…
    I’m going to start reading the bible now so that when it becomes test time, I can pass it and avoid having to be put in the gas chamber.

  37. Wait, so if Weld endorses a candidate, no libertarian may ever speak ill of that candidate again?

    What the hell kind of sense does that make?

  38. We need to unite behind a Fiscal Con – Romney, Giuliani or Thompson to stop this guy…And all you can do is bash one of the three Fiscal Cons.

    Thompson = lazy (thinks being a former presidential candidate is good for his acting career…which consists of playing the same character over and over again)

    Guliani = crazy fascist with no guarantee of being a true fiscal con.

    Romney = only one with any serious fiscal cred…and that’s stretching it a bit. But being fiscally conservative doesn’t circumvent his ‘ick’ factor.

  39. Romney = only one with any serious fiscal cred…and that’s stretching it a bit. But being fiscally conservative doesn’t circumvent his ‘ick’ factor.

    Of course, you have to overlook the fact that the health care plan he instituted in Mass. looks an awful lot like the one Hillary is running on now.

  40. I kinda liked that Mitt Romney didn’t seem to have an agenda other than getting elected. It encouraged me that he wasn’t some idealist gunning to change the world, and therefore couldn’t probably care less about what he did in office.

    Yeah, I realize that. Intellectually I know we’re probably better off with him than with the Elmer Gantry Slimfast Plan. But I’m getting my pleasures where I can.

  41. “Mitt Romney represents everything Americans hate about politicians: the empty man hungry for power and willing to say anything to get it, the privileged man who thinks he can buy an election without actually standing for anything.”

    Amen JW.

    And it does not matter if Romney believes in nothing: his over-the-top promises he is willing to make in his do-say-anything-to-win madness will be held against him and he will have to follow through on most of them…

    There is an alternative explanation, one I read in the New Yorker recently: that Mitt, like many salesmen, actually can actually do repeated position changes and changes on life philosophy and become an enthusiastic believer in every change. I had a Soc prof who called such people “seekers” bouncing from one ideology to the next, sometimes opposite one, but enthusiastically embracing each one…Now that is frightening…

  42. No, this wasn’t a good night for Paul, and I warrant it pretty much rules him out of contention for the nomination if he doesn’t win outright in NH, however, it does point that Giuliani is as much as non contestant as Paul and should be out of the race around the same time. Fred will stay to lose in NH, but frankly, I’m just happy that Giuliani won’t be our nominee. It would have been a disgrace to the republican party and a disaster for libertarians. While I don’t like McCain, I hope he’ll emerge from this scruff to take control, because he’s mildly acceptable and might have a chance of beating the democrats.

  43. All this talk of uniting behind the “fiscal con.” I’ve always suspected that many libertarians value the “fiscal con” over the “social liberal” except when they are at parties and want to get laid…

    Donderdo and his madness notwithstanding, Rudy is the better social liberal of the GOP pack of “frontrunners.”

  44. I’m confused. Is every GOP candidate but Ron Paul a libertarian Republican?

  45. Franklin Harris,

    Of course, you have to overlook the fact that the health care plan he instituted in Mass. looks an awful lot like the one Hillary is running on now.

    I was wondering if anyone was going to notice that.

    FYI, it wasn’t his plan. It was a watered-down version of a compromise plan that came out of the legislature. It’s not like it’s Romney’s baby.

  46. I’m confused. Is every GOP candidate but Ron Paul a libertarian Republican?

    And Mike Huckabee.

    The only similarity I can think of is that they are both unacceptable to the Republican establishment.

  47. Eric,
    So who is the libertarian candidate Romney or Ghouliani? I’ve gotten spam less predictable than your post. All your posts look like below:

    A prominent libertarian Republican, the guy who practically put the word “libertarian Republican” on the map, former [ELECTED POSITION] [PERSON], enthusiastically backs [Candidate that’s not Ron Paul] and you A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT [or Reason Magazine], have the audacity to bash ________ [Candidate that’s not Ron Paul].

  48. Huckabee belongs to you people–don’t know how he’s a Republican, unless religiosity is now the sole criterion for some voters. Interestingly, he reminds me a little of pre-9/11 Bush, with all of that socialist conservative talk.

    Bah.

  49. No, this wasn’t a good night for Paul, and I warrant it pretty much rules him out of contention for the nomination

    I don’t know…on this one I remain hopeful…He’s way ahead of Guliani and a squeaker behind McCain and Thompson. Thompson has no real fire in the belly and McCain is a love-him-or-hate-him candidate – which is never good.

