Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee Is the Wrong Candidate for the Wrong Time

He's what liberals in the media imagine a strong Republican candidate might look like.

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Sometimes, probably because he's such an affable media presence, I forget why I dislike the political version of Mike Huckabee so much.

Maybe it's the aw-shucks populism, which isn't substantively very different from the class conflict rhetoric we hear from so many on the left these days. Or maybe it's that Everyman Huckabee has been running for one political office or another for the past 25 years—a fact that might escape the attention of anyone listening to the nuggets of blue-collar wisdom found in his speeches and those God-guns-grits-and-gravy books he writes.

Since his previous run for the presidency, Huckabee has hosted a national radio show and television show, and he's endorsed all sorts of interesting products, including "secret biblical cures for cancer," to, no doubt, some unfortunate and desperate people—because Huckabee, like all of those selfish plutocrats he likes to denounce, is out to make a buck.

Or maybe it's his paternalistic attacks on pop culture—the ones that make him sound like some reincarnated member of the Parents Music Resource Center—that are so off-putting. After all, as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee was a zealous advocate of the nanny state—passing precedent-setting intrusions into the lifestyle choices of individuals in Arkansas.

It could also be his role as John McCain's hit man in the 2008 primaries, when he attacked Mitt Romney's faith in an effort to dissuade evangelicals from supporting the Mormon candidate. Focusing on a candidate's belief system, at least from my perspective, is within the bounds of acceptable political debating. But Huckabee's churlish innuendo dropping should have undercut any perception you might have that the cheery former Baptist preacher is anything but your typical politician.

Mostly, though, it's his philosophical outlook.

There are a number of policy fights on the center-right of American politics, but there's also a measure of ideological unanimity (even if it is often only theoretical) about the role of government—namely that it should, to some extent, be smaller and less intrusive. There is no conceivable way for Huckabee to make that argument or represent that consensus.

Huckabee is what liberals in the media imagine a strong Republican candidate might look like. I mean, what segment of the GOP will Huckabee represent? The social conservative vote is well-covered this time around. So will it be the tax hike faction? The anti-trade faction? The "we need more laws" faction? The anti-school choice faction, which believes that teachers unions are doing a great job and that No Child Left Behind was the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in our lifetime?

Yet even as Huckabee announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential nomination and evidence began to emerge on social media that he is going to have a tough time gaining traction with any conservative group, he was getting plenty of accolades from the press. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza found Huckabee's vacuous presidential announcement solid. He wrote about it, in a piece titled "Why the Republican Party really needs Mike Huckabee right now."

So why? "Because even though Huckabee remains outside of the top tier of candidates, he is, by far, the Republicans' best messenger to the middle and lower-middle classes—economic brackets that the party has struggled to win in recent elections."

Even if we concede that Cillizza's contention is true—and there is little evidence that it is, seeing as it's arguable that Democrats are struggling with middle-class voters just as much—his piece and many like it make the enormous assumption that the GOP can only appeal to these brackets by using the language of the left.

And if you believe that, then yes, Huckabee is your man. Take this statement regarding entitlements as an example: "There are some who propose that to save the safety nets, like Medicare and Social Security, we ought to chop off the payments for the people who had faithfully had their paychecks and pockets picked for the politicians promising them that their money would be waiting for them when they were old and sick."

A Huckabee presidency, it seems, would feature the "there are some who propose…" straw man that you're no doubt familiar with after listening to our current president's fine speeches. But who exactly is proposing we chop off payments to people who have faithfully paid into the system for years? There is no mainstream conservative in this country who advocates Washington's eliminating benefits already promised to citizens. This is the same dishonest argument you hear whenever there's talk of entitlement reform. Almost every plan offers an element of choice, allowing people to voluntarily enter into a new deal with government, or it changes the parameters of entitlements for future generations.

Now, I confess that if Huckabee were serious about being president rather than simply running a vanity campaign, this sort of thing would matter far more. But the media will almost certainly use Huckabee as an example of how conservatives should be talking about poverty, inequality and entitlements, because his rhetoric will often be indistinguishable from what we hear on the left. But America already has a party tasked with making that case. Do we really need two?

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. If candidates want to express their solidarity with “The 99 % (TM)” the way to do it is by supporting criminal justice reform to increase police accountability for brutality, end the drug war that has destroyed working class communities and families, reduce petty regulations that make it difficult to start a business and start dismantling the system of armed robbery that is civil asset forfeiture, court fees and privatized court cost debt collection and federal laws bribing states to maintain DMVs. Federal laws mandating employee drug testing for contract work from fedgov should go, as should government sales of private information like voter rolls and criminal histories that ensure those merely arrested for one of the byzantine petty crimes in this country will forever be held up to economic and social censure.

