Ames, Brownback, and Huckabee

What's It All About SoCon's?

By Hunter Baker Posted in Comments (50) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Mitt Romney won the straw poll in Ames thanks to a well-funded effort and a lot of upfront work in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Of course, the script didn't play out exactly as expected. Sam Brownback was supposed to take second place because he put in a big effort, spent money, and is from Kansas next door.

Mike Huckabee, who had no big Ames operation that anyone knew about, placed second.

This is a post designed to structure debate in the comments section, so here's the question:

Has Mike Huckabee demonstrated that he should carry the banner for social conservatives in the primary and that Sam Brownback should resign from the field? Make your case.

END.


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One hopes that "social conservatives," whatever that includes, will understand that principled stands appealing to perhaps 20% of the population are a quick road to political irrelevence, and that the sooner the Huckabees and Brownbacks acknowledge that their chances for electoral success are confined to a handful of states, the sooner conservatives can be about the business of selecting a candidae with a reasonable chance of being elected president.

No one is forcing anyone to support or vote for anyone else. These nice folks are in a primary to see if they can get their party to vote for them. If they cannot convince their Party members to vote for them, they should leave. If they can, they should stay. In the interim, social conservatives -- whose platform is roughly as appealing when enacted as that of fiscal conservatives, which is to say, you'll lock down 25% of the population, and no more -- are entitled to march the same kind of suicide march fiscal conservatives are, thank you.

Your condescension is neither warranted nor terribly becoming. The adults involved in the process will vote for whom they want, and will likely line up behind whomever wins. They don't need you telling them how to march, thanks.

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Huh? I thought the point of this post was to invite people to suggest how others should vote: Huckabee or Brownback, "make your case." Well, my case is they both should drop out, because only death wishing R's will vote for them, and the example of Thomas notwithstanding, such are a minority, and happily, a dwindling one. All but the hard core nut cases, this generation's "fluoride is a commie plot" crew, are tired of Jesus, abortion and homosexuality being rung like Pavlov's bells by small-time hustlers who abandon all interest in limited government and federalism at the thought of being swept into office by a Legion Of Decency. I am happy to warn all that a vote for either of these clowns is a de facto vote for Hillary Clinton, but in deference to Thomas's plea, I won't order anyone not to vote for them.

Huh? I thought the point of this post was to invite people to suggest how others should vote: Huckabee or Brownback, "make your case."

No, it was not. Learn to read more carefully.

Well, my case is they both should drop out, because only death wishing R's will vote for them, and the example of Thomas notwithstanding, such are a minority, and happily, a dwindling one.

The way to lock up a majority of the country is to support a moderately pro-choice, anti-tax, pro-spending, big-government, pro-mild-isolation, trade-warring, anti-free-trade, squish. Guaranteed electoral winner, who won't mess with the Supreme Court's last fifty years' jurisprudence in any way. I have no idea why you'd want someone like that to win, but I'd rather join my fiscal- and social-con brethren in what may very well be a death march and at least try not to send the country to Hell in the process.

All but the hard core nut cases, this generation's "fluoride is a commie plot" crew, are tired of Jesus, abortion and homosexuality being rung like Pavlov's bells by small-time hustlers who abandon all interest in limited government and federalism at the thought of being swept into office by a Legion Of Decency.

I don't particularly care what you call me; whatever you do, I've thought worse of you. The next time you take a shot at a whole wing of the Party like that again, that'll be your last comment here. We do it for the PNACing crowd, you can be damned sure we'll do it for you. Understood?

I am happy to warn all that a vote for either of these clowns is a de facto vote for Hillary Clinton, but in deference to Thomas's plea, I won't order anyone not to vote for them.

I'm sure your entreaties will be given all of the deference that one would offer the ravings of any similarly situated madman.

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

No, the way to lock up a majority is to support candidates who believe in confining government to the proper work of government; polls show a healthy majority of Americans believe the federal government is engaged well beyond its mandate (and its competence). At the federal level, that means candidates who view abortion, religion and consensual adult sexual conduct as matters with which the federal government is properly unconcerned. Why you would impute these other views to me is a mystery, though I sense a subtext of hysteria.

