Concerns about Huckabee

I at first found Mike Huckabee to be an interesting character, as a possible bright point in the dismal lineup of presidential candidates. Unfortunately, his character did not bear up well when I looked at him further, and I’m sorry to see that some bloggers like Rod Dreher still think he’s a viable politician or sign of a genuine movement. This post is to show evidence that Mr. Huckabee would be a poor president.

First, I should clarify that I find Mr. Huckabee a devout, genuine Christian. That said, there are no doubt many Christians who may beat me to Heaven, but cannot be entrusted with a Boy Scout troop, let alone with the United States. I have yet to find any real evidence that Mr. Huckabee is cut out for the latter position.

Regarding his use of Christianity: I do not know if that “floating cross” image was intentional. I don’t really care as I find it manipulative either way. If that ad was just a “merry Christmas” message, then why was it funded by Mr. Huckabee’s campaign (which is not flush with cash), and why was it only shown in early primary states: New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina? S
Sir, we celebrate Christmas in Pennsylvania as well! Why did we not get your best wishes? Mr. Huckabee has done a lot of coasting on his Christianity, and this ad is a particularly disingenuous example of that.

I have looked for signs of real substance in Mr. Huckabee, and have been worried by what I have found. For instance, in Iowa, a little girl asked him who his favorite author was. Huckabee said it was Dr. Seuss.

Either this was an attempt to please the girl, which seems phony, or it is the mark of a rather stunted intellect in a 52 year old man. Neither sounds palatable after 7 years of President Bush.

What makes this worse is the fact that this Dr. Seuss fan wants to enact grand federal schemes for education and already has a history of expanding governmental control of homschooling. Homeschoolers have a strong love affair with Huckabee; the sooner the rose-colored lenses come off, the better for everyone.

But at least he could be better in foreign policy than Bush or Giuliani, right? So I would have thought, but I seem to be wrong. Mr. Huckabee has published a statement outlining his foreign policy. The bland, unsupported generalizations sound like a high schooler’s essay–but this is at least an improvement over Dr. Seuss! Less promising is the doubling of the military budget and expanding the war to Pakistan. A blogger has already fisked this mess here.

Mr. Huckabee has good intentions but a bloated, overly ambitious mess of a platform. He is an able demagogue, but as a statesman he has every sign of being a sort of Bush III in terms of expanding the war abroad while crippling us at home with further federal intrusions and spending.

I would be glad to work with Mr. Huckabee if he were a pastor in some ministry to the poor, but I do not want to be led by him at any level of government.

Technorati Tags: Huckabee, Ron Paul, Iraq, Pakistan, Floating Cross, Education

9 thoughts on “Concerns about Huckabee

  1. Stuff

    As a homeschooler, I have no love affair with Huckabee, and I was actually really disappointed to find out that many homeschoolers do. The only candidate that I and fellow homeschoolers in my area have found to be truly supportive of our efforts is (of course) Ron Paul. BTW, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea lately….

  2. Pingback: Ron in the News | Students for Ron Paul

  3. Dave

    didn’t find much substance in the arguement above… I like the fact that Huckabee isn’t a degenerate and anti American… seems like most democrats are… Hussein Obama doesn’t want to respect the flag and wants to hide his heritage… he’s got muslims supporting him from his father to his granny… so why is this off base and Huck’s being a Christian a target??? hmmmmm and Hilliary… well she’s mostly out for herself… didn’t steal enough china and silverware and furniture to outfit her new place so she wants to come back for more… and John Edwards… well he’s just a total joke… flys a guy from California to cut is hair… the media didn’t even get that right… he pays for the flight, the over night and the hair cut, bout two grand I’d say… not $450 reported… then builds a $8 million dollar estate and no coverage… but he’s working class man background… get real folks, he’s an ambulance chaser that found where to make the real money… there aren’t many in this race that are worth their weight in cow dun…. Huck… they are coming after ya boy… so keep your head down…

  4. Rob

    Regarding his use of Christianity: I do not know if that “floating cross” image was intentional. I don’t really care as I find it manipulative either way.

    Are you referring here to the “floating cross” or the commercial as a whole? It’s hard to blame him or his campaign for the cross if it was an accident. I suspect your concern is not with the cross but rather the entire ad. It’s hard to tell your intention from the way you wrote it, though.

    “If that ad was just a “merry Christmas” message, then why was it funded by Mr. Huckabee’s campaign (which is not flush with cash), and why was it only shown in early primary states: New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina?”

    THe ad was a political message. All of the candidates wished to back off during Christmas — people aren’t watching TV as much and those that are don’t want to be bombarded with political commercials. This commercial was a brilliant way of backing off while still getting the message out. Maybe it’s because I’m doing a lot of what’s essentially advertising now in my work, but I’m not going to blame him for saying first what everyone was trying to find some way to express, and doing so in a competent way. How you get “disingenuous” out of that, I don’t know.

    Huckabee said it was Dr. Seuss.

    Either this was an attempt to please the girl, which seems phony, or it is the mark of a rather stunted intellect in a 52 year old man. Neither sounds palatable after 7 years of President Bush.