    Class warfare has little to do with the critical issues that keep poor people poor. And candidates could do an enormous amount of good toward solving the crushing affliction of poverty in this country – namely they can put an end to all of the bullshit that theyve done up to this point and leave people the f*k alone.

    1. Most of the 99% are not drug dealers or criminals. Few will ever deal with “police brutality(TM).” They are more likely to be victims of crime.

      1. They’re all “criminals”. /the law

        1. + 3 felonies a day.

      2. When liberals talk about the 99%(TM) they frequently mean the underclass. If you are a white joe six pack who works at a blue collar job, raises an intact family and follows the laws, they aren’t talking about you and they don’t care about you. Libertarians are similar to liberals in many ways.

        1. So, basically what you’re saying is “Like a rock. Oh, like a rock!

          1. Hey, that guy lying on the hood of the car isn’t pulling his weight compared to the guy hauling himself up by a pulley.

            1. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had days where we’re the guy on the hood.

              1. I’ve had days when I was *tied* to the hood and they drove me around on gravel roads.

                Figuratively speaking.

          2. Quite “subtle.”

            http://h2oreuse.blogspot.com/2…..oblem.html

        2. “Libertarians are similar to liberals in many ways.”

          Shut the fuck up, American. And why are you back with your ‘two handles’ policy, as if we won’t realize both Thwack and Louis VV are you?

          1. It sounds more like Tulpa.

      3. Nor are they bothered by those other things jay listed.

  2. Reason could never print another word about Huckabee and I still wouldn’t vote for him.

  3. Huckabee is my man. Go get ’em, Mike!

    1. Libertarians for Mike! We’re his biggest coalition!

      1. I ? Huckabees

  4. Mike Huckabee Is the Wrong Candidate for the Wrong Time

    In other news the Sky is Blue.

    1. What would be a good time for him?

        1. 1896, 1900 and 1908 (see below)

          1. Got it right without peaking.

            The irony is that WJB ‘Free Silver’ movement is almost indistinguishable from the modern ‘quantitative easing’.

            1. You noticed that too.

            2. Does the Libertarian Moment (TM) cover that with colloidal silver?

      1. Well, I’d vote for him if he sent me $50,000.

        1. What if he sends everyone else a $15 minimum wage? I’ve personally seen that work.

          1. Nope. $50K for me. In cash.

            1. Heck, I would give the shuckster my vote for only $40K. And I will take it in cash, check, bitcoin or precious metals.

              1. He’s a politican, better pass on the check. Cash, or gold would be fine.

                For some unknown reason, my dad actually likes Huckabee (he lives in Arkansas). He’s fairly libertarian now (my Dad, not Huckleberry), but has a blind spot for the guv.

                I almost think that the leftists like Huckabee because it gives them an excuse to portray all of us on the right as knuckle-dragging Christian crazies, like the Westboro people (who are Dems, btw)

        2. Like the Clinton Foundation 😀

      2. Well, if you ask me, I’d ask Nostradamus:

        After the conflict by the eloquence of the wounded one
        For a short time a soft rest is contrived:
        The great ones are not to be allowed deliverance at all:
        They are restored by the enemies at the proper time.

        1. An Orson Wells article on reason
          sparks many Nostradomic predictions.
          A worthy presidential candidate
          would debate in quatrains.

      3. Hmmm, not sure, but I am pretty sure Satan will be trying to get road salt delivered to Hell that day.

        1. Roads to Hell I have heard of. But roads in Hell?

  5. “he is, by far, the Republicans’ best messenger to the middle and lower-middle classe$”

    He forgot to add “because they are a bunch of stupid bumpkins” which is no doubt what he was thinking.

    1. Romney gave off a vibe that he simply did not care about regular, working class white people, and that’s a major reason why he lost. Huckabee does not give off that vibe, although I don’t think he cares about regular, working class white people either. He seems to have a much friendlier personality.

      1. Here’s the thing, I don’t give a shit if a politician “cares” about me. And if you do, you’re kind of a boob.

        1. Would you rather have politicians who care only about themselves? Are you a fan of Ayn Rand or something?

          I prefer it when politicians actually care about and will thus act in the interests of the people they represent.

          1. You know who else really didn’t care about the people he represented…

            1. Pretty much every politician ever?

            2. The Australian Corporal? Did I answer correctly?

              1. “The Australian Corporal? Did I answer correctly?”

                Who the hell is the Australian Corporal ?

              1. Breaker Morant?

          2. I think it’s much better to assume they don’t care a lick about you but are far more interested in advancing their own power, wealth, and interests. If that bothers you, it should. So maybe we should make political office less attractive to these people below stolen used car salesmen in ethical behavior.

            1. Who steals used car salesmen?

          3. Would you rather have politicians who care only about themselves? Are you a fan of Ayn Rand or something?

            You do know that most of the people commenting here are libertarians. Holding Ayn Rand out as a bogeyman really isn’t going to be hugely effective.

