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December 10, 2007
Mike Huckabee Is
Funny, But His Flaws Are No Joke
Sure, he’s funny and
well-spoken. I also understand that he was endorsed by Chuck Norris. And
yes, he makes me want to believe everything he says during those
punch-line contests that they call debates. But when these are over,
Mike Huckabee’s record can only snap me back to reality.
Mike Huckabee has largely been exempt from criticism due to his
long-time status as a second-tier Republican presidential candidate.
Now, however, is high time for conservatives to realize that Huckabee is
not only unacquainted with foreign policy and seated on a mountain of
ethics-related allegations, but that he also possesses a record that
would put off any honest conservative.
understanding of pressing national security issues appears to be
sub-par, even by the standard of governors with no experience in such
issues. For instance, he knew nothing of the National Intelligence
Estimate report made public last week, concerning Iran’s nuclear
program, until a reporter explained it to him. Regardless of the
accuracy of the report, its potential impact on our Iran policy is much
too important for a presidential candidate not to be apprised of it.
Maybe Huckabee and
his staffers were too busy penning jokes for the next debate to read up
on one of the greatest threats to the United States and the world.
Huckabee has also
come out in favor of the closure of Guantanamo Bay, worrying about what
others think of us. Of course he is not much stronger against those
whose first action in the United States was to break its laws – he has
gone so far as to fight to give illegal immigrants the same in-state
tuition that is denied to Americans from 49 states.
“compassion” does not end there. According to the Arkansas Leader,
Huckabee issued more than 700 pardons and commutations to criminals as
governor, including a dozen murderers. This is more than his three
predecessors combined and more than Arkansas’s six neighboring states
put together (the combined population of which is nearly 20 times that
of Arkansas). Imagine being related to one of the victims of those
Behind the numbers,
of course, are real stories. One of them concerns Wayne DuMond, who was
convicted in Arkansas of raping a 17-year-old girl and was thrown in
prison for it. As governor, however, Huckabee decided it would be a good
idea to support DuMond’s parole, despite letters from DuMond’s previous
victims and a phone call from one who was raped at knifepoint, all
urging him not to release the rapist.
But the victims’
efforts proved futile, and merely months after being released, DuMond
made a new victim out of Carol Shields, whom he raped and suffocated to
death. DuMond is also the leading suspect in the murder of a pregnant
woman who was found bloodied in a bathtub with the water running.
All of this is
greatly disconcerting, but perhaps the best-hidden truth about Huckabee
is his progressive view of government and his liberal economic policies.
Huckabee has tried to cover for his past by saying he will abolish the
IRS and institute the Fair Tax, both of which are realistically
unachievable, at least in the near future. His next favorite go-to claim
is the tired assertion that he cut taxes 94 times as Arkansas governor.
His claim to fiscal
conservatism can easily be debunked with even a cursory look at his
record. The 94 tax cuts he constantly references include every minuscule
credit and adjustment possible, all of which were heavily outweighed by
the taxes he raised. In fact, according to the Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette, the average Arkansan taxpayer’s burden grew from
$1,969 to $2,902 in eight years. That’s a 47 percent net increase, and
entirely under Huckabee’s reign.
were raised more under Huckabee than under a previous governor of
Arkansas, a fellow by the name of Bill Clinton.
But it is not just
about taxes. Huckabee supports economically damaging policies such as
forcing small businesses to pay a higher minimum wage and subsidizing
farmers with our money. He is a protectionist who opposes liberating
free trade agreements such as the one with South Korea, he supports big
government policies on education and health, and he stands as an
opponent of private school choice.
Huckabee has also
labeled the Club for Growth, one of the foremost defenders of economic
liberty, the “Club for Greed.” It could be because the Club has
restricted the liberties Huckabee himself has taken with stretching the
truth to its breaking point – the Club has demonstrated that his claims
about being essentially forced to raise the gas tax and education taxes
in Arkansas are more than misleading.
actually declared, only days ago, that divine intervention was
responsible for his rise in the polls, Huckabee’s deceptive presentation
of supposed facts does not seem to be very, oh how you say . . .
Huckabee has been
showered with ethics-related allegations as well, but it is not
necessary to delve into these to discredit him as a viable Republican
nominee. His record, once presented to primary voters, would be
sufficient in getting the job done. He can only joke his way out of it
for so long. And at that point, not even Chuck Norris will be able to
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