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Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Conservative Call to Action: Dump Huckabee and McCain Now!

Largely due to eight years of the Clintons and the way they groomed the mainstream media and the unenaged general public, the presidential candidate selection process is now more like American Idol than a merit driven political contest. This unfortunate reality has resulted in a totally unqualified slate of candidates on the Democrat side and a GOP field that, though any of them is more qualified than any Democrat, fails to inspire the conservative base.

In my view the two media anointed GOP front runners, Huckabee and McCain, should be deemed by conservatives to be completely unacceptable and driven out of the contest as quickly as possible. Huckabee is essentially a pro-life liberal while McCain flexibly believes in anything that will garner political power and favorable media attention at the moment. Little details like the infringement of liberty and property rights, or constitutional prohibition are merely inconveniences that can be "dealt with".

The emergence of Mike Huckabee as the presumed GOP front runner after winning the Iowa is hopefully just a media promoted aberration. Iowa is a very fiscally liberal and socially conservative place with a traditionally heavy participation by evangelicals in the caucuses and Huckabee played the religion card masterfully, if not unethically, to the exclusion of any serious media examination of his record as governor of Arkansas. Couple this with, as a colleague of mine noted in a comment on "Mr. D's" blog (a fine destination originating from New Brighton, in spite of its pro-Packer bias 8-) ), the fact that fewer people participated in the Iowa caucuses than live in Carver County, MN and it becomes little mystery on why Huckabee won.

The liberal media is predictably playing up the "momentum" of the win to create the illusion that Huckabee is a serious candidate. If Huckabee somehow got the GOP nomination he would stand little chance in the general election. If he somehow did win the general election his tax hiking big government greenie-weenie policies would be a disaster almost as bad as a Democrat (at least he's pro-life) in the office. Why take chances? Dump this pious liberal now!

A more serious problem for conservatives may be the sudden resurrection of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign. Conservatives who want to wrest control of the GOP from the RINOs and moderates that currently control its direction and philosophy need to energize to get this disaster of a candidate out of the race.

The involvement in the McCain campaign by Governor Pawlenty (who is fast becoming the poster boy for RINOism) and the way the senator has been getting the kid gloves treatment from the mainstream media should be cause for alarm within the conservative base. Even a cursory look at Senator McCain's record makes it is pretty obvious that he is not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. Being strongly pro-life does not qualify as a pass to be considered "conservative" if he is not with the program when it comes to limited government, border enforcement, personal liberty, strong defense, and low taxes (Huckabee supporters also should take note on this point).

Mark Levin makes a compelling case on why conservatives need to reject McCain with the same energy and fervor we did to defeat the sham amnesty bill. Most politicians from time to time make what appears to be an uncharacteristically bad decision to support or obstruct a given issue (admittedly no one is perfect - even Reagan made his share of mistakes), but Levin points out that with McCain the straying off of the conservative reservation has been chronic with the senator repeatedly taking his "maverick" positions with not so much as a apology to those he crossed (remember the "Gang of 14" that undercut the Senate leadership and arguably initiated the loss of Senate by the GOP) when it becomes clear that he was on the wrong side of the issue.

Hopefully the GOP has learned from the 1996 campaign that giving the nomination to someone largely because of length of service to the party or that it is "his turn" can lead to disaster. By all rights Bill Clinton should have been a one-term president after his horrible first term. When the GOP telegraphed early in the 1996 cycle that Bob Dole, a long time party loyalist but an uninspiring candidate, was going to get the nomination the Democrats and their media accomplices engineered a brilliant campaign to undermine Dole while propping up the moribund Clinton campaign.

McCain may well have the media support and party stature to play the "it's my turn" gambit to get the GOP nomination in spite of conservative opposition or apathy, especially if no dominant front runner emerges before the convention. While McCain, unlike Huckabee, could conceivably beat the Democrat in the general election he could also very easily lose, especially if/when the media turns on him. Even if he becomes President, the conservative agenda would probably at best be put on hold, if not outright damaged (remember McCain supports, among other anti-conservative causes, the "Fairness" doctrine).

While any of the Republican candidates would be at least marginally preferable as President to any of the Democrat candidates (if nothing else to thwart the potential long term damage Hillary, Obama, or Edwards would do to the country through their Supreme Court nominees) putting Huckabee or McCain (or any other "maverick"/RINO/moderate/liberal) into the office would hurt the advance of the conservative agenda. After twenty years of Bush 41, Clinton, and (to a somewhat lesser degree) Bush 43 policies that have rolled back much of the good done by the Reagan Administration a return to true conservatism is sorely needed.


Blogger Mark said...

Good post and thanks for the shout-out, Daria; I come by my Packer bias honestly, having grown up 30 miles from Green Bay.

As for the rest, it's hard to argue with any of your thoughts on the matter. None of the candidates on offer are as true a conservative as I'd like. Thompson and Romney probably come the closest, but there are issues with both. For now I like Thompson better, but I wonder if he has the fire to do what's necessary to win the Presidency. It seems like he's looking for a casting director to give him the part, rather than going out and earning it. Romney might have the best platform in terms of pure conservatism, but he does seem a little, shall we say, protean. That makes me uncomfortable, too.

But either would preferable to the gentelmen you discuss. In a different era, Huckabee would have been a southern Democrat. McCain is pretty close to beyond the pale. I would be prepared to hold my nose and vote for one of these two, but I'd sure prefer not to. That's also where I am with Giuliani, who is a little too enamored with big government for my tastes.

My sense is that Thompson is the best of the possible candidates, but he needs to get moving and prove he really wants the job. I know that Mrs. Clinton and Obama sure want the job and must be stopped.

1/13/2008 4:43 PM  
Blogger The Admiral said...

Excellent post. Very true indeed. Nice job.

1/13/2008 6:10 PM  
Blogger Frake said...

I agree … wish I had written it first, but I don’t think I could have done as nice a job.

McCain is just MSM’s favorite. I cannot envision him ever getting the GOP nomination.

As for Huckabee, he did get a boost from evangelicals in Iowa but not all of them. As this campaign continues, more evangelicals are recognizing that this is the next Jimmy Carter: his theology is like ours but his politics is repugnant. Look to MSM to keep his campaign alive for as long as possible.

Regardless on how conservative you view Giuliani, I think his campaign strategy is going to back-fire. His plan appears to be to skip the early states and go straight to the larger states that will voter later. Al Gore tried a strategy like that in 1988 in the southern states. Gore won the southern states but he couldn’t translate that into any kind of momentum. I think Giuliani is taking the same risk. I don’t think it’s going to work.

In my humble opinion, Thompson appears to be looking for a graceful exit. In the only debate that I watched, he didn’t seem very energized.

My money is on Romney. Personally, I haven’t heard him say anything that I would disagree with. I like his record considering that governed a liberal state like Massachusetts.

CNN is reporting that Romney has the most votes and delegates so far.

1/13/2008 10:57 PM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

A McCain or Huckabee nomination, let alone presidency, would truly be a disaster for the Conservative movement.

It doesn't help to inspire Conservatives here in Minnesota when we have Governor Greenie involved in the McCain campaign and GOP Chairman Carey beyond "in the tank" for Huckabee.

AAA at Residual Forces has been on top of the Carey misleadership from the start, as he usually is. Worth checking it out at http://www.residualforces.com/2008/01/14/refresher-on-what-carey-said.

1/14/2008 1:42 PM  

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