December 19, 2007
Aw Shucks-a-bee, Why Not Huckabee?By Kyle-Anne Shiver
Aw shucks, I like this guy, Huckabee. He's a smooth talker, he is. Why, he could charm the hide right off an ornery gator at a hundred yards and be wearing the genuine-hide boots by suppertime. I'll just bet he packed the pews and the offering plates in the Baptist churches whenever he was preaching. I might have even given a dollar myself for a few of his perfectly pitched one-liners, but I'd have to be hog-tied for sure to give him my vote.
Now, I don't want to go casting aspersions on the good people of Arkansas, but I am starting to wonder how politics works there. I should think the Arkansas brand might need a bit more refining before we give that state another shot at the Presidency.
Some will say that Slick-Willy Clinton and Tax-Hike-Mike Huckabee could not possibly be more dissimilar. I beg to differ with anyone who makes that automatic assumption.
Yes, they hail from different political parties. And yes, Bill Clinton is a social libertine; Mike Huckabee is a social conservative. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar; Mike Huckabee graduated from Ouachita Baptist University. Bill Clinton likes the treadmill; Mike Huckabee prefers to diet. Bill Clinton plays the saxophone; Mike Huckabee plays bass guitar.
Other differences may indeed be myriad, but when I listen to Mike Huckabee and Bill Clinton, I hear a couple of good ole boys of a certain, rather unsavory mold of old South politics, with a gift for smooth-talking gab that could only be topped by the con man who woos a lady out of her life savings, then runs off with another woman before his verbal syrup even begins to draw the flies.
And the real problem lies in the often huge disparity between what these smooth-talking pols say to get elected and what they actually do once in office. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are two perfect examples; Mike Huckabee appears to be as well.
Mike Huckabee has done a better job of covering his tracks than even former Governor and First Lady of Arkansas, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Right at the end of Huckabee's eleven-year stint as Arkansas' Governor, he ordered the hard drives crashed on every computer so that no one would ever have access to his papers. Not only that, but now the churches where he served as pastor refuse to release any of the sermons he delivered, and I am truly dying to know what's in them that Huckabee finds so potentially offensive to mainstream America.
This is perfectly Clinton-esque; hidden or destroyed records seems to play well in Arkansas.
Now Mr. Huckabee may look and sound very salt-of-the-earth, but I find it downright bothersome that he had 5 formal ethics violations while in office, and that he used the operating budget (taxpayer money!) of the Governor's mansion to pay for personal expenses like a doghouse, clothes and take-out meals. And wouldn't you know it? The Clintons used taxpayer money to pay for Chelsea's full-time nanny.
Add to that the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Huckabee, who had been married a full 20 years, set up wedding registries upon leaving the Governor's mansion so "grateful" citizens (think lobbyists) could furnish their new, expensive house. Sound familiar? This is exactly what Bill and Hillary did when leaving the White House.
Also like the Clintons, the Huckabees tried to claim $70,000 worth of furnishings from the Governor's mansion as their own. Using public office to rip off the taxpayers seems to be something of a nasty habit in Arkansas.
Some folks complain that they don't like rich people running for public office. I don't like people running for public office so they can get rich!
Mike Huckabee is as socially conservative as anyone running in 2008. And that is the only thing he has going for him. He has governed as a high-taxing, high-spending, government-can-make-the-world-perfect liberal in every way.
He has zero foreign policy experience, thinks we should practice the golden rule with terrorists and wants to close Gitmo so that the Europeans will start liking us again. He doesn't even have a foreign policy adviser and he needs one more than anyone running.
Just because General Petraeus is now winning the war in Iraq does not mean we can let our guard down, and giving Mike Huckabee the Republican nomination will give Americans a choice next November between the-war-is-lost Democrats and a candidate who thinks that going to war with the terrorists in the first place was "arrogant." He sounds more like a Clinton everyday. That's precisely the word Hillary Clinton has used to describe the President's war policy: "arrogant." Quite a coincidence.
A President simply cannot be all things to all people; the Office is not designed that way. We are up to our necks in a war for our own survival, and I will not put my vote in the hands of a man who learned his methods for foreign policy in vacation Bible school. We need a fierce, street-fighting Commander in Chief without a single gullible bone in his body.
Mike Huckabee can play his bass guitar at barbeques with Bill on the sax, do Saturday Night Live with Barack Obama and re-decorate government houses with Hillary, but anyone who thinks he can be a wartime President, might need a civics refresher course.
As for me, I would indeed have to be hog-tied to give Mike Huckabee my vote, because in the end, a President's primary duty is to defend this Country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that's not something you learn in Sunday school or by padding your government expense accounts in Arkansas.
What is this Party coming to?
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com.