I would hardly pay a price, however small, to remain eligible to post on this cite; certainly deference to Thomas's ponderous comstockery is out of the question. However, I wasn't aware I'd "taken a shot at a whole wing of the Party," since I was talking about Republican candidates, and Thomas's concerns seem to be for the Know-Nothings.

No, the way to lock up a majority is to support candidates who believe in confining government to the proper work of government; polls show a healthy majority of Americans believe the federal government is engaged well beyond its mandate (and its competence).

We care about voters, not survey respondents. Do try to pay attention.

At the federal level, that means candidates who view abortion, religion and consensual adult sexual conduct as matters with which the federal government is properly unconcerned. Why you would impute these other views to me is a mystery, though I sense a subtext of hysteria.

Narcissism often manifests this way.

I would hardly pay a price, however small, to remain eligible to post on this cite; certainly deference to Thomas's ponderous comstockery is out of the question.

The good news is that no price is now required.

However, I wasn't aware I'd "taken a shot at a whole wing of the Party," since I was talking about Republican candidates, and Thomas's concerns seem to be for the Know-Nothings.

The loss of another sub-100 I.Q. can only be a good thing for all concerned.

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Everyone believes federal government is "too big," but no one agrees on exactly how. There is no majority consensus on the role of federal government. There are only "feel-good" adjectives and slogans over which there is also no consensus. A lot (and perhaps a majority) don't base their vote on any issues at all.

By the way, I'm curious to know when anyone in the federal government proposed anything regarding "adult sexual conduct." I'm not sure where that comes from. Can you cite some specific legislative proposals or other examples that attempted to do that?

I guess you don't want politicians talking about their faith. I've never seen them attempt to impose it on anyone, so you must just not like their speaking about it. Do you wish to only vote for politicians silent on their faith? Also, can you explain why most Americans wouldn't vote for an avowed atheist?

If the federal government can regulate the slaughter of animals, animal abuse, hate crimes, drugs, health care, and guns, it can certainly regulate abortion too. The mass genocide going on in this nation has to be addressed by someone. Even if you do not deem it to be the realm of federal government, it is well within the realm of state government. Unfortunately, the federal court system made it such that it is also federal in that only the federal government can deal with the federal courts.

For the first one, the federal government did take on adult sexual conduct in a couple of Supreme Court cases (1986 and 2003, I believe). How could I forget? And it looks like the Democrats in Congress are also attempting to deal with the matter through special "hate crimes" laws.

Another "conservative" who thinks that Christian bashing is cool. Nice.

Have fun with 8 years of Hillary! after you throw away the largest part of the GOP constituency.


...when they see me they'll say, "There goes Loren Wallace,
the greatest thing to ever climb into a race car."

the big three did not participate, and the rest of the field looney? Okay, only Ron Paul. Maybe Tancredo, if you question the wisdom of bombing Mecca. And did (T) Thompson really think he had a chance?

Okay, Duncan Hunter may not be looney, but then again....

Huckabee may be anti-abortion, but he has strong nanny state tendencies. He is socially conservative when compared to Romney and Giuliani, less conservative when compared to McCain (the moral social conservative part, not the open borders, attack on free speech part). And less conservative than Fred. Only on the topic of abortion does Huckabee come across as conserative.

statements on? Reagin, Bush I, Bush II? Clinton won twice, but Congress remained socially conservative, and even passed an anti-abortion measure once or twice. Which were struck down by a liberal court, not by liberal voters.

Add 20% of the voters to those who support strong defense, low taxes, border control, and you start getting real close to relevance. Especially if you consider what happens if that 20% doesn't vote.

since he got more of the vote.

Yeah, yeah. You (not necessarily Hunter Baker) don't think Romney is a so-con because of his late conversion. I suspect that you may need to get used to the idea or keep dividing while Guliani wins states ahead of five people trying to be conservative.

Back to the question. Huckabee was the better of these two -- clearly. I have problems with Huckabee (taxes and some immigration statements of the past) and Brownback (immigration). Brownback is just McCain-lite to me.

I would like to see them both quit, but realize I probably won't.

Disclaimer: Leaning toward Romney, Fred, or Newt at this point.

Oz

www.first-cut-politics.blospot.com

Brownback's stunt on the immigration bill disqualifies him immediately. That move puts him on the road to John-Edwards phoniness.

governor of California, was pro-choice? "Adamantly pro-choice" were his most recent words. The history proves that this is a misstatement, to put it as mildly as possible.