            I would rather politicians propose and enact sensible policies. Their “caring” about me is going to have no bearing on that. If anything their caring about themselves is more likely to give me that result, as they will value my vote.

            And here’s what should be the most obvious thing. No politician cares about you.. It’s safe to say they’ve never even met the overwhelming majority of us. And of the remainder, they’ll only have met the overwhelming majority of them for a couple of minutes. One of their primary skills is in convincing not-very-bright people that they care about them, that they’re “on their side”. They’re not They’re just trying to con your vote.

            1. ^THIS^

            2. Holding Ayn Rand out as a bogeyman really isn’t going to be hugely effective.

              I don’t give a shit about that Rooski bitch. My libertarianism is rooted in the Enlightenment and classic liberalism and good scotch.

          4. “I prefer it when politicians actually care about and will thus act in the interests of the people they represent”

            .

            So you are in favor of kleptocracy?

        2. I think you hit on the problem. Most voters are boobs.

            1. Beeewwwwwbbbbbsssss

      2. He seems to have a much friendlier personality.

        A little too friendly, if you ask me. I’ve said it before: Huckabee makes my skin craw.

          1. I meant to type crawl.

  6. “Now, I confess that if Huckabee were serious about being president rather than simply running a vanity campaign, this sort of thing would matter far more. But the media will almost certainly use Huckabee as an example of how conservatives should be talking about poverty, inequality and entitlements, because his rhetoric will often be indistinguishable from what we hear on the left.”

    No, you poor simply country mouse, the media holds Huckabee up as the Good Kind of Conservative because they expect him to use, so they can use him as a club against the ultimate Republican nominee.

    If he had a chance of winning, then it would be nonstop screaming about “he’s coming for your lady parts!”

    Huckebee is a William Jennings Bryan-style politician, an idealistic evangelical who believes in fighting Wall Street. Bryan got the Democratic nomination three times. But because of the shifting Dem position on social issues, Neither Bryan nor Huckabee could be elected an alternate delegate to the Dem convention today.

    1. the media holds Huckabee up as the Good Kind of Conservative because they expect him to *lose*

      1. They love him because he brings up the stupid Socon Issues that guys like Rand don’t want to deal with. The media loves nothing better than making abortion and Gheys taking over the world the only issues during the entire election.

        1. What’s the media going to do, promote the successes of Obama’s economic policies?

          1. And incidentally, the Dems have found the way to get votes on the abortion issue is to scream about contraception and getting pregnant by rape. They know that further details about abortion may turn off even the middle-of-the-roaders.

            1. Why do you think Republicans get so many questions about contraception and rape-babies, and so few questions about elective abortions and the Hyde Amendment?

              1. Yup

    2. the media holds Huckabee up as the Good Kind of Conservative because they expect him to use

      Sort of true. I don’t think you can discount the notion that they find his boneheaded economics more agreeable than most Republicans’. Huckabee serves as evidence for the media that if conservatives or libertarians really cared about the poor, they’d support liberal economic policies.

  7. Omfg. This sheisser pants magoo smells like poo! He’s out there trying to convince you that a vote for him makes you cool.

    Don’t trust that fool, cause when he met me he started to drool, and revealed himself as a freedom hating ghoul.

    Why don’t these fuckers do liberty a favor quit their jobs and pile in an empty pool? This way after they defacate they’ll be swimming in each other’s stool.

      1. Why are you booing me, and then leaving flowers at my door? I’ve told you so many times you can’t be my whore.

        So keep your hands in your pocket, away from my rocket and stop trying to send me a heart shaped locket.

  8. The prophecies of Nostradumbass, with expert commentary

    In the land of the small stone* and of the Rose*
    Whence comes the queen who would return***
    The thin preacher**** seeks the crown*****
    Now worn by the Retarded Moor******

    *Could refer to Little Rock, Ark. or Pebble Beach
    **The Rosicrucians or the Rose law firm
    ***Either the White Witch or Hillary Clinton
    ****Huckabee? Or could refer to Peter the Hermit
    *****He either wants to be Holy Roman Emperor or President of the U.S.
    ******I think you get the idea

    1. The ancient work will be finished,
      Evil ruin will fall upon the great one from the roof:
      Dead they will accuse an innocent one of the deed,
      The guilty one hidden in the copse in the drizzle.

    2. The Duchess of Cankles
      Cast from her palace by Bush the More or Lesser
      Shall restore her power to the throne
      because at this point, what difference does it make?

      and +1 for the Retarded Moor. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

  9. “There are some who propose”

    You can always find “some who propose” for just about anything you can think of. Anyone who consistently uses this kind of thing should be ignored.

    1. Something I’d love to see someone say in response to one of those “How do your respond to people who say that…” question you get interviews:

      “I tell them they’d have a much stronger interviewing style if they just asked direct questions instead of hiding behind hypotehtical people who say things.”

