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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Other Man From Hope
Mike Huckabee, the likable longshot . . .

by Terry Eastland, publisher, The Weekly Standard: . . . On the stump he describes the great America that was his growing up in Hope, Arkansas: He was the first male "in my entire family ever to graduate high school," and he attributes his achievements to his parents, who, wanting "something better for me," worked multiple jobs, making "enormous sacrifices." That great America, however, is one that Huckabee believes has slipped away. And so, as he told a crowd of 60 assembled in Central Park in downtown Ottumwa, "I want us once again to believe that the greatest generation is not the generation that's already come but the generation that's not been born yet."

. . .vertical governing," (is) . . . a concept he defines with reference to his ten-and-a-half years as governor, in which capacity it was, . . . "not my luxury to just simply make speeches and tell people what to do. I had to do things. I was judged on whether or not the roads got better or worse, whether the schools got better or worse, whether jobs improved or declined, whether wages got better or worse, whether we took better care of our natural resources or didn't, whether taxes went up or down, whether the cost of government got better or worse. It's what I like to call 'vertical governing.' Because, quite frankly, the average American isn't that concerned about whether you are left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, even though I am unapologetically . . . to the right of center, probably to the right of most people in this room. But the point is . . . people want . . . vertical leadership, which they expect to lead up and not down. The net result of being elected is not to talk about what the right thing is but to do what's right."

Huckabee is offering what might be called "results conservatism." The conservative part is fundamental because it identifies where governing, for him, must be grounded, in terms of philosophy and ideas. And as he makes his campaign stops, Huckabee takes care to assert his conservatism. He explains how, growing up in a very blue county, he became a conservative "by conviction" when he was a teenager. He states his preferences for "less government, not more" and "lower taxes, not higher." He insists on understanding marriage in traditional terms, as the union of a male and a female. He stresses the sanctity of human life and calls for protecting it from the moment of conception. He criticizes Roe v. Wade as having "imposed an unconstitutional concept of privacy" upon the country. He cites the Tenth Amendment as a bulwark against an overweening federal government. And he underscores that the "first job" of the president "is to protect the American people," which, he emphasizes, means protecting the country against "fanatic jihadists" who are waging "a theological war" against us. Huckabee's results conservatism is not to be confused with President Bush's compassionate conservatism. Huckabee rejects the latter term on the ground . . . that compassion isn't a matter of political ideology but is related to "your spirit and heart."

Huckabee wants his audiences to know that he doesn't have "several different views" on right to life, say, or taxation or same-sex marriage. . . . On specific issues, Huckabee says that the immigration bill failed because it didn't "take care of the first test of a real immigration policy, which is having a secure border." On energy, he declares that we need "to produce our own energy sources" and quit our dependence on foreign sources. On the No Child Left Behind law, he states his agreement with its general thrust and would make only minor changes. On health care, he argues that the country needs to shift from an intervention-based system to one based on prevention. On judges, he says he would appoint judicial conservatives like Antonin Scalia, whom he calls "the gold standard" for judging. And on the question of the Supreme Court's overruling Roe, he's emphatically for it. On Iraq--a subject that generates only one or two questions at each event--Huckabee supports the surge, and opposes any timetable for pulling troops out, and he accuses Democrats of playing politics. On the war on terrorism more broadly, he says we have to be in it for the long run: "What people don't understand is what we're up against. . . . We're fighting people who don't care if it takes a thousand years. They've been at it for longer than that. A few hundred more years won't matter."

The one big idea Huckabee advances on the stump is the fair tax. Huckabee told me he became a fair-tax proponent after first being attracted to the flat tax. "But then I realized that the flat tax . . . was a tax on productivity, which is not the way you stimulate entrepreneurial activity." . . . As he explains the concept in his speeches, the fair tax would replace all current taxes on productivity with a consumption tax of 23 % on all goods and services (education being the lone exception). It would be so simple to administer, he says, that "a seven-year-old running a lemonade stand would be able to figure it out." We could eliminate the IRS, he adds, since the government no longer would collect taxes. "And"--an applause line--"April 15 would be just another spring day in America."

