November 23, 2007


Don’t Be Scared: Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee (Jonah Goldberg, 11/21/07, National Review)

What’s so scary about Huckabee? Personally, nothing. He seems a charming, decent, friendly, pious man.

What’s troubling about The Man From Hope 2.0 is what he represents. Huckabee represents compassionate conservatism on steroids. A devout social conservative on issues such as abortion, school prayer, homosexuality and evolution, Huckabee’s a populist on economics, a fad-follower on the environment and an all-around do-gooder who believes that the biblical obligation to do “good works” extends to using government — and your tax dollars — to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

For example, Huckabee would support a nationwide ban on public smoking. Why? Because he’s on a health kick, thinks smoking is bad and believes the government should do the right thing.

And therein lies the chief difference between Paul and Huckabee. One is a culturally conservative libertarian. The other is a right-wing progressive.

Whatever shortcomings Paul and his friends might have, Paul’s dogma generally renders those shortcomings irrelevant. He is a true ideologue in that his personal preferences are secondary to his philosophical principles. When asked what his position is, he generally responds that his position can be deduced from the text of the Constitution. Of course, that’s not as dispositive as he thinks it is. But you get the point.

As for Huckabee — as with most politicians, alas — his personal preferences matter enormously because, ultimately, they’re the only things that can be relied on to constrain him.

To the contrary, the restraint is his Christianity, as it is with W, which is why Mr. Goldberg, like the rest of the neocons, opposed the President in 2000.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2007 7:18 PM

"Right wing progressive", what a thoroughly revolting combination of three words.

Posted by: Perry at November 23, 2007 8:08 PM

When conservative covers it.

Posted by: oj at November 24, 2007 12:11 AM

Put this Huckabee guy on the ticket with Il Duce and we're good to go.

One would hope that the NRO gang understands this time that we are not going to win against images of our hands tearing up Social Security cards.

Nothing wrong with "right wing progressive." Our conservatism is about salvation history, which is a progression.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 24, 2007 9:41 AM

Thanks but you guys have lost me.

Posted by: Perry at November 24, 2007 3:00 PM

Perry, I can't speak for oj on this, but I cannot abide the use of that word to describe leftists of any stripe. In reality. they are no more than so-called, self-proclaimed "progressives."

In the first place, the so-called "progressives" are morbid reactionaries, ever looking backwards to some imaginary golden age of earth-mother worshipping primitive communism, before the patriarchate, or the Jews or the Christians, or the capitalists ruined everything.

Moreover, the so-called, self-proclaimed "progressives" are in fact counter-progressive in their ideologies. Their schemes all aim at separating behaviors from consequences, thus short-circuiting the very process by which progress takes place.

Finally, the name, "progressive" was appropriated by the Communists--the real, out-and-out murdering red bastards who used to run THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, before we swept them into the great dustbin. This fact alone should be enough to make us reject the foul lie by which these atavistic barbarians claim to be for progress.

When we rectify the names, it is conservatives who are the real progressives. We stand on the shoulders of the giants of human progress from the stone age to the stars. It is an unbroken tradition reaching from the ancestors, through ouselves, on to posterity.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 24, 2007 8:11 PM

Huckabee is corrupt. There's little difference between him and Rudy G. in this way. All corruption is moral, yes? regardless whether it's political corruption (Huckabee) or personal corruption (Rudy G.).

Huckabee would cost the GOP the corruption card against Hillary. It's gotta be Romney or McCain. If Romney push-polled himself, there's only one choice left.

Posted by: Palmcroft at November 25, 2007 9:34 AM

Thank you very much Lou, I truely appreciate you taking the time to explain to me what must be very basic concepts for you.

For what it is worth, my above quip was in reference to the 'do gooder' mentality that we are plagued with on the left, banning this, requiring that and so forth and wondering how that plays out from a rightwing approach.

You have added the proper perspective to be sure.

Posted by: Perry at November 25, 2007 9:44 AM

Given the Christian component of Burkean conservatism, how can it help but be progressive and do-gooderish?

Posted by: oj at November 25, 2007 11:43 AM

Huckabee is just a stalking horse for Maverick & Fred. He can destroy the Romney candidacy in IA but can't compete in NH.

Posted by: oj at November 25, 2007 11:45 AM

It is probably a bit over the top to describe today's "progressives" as earth-worshiping primitives. They worship the self - their own bodies and their own ideas of power. Their ideology is a reaction (as Lou notes), a reaction to the reality of this world, created by God, where man lives with limitations (suffering and mortality) and yet has something deeper inside himself. That drives them nuts, and they deny it at every turn.

But it is also why only conservatives can be truly 'progressive'. They know that man cannot progress without a nice strong hedge on either side.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 25, 2007 2:35 PM