McCain vs. Huckabee

To: Sen. John McCain

A Republican debate was scheduled to take place on February 28th, 2008. It was to be sponsored by the Ohio Republican Party. This debate has since been mysteriously cancelled. A rush to judgment has ensued following the Super Tuesday elections on February 5th in which more than 21 states held primaries or caucuses. Sen. John McCain gained an enormous advantage and squeezed out Gov. Mitt Romney. Gov. Mike Huckabee was left standing as the Party’s only other viable candidate.

We believe:
1) Sen. McCain should earn the respect of the Republican base by debating Mike Huckabee in one or more formal Lincoln-Douglas style debates.
2) that failure to publicly engage Gov. Huckabee in debate before March 4th should be considered a gross attempt to grab the nomination without properly demonstrating a viable candidacy.

Thus, we hereby petition Sen. McCain to accept an invitation to debate Mike Huckabee with all due haste and prove or disprove his worthiness.

Sincerely,

SIGN THE PETITION

Huck’s last stand

The latest polling from ARG shows a statistical tie heading into tomorrow’s Wisconsin primary.

TCUL poll of likely voters shows a similar result in Texas 3/4 primary.

Ohio, also March 4, is all over the map. Best estimate is McCain by double digits.

Mississippi’s primary is scheduled for 3/10. But, if Huck doesn’t pull off his miracle, the primary will be meaningless.

Most everyone believes the race is already over, so why is Huck holding out?

“Remember the Republican nominee must have 1,191 votes to claim the nomination or else there will be a brokered convention where the Party’s top candidates will have an opportunity to make an impassioned plea as to why they are the best choice to represent the Republican Party in the fall against the Democrat candidate.

Before we get to a brokered convention however we will need to win Texas and seize the momentum.”

The odds are long, and Huck is running uphill and against a strong headwind. If Huck takes Wisconsin, the race continues to Texas and Ohio. It might also mean a head to head debate with McCain. I would truly love to see that.

Breaking News! A HuckaBoom Endorsement!

Paul Weyrich has endorsed Mike Huckabee.
Weyrichs profile:

“We are different from previous generations of conservatives. We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country.”

Mike Huckabee’s comment:

“He has been one of my political heroes and mentors, and I’ve admired his tenacity as a conservative stalwart,” he said.

Say what you will about endorsement’s, but among conservatives, this is a biggie.

Setting The Record Straight On The McCain-GOP Establishment Tag-Team!

MIKE HUCKABEE
Ideology Support
Conservative: 43%
Moderate: 24%
Liberal: 9%
General Election Matchup
Huckabee (40%) Clinton (48%)
Huckabee (35%) Obama (51%)

John McCain
Ideology Support
Conservative: 31%
Moderate: 45%
Liberal: 8%
General Election Matchup
McCain (48%) Clinton (40%)
McCain (47%) Obama (41%)

Mitt Romney
Ideology Support
Conservative: 42%
Moderate: 28%
Liberal: 8%
General Election Matchup
Romney (42%) Clinton (47%)
Romney (38%) Obama (47%)
Source.

If the purpose of any political party is to win, to acquire or maintain power, then the logical question must be how to reach that goal. I won’t even discuss that question about the Democrats, they are all Marxist. However, for the Republicans it is a much more complex problem, with the various factions involved and how to get them to coalesce.

Without a clear perfect candidate for their party, a standard bearer of all the things Republicans hold dear, the answer for the GOP establishment was a very simple one, who could win against the top Dem contenders. To reach their goal of selecting that person, many people would have to be “brought around” and they would just have to “calm down.” Senator McCain was the chosen one by the GOP establishment, long ago, because of his internal polling numbers against the DNC rivals, but he had a troubling record with conservatives within the party. How was the GOP establishment to overcome the resistance to their annointee and still get the needed support from the conservatives in their party? The strategy was simplified and any candidate that presented a challenge to the GOP establishment’s goal of winning was implemented, and the one candidate that they couldn’t dismiss as a fruitcake(Paul) and appealed to the conservative element of the party had to be attacked and marginalized, made as unappealing as possible to those conservatives, so that in the end, those conservatives would have no place left to go and would fall in line and support the GOP establishments choice, or the result…HEAVEN PORTENDS…they would be helping elect Hillary! The left has long contended that the right uses scare tactics, but as is clear now, both the left and the right use them, but in this case, the right is using scare tactics on the right for their own selfish reasons. Principles be damned!