      1. Or you could say, “There are those who believe that life here began out there.”

      2. +++++++++++

      3. Just once I would like to hear someone answer: “I refuse to answer questions from the National Enquirer”

  10. Huckabee (like Santorum) is the antithesis of a libertarian, on paper and in practice. It’s odd how the Republican tent is big enough to keep everyone happy(ish).

  11. If Huckabee becomes the nominee, then the Republicans will once again lose the coming presidential election.

    He’s batshit crazy, what more needs to be known.

    What America desperately needs is a ‘socially liberal fiscal conservative’, none of which Huckabee represents.

    My prediction is that the Republican party will choose another mainstream hawk as presidential nominee, lose another election to the Democrats and American will slide deeper into the abyss.

  12. All troll, all the time weekend is starting early.

  13. “There are some who propose that to save the safety nets, like Medicare and Social Security, we ought to chop off the payments for the people who had faithfully had their paychecks and pockets picked for the politicians promising them that their money would be waiting for them when they were old and sick.”

    IOW trust the thief to be more honest next time. Gotcha Mike.

    1. I think recouping everything you paid into FICA (which includes your employer’s share if not self-employed) would be justified. But think about how the implications would be perceived:

      – the more you earn, up to max income FICA-taxed (currently 12.4% of $118,500), the more you could justifiably recoup; the poor would receive little to nothing back. As it is now, the more you pay, the less % of it you get back in SS checks

      – your justifiable use of Medicare & Medicaid is predicated purely by the above; after that anyone using Medicare/Medicaid is stealing from others, especially high income FICA tax base who stay healthy

      While I would still have a problem, it would be immensely preferable if “Social Security” were more like a mandated “Personal Security” savings account.

      1. My problem is with how the set SS up in the first place. The govt argued that it was a tax and not a govt sponsored insurance plan (sounds familar, right?) despite using insurance language to promote it. If SS was a tax, how can we recoup anything without pointing the state’s gun at others? It’s a gordian knot given all have been screwed by the govt and all are trying to get compensated. Bastiat’s society where everyone loots everyone else has arrived in full bloom.

        1. Indentured servitude of politicians, IRS and just about everyone in or who has worked for government, including those currently on pensions, would do.

          1. I’d prefer something like the offer Grant gave to Lee. Just disband and go home. Not that a seeing Lerner, Koskinen in a cage would cause any tears to be shed.

        2. Harry Browne had a proposition to deal with SS. Since people perceive that they are going to get something “back”, you can’t just kill it. So you sell much of the federal land and pay off everyone who has been taxed for SS, and then kill it. Of course, the greatest wealth transfer in the history of mankind will not die without a bloody fight.

    1. File under Fascist Authoritarian Theocrat.

      1. FAT Chance News!
        “Huckabee: Americans Should Be Forced, At Gunpoint, To Learn From David Barton.”
        Anyone who threatens to shoot you if you don’t listen to their Guru is more than just FAT!
        http://skepticalsurvivalist.tu…..-to-listen

  14. FAT Chance News!
    “Huckabee: Americans Should Be Forced, At Gunpoint, To Learn From David Barton.”
    Anyone who threatens to shoot you if you don’t listen to their Guru is more than just FAT!
    http://skepticalsurvivalist.tu…..-to-listen

  15. Bloggers so insightful, admire.And this view exactly the same with me, friend ah.

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  18. Worship billionaires if you want to, but don’t pretend that they need both parties to represent them. Believe it or not, they will manage to scrape by with just one party (either one) carrying their water. Of course Huckabee is just a greedy shill for the rich (and for himself), but he’s just a different flavor of shill than Hillary Clinton. Don’t worry; it doesn’t matter which type of toilet paper gets elected. They both support the war on drugs, gays, and muslims, and they both lick the boots of the Military-
    Industrial-Complex. They will both support spying on Americans in the name of “national security.” We can all rest easy that nothing will change.

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  21. What is the real reason Huckabee and the other “not-a-chancers” running? Is it a good way to make money?

    1. Yes. They are allowed to keep and campaign contributions they don’t spend while running.

      There are limits on what the money can be spent on but those rules are easily circumvented.

      The Huckster has no chance of winning and he knows that. His financial supporters know it also, except maybe for a few zealouts, but that is a legal way to funnel cash for favors past or future.

  22. The ONLY reason Huckabee is running is because it will build up his name recognition even more, thus attracting more viewers to his lame show on Fox. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Fox has it in his contract that he HAS to run every so often.

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  24. The MSM wants Huckabee to run so they can pillory him on right-to-life and traditional-marriage and keep voter’s minds off the stench wafting from the Democratic candidates, thereby keeping the White House blue.

    End of story.

  25. A tax-and-spend progressive who wants to camp out in your bedroom. What’s not to like?

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