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September 09, 2007

The New Compassionate Conservative Governor? Huck That!

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

I was impressed earlier when I heard about Mike Huckabee's surprisingly compassionate views on prison reform, and how the Club for Growth hated him for raising taxes in Arkansas.  But it wasn't until this week that I gazed upon the full horror of his social issue positions -- total opposition to abortion and to any government support for contraception.  And the FairTax nuttery is sufficient to cancel out whatever points I'm going to give him for his history of raising taxes in Arkansas. 

I'm back to seeing Romney as the least poisonous president in the GOP field, simply because he's unprincipled enough to not try anything ambitious. 

September 9, 2007 | Permalink


Totally agree! Seriously, how much damage can a governor (even Republican) of Massachusetts do? Even a Republican governor of MA would have more sense than a Democratic guvn'r from the average Southern state (let's make an exception for Bill but then he had his bimbo problems in Arkansas). Romney is sheer delight to watch. Here's a guy who can flipflop, dodge, evade and pander with such ease and charm that he deserves an Oscar! Please don't go away from Romney!

Posted by: AC | Sep 9, 2007 4:42:26 PM

Romney also has the advantage over Thompson, Guiliani and McCain that he's less likely to die in office, leaving us with whatever clueless wingnut would be chosen as his VP.

Actually it is hard to name a major figure in the GOP that wouldn't be poisonous as Pres, certainly not Newt, Cheney, Frist, Delay, McConnell, Boehner, Huck, Paul, or Brownback - it would appear they are all the fruit of a poisonous tree (heheh).

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Sep 9, 2007 5:28:34 PM

I dunno. Romney is eager to pander to the pro-torture wing of the GOP. Huckabee at least recognizes that there is such a thing as right and wrong, though I don't share his views. And I don't think that he thinks that I hate America because I think that the Iraq invasion and occupation hasn't worked out well.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg | Sep 9, 2007 5:47:33 PM

Among all the social-conservative-to-the-point-of-nuttiness politicians, Huckabee is by far one of my favorites. And that both re-assures me and frightens me.

It re-assures me because if Huckabee wins the GOP nomination, it means that the right really does have its heart in the right (pardon the pun) place and isn't just using social conservatism as an excuse for mean-ness.

OTOH, that Huckabee puts a nice face on a not nice political position makes me very nervous in that a more palatable form of social conservatism is one that is more likely to be swallowed (pun intended), which frightens this liberal.

Posted by: DAS | Sep 9, 2007 6:25:33 PM

I'm with Romney as well, for what you said and also because he would be a weak general election candidate.

Still I can't help liking Huckabee the best of the Republican bunch.

Posted by: Korha | Sep 9, 2007 7:31:49 PM

I don't think a consumption tax would be all so bad. It would, as they claim, increase savings and investment which would spur the economy. As long as it was accompanied by social programs, universal healthcare, free college etc., as is the case in most European countries, I think it would be fine.

Posted by: Chris Meyer | Sep 9, 2007 8:19:44 PM

No Romeny is the WORSE because he's unprincipled and will do whatever his party calls on him to do in order to stay popular

Posted by: Phil | Sep 9, 2007 10:01:45 PM

I think it's been clear that Romney is the "least harmful" for a while. Huckabee, as much as I like him is an interesting thought exercise and not much more.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 10, 2007 1:10:18 AM

Keep in mind that we're very likely going to have a Dem legislature for the next couple of terms. Huckabee strikes me as much more willing to compromise with such a congress on issues that he cares about (and he does seem actually have some real compassion). Romney would just be more GOP vacuity.

I wonder whether we'd also be likely to have a less poisonous campaign, if Huckabee were topping the bill?

Posted by: philosopher | Sep 10, 2007 1:24:19 AM

I wonder whether we'd also be likely to have a less poisonous campaign, if Huckabee were topping the bill?

Based on how he attacked Ron Paul as a terrorist-lover for advocating Iraq withdrawal during the last NH debate, I'm guessing no.

Seriously, is this just another outbreak of some variant of concern troll, or are a bunch of Dems so irretrievably stupid as to sing the praises of a anti-contraception, anti-gay, anti-Establishment Clause, pro-war, pro-Guantanamo Republican just because he's so goddamn folksy? God, I really hope it's the former.

Posted by: mds | Sep 10, 2007 8:31:00 AM

Neil is answering the wrong question.

None of the R nominees in the 2008 field is the slightest bit poisonous, because none of them can get elected. The real question is whether the Rs are going to snap back quickly from their 2008 debacle-in-waiting, or whether they are going to stew in their juices for the next decade.

Huckabee is their best chance to snap back. He is the only one who is trying to reconfigure the R party away from its unsustainable coalition of fearers and haters. He only needs a strong loss in the nomination to be their standard-bearer for 2012 (or at least be competitive with Jeb.)

If you like a two-party system, you gotta like Huck. If you want the Rs to be toothless for a long while, RudyThom McRomney is your guy.

Posted by: Joe S. | Sep 10, 2007 10:59:19 AM

The only thing that stands between the dem's and the White House is Mike Huckabee because none of the other republican candidates are strong enough to unite the conservitive vote enough to beat Clinton, and if by chance one of the other republicans beat Hillary, unlike Huckabee, they would not be able to work with a congress full of Dem's. So my guess is 4 years of serious spending and tax hikes with HILLARY followed by someone, such as Huckabee that is willing to make some serious changes in Washington.
But hopefully i'm wrong and Huck gets the nomination and beats Hillary.

Posted by: john | Sep 10, 2007 10:52:56 PM

Huckabee was on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this weekend. He was his usual personable, charming, humorously self-deprecating self. After listening to him for a few minutes, I turned to my husband and said, "It's too bad he's a complete nutjob who thinks that the world is only 6000 years old, because he seems like a pretty likable guy." Every time I encounter a Huckabee media appearance, I like him. And I have to keep reminding myself that he's a nutjob.

Posted by: M. Gemmill | Sep 11, 2007 11:58:47 PM

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