What really did Brownback do on the immigration bill which you consider to be phoniness of that magnitude?

Brownback was one of the first to vote. He voted "yes." Then, when the votes came rolling in, and it was apparent that the "nos" would win, Brownback went down to the clerk and switched his vote to "no."

Neither of them is going to win the nomination, if only for the reason of not having enough national appeal (at least as far as I can judge, Huckabee may have a fighting chance, though I doubt it). So my 2c would be that both are running for VP, and in that case both can afford (and will be inclined) to stay in the race for a bit longer.

If I were to take a guess they're out not long before the big bunch of primaries (whenever that may be with all the calander soaps) to maximize the effect of their endorsements / VP spots.

in becomming someone's veep.

Colin Powell has just dropped a check on John McCain. That may, or may not, be relevant to a discussion of Veepiness. Rudy G. becomes an immediate option for veep if he doesn't win.

I'd say Brownback is no better than 2nd if Guliani gets the nod, no better than 3rd for Romney, perhaps no better than 4th for McCain.

James Hansen - Scott Thomas Beauchamp with a PhD.

Is that they alienate huge swaths of the Republican party. Brownback has his war and immigration positions. Huckabee has the record of a tax-and-spend fiscal liberal and a nannystater. And oh yea, Huckabee is about the same on immigration as Brownback and W are. They both fit into the W mold of "compassionate conservatives." Electing either one would be a lot like getting a 3rd term of W.

Both of those guys are great on a few issues, but they are also unacceptably bad on others. That's why they have no chance.
---
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

As I've said many times. Please Mike, run for Senate!

Oz

www.first-cut-politics.blospot.com

Giuliani: abortion, marriage, line-item veto (many forget that his challenge eventually resulted in the Court's declaration of the legislation as unconstitutional), gun control

McCain: Free speech, constitutional option, marriage

Romney: If there's anything this guy wouldn't say to get elected, I'd love to know about it.

Pick your poison, but don't single out Brownback and Huckabee for having disqualifying positions that many would argue are, while unpleasant, more acceptable than the positions of the frontrunners.

www.republicansenate.org

Some think the fact that Huckabee is the only candidate running to endorse the Boortz/Linder Fair Tax will lift his campaign. That, of course, is not a SoCon issue. Is Huckabee going to get a lift from being the only non-libertarian talking about restructuring the entire tax system?

He was noting that the FairTax folks had the second biggest tent in Ames, after Romney, and that Huckabee got considerably more votes than his campaign paid for.

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(Formerly known as bee) / Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

Although I've been quite vocal regarding my respect for Gov. Huckabee's performance in the GOP debates and on conference calls, the fact remains that neither of these men has a snowball's chance in Iraq of even coming close to the nomination, and we all know that.

Rather than wasting our time trying to hitch a cart to various and sundry dead-end "candidates," how about we work out how those who have a prayer at getting within sniffing distance of the nomination and of election can do that with a greater chance of overall success?

Anything else -- including going on about Huckabee, Brownback, Paul, Hunter, etc. being "the one to support -- is quite simply a waste of time and effort.

I agree that the individuals you list toward the bottom of the scale are unlikely to win, but I think it does matter how particular candidates do. Was Steve Forbes ever a likely winner of the race in 1996? No. Was it important that he did well? Yes. Forbes' success essentially purchased Jack Kemp's inclusion on the ticket that year.

Never mind that Kemp disappointed his legions of young fans (>me<).

I think that if Huckabee were to move up in the game, it would help keep the GOP SoCon friendly.

and that was ultimately responsible for exactly what good things happening? I'm really not attempting to be snarky, I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

I remember 1996 as a "so what" year. Dole was pathetic. We all knew he would be pathetic. He got creamed. He was nothing more than a token candidate from the very beginning. Kemp added a big zero to the ticket but since it was already a zero, it was no big deal.

Huckabee, overall, I think will hurt the ticket. We don't need any more nannys.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

True, Dole was creamed in the general.

But he did raise the Republican percentage from 38 to 41, while keeping Clinton under 50. What Ross Perot has concluded from his efforts in both 1992 and 1996, who knows? I still think that he and Pat Buchanan had a big role in making the first Clinton presidency possible, which of course may beget the second one.

