22 February 2011

Mike Huckabee would be a terrible president

But for those of you pining for a third Bush term, he unquestionably remains your man.

Earlier this week in a telephone conference with reporters, Huckabee strongly implied that he had neither the funding nor appetite for a 2012 presidential run.

On the one hand, Huckabee would be the most direct threat to a Sarah Palin candidacy, and would deeply cut into her support among the egghead wing of the GOP. These are the Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins-type culture warriors, who believe that the Republican Party should be the political wing of Christianity, whose allegiance to Israel outpaces their allegiance to the United States, and whose only qualification for membership in the GOP is that they don't want gay people to get married. This, unfortunately, is a huge feather in the cap of the Palin camp.

On the other hand, Huckabee would be a terrible president.

After his upset win in Iowa in 2008, he said that his victory was likely propelled by the same power that took five loaves of bread and two small fish and fed thousands of people.

As George Will wryly asked, "God so loves Huckabee's politics that He worked a Midwest miracle on his behalf?" Will spoke for reasonable people everywhere when he said that someone so delusional shouldn't come anywhere near nuclear weapons.

Mike Huckabee was a fundamentally unconservative governor. In his eight years at the helm in Arkansas, spending went up a total of 66 percent -- three times the rate of inflation. During his last two years in office, the Cato Institute gave him a "D" and an "F." Huckabee claims that he cut taxes 90-plus times as governor, but policy wonks have pointed out that many of those "cuts" were very small-bore measures that had little to no impact. The fact is that he had to raise taxes repeatedly to pay for his expansionistic agenda.

Huckabee represents the worst of the Republican Party -- a singular focus on social issues; mouthing support for Ronald Reagan while spitting on the Gipper's legacy with statist solutions that would make many Democrats blush; and a condescension toward an educated mind.

Huckabee may be entertaining on the stump and play a mean bass guitar, but he would make a terrible president.

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