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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reagan Conservatives Say: Huckabee Not One of Us

In the search for the next Reagan, why do some GOP voters seem intent on ignoring the Reagan legacy?

During the South Carolina GOP Presidential Candidate's Debate on January 10, Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, referred to the late President Reagan six times. He went so far as to make the claim that he "stayed faithful to the things that Ronald Reagan stayed faithful to."

Early in the SC debate, former Senator Fred Thompson challenged Huckabee's attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of conservatives:
THOMPSON: This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future. On the one hand, you have the Reagan revolution. You have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security.

On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies.

He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy and the tradition of, blame America first.

He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually.
He believes in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas.

He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers.

He said he would sign a bill that would ban smoking nationwide. So much for federalism. So much for states' rights. So much for individual rights.

That's not the model of the Reagan coalition, that's the model of the Democratic Party.
There are many of us who remember the Reagan Revolution and what it stood for because we were there at the beginning. We were privileged to see and hear and some to know the man who led this nation in difficult times and succeeded spectacularly in unleashing the power of freedom which brought waves of prosperity and democracy to the entire world.

Here's what conservative leaders and thinkers with long memories have to say about Mike Huckabee:

"We are engaged in a global war on terror which will not disappear because you imply a willingness, without any preconditions apparently, to sit down with the enemy."
Bob Dole

"I'm sorry to say it is my sense that Mr. Huckabee is not so much leading a movement as riding a wave. One senses he brilliantly discerned and pursued an underserved part of the voting demographic, and went for it. Clever fellow. To me, the tipoff was 'Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?'"
Peggy Noonan

"Since he is not running for head of a theological college, what is he doing proclaiming himself a "Christian leader" in an ad promoting himself for president?...I suspect that neither Jefferson's Providence nor Washington's Great Author nor Lincoln's Almighty would look kindly on the exploitation of religious differences for political gain."
Charles Krauthammer

"Mike Huckabee is a Christian socialist. He is a good man, but with a Big Government heart. He is the most liberal of all the Republican presidential candidates on economic issues...Huckabee's approach to every problem or perceived problem is to pass a law and launch another government program...Four years of a Huckabee presidency would ensure that there wouldn't be a penny's worth of differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party on economic issues."
Richard Viguerie ,"the funding father of the conservative movement" for his role in helping build dozens of conservative organizations.

"If the Republican party chooses to follow Huckabee's lead, it will allow political sweet talk to destroy its greatest electoral and policy-making advantage: the GOP's traditional political consensus built around limiting the size and scope of government."

"Indeed, Huckabee explicitly seems to want to destroy the longstanding partnership that has defined the Right. Ed Rollins, Huckabee's campaign manager, recently dismissed the Reagan coalition as "gone," saying "it doesn't mean a whole lot to people anymore." That's quite the claim, but perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise. Huckabee has every incentive to distance himself from the GOP coalition; his nomination rests on its demise."

Dick Armey, Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey is chairman of FreedomWorks in Washington, D.C.
"Like Job after losing his camels and acquiring boils, the conservative movement is in distress. Mike Huckabee shreds the compact that has held the movement's two tendencies in sometimes uneasy equipoise. Social conservatives, many of whom share Huckabee's desire to "take back this nation for Christ," have collaborated with limited-government, market-oriented, capitalism-defending conservatives who want to take back the nation for James Madison. Under the doctrine that conservatives call "fusion," each faction has respected the other's agenda. Huckabee aggressively repudiates the Madisonians."
George Will

"He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles...Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee."
Phyllis Schlafly

"Mr. Huckabee was the only GOP candidate to refuse to endorse President Bush's veto of the Democrats' bill to vastly expand the Schip health-care program. Only he and John McCain have endorsed the discredited cap-and-trade system to limit global-warming emissions that has proved a fiasco in Europe."
John Fund

"Huckabee is a "compassionate conservative" only in the sense that calling him a conservative is being compassionate."

"Huckabee opposes school choice, earning him the coveted endorsement of the National Education Association of New Hampshire, which is like the sheriff being endorsed by the local whorehouse.He is, however, in favor of school choice for kids in Mexico: They have the choice of going to school there or here. Huckabee promoted giving in-state tuition in Arkansas to illegal immigrants from Mexico -- but not to U.S. citizens from Ohio."
Ann Coulter
"During Huckabee’s tenure as governor, the average Arkansan’s tax burden increased 47 percent, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A dyed-in-blue tax hiker, Huckabee supported raising sales taxes, gas taxes, grocery taxes, even nursing home bed taxes. He virulently opposed a congressional moratorium on taxing Internet access, and sat on the sidelines while his Democratic legislature pushed the largest tax hike in Arkansas history into law. What’s more, on his watch, and frequently at his behest, state spending increased by 50 percent, more than double the rate of inflation, and the number of state government workers rose by 20 percent."
Pat Toomey, Former PA Congressman who opposed Senator Arlen Specter for Re-election. President, Club for Growth

"Governor Huckabee is a true conservative. He is the only guy who is a true conservative, and I have concluded that I am debasing myself and the conservative cause by questioning it. As a matter of fact, Governor Huckabee was right to increase taxes by $500 million in Arkansas. Governor Huckabee was right to offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens. He was right to offer the Mexican government a consulate in Arkansas for one dollar a year. More states should show this kind of compassion. When I learned this, I said, "There's a conservative." The Mexican consulate, a dollar a year in Arkansas. He was right to release over one thousand criminals. This is conservative. He is right to oppose school choice. This is conservative. And he was right to accuse President Bush of a bunker mentality and stubbornness in dealing with our enemies. He was right in suggesting that the way to deal with Bin Laden and Zawahiri and other enemies of the United States is to implement the Golden Rule. He was right.

This is, ladies and gentlemen, the new conservatism. It is both Reaganism and post-Reaganism, postmodern Reaganism and after-modern post-Reaganism.
...
[H]ow could all the rest of us, the tens of millions of conservatives who have yet to even vote in these primaries, and the over 60% in Iowa who did not vote for Governor Huckabee, how could we have made such an error? I have seen the light.
Rush Limbaugh
"Huckabee is the candidate whose name you practice pronouncing because you thought up until now that he was a character in one of Mark Twain's novels. Some voters may have suspected that that is exactly what he in fact is, and wished to help in his road to incarnation."
William F. Buckley Jr.

I was able to find a politican who liked Huckabee:

"He's a very socially compassionate man who obviously has concern for the poor and the working middle class, while at the same time, having rather conservative views when it comes to a matter like abortion or gay marriage. ... I think of all the Republican candidates, Mr. Huckabee would be my personal choice."
Ted Strickland, Governor of Ohio and a liberal Democrat.


P.S. Mike's America urges Rudy voters in SC to Vote for Fred Instead!

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