    That puts Paul somewhat deceptively close I think…but what do I know…I’m just a crank.

  50. if Huckabee becomes the next POTUS, I am going to just quit my job, move to the middle of nowhere, and drink a lot (until Huckabee outlaws alcohol, or whatever).

  51. Dondero advocates all the other candidates backing a fiscal conservative in order to defeat Huckabee.

    I guess Dondero is finally coming around to support Paul the only libertarian in the race.

  52. Iowa’s practically a theocracy.

    Not even close.

    Conservative Christians are a very, very well organized and cohesive group in Iowa. At 60,000 or so, they can swing the caucuses, but in reality they have little overall impact in the state.

    IA went for Gore over Bush, then Bush over Kerry. We are a purple state.

  53. Incidentally, with the ever-earlier major primaries and his large war chest, Giuliani doesn’t have to do well early. Wish I could write him off, but I can’t. Still, I don’t think he has much of a chance.

    If Paul does anything, it’ll be by exceeding expectations early on. A third-place (or close to it) finish in Iowa coupled with a better finish in New Hampshire could give him a decent chance. I think he’s hurt by McCain’s resurgence, as McCain still catches some of that “I need an alternative” vote.

  54. “move to the middle of nowhere, and drink a lot”

    Dude I’m way ahead of you. Ghouliani came in like 19th place so there’s something to be happy about.

  55. BTW…Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl for anyone interested. Not a bad game…sadly more interesting than the Iowa caucus.

  56. Incidentally, with the ever-earlier major primaries and his large war chest, Giuliani doesn’t have to do well early. Wish I could write him off, but I can’t. Still, I don’t think he has much of a chance.

    Ghouliani’s problem is that Republicans like to pick a horse early, and Ghouliani is going to go nowhere for weeks while other candidates get momentum. By the time the primaries in which he could do well roll around, his pool of possible supporters will have jumped ship to someone (McCain, Thompson, Romney) who seems to have momentum. Others have tried Rudy’s wait-until-the-big-states strategy before, but it has never worked. And, contrary to Rudy’s thinking, I don’t think the heavily front-loaded schedule makes it more likely to work.

  57. Thompson has no real fire in the belly …

    That’s Thompson’s one good quality: He doesn’t lust after the job like Clinton, Romney, and Edwards do.

    But what do I know? I’m another crank, too.

  58. Reinmoose | January 3, 2008, 11:34pm | #

    if Huckabee becomes the next POTUS, I am going to just quit my job, move to the middle of nowhere, and drink a lot (until Huckabee outlaws alcohol, or whatever).

    According to Google maps, Nowhere, Uninc Caddo County, OK is on N2550 Rd about 500 ft South of E1280 Rd, just outside Fort Cobb State Park.

  59. Although for some perspective, my candidate appears to have finished with 0.04% of the delegates.

    That’s no way to treat the Next Senate Majority Leader.

  60. That’s Thompson’s one good quality: He doesn’t lust after the job like Clinton, Romney, and Edwards do.

    You know…being that we already have a nominal president who’s pretty much phoned in his presidency for the past 7 years because he was too stupid to grasp the possibilities inherent in the job…I don’t think I want someone who gonna coast into the office. It sets a bad precident.

  61. I think I taught Dondero in one of my remedial English classes.

    You ought to be fired.

  62. “Huckabee is almost the polar opposite of everything we libertarians stand for: He’s fiscally liberal, socially conservative, and weak on Defense.

    He’s the anti-Goldwater. And now Jesse Walker says nice things about him.”

    Take a screenshot Dondero… because I will NEVER say this again: You are absolutely right about Huckabee. He is the anti-libertarian, and he is a piss-poor conservative as well.

    That said, how about some truth-in-advertising… “we libertarians”? Don’t you actually have to be a libertarian to say that?

  63. You know…being that we already have a nominal president who’s pretty much phoned in his presidency for the past 7 years because he was too stupid to grasp the possibilities inherent in the job…I don’t think I want someone who gonna coast into the office. It sets a bad precident.

    But W seemed to think he was entitled to the job in a way Thompson doesn’t.

    And I am NOT endorsing Thompson, BTW.

  64. I will vote for Ron Paul in the general election. I will consider voting for Thompson, and I’d MAYBE vote for McCain (but his pro-every-damned-war attitude scares me).

    The rest of the GOP is useless, and I won’t vote for any of them.

