Huckabee is to the Left of All the Candidates.
By mbecker908 Posted in 2008 — Comments (174) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
At the urging of a bunch of people I'm turning my comment in the "Ivy League" blog into a blog of it's own.
UPDATE: Thanks to the great guys at First State Politics for reprinting this blog with very kind words.
UPDATE #2: Thanks to von for noting that McCain also has a proposal on the table dealing with healthcare. His comment with details and some good commentary on McCain's plan is here...
UPDATE#3: I made a mistake on the $5,000 contribution from the family of the DUI felon who was paroled. It was $10,000. Huck doesn't come cheap. HT to Dave at FirstStatePolitics. The story is at National Review.
The cry of the Huckabots is that Bubba Jr. is more conservative on everything than the other candidates. Let's take a look.
1. Ethics and judgment. Some of this stuff has been adjucated some of it has not. This is not meant to be a complete list by any means. Even on the stuff that has been adjucated in his favor, if you stand back and look at the preponderance of evidence, it becomes apparent that BJ can probably be bought, and pretty cheap at that. The Bible tells us that we not just avoid evil, we should avoid the appearance of evil. BJ has a long history of wallowing in the appearance of evil. He will get beaten like a cheap drum on this stuff by the national media and he has no good story, other than "hey, everybody does it in Arkansas!"
FACT: BJ took at least $112,000 in gifts in one year. None were from the Clintons. His salary was $67,000.
FACT: He appointed a number of individuals to State jobs after receiving sizable contributions.
FACT: He walk out of the Governor's Mansion and took $70,000 worth of furniture. He gave it back as part of a settlement with the state. Said it was a "misunderstanding".
FACT: Registered at bridal registeries when he left office so his supporters could get him appropriate gifts.
FACT: Accepted a
$5,000 $10,000 contribution from the family of a man who was in prison for DUI. Shortly afterward, he got an early release.
FACT: He wanted Dumond released early, made no bones about it including a letter to Dumond, and put pressure on the parole board.
FACT: There are over 1,000 pardons that BJ signed off on as Governor. They are just being looked at now. There's a good probability that someone will have victims of those pardoned guys lined up to make videos about how their family was impacted when BJ let a felon out of prison early. The DUI guy above is just the first.
FACT: He lied on five separate occasions on national TV about the fuel tax being on the ballot. He knew better, he wrote the legislation and campaigned for the ballot initiative that was for a bond issue, NO fuel tax increase was part of the initiative it had already been passed by the legislature and signed into law by BJ. It was not contingent on the bond issue passing. When he was caught in the lie, he blamed others and never addressed the issue that he had lied.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: Only Rudy comes close to these kind of ethics issues and his stuff is personal not governmental and nobody has EVER accused him of lining his own pockets. Romney is so squeaky clean he's boring. McCain has the Keating Five but that's twenty years ago and he was cleared. Fred is right up there with Romney.
Bottom line: the "Christian Leader" is easily the dirtiest of our group of candidates.
2. Economics. Simple factual stuff.
FACT: The average Arkansan was paying 47% more in taxes when BJ left office than when was first elected.
FACT: State spending rose at three times the rate of inflation.
FACT: He did nothing to expand the economic base of the State in ten years as Governor.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: Rudy cut taxes and spending in NYC during his eight years as Mayor. He did this in the face of an overwhelming liberal establishment that was opposed to his programs that included the NYT.
Romney held the line on new taxes in Massachusetts during his term as Governor and managed to balance the budget which had an $8B shortfall.
Fred voted consistently in the Senate to reduce taxes and as a Federalist, favors moving Federal programs from Washington to the states, and letting the states kill them or fund them as they see fit with state, not federal, money.
McCain is viewed as a budget hawk because of his opposition to earmarks and his Medicare Part D. On the bad side he opposed the "Bush Tax Cuts".
Bottom line: BJ has a record of spending and tax increases that none of the others do. They have all held the line and opposed or reduced taxes and spending when they had the opportunity.
He is clearly to the left of all other candidates.
3. His signature proposals as POTUS. There are three. HLA, FMA, and FairTax. In addition, he's signed Grover Norquist's no new taxes pledge. He's also said he will nominate only pro-life nominees for appropriate jobs in his administration (he didn't define "appropriate").
FACT: He has never said which of the HLA options he prefers. I've been asking for a couple of weeks and none of his supporters can tell me either.
FACT: HLA, in any form, will not pass either the Senate or the House and has NO chance getting the required 38 state legislatures to pass it.