. . . There was, of course, another man from Hope, Arkansas, who became president of the United States. What are the odds of that happening again? Will Americans want it to happen again? Huckabee recognizes there may be a sort of been-there, done-that feeling out there. On the campaign trail, he meets it head-on: "There was another guy from Hope, Arkansas, who ran for president," he says. "He would have turned out better if he'd stayed there longer," a line that honors Hope at Bill Clinton's expense, something Republican crowds like. "People ask me all the time: Do you really believe that another unknown, obscure governor born in Hope, Arkansas, can become president of the United States. My answer is: Give us one more chance!" . . . [Read More]
Tags: Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, Republican, Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:12 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huckabee has a handle of the pulse of the American public with his advocacy of the FairTax. First, excerpts from . . .
Where is the outrage over sky-high taxes, regulatory costs?
by Steve Higgins
7/15/07 - New Haven (CT) Register (Fair Use excerpts)

"Reports last week from two nonprofit groups should serve as a wake-up call to Americans to start agitating for tax reform . . .

"On Monday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported that the cost to consumers of complying with federal regulations exceeded $1 trillion in 2006 . . . almost 10 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. It's nearly half the amount of government spending !

"Even more worrisome, the cost of complying with these multitudinous regulations exceeds the amount of individual income tax paid in 2006, about $998 billion, as well as corporate incomes taxes of $277 billion.

"According to the Washington, DC-based advocacy group [ Americans for Tax Reform ], the average American had to work through July 11 this year just to pay all federal, state and local taxes, as well as regulatory costs including workers' compensation and unemployment benefits.

"Congress should take one of two paths: Either cut tax rates and government spending drastically, or adopt the FairTax, an innovative proposal that would involve abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and its income tax and replacing it with a simple national sales tax."

Full article here:

. . . The U.S. income tax system and the U.S. economy are inter-related, and are in DIRE trouble. If we, the citizens of these United States, do not act aggressively to spread the FairTax plan with family, friends and associates - our "nest eggs" stand to be devastated through a coming economic meltdown. ( "Laurence J. Kotlikoff on Long-Term Fiscal Problems in the U.S.," summary and podcast at - Dr. Kotlikoff is an expert economist, and advocate, of the FairTax plan)

Politicians are putting demogoguery and pandering above responsible governing - and they're able to do it because Americans do NOT understand - at the "get go" - politicians' / bankers' hunger for ever-increasing shares of the working person's bi-weekly paycheck; Americans do NOT understand the totality of taxes they pay. The FairTax shines the "light of day" on this, putting citizens back in charge to forcefully demand spending reductons.

YOU AND I MUST ACT to mobilize public opinion, and get the FairTax enacted, because the signs point to a probable devaluation of the dollar (for reissuance of an "Amero" ? - under a U.S.-sovereignty-busting North American Union ? )

[ NOTE: Does this help clarify your understanding of what's going on globally? a) Bush's persistence on rewarding illegal immigration? b) the North American Highway now under construction in Texas (to stream cheap labor into the covertly-planned North American Union marketplace designed to compete with 21st-century China market? c) the gradual increase in value of the Chinese yuan by China corresponding to China's economic growth? (This will result in the dumping of dollar-denominated debt as its manufacturing economy grows stronger - which guarantees devaluing and ushering-in of the Amero.) ]

Keep in mind, this NAU strategy - supported by the "super-rich" (member-owners of the Fed) - together with their politician buddies who want NOTHING to do with FairTax - runs contrary to simply making the U.S. a "tax free zone" for business under the FairTax. Politicians and bankers lose power when the U.S. is returned to a "savings-driven economy" from a "debt / interest-driven" economy).

Powerful "elites," members of political and monied-interest "clubs" reaching into the halls of power in Washington, depend on keeping you and me uninformed of their plans. It is up to YOU and ME to ACT - and not live in a state of denial - based on what we now know is clearly happening to our financial futures.

After you consult the Kotlikoff interview (above):

• (If you're a member of your State FairTax organization) Contact your state or local FairTax Director to learn what you can do. Find yours here:

• (If you're just learning about the FairTax bill) Join here:

• Finally, send a donation to Mike Huckabee. You have a better idea of why we need people like him in office:


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