I submitted a response to the debate thread at RedState.com—mostly made up of Romney supporters and McCainiacs, along with some ‘Huckabites’–the biblical-like term my wife and I have playfully applied to our fellow supporters. I decided to add it here. I hope you like it. God bless.
Yes, I Am Still For Huckabee, Even Now–Part II.”
I have to confess that it is ironic how history has a habit of repeating itself. Abraham Lincoln is not remembered today as a man who was a second choice by his own fledgling party as President in 1860, and that he was considered something of a turncoat by the abolitionist movement both for not proposing outlawing slavery other than in the western territories, as well as for not proposing war against the seceding Southern states until Beauregard fired upon Anderson at Fort Sumter. He was able to win election only because the Democrats split between its Northern and Southern wings, even though the Republicans fell in its vote from the previous election (45% to 40%). Most of us know that his Gettysburg Address was poorly received by many until after his death.
Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address is now celebrated as one of his greatest speeches and one of the greatest speeches in American politics, with his throat-tightening paean to America as “a city on a hill.” But the truth was, at the time it was considered as anti-climatic, as rather mundane compared to some of his other messages (Berlin Wall, Point du Hoc).
The fact of the matter is that we are getting a situation like that now. I will be vilified, no doubt, just as the candidate I support has been during the course of this campaign. Governor Mike Huckabee, I will say again, is still the right man to become the 44th President. In fact, based upon what I saw in the debate at the Reagan Library on Wednesday night, I believe that Governor Huckabee is the successor to the mantle of spiritual leader of the Republican Party, following Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Robert Taft, and Ronald Reagan.
I say that even with my continued abiding support for President Bush, and that, even though he made mistakes, he has always sought to correct them when he believed them necessary, and that history will judge him far more of a conservative than his contemporaries do now, especially on Iraq. I will even include his efforts on the prescription drug benefit plan, as an attempt to reign in the costs of Medicare under a conservative model in dealing with what seems to many an intractable “third rail” problem. Many will believe me out of my mind for thinking so, but that’s my contention, and a topic for another time.
And it is notable to remind anyone who would read this that, as of last Thursday, Mitt Romney was all but pronounced the probable winner in the Florida primary and expected to steamroll to the Republican nomination. We have had no less than 5 men make it into first place in the presidential opinion surveys run by the Rasmussen polling agency. And four of them (Rudy, Fred, John, and Mitt) all proclaimed as an inevitable nominee. It’s unlike any presidential election I have ever seen, and I have paid close attention to every one since 1964.
And so we now come, the chattering classes on the left have decided, to crown John McCain king of the Republicans on Super Tuesday. And the chattering hordes of the right, so many of whom I had so long respected, even admired, have converged in their rage and desperate fear, seeking to uphold their remaining hero, Mitt Romney. In the last two months they have acted as if the end of the Republic will come if the new king is enthroned.
Somehow these ‘guardians of the Judeo-Christian conservative ethic’ seem convinced that a long-time social moderate, moderate on gun owners’ rights, the son of a moderate Governor of Michigan who was an erstwhile critic of the Vietnam War, who was supportive of gay rights, abortion rights, and embryonic stem cell research right on until—yes, after he gets elected as a typical moderate establishment Republican governor of Massachusetts and then casts his wistful eyes toward the White House, and who, as a Mormon, is a member of a religion which in the eyes of 2,000-year-old orthodox Christian doctrine, is a pernicious cult—should stand as the rightful successor to Ronald Reagan–or as Rush Limbaugh likes to call him, “Ronaldus Magnus.”
But the former Southern Baptist megachurch pastor and state denomination’s president, who served as an evangelical organizer for Reagan’s 1980 Religious Affairs Briefings, who served as the most conservative governor in the history of Arkansas and passed its first tax cuts in its 175-year history, took it from $200 million in debt to $800 million in surplus, slashed crime, achieved breathtaking improvements in education, infrastructure and economic development and international trade, firmly defended innocent human life and fought gay marriage and humanism in a 14-year career as both Lt. Governor and Governor (11 in that office), and who after a couple of misstatements concerning Middle East policy has been passionate in his reiteration of an intent to passionately defend Israel, increase defense spending to 6% of GDP, and pursue an eventual removal of the Iranian regime, and who on trade assures that his opinions on ‘fair trade’ involve tax relief, regulatory reduction, maintaining support for NAFTA and GATT but opposing tariffs and other protectionist barriers, while diplomatically confronting Chinese trade abuses, all the while intending, as his signature issue, the end of the IRS and replacement of the income tax system with a consumption tax—this man is demonized as the destruction of the Republican Party!
Only a few things seem to be wrong with the set of the pre-wrapped coronation last night: Mike Huckabee insisted that he receive equal treatment with the ‘two kings’ and he got it (especially in the second half of the debate, directly after the worst of the McCain-Romney catfight). He then spoke both with a clear command of facts, eloquently and insightfully of the interconnectedness of all the issues that face an executive (definite but classy slap at McCain), skillfully defended his strong anti-illegal immigrant position without an overreaching which could hurt him with Hispanics in a fall election matchup, and gave a strenous yet creative defense of the use of the 10th Amendment-guarded place for the states in solving major pressing problems rather than federal involvement. And then, on top of that, Governor Huckabee responded to the hypothetical question about who would Reagan endorse with one of the most soaring and inspirational tributes of the Great Communicator’s greatness I’ve heard in years, especially his love of America. The awesomeness of his eloquence, which connected visably with Nancy Reagan and the dignitaries seated around her and Governor Schwartzenegger, contrasted powerfully with Romney’s pedantic and arrogant recitation of his bullet points of flipped-flopped-to Reaganesque positions, and McCain’s smarmy self-promotion–which was coupled with a true Freudian slip–“I was a leader–ooops!–a soldier in the Reagan revolution.”
A huge attention has been paid earlier in the week at the Kennedy family’s endorsement of Barack Obama, and their pronouncement that the Illinois Senator was the recipient of John F. Kennedy’s memorable metaphorical “torch” of leadership of the liberal-progressive (read European Socialist-globalist)wing of the Democrat party. But from the time that Nancy Reagan came to Governor Huckabee at the beginning of the evening to have him escort her to her seat, to the abovementioned tribute to her revered husband, I felt that the real torch has passed—the mantle of Reagan–long coveted but undeserved, had finally come to its rightful heir–to Mike Huckabee.
Today this pronouncement will merit me significant scorn.
Tomorrow….perhaps the same…or..not.
But consider these states: Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Alaska. These are all states where, according to recent polls taken in them, Mike Huckabee is either leading or running within low single digit percentages behind the leader, usually McCain, though a few are with Romney. Time will tell, but I believe that Mike may very well win all of them. 12 states. 12 Super Tuesday states. Maybe not the big states McCain gets: New York, California, Arizona, New Jersey, Illinois (along with R.I., Conn., VT., ME), but they are a huge set up for a devastating end for the Romney campaign. And then a very, VERY, interesting scenario begins to occur. Can you just guess what that would be?
No, I didn’t think you would. But then, there’s a lot of us that are missing it on what should happen during this election.
Hasta al pronto.
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