    I won’t vote for ANY of the Democrats.

  65. Understood, Franklin Harris…but from what I can tell, Thompson not only doesn’t feel entitled…he doesn’t seem to really want it. Still, I get what you’re saying…certainly is a candidate for each of us out there, huh?

  66. I understand the not wanting to vote for the power hungry person for president. However, I know when I interview someone for a job, whether or not they want it and give a damn is one of the factors I look for. If they can’t even fake a modicum of interest in the job, why would they care enough to try and do a good job? Seems like the guys that don’t care about the job will let others make the decision for him. Sounds like a recipe for the editorial board of the National Review or Rush Limbaugh to run the country.

  67. I think I taught Dondero in one of my remedial English classes.

    You ought to be fired.

    I…have to agree.

  68. RTFA next time, kay?

    Mr. Dondero is a Giuliani man, correct? So tonight’s gotta hurt! 🙂

    And far be it from me to ever kick someone when they’re down…but did anyone notice how Ron Paul (a Congressman from an obscure Texas district) vastly out-polled the G-man (a man with nationwide name recognition)?

  69. “Iowa’s practically a theocracy.”

    Spoken like someone who has never been to Iowa. Iowa is white – there is no getting around that.

    But as someone who is gay and spends a lot of time in Iowa I can say Iowans are open minded and accepting individuals and don’t shove their religious beliefs down anyone’s throat. Unlike most southern states. Iowa is many things – theocracy its not.

  70. Iowa seens like an accepting state, but it’s more likely that the people were just ignorant, thinking to themselves, “yoshi’s just another respectable churchgoer.” It’s not a theocracy, more an oligarchy like the rest of the US, but it’s still not very tolerant.

  71. Umm…Huckabee supports ending the income tax and replacing it with the FairTax. He also has been critical of Bush’s foreign policy and NAFTA.

    That’s better than one can say for Romney, at least. Or Giuliani. Or McCain. He’s no libertarian, but I wouldn’t say that this is a terrible thing for libertarians.

    I think he’s better than the other Republican front runners (barring Paul and maybe Thompson), and I think, because of his more theocratic stances, he’d lose to Obama, who is a moderate left-libertarian and would hopefully have his more socialistic economic stances controlled by the Republicans a la Bill Clinton circa ’94.

  72. That’s not my post above. It’s from Paul Frankel, alias “Paulie Cannoli,” or Disinter. He’s going around the internet using my name with the exact same spelling.

    Please note that. If a post is silly, over-the-top or outrageous, chances are it’s Frankel posing as me.

    Thanks.

  73. For the record: Mr. Dondero is a Giuliani man, first and a Romney and Thompson man close second.

    Mixed results for me last night. Sucks that Hussein Obama won so big. Not that I like Hillary. Sucks that Huck-monster won so big.

    But at least Fred Thompson beat McCain, unexpectedly. And he most beat Ron Paul handidly.

    And please don’t call me “Mr.” It’s Eric, thank you.

  74. Yeah, I guess you do have to be a “libertarian.” So, how ’bout you stop calling yourself that.

    I didn’t see you standing in the 10 degree weather collecting sigs for Libertarian Party ballot access in the middle of winter, in the fields of Western Nebraska.

    That’s how one gets to call themselves a “real libertarian.”

    Computer spammers who jam at their keyboards all day, who wouldn’t know a clipboard if it hit them in their asses, is not what I call “libertarian.” Sorry.

  75. There may be some silver lining for us all in last night’s results.

    If Huckabee keeps winning, the anti-libertarian, perhaps it’s a signal that we need to rally behind Wayne Root, Libertarian for President.

    Root was a classmate of Obama’s. That’d be an excellent schtick for the general election.

    If Fred, Rudy and Romney lose, we need to think Wayne Root on the Libertarian side.

    That’s the beauty of being Libertarian Republican. In the worst of situations we always have the LP to fall back on.

  76. Please note that. If a post is silly, over-the-top or outrageous, chances are it’s Frankel posing as me.

    Um, that’s not much help.

  77. “In the worst of situations we always have the LP to fall back on.”

    I end up falling back on the LP in every election.

  78. “But at least Fred Thompson beat McCain, unexpectedly. And he most beat Ron Paul handidly.”

    Just like Ron Paul beat Guiliani handily.

