Saturday, December 1, 2007

Huckabee, McCain and GOP double standards

By Rick Morris

The continuing assaults on Mike Huckabee and John McCain as less-than-authentic conservatives in the Republican race for president are indicative of a general stupidity that has long affected the right side of the political spectrum when it comes to selecting this nation's chief executive.

As listeners to The FDH Lounge program are aware, I am not endorsing either candidate, instead preferring Senator Fred Thompson. But the hypocritical piling-on that so-called conservative entities such as the Club For Growth are engaging in at the expense of Huck and McCain illuminates a much, much bigger problem for Republicans. The clear and simple truth is that either man would easily make a better president than the two empty suits that the party establishment seems determined to cram down everyone's throats, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

True, Huckabee supported tax hikes as governor of Arkansas and has an economic record that would not work well if he attempted to replicate it on the national stage. He has, however, supported a flat tax plan that would mandate a fiscally conservative path as president. Fears that he would bring the "Razorback Style" to D.C. are completely unfounded and disingenuous, since Republicans of all stripes learned the lesson of the first President Bush that tax hikes are a one-way route to defeat for re-election. Even the second President Bush, with his countless deviations from conservative governance, wasn't dumb enough to chase a tax hike and neither would Huckabee.

And McCain does have a boatload of annoyances to his dubious credit as well, from the blatantly unconstitutional McCain-Feingold monstrosity to the "Gang of 14" judicial deal of 2005, but he's also the biggest foe of pork-barrel politics ever to run for president. While he opposed the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, his overall economic record has been exceptionally conservative.

Both Huckabee and McCain have been unwavering in their support of the unborn and both have supported marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. Frankly, however, we have seen just how little social conservatism matters to the insiders and vile interests who control the Republican party.

On social issues, Rudy Giuliani is the most liberal major candidate for president in the Republican party since Nelson Rockefeller. Mitt Romney now claims to be conservative on each of these issues, but was a proud and unapologetic liberal on all of them when he was governor of Massachusetts. As I have noted with my FDH partner Jason Jones, he is fairly libertarian on social issues and I am not -- but neither one of us trusts Romney because he sounded like Jason when it was convenient in the Bay State and now he sounds like me when it is convenient on the national scene. Additionally, while this is an unpopular point to make in this sensitive day and age, Romney represents what would be the largest break ever with our nation's rule by individuals under the traditional Judeo-Christian banner.

And yet, sellout "conservative leaders" are trampling each other for the disgraceful opportunities to climb aboard the Giuliani and Romney bandwagons and lyingly bash Huckabee and McCain as less conservative. In many cases, this can be tied back to the old adage that no matter how pure at heart these pretenders claim to be, all they ever really want is the glory and influence of being associated with a winner. Witness Rush Limbaugh's hit jobs on Pat Buchanan and John McCain in 2000 to clear the way for Junior because El Rushbo thought he smelled a winner -- all the while hypocritically denying that he was making a specific endorsement for president -- and the move of influential "conservative leader" Ralph Reed to endorse Bob Dole in 1996 when he was pretty much the most liberal candidate in the field. In this election cycle, Hugh Hewitt has insulted everyone's intelligence at every turn, professing neutrality while breaking out the kneepads for Master Mitt at every turn. Examples of this sad phenomenon, the tendency of sellout conservatives to kneecap the greater good of the movement for their own selfish reasons, are unfortunately endless.

The picture gets worse, however, when you factor in petty personal issues and other inexplicable matters. Dr. James Dobson, allegedly the purest of the pure in terms of conservative leadership in this country, took cheap shots at Fred Thompson apparently for the "sin" of puckering up insufficiently to kiss his tuckess. This occurrence was even more sickening given the fact that Thompson was considered at the time a highly viable alternative to Giuliani and Romney and this did not impede Dobson's selfish grudge one iota.

The inescapable truth is that most conservative leaders are being unveiled as complete phonies in this election cycle. They are willing to foist Giuliani or Romney on the public notwithstanding the fact that both would be completely unreliable as president and neither is electable in the first place (neither can turn out the party base in the South, Giuliani because of his social positions and Romney because he represents the aforementioned deviation from the American Judeo-Christian tradition). They bury Huckabee and McCain at every turn for their supposed heresies while turning a willful blind eye to the far worse actions of their liberal Northeast pets. They brand Thompson as unelectable because of some supposed foibles with his campaign and his campaign style, all the while pretending to be ignorant to the fact that their attacks will in large part be responsible in the unfortunate event he is unable to secure the nomination.

The double standard applied is nothing short of sickening. Apparently in the Republican party, the only allowable policy crimes are against the social conservatives, not the economic ones. The party is never going to shake its image of putting Wall Street above Main Street if it keeps urinating on social conservatives and only wailing about policy failings involving monetary interests.

A great many conservative voters, myself definitely included, long ago accepted the notion that the vast majority of Republican politicians are worthless frauds who talk a good game but sell us out at the first opportunity. The wonderful conservative pundit M. Stanton Evans long ago coined "Evans' law," which states that "Whenever one of 'our people' reaches a position of power where he can do us some good, he ceases to be one of 'our people.'" However, we don't apply the same standard of suspicion to those advocates in right-wing interest groups claiming to speak for us. It's time we started, because most of them are proving to be every bit as harmful as the charlatans they have put in office.


Vote For Hillary Online said...

If the list of candidates to choose from was a line of port-o-potties outside a concert, Huckabee would be the one overflowing with diarrhea.
If you want a real candidate with real values, then you want Hillary Clinton. Just trust me.

Rick Morris said...

I struggled on whether to allow the above comment, given its juvenile nature and lack of redeeming qualities. Then I decided that it represented the Hillary campaign perfectly and that it would be beneficial for people to recognize it as such!

--Rick Morris