How else can McCain’s rise from the ashes be explained? In August he was on his hands and knees, he was on the mat, bleeding from his ears, broke and working without the operatives he had to layoff and none of the other candidates applied the CNS disconnect, the coup de grace. A bullet to the back of his head at that time would have been to the benefit of conservatives, but would not serve the interest of the GOP. Just like in a Kung Fu movie, he had to be allowed to continue kicking aimlessly and wildly, in a show-down with the antagonist.

The strategy would involve a number of competent, but not unifying conservative-like candidates, such as Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney. They would only be given limited roles in their grand strategy, lest they take support away from McCain, their role was to take votes away from Mike Huckabee, the only true life-long conservative in the race and the antithesis of the GOP establishment.

How to explain this analysis of the GOP establishments Kabuki isn’t very difficult. First let’s look at the awkward and halting campaign of Fred Thompson. I don’t care to look up the exact date it was first hinted, that there was a whisper, that Fred was considering announcing his candidacy for President in ’08, but it created a buzz throughout the LameStream media, but even more so in the new media. The echo chambers throughout the blogosphere, such as Michelle Malkin and Hot Air, were in the forefront of the blog buzz. As Fred continued to hold back from announcing, his would be supporters became frustrated and made even louder appeals for him to announce so they could start helping him gain support and momentum for his run, but he continued to hold back. Finally, at some point, he entered the race and his supporters were ecstatic and energized about the campaign, but as his campaign proceeded, even his own supporters had questions about his lack of enthusiasm and those who were not as enthusiastic about his candidacy, looked at his limited and sometimes questionable record in the Senate, along with his seeming disinterest and decided he didn’t have the fire in the belly needed for the long campaign. As the caucuses/primaries proceeded, his performance and results were less than encouraging, especially for those who had doubts about his sincerity, like this author. Finally, the week leading to the South Carolina primary approached and the whispers were if Fred didn’t win or do well in SC, he would end his campaign and he bashed on Mike Huckabee all week, but not on Romney or McCain. As a result, Fred had his best showing of the campaign and finished third. However, if you look at this realclearpolitics link, in particular the bottom graph, you will see that Fred’s numbers actually declined during the weeks leading to the primary, all the while bashing Mike, but that the two who did surge at the end were Mike and McCain. Romney climbed some during the month prior, then fell of at the end. So who was hurt and who was helped at the SC primary? Who was the “spoiler?” Contrary to the Republican echo chambers, Fred and Mitt were the GOP establishment’s spoilers for Mike, as he would have won SC had they not taken conservative votes away from him, knowing full well they couldn’t win. The following Tuesday, after sabotaging Mike’s chances to take an important win and holding off McCain in taking the delegate collection lead, Fred dropped out after his best performance of the race. The question as to why Fred would drop out after his best showing was raised and was still being asked on some talk shows as recently as this past week, but a report from Carl Cameron on the Fox News website, within hours of Fred dropping his campaign, answered that question very well, and with this report today, adds credence to the believable story that all Fred wanted was to be VP and was just waiting for the right moment to announce he was supporting the GOP establishment’s choice, which conveniently occurred on this date, just prior to Mike taking the stage at the CPAC.
What a coincidence, if you believe in them.

Then there is the matter of Mitt Romney, the “conservatives conservative.” Did this candidate earn this embellished title from years of supporting conservative ideals, such as being a tax-cutter, pro-life, pro-family or pro-gun? Hardly, his own statements from the 90′s and the early 2000′s contradict his most recent claims as to being conservative on all those issues. For such an allegedly smart investor, the enormous amounts of money he spent on his campaign, with such a poor return, belies that claim. Going into Super Tuesday, with the internal polling he could afford, he knew he didn’t have a chance to win other than in states that no one cares much about and certainly not in the South where even McCain is very weak, but Mitt’s presence in the race, at that time, was essential to the GOP establishment’s strategy. Mitt had to siphon off the conservative vote from Mike, so McCain could win some close races(such as Oklahoma and Missouri) and so that Mitt could deprive Mike of needed delegates in those states that were not winner take all. Their plan succeeded and McCain was able to add an almost insurmountable lead in the delegate count and it should be noted about Mitt’s campaign, and his much vaunted conservative values, he only carried his former home state of Massachusetts by ten points over McCain. So, a few days later, Mitt the “spoiler,” having done what was asked of him by the GOP establishment, took his marbles and went home, all the while complaining about Mike’s campaign and whining about results, while only days before, admonishing Mike for whining.