Kemp was a disappointment as a campaigner. He was not well prepared for his debate with Al Gore (unlike the much-maligned Dan Quayle, who won his IMO). He just didn't have the fire-in-the-belly for the fight that a VP candidate should have.

T

Last I checked, Kansas, like Arkansas, is two states away from Iowa. Perhaps you were thinking of Nebraska.

"I don't understand why the same newspaper commentators who bemoan the terrible education given to poor people are always so eager to have those poor people get out and vote." - P.J. O'Rourke

Not to sidestep Jeff's very real comment about SoCons hitching to someone who has a chance, but at least in the short term they need to be sigificant before they are in the winning camp. Consolidating Huckabee/Brownback activists in one campaign makes them stronger and more important - even if they don't have the numbers of a frontrunner.

indeed, neither Huckabee nor Brownback will be President - but their campaigns (and hopefully, just one of their campaigns) can be a vehicle for good things.

I think there are a number of similarities between Huckabee and Bush in terms of positions on a number of issues. Both are "big government" conservatives (or compassionate conservatives if you prefer) both are business friendly yet manage to sound populist, they hold similar positions on immigration, both are beginning their campaign for Presidency with little foreign policy experience.

There are of course two big differences--Huckabee is an outstanding speaker, especially extemporaneously (which of course has shown itself in his debate performances).

Then there's the tax issue. Huckabee has been criticized for raising taxes in Arkansas. On the other hand, he left the state in solid fiscal shape, and thus in the last budget session, there was a tax cut.

I have no idea how committed he is to the Fair Tax proposals, and even less idea how he could possibly enact such a fundamental reform.

To me the big case for Huckabee is his communication skills. After eight years of Bush I'm desperate for a good communicator in the White House. Without a doubt Huckabee would bring that. Certainly huge VP potential (particularly for a Guiliani) but I think it is a little premature to write off his chances for the top job. Don't forget Clinton's path to the nomination in 1992. He was far from being the front runner at this point in the process.

And Brownback decided to. So, of course, did Huckabee. Thus, neither has the benefit of the other leaving. They move on to round 2... we'll see what happens.

if people want a true southern conservative- why WOULDN'T they support Huckabee?

he is arguably the most conservative, most southern and would probably do better than Thompson in the general election. Of course he would still lose, but at least he won't be tarred as the "insider lobbyist" every day for a year like Fred! will.

The rationale of those on the far right supporting different candidates is really not very logically supported..

United States Air Force
http://airforcepundit.blogspot.com

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

...and his support of a government solution for just about every social ill, no, there's no reason to oppose him.

That being said, he started off as anathema to me when he put his hat in the ring, but he's gone in short order from one of the least-desirable candidates to one of the most promising...

"I don't understand why the same newspaper commentators who bemoan the terrible education given to poor people are always so eager to have those poor people get out and vote." - P.J. O'Rourke

I still believe that Mike Huckabee will be the GOP candidate for President. I have said that for some time and I see no reason to believe otherwise.

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why ... I dream of things that never were and ask why not. - Robert Kennedy

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

I would think he appeals more to your wing of the party than the FiCons but I do believe he is doing some good reclamation work on that side as well.

I will expect a full apology when he wins the nomination, Thomas. :)

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why ... I dream of things that never were and ask why not. - Robert Kennedy

Sure, he's a social conservative, he opposes gay marriage and abortion. But he's no different on those positions from pretty much everyone else running for the Republican nomination. And, for all those Huckabee for Senate folks, he might be less conservative that Pryor. Yes, I know Pryor will vote with the Dems more often than Huckabee would. But Huckabee is far from strong partisan. He'd probably be rather frustrating for Republicans in the Senate.

The argument against Huckabee isn't I don't think his unelectability. The question I would ask of a Huckabee supporter is do you feel confident he can address the very real challenges in foreign policy and domestic security. Of course, he would be far from the first President with limited experience on these issues.

The question I would ask of a Huckabee supporter is do you feel confident he can address the very real challenges in foreign policy and domestic security.

Which candidate can confidently address this based on their past experiences?

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why ... I dream of things that never were and ask why not. - Robert Kennedy

I dunno. I'm not optimistic.

Then we need to be drafting Huckabee to run for Senate in AR.