  79. No cheers for Huckabee. The fucker creeps me out.

  80. I have to go to Nebraska in winter to become a “real libertarian?” WTF? What if I join the Libertarian Party, vote libertarian every chance I get, or vote for the most libertarian of the candidate choices, and constantly (yet politely) remind my Republican and Democrat friends that they actually agree with me, but they are typically parroting their parents, or parroting the polar opposite of their parents (depending on their mommy/daddy issues)?

    Sorry, MR. Dondero, I still consider myself both a big and small “l” libertarian.

    I truly hate it when people say, “you haven’t done x, therefore you cannot be y.”

    You don’t know me, you don’t know what I’ve gone through, you don’t know my thought process, nor do you know that I have the word FREEDOM tattooed across my back (you do know now), so do NOT tell me or anyone else what they are or are not.

    (I also hate too many (parenthesis), so I’m a little agitated at myself today).

    I drove through Nebraska once. I’m probably never going back.

  81. I didn’t mean to stray off the topic… Personally, Huckster and Romney both scare me, albeit for different reasons.

  82. Yeah, I guess you do have to be a “libertarian.” So, how ’bout you stop calling yourself that.

    I didn’t see you standing in the 10 degree weather collecting sigs for Libertarian Party ballot access in the middle of winter, in the fields of Western Nebraska.

    That’s how one gets to call themselves a “real libertarian.”

    No Dondero. That’s how douchebags with creepy moustaches and floppy tits become unabashed partisans when they realize that they are irrelevant, unwanted and ineffective.

    Please go take your clipboard, fulfill your destiny, and become a gym teacher.

  83. Huck winning big will only help my boy Thompson’s chances. Romney is now likely to lose both Iowa and New Hampshire, effectively putting him out of it. This is going to open up a spot near the top for Thompson. McCain and Huckabee won’t get support from real conservatives (TAX CUTTERS). It’s going to come down to Fred or Rudi, and I think personal life is going to lose it for Rudy.

  84. Eric Dondero, apparently, used to be quite the libertarian.

    Then “9/11 changed everything.”

  85. So Jesse Walker says that he likes Mike Huckabee

    I see the evening’s events have not improved Eric Dondero’s reading comprehension skills.

    Which might explain why he thinks people like Giuliani and Tom Feeney and all the other “libertarians” he namedrops all the time are libertarians.

  86. Interestingly, he reminds me a little of pre-9/11 Bush, with all of that socialist conservative talk.

    My observation is that “christian conservatives” do not have any problems with most aspects of the welfare state. Their only beef is that it will end up being run by a bunch of homos and atheists (in other words – Democrats).

    I for one am glad that cultural issues like evolution, sex ed, abortion and gay marriage keep the religious right and the religious left from getting together.

    The idea of Mike Huckaby, Jimmy Carter, Pat Robertson and Bill Moyers teaming up to legislate the crap they agree on is truly scary.

  87. Dondero,

    If Huckabee keeps winning, the anti-libertarian, perhaps it’s a signal that we need to rally behind Wayne Root, Libertarian for President.

    That’s the beauty of being Libertarian Republican. In the worst of situations we always have the LP to fall back on.

    Then there’s a libertarian Republican to rally behind, not neocon Giuliani or hawk McCain.

    You’ve been trying for the last year to draw the anti-establishment vote away from Paul. It didn’t go to establishment neocon Giuliani, it went to outside the mainstream Huckabee.

    Huckabee’s victory is your victory Dondero. You made your bed, now sleep with Huckabee.

  88. For anyone who expressed this view, or something similar:
    “Paul needs to beat real candidates in New Hampshire or he’s a sideshow freak for the rest of the campaign. Bad night for Paul. Sorry.”

    I live in New Hampshire.
    Paul campaigned less in Iowa than Rudy, John, or Fred.
    Paul also has more money than Rudy, John, or Fred.
    New Hamsphire is also more libertarian than Iowa.

    Anyone who thinks Ron Paul can’t beat more candidates in NH than in IA doesn’t live in NH.

  89. Jan,

    I wrote that, and I agree. New Hampshire is much more fertile territory for Paul than Iowa.

    Which is why I think it is a make-or-break state for him.

  90. The Huckster supports getting rid of the IRS and replacing the income tax with a national sales tax. That at least seems like a nudge in the libertarian direction.
    Go Jesus Man!

  91. Mufffy
    There is no way in hell that Congress would actually replace the income tax with a sales tax. A flat rate income tax is a little too good to be true. If we get a national sales tax, it will be in addition to all our other taxes (kind of like in Arkansas under Huckabee).

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