But wait!
How was the conservative voter supposed to believe that Fred and Mitt were indeed the conservative choice in this race, knowing they would have to rein them in, in the end and have them walk away handing a likely nomination to McCain? McCain being the most reviled candidate in conservatives eyes. Simple, they would need to dominate the talk show air waves and the blogosphere with anti-Huckabee lies, distortions and half-truths, and repeat them as often and as loudly as they could in order to build in enough resistance to his campaign and record as possible, knowing that in these echo chambers the message would resonant enough so that the majority of the listeners and readers, who would never do their own research, would accept their lies as the truth. The propaganda worked, especially the big lie, that Mike was responsible for huge tax increases in Arkansas, while conveniently leaving out the fact that the Democrat controlled state legislature overrode Mike’s vetoes of those tax increases.

Now the GOP establishment is making calls…no…demands…that all conservatives should coalesce around McCain as their nominee and defeat the Dem candidate, whoever that may be. It doesn’t matter if the conservative voters ever know that they were played or that they never had a chance to vote for a true conservative with a record to prove it, the GOP establishment wants their power and they have no interest in the thoughts or feelings of conservatives, as long as they vote straight ticket GOP. Any dissent from that position and the brow-beatings, derision, or whatever the latest demonizing adjective they can conjure up may be, will be applied without mercy until the election and maybe afterward, if the GOP doesn’t get to keep what matters to them the most, their power.

For the record, I am a conservative, not a Republican, so I never accepted any offer of a cup of punch Kool-Aid from the establishment or their many duped minions.
Mike may not have a statistical chance of winning, at this point, thanks to the spoiler tag-team of Fred and Mitt, who both dropped out conveniently after depriving Mike of needed votes, but he isn’t quitting either, unlike those two. In this letter by his campaign Chairman, the message is clear, and he will fight on until he or McCain has the delegates needed, or maybe all the way to the convention, which is what I would like to see. If the GOP truly wants to win, they will need the many different types of conservative voters, they will also need to be truthful about the only conservative choice and they also need to visualize an old, disabled Washington insider Senator on the same stage with a young, energetic populist Democrat nominee, in the form of Obama. Despite conventional GOP wisdom, I don’t believe McCain can defeat Obama, but I do believe Mike has a better chance and Mike has already had first hand experience fighting and winning against the Clinton machine.

Is my opinion worthy of a thoughtful analysis as to how we have arrived at this point in time? Is it believable?
Is the echo chamber’s analysis believable, that Mike played tag-team with McCain? If so, who is Mike tagging up on now, Ron Paul?

I wouldn’t have spent my Saturday morning writing this, if I didn’t think my analysis was more believable than the echo chamber’s and I leave it to you to step out of any emotional attachment to the candidates and think about it.
I think Republicans have been played and I don’t know about them, but as a conservative I don’t like the feeling.

Some Members Of The GOP Echo Chamber:
Michelle Malkin-go feel the duped love, especially in the comments.
Gateway Pundit-sad, such good work on news and information, but duped on Romney
Rush Limbaugh-still valuable for info and commentary, but sadly spreads the GOP’s strategy by bashing Mike
Sean Hannity-first he was for Rudy, then Mitt…the establishment?
Hugh Hewitt-based on his months long Mitt support, I think he was duped completely

Message from Ed Rollins

From: Ed Rollins, Campaign Chairman; Chip Saltsman,
Campaign Manager

Re: Our Path to Victory at the Minneapolis-St. Paul
convention

Too many Republicans have tried to turn this nomination battle into a coronation, not a series of further election contests. Big mistake on their part. They are wrong. We know that we are running an underdog campaign, but that’s nothing new—we have always been the underdog. And yet a whole lot of onetime “overdogs” are now on the sidelines, licking their wounds. The Republican National Convention is seven long months away; a lot can happen in that much time. A lot will happen.

But in the meantime, as you all know, Governor Huckabee is not a quitter. He has never shirked from a challenge, and he never will. He has always told us—and personally reaffirmed to us just today—that he is in this race to win. That is, to win the Republican presidential nomination, and to win the White House. Why? Because he cares deeply about the issues that inspired him to get into politics in the first place—back in the 60s, when he started studying the works of the great conservative thinkers and writers, back in the 70s, when he was an ardent supporter of another underdog Republican. And what was that fellow’s name? Oh yes—it was Ronald Reagan.