We're going to need every R we can get in the next Senate, and Huckabee would be our best chance for a pick-up.

On the Pres race, I agree with Jeff. Not one of these next-tier candidates has an ounce of a chance to win the nomination. Huckabee has been the most impressive, but not enough to break into the top tier. Were the primary season not so front loaded, it might be different.

Time to play the cards that are dealt. SoCons need to decide if Mitt is genuine, Fred is for real, or Rudy is the best defense against another President Clinton.

Cards are not dealt to us, we select them!!!

What are the steps that have a chance at happening between now and February 5th that will put any of these next tier candidates in line for the nomination?

Nobody's voting until January! The election is still in the research stages. Any candidate that leaves this early should never have entered the race in the first place.
___________________
The world only goes round by misunderstanding - Charles Baudelaire_

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Ian by ih2005

You decide if Huckabee's candidacy is rising:

(1) "Huckabee Building Support in New Hampshire" by Soren Dayton in The Daly Acts
Wed Mar 14 2007 11:04 AM

"Though he is mentioned derisively as a “second-tier” presidential candidate, former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee is quietly making gains in New Hampshire, the earliest primary state.

Debra Vanderbeek signed on last week to run Huckabee’s New Hampshire operations. Venderbeek served as chief of staff for former Rep. Jeb Bradley and is an experienced Republican political hand.

“I was surprised to see Deb go with Huckabee,” one Republican state legislator told The Daily Acts. “That fact alone is enough to get me to take a second look at him. I respect Deb’s judgment.”

http://www.thedailyacts.com/stories.php?story_id=59&comment_added=true

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(2) "VIVA HUCKABEE!" by Noah Scheiber in The Plank
08.11.07

"Whatever the case, it's hard to overstate the significance of Huckabee's performance here. Combined, Huckabee and Brownback--the field's two leading social conservatives--outpolled Mitt Romney today 33 to 31.5. If, as the results suggest, Huckabee emerges as the lone standard bearer for this group, he'll probably end up with a block of support to rival Romney's. (Most "Brownbackers" I spoke to would feel extremely comfortable throwing their support behind the Arkansan.) But, of course, just combining Brownback's and Huckabee's numbers actually way understates Huckabee's potential ceiling. For one thing, he's come this far running on fumes. It will be interesting to see what he can do with the fundraising boost he'll enjoy after today. On top of that, there seem to be a lot of social conservatives currently supporting Romney because he's running as the most conservative of the top-tier candidates. Now that Huckabee has demonstrated his viability, it's not hard to imagine him peeling off a decent number of Romney's conservative backers."

http://www.tnr.com/blog/the_plank?pid=134096

This may well be a resurgence of the Reagan-democrats of a couple of decades ago. It's going to be VERY interesting to watch.

Sam Brownback has been my favorite United States Senator--I have always considered him a better standard-bearer for social conservatives than Santorum--and I was willing to accept him in this race should he begin to rise.

But the sad truth is, the social conservative movement can raise a candidate into the top tier against imperfect leaders, but they can only raise one.

Like it or not, Mike Huckabee has an opportunity the likes of which that Senator Brownback has not been blessed with in this "victory". But it's not just the win here. Mike Huckabee has done three things well that set the groundwork:

1) He has dazzled in debates. Not only was he eloquent, but a clever Huckabee witticism, whether it was "spending money like John Edwards in a beauty shop" or "better to get the moral questions than the immoral questions" brought a little levity to a stoic affair and, more importantly, got him some video play on the afternoon shows.

2) To tie into that, he has managed to win over the media. He may be decried as nanny-state on this site, but his neo-compassionate conservatism has won over the sympathy of his interviewers, including Chris Matthews and Jon Stewart. He is a pro-life Republican that plays in MSM World.

3) His dogged focus on Iowa did him good. Even before the Iowa straw poll, it was he--not Brownback--that regularly broke the 1% mark in statewide polls, hitting up to 8% and tying McCain.

So if Brownback's concern is a social conservative voice, better to step down and endorse Huckabee, especially with the potential of not everyone playing in Iowa. If his concern is the vice-presidency, better to step down and endorse Rudy Giuliani now. Either way, I don't think he serves the dialogue to stay in.

www.mikehuckabee.com

 
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