    As far as technical skill goes, there’s a lot to be said for Theodor Geisel. He tells stories coherently with wit, rhythm and rhyme (far less forced rhyme than most of today’s poets that even bother to use rhyme). There are multiple layers of subtext to the stories that engage adult readers as well as children reading the superficial story — a very difficult trick to pull off. Seuss is an interesting choice, at least from a writer’s perspective.

    My opposition to Hiuckabee has nothing to do with the commercial. Back in 1992, long after any medical professional could have told you about HIV transmission modes, and right around the time I was given a severe exposure to HIV while treating a patient, this loony would have locked me up. The only debate about the mode of transmission of HIV in 1992 was by the anti-science religious conservatives who were trying to spread lies and FUD about HIV to accomplish their decidedly anti-Christian goal of putting gays and lesbians in concentration camps for re-education and/or “the final solution.”

    If Huckabee had simply said “I was wrong on the HIV concentration camps,” I’d forgive him. Instead he defended his position. That tells me more about the man than he wanted me to know.

  5. Jerry


    The “floating cross” referred to just that, but I found the rest of the ad manipulative. Clever, yes–that’s why I linked to the Noonan article–but manipulative, and in the absence of any real substance. Mr. Huckabee is banking on warm feelings and his religious values rather than real substance as a candidate.

    Dr. Seuss/Geisel is a clever writer, but I’m afraid one needs more than that to manage a country. Mr. Huckabee does have a skill with wordplay that perhaps Geisel could appreciate, but perhaps this means that Huckabee could be brilliant in marketing. It does not follow that he would be a good person to command our military. (And you are quite right about the HIV controversy, too. I didn’t get around to that…)

    Dave: Rather than giving a screed against the Dems, can you counter what I had said about Huck? If I’m wrong (and it would be nice to know that I was wrong about a popular GOP pick), please show me why, rather than call Democrats names. It would be useful to compare Huckabee with other Republicans, not Democrats, since we’re in the primaries.

  6. John

    “Hussein Obama doesn’t want to respect the flag ” I want to say that this isn’t true, but honestly, I can’t even say what that statement means. Next is he not going to “support the troops” and renounce “family values.” For that matter, if he’s elected will he be unable to “synergize in an objective oriented manner”
    I’m not saying I’m for him or against him, just that we should try to make decisions of this importance on substance, not incoherent Foxspeak.

    Also, while we’re leveeing substantive criticism at Huckabee, let’s not forget the whole part where he lobbied extensively to get a rapist released from prison, who then raped and murdered someone. But he had to be released, because the first person he raped was tangentially related to the Clintons, so really that wasn’t something he could sit in jail for.

  7. E's Sis

    Bothered by a response to a seven year old? What would you have liked him to respond with? The man knew his audience. He could have answered with the name of a book and author that would not have interested or inspired her one bit. Its also possible he may actually enjoy the writings of Dr. Seuss, as I do, and thus his response was genuine regardless of who asked. Either way, I hardly base my decision on how a man will handle control of a country and its military on his enjoying simplistic writing styles that often hold a deeper message.
    Please stick to the important issues. I was hoping this blog would encompass less bull and more clarity.
    Let’s address topics like, for instance, if Ron Paul supporters want to get his message out to little old ladies who vote, but do not know a computer from a DVD player, how are they going to do it with the mainstream media only supporting debates among a small amount of front runners? I know a fair number of people who pretty much make decisions based solely on newspapers, FOX, and advice from friends. Right now they aren’t sure who stands for what. They want change in politics, but only know how to look at candidates that all sell the same thing in different patterned wrapping. Address that, please.

  8. Jerry

    E’s Sis: I discussed more issues with Huckabee than just Seuss in this post and in the comments section. I had found the Seuss issue symbolic of Huckabee’s rather lightweight candidacy in general which seems to make us look at his evangelical pedigree more than the nitty-gritty of being a presidency–i.e., the horrendous foreign policy that he outlined, which I also discussed in my post.

    Perhaps if Huckabee had a more reasonable foreign policy, showed more prudence as a governor of Arkansas, and was less grandiose in terms of education and energy independence (he wants us self-sufficient with energy in eight years), I’d have been willing to let Seuss slide. But Seuss seems to be a symptom of a broader lack of depth in Huckabee in the light of his other statements. You are right that Huckabee knows his audience. However, he needs more skills than salesmanship to be a good president, especially with the mess Dubya helped create. I hope this makes my reasoning clearer.

    Regarding the Paul campaign, there is a strong door-to-door campaign in both Iowa and New Hampshire, so we are getting the message out to people who are not Internet- or tech-savvy. The Washington Post’s website had a very good article on the Iowa volunteers just yesterday. Another writer mentioned that Paul was saturating the radio airwaves in New Hampshire on top of newspaper ads that many supporters were paying for out of pocket.

    Getting the Paul message out of the Internet and into the real world has been a persistent concern of mine, but both the official campaign and groups like “Operation Live Free or Die” are working on that.

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