So don’t let anyone tell you that it’s over! In fact, as of today, no fewer than 27 states, districts, and territories have not yet had a chance to vote. That includes such big states as Texas (Chuck Norris’ home state, ‘nuff said), Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All the Republicans and Republican-minded independents in those states want to be part of the process, too, and they deserve to have a choice put before them. Folks don’t want the Republican Establishment to pick the nominee for them, through a premature rush to judgment, and they sure as heck don’t want the media to pick the nominee!

We note that in many of the hottest contests so far, the vote has been divided into thirds—typically, about one-third for Gov. Huckabee, one third for Senator McCain, and one third for all the other candidates. And as you know, typically, Governor Huckabee has done best among hardcore Republicans—the activist base. That’s one reason why we are looking forward to Governor Huckabee’s speech to the legendary CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in DC tomorrow morning. You’d better believe that the folks gathered at the Omni Shoreham hotel are the go-getters who make or break primary elections. Just wait till they get a load of Mike Huckabee!

We are confident that we will get most of the activists, the folks who work the hardest because they care the most about the issues. In addition, we note that many of the jurisdictions that have already voted have merely had the first round of their delegate-selection process. To be frank, there’s still plenty of time for politicking, as Republicans really focus on the question of who should lead their party into the November election. Who’s the most stalwart champion of Republican and conservative values? Who’s the most articulate and effective campaigner? We know the answer to those questions—that’s why we have been working our hearts out for Mike Huckabee. But soon, everyone paying attention will know that, too. As the campaignseason grinds on—and let’s again remember, this is just February!—there will be plenty of time for reflection and reconsideration, especially among those hundreds of delegates pledged to candidates who have now dropped out.

As we saw in West Virginia on Tuesday—where Governor Huckabee swooped in on the day of the state convention and won a decisive victory that changed the tone of the remaining Super Tuesday coverage—a single good speech from our candidate is often worth more than all the tens of millions of dollars, and all the big-shot endorsements, that the other candidates have been able to drum up.

Indeed, it’s interesting that Mike Huckabee has done so well in the states so critical to Republican prospects this November. That is, those “swing states” that are essential building blocks of a Republican victory coalition this year. Let’s face it: This November, we’re not likely to be looking forward to a GOP landslide! The last two presidential elections were close—the GOP won 271 electoral votes in ’00, and 286 in ’04—and we fully expect the ’08 election to be hard-fought and close, too, as both parties wrestle to get the majority of those 538 electoral votes. What does all this mean to Republican activists? Well, it means that the next Republican nominee has to be able to nail down the electoral votes of such “must-win” states in the South and Border States—exactly the states where Mike Huckabee has done so well this year. Hard-nosed political activists know that it doesn’t do much good, November-wise, to run well in the blue bicoastal states. Sure, it would be great to carry New York and Massachusetts and California, but those mostly liberal states aren’t a part of any gut-it-out “270” strategy. (In fact, we think that Mike Huckabee would actually run stronger among traditional Independent and Democratic constituencies than any other Republican, but that’ll be the subject of a future memo.)

And now, with the endorsement of Dr. James Dobson, who is the “gold standard” of social conservatism, we fully expect that Movement Conservatives—those who fight the good fight on Life, on Marriage, on the Second Amendment—will increasingly rally to our cause. In fact, come to think of it, any American who reveres the US Constitution has a stake in Mike Huckabee’s success, because he has been an unstinting proponent of all our Constitutional freedoms, including the First Amendment, which he believes has been wrongly abridged by wrong-headed campaign finance “reform” legislation. Of course, there is one amendment that MH doesn’t like: The 16th Amendment. That one was a mistake, which he will fix with the Fair Tax!

Mike Huckabee has great respect for John McCain. He has always defended the senior senator from Arizona against unfair and scurrilous attacks, and he always will. And because MH is who he is, he will continue to campaign as he always has—in an honorable and honest way. He will draw distinctions, he will debate and debate hard, but he will always be civil and decent. In fact, even many McCain supporters have told us that they appreciate the constructive role that Governor Huckabee can play in the months to come, because a vigorous discussion will keep all the media “oxygen” from migrating over to the heated Democratic contest.