FACT: FMA will not pass either the Senate or the House and has NO chance getting the required 38 state legislatures to pass it.
ASSUMPTION: by pushing HLA and FMA at a federal level, pro-choice organizations will be motivated and focused on every nomination for every position will be challenged by the Senate. This will make GWB's record of getting judicial nominees approved look really good. If the Democrats continue to control the Senate, a SCOTUS nominee on the order of Kennedy would be a big win.
FACT: FairTax has no chance of being passed as it is currently envisioned. It's not "progressive" enough for the Congressional Dems, requires the elimination of all other taxes including payroll taxes, and require repeal of the 16th Amendment. Won't happen.
FACT: Given that significant time may be wasted on pushing the FairTax, the current tax structure will have to be tweaked. BJ's history in Arkansas indicates he will work with the Congress to "tune" the tax structure. Look for net tax increases that he will try to pass of as something else.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: All four are opposed to the HLA and FMA. Rudy has appointed an advisory commission on judges and has committed to make no changes with respect to current administrative rules on abortion funding (Mexico City, etc) and to appoint "Scalia like" judges.
Romney, McCain and Fred are on record as opposing Roe and have committed to conservative judges.
Rudy and Fred will likely propose some variation of the FlatTax and Romney will push for simplification of the current system.
Bottom line: BJ is promoting solutions that are utterly unworkable in both the area of life and taxes. The other candidates are promoting solutions that will simplify the tax structure and will successfully get Roe overturned (and hopefully Griswold as well) and will reduce the number of abortions.
Unworkable solutions are a product of the left in this country, BJ is clearly to the left of the others in these issues.
4. Judicial nominations. Unlike other candidates BJ's made no statements about the type of judicial nominations he would make. He has no advisory committee and basically no record to draw a conclusion from.
FACT: His recent comments on Lawrence are all we have to draw on and they indicate that he is clueless about the core cases that have served to legalize abortion.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: Other candidates have layed out their judicial philosophy. Rudy has gone so far as to appoint an advisory commission on the subject.
Bottom line: He appears to be slightly to the left of the other candidates because he appears woefully ignorant of the Court and is silent on his judicial philosophy.
5. Foreign policy. He is drawing his rhetoric from the Democrats. Without regard to his specific proposals, an unbiased read of his statements show rhetoric that could have come from Kerry, Murtha, Reid or any of the three major Democratic candidates.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: The other candidates have criticized Bush's conduct of the war, but have not taken up Democratic talking points. They also have realistic foreign policy proposals with respect to the Middle East and Europe that don't sound like a kumbaya session or Bill Clinton's World Apology Tour.
Bottom line: His criticism and line of reasoning are clearly to the left of the other candidates.
6. Increasing the Pentagon budget to 6% of GDP. This is a new one, probably designed to make me believe he's a conservative.
FACT: He doesn't say what the increase will be used for.
FACT: The Pentagon is asking for less than half that increase.
FACT: He doesn't say if this is "new money" or if he will offset the increases with cuts elsewhere.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: This is BJ's proposal, there is no comparison to the others.
Bottom line: This is just another ill-thought-out-throw-it-against-the-wall blather from BJ. He has no plan here.
7. Entitlements. Social security and Medicare.
FACT: [sound of crickets chirping]
FACT: On healthcare he has come out in favor of some sort of undefined tax credit for insurance. No word on how this gets "paid for". And, BTW, if he was able to implement the FairTax, all tax credits go away. See a problem here?
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: Fred has solid proposals on entitlements and health care. The remaining candidates are in the canoe with BJ.
Bottom line: Fred is significantly to the right of all on this issue.
8. Immigration. This is interesting because of BJ's total flip on the subject in the last couple of weeks. He's got a long record of being very compassionate toward illegal aliens and now he's promoting a page out of Tom Tancredo's book.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CANDIDATES: With the exception of Fred they all suck.
Bottom line: Fred is significantly to the right of all on this issue. And, you'd have to be drunk or stoned to actually believe that either BJ or McCain are all of a sudden "enforcement first" kinds of guys.
OK, so at the end of the day, on the issues that really count, Bubba Jr. is either way to the left of the rest of the field or is holding his own because most everybody's position sucks. Not a good endorsement.
For my nickel, the worst part of the whole mess is #1. The guy who is promoted as "The Christian Leader" is easily the most corrupt guy we've seen on the national stage since Richard Nixon - and I don't think he was corrupt, he was just stupid. Michael D. Huckabee is corrupt.