Faith. Family. Freedom. Those are the words that have guided Mike Huckabee this far, and they will continue to guide him, and us, all the way to the White House next January. The 44th governor of Arkansas will be the 44th President of the United States.

See you at the Inauguration!

Huck takes WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Mike Huckabee won the first contest declared on Super Tuesday, picking up all 18 national delegates awarded at West Virginia’s state GOP convention. Huckabee bested Mitt Romney, who entered the Mountain State event with the largest bloc of pledged convention-goers.

Both men and Ron Paul made in-person appeals to the more than 1,100 convention delegates attending Tuesday’s convention. But the former Arkansas governor beat his Massachusetts counterpart after delegates for John McCain defected to his side.

The first round of voting at the state convention produced no winner, but eliminated Paul after his fourth-place finish.

Meanwhile, radio talk show host Sean “Puff-Daddy” Hannity repeated his demand that Mike Huckabee drop out of the race because he was getting in Mitt Romney’s way. He charged “collusion” on his afternoon radio show between McCain and Huckabee, claiming they had no right to deny the only “true conservative” a clear path to the White House.

While we’re at it, I think it’s also time to demand that John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama withdraw from the race as well, so that any and all obstructions to Mitt Romney be forever and completely removed. Come to think of it, we should just do away with all this election shiite and just ask Sean “Puff Daddy” Hannity who he thinks the new President should be. Think of all the time and money we could save.

Update: Maybe we should let Hannity and Limbaugh play rock-paper-scissors for the right to name the new President.

Update 2: Huck says, Romney “can’t even keep a straight answer on the whining or no-whining question.”

 

The Reagan Legacy

We must defeat islamofascism

satellite.jpgI have had the pleasure of visiting Israel, our staunch ally, our great friend and the most exemplary democracy in the Middle East, a total of nine times. On one of those trips, I took my then 11-year-old daughter, Sarah, to Yad Vashem. As we faced the grimly surreal pictures from Dachau and Auschwitz, she confronted the horrors of the thousands of bodies stacked on top of one another like so much lumber – six million dead. At the end of our visit, Sarah went to the guest book and wrote simple words that I will never forget: “Why didn’t somebody do something?”

That is all she wrote, but with those words, I knew that, in her own way, she “got it.”

Unfortunately, some in America, even some running for president, don’t get it. Those who don’t understand that the war in Iraq is a critical part of the war on terror, don’t get it. Those who pledge to withdraw our troops according to some politically-motivated rationale before this war is won, don’t get it. Iraq must be stable and secure within its borders. It is not just Iraq’s security that is at stake, but the security of the entire region and of the United States.

But among those who seem to want to leave as soon as possible, regardless of the strategic and humanitarian consequences, is Sen. Barack Obama, one of the two remaining Democratic candidates for the presidency.

I have another grave concern about Sen. Obama, which was well-expressed by Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition:

“We are deeply troubled by Senator Obama’s desire to ‘hold a summit in the Muslim world, with all heads of state’ many of whom have yet to renounce terrorism or refrain from anti-Semitic incitement. …Senator Obama said he wanted to listen to the ‘concerns’ of these nations. For many, their biggest concern is Israel’s existence. It’s worrisome that Senator Obama wants to ‘listen’ to those calling for Israel’s destruction.”

AMERICA MUST be effective in the Middle East, and we must of course listen – and learn, and safeguard. But most of all, we need to be resolute in our strength, military and moral. Specifically, we must not pay any sort of tribute to terrorist states – including the honor of “listening” in some formal setting, where every splenetic utterance will be aired worldwide. For example, what would the president do in the face of some outrageously anti-American or anti-Semitic statement: Just sit there? Get up and walk out?

We shouldn’t engage in impromptu diplomacy based on a misplaced sense of “empathy.” That’s why I am concerned about Sen. Obama’s suggestion.

I don’t want to hear the “concerns” of terrorist states – but I do want them to hear me.

I want everyone in the Middle East to know that America is committed to its strategic interests in the region, including a safe and secure Israel. Does Senator Obama really want to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, for example? Sen. Obama has said he wants to, both as part of his summit, and privately. Hard to believe, but true, according to his interviews with Paris Match (January 31, 2008) and the International Herald Tribune (November 1, 2007). Iran and its partner Syria bring danger and death to Americans and Israelis on a daily basis though their support of terrorists – in Gaza, Lebanon, and of course, in Iraq.

If the annihilation of six million Jews taught us anything, it is that appeasement doesn’t work; it just results in the deaths of innocents and makes the job of eradicating evil all the more difficult.

So I share Israel’s concern about an aggressive unchecked Iran. And I share Israel’s determination that Iran will not become a nuclear power. As president, I will not take the military option off the table. I will work to strengthen sanctions against Iran both through the United Nations and the European Union.

No one seeking the presidency in either party is more steadfastly committed to Israel’s security, survival as a Jewish state, and ability to defend herself than I am. As president, I will ensure that Israel always has the state-of-the-art weaponry and technology she needs. And in addition, I will dramatically increase American defense spending. Before there can be true peace, there must be the basic recognition of Israel’s right to exist and an end to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel lies and propaganda.

Together, we must prevent nuclear proliferation and defeat Islamofascism. Together, we must be the people who confront and overcome evil. We must be the people who take action now, so that future generations of Sarahs don’t look back and ask “Why didn’t somebody do something?”

by Mike Huckabee in the Jerusalem Post 

Accept no imitation. Huck is the real deal

h/t Tommy

Abolish the IRS

Why not?

Go Mike!

The best choice for Reagan supporters

Rep. John Linder (R-GA) has penned an interesting recollection of the early days of the Reagan Revolution — and how they compare to Mike Huckabee’s campaign.  His essay appears in The Gwinnett Daily Post.

I was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives 34 years ago. I have watched this party change for a long time. Some changes have been better than others.

Two years after that first election, I went to work on the Reagan campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. I was one of the leaders of that campaign in Georgia, and my friend, Paul Coverdell, led the establishment’s efforts to nominate President Ford.

It was the typical establishment-versus-interloper campaign. Most of the friends I had made in the party were in the establishment. Most of them thought the nomination of Ronald Reagan was not only impractical, but would destroy our party.

Reagan had just served two terms as the governor of California. His record was not all that conservative. He signed the biggest tax increase in the history of the state. He got the best he could get with a Democrat-dominated general assembly. He signed a bill legalizing abortion. But governors have different challenges than presidents.

Frankly, most of the establishment couldn’t have cared less about abortion. They thought the discussion of it was, well, tacky. But we were, at the time, the party that Barry built, and the new foot soldiers cared about abortion.

Their concern with Reagan was that he just wasn’t up to it. What did he know about foreign policy? How could he stand up to the Soviets? Did he understand detente?

During that campaign, as in all campaigns, the establishment sat at the head table, and the rest of us milled around the small round tables below.

Coverdell approached me, after Ford had won the first several primaries, and urged me to switch sides. Paul was convinced that Ford had the best chance of winning. Paul recited all of the reservations mentioned above and then said, “John, Reagan cannot win. No one will take him seriously.” That was also the consensus of the Republican writers and commentators.

I said, “Paul, I think politics is all about what you believe. I know what Reagan believes. I have no idea what Ford believes. But you need to watch Reagan connect with the people. He is the best communicator I have ever seen. He is bringing new people into the party. And these are folks you won’t be meeting at the club for lunch. They carry a lunch bucket to work. Or a brown paper bag.”

Four years later, I worked again for Reagan and Paul worked for George H. W. Bush. Again, the Wall Street crowd sat at the head table, and the Main Street crowd sat at the small round tables on the floor.

The same arguments came from the establishment. His tax cut idea was a “riverboat gamble.” In fact, his tax cuts doubled the size of the economy and doubled revenues to the treasury. Unfortunately, they spent that and more.

Reagan didn’t understand that the world is a dangerous place and dealing with the Soviets required a more “understanding” policy. It also required a willingness to sign more treaties. They didn’t know that Reagan had no interest in understanding the Soviets. He wanted communism consigned to “the ash heap of history.”

It was a neverending series of put-downs until New Hampshire. Then it was over.

Reagan won that election with the support of Larry Lunch-bucket and Betty Brownbag. They were called the Reagan Democrats. When we celebrated that victory, I asked some of them why they chose to join us. They said, “When he talked, we felt that he was talking to us.” The Reagan Democrats believe they have been ignored since 1988.

The establishment doesn’t like change. They have always felt that their seats at the head table were threatened by those new to the club. The establishment that so ardently opposed Reagan’s nomination in 1980 crawled all over each other to chair his 1984 race.

Today they now see themselves as those who put Reagan in power. His presidency was their presidency. They believe they are the keepers of the flame.

Today’s establishment includes elected officials, consultants, lobbyists and even conservative writers and commentators. Unless you allow them to write the rules and approve of your positions you are unwelcome. Anyone who does not genuflect before their altar is “not conservative.”

When you look at the many fine candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president, who do you believe can best speak to those Reagan Democrats?

I believe that candidate is Mike Huckabee.

When Reagan became president, one of his first moves was to reduce income taxes from 70 percent to 50 percent and ultimately down to 28 percent. As pointed out above, both the size of the economy and the federal revenues doubled in eight years.

Huckabee doesn’t want to lower income taxes. He wants to abolish them – along with the IRS, the most intrusive, coercive and corrosive federal agency ever. Mike would replace those taxes on income with a sales tax – the FairTax. Every American will become a voluntary taxpayer paying taxes when you choose, as much as you choose, by how you choose to spend. How conservative can one get?

Carolina in my mind

We’re counting on you Carolina!

Go Mike!!!

Proud to be a Southerner

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread.  Trackbacks welcome.

WFFOT:  Thread for one…Thread for all.

Tactically For Fred

Writing in Teh Spectator, Quinn Hillyer seeks to extend his allotted fifteen minutes in a major-league suck up move to the group of conservatives whose names he dropped in yesterday’s AS blog piece…

Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Phyllis Schlafly, Michael Reagan, Jed Babbin, Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Lopez, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, Bob Novak, Bob Dole, Laura Ingraham, David Limbaugh, Donald Lambro, Thomas Sowell, John Fund, the Wall Street Journal, Pete Wehner, David Frum, Deroy Murdock, Paul Mirengoff, John Hinderaker, Frank Gaffney,the Club for Growth, Dick Armey, and Pat Toomey.

Revealing the “purely tactical” considerations for supporting Fred Thompson in Carolina, Hillyer’s Stage One reasoning is comically ironic.

Let me see if I can help…..”Fred Thompson is the Complete Conservative…The only candidate who can unite the Reagan coalition.. … … Consistent on all the issues… … He can unite all three legs of the conservative coalition… … Fred D. Thompson is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life….”

Glug, glug. Now go play some solitaire.

Huckabee: No Economic Conservative

You’ve seen the ads, you’ve heard the mantra. You know, in your heart, and without a doubt that Mike Huckabee is not an economic conservative.

At least, not in the way CfG’s Pat Toomey and Dick Armey want to define economic conservatism. And apparently, to hear Quinn Hillyer describe it, not the way Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Phyllis Schlafly, Michael Reagan, Jed Babbin, Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Lopez, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, Bob Novak, Bob Dole, Laura Ingraham, David Limbaugh, Donald Lambro, Thomas Sowell, John Fund, the Wall Street Journal, Pete Wehner, David Frum, Deroy Murdock, Paul Mirengoff, John Hinderaker, Frank Gaffney, and quite a large number of bloggers want to define economic conservatism either.

In fact, to hear Fred Thompson say it, Huckabee is just a pro-life liberal.

Huckabee’s critics who charge that he is not an economic conservative with regards to his record in Arkansas are right, at least by their own shallow definition.

Here are some of the things in Huckabee’s gubernatorial record that the Club for Growth deems at odds with economic conservatism and to his discredit as a candidate for president:

-Increasing motor fuel taxes to help facilitate a voter-approved bond debt of a billion dollars to repair our crumbled interstate highways.

-Three increases in the sales tax combining to amount to 1.5 cents, to address court-ordered school reforms, meet general budget needs and enhance conservation and recreation.

-Confronted by an initiated act would have repealed sales taxes on groceries at state and local levels and not replaced the money, bankrupting cities and counties, Huckabee joined the rest of the government establishment in warning of the doom and persuading the voters to say no.

-Huckabee passively accepted some of that, backed into a bit of it and wholly embraced some. He openly resisted higher taxes at times, even typically grandstanding inanely at one point by setting up a spoofing Tax Me More Fund for people to send in their voluntary taxes.

In the end, though, state government grew by a larger percentage under him than Bill Clinton.

That’s not a bad thing. But the Club for Growth is positively salivating at the prospect of being able to tell Republicans that Huckabee is a more of a tax-and-spender than Clinton. source

Arkansas highways, deemed “worst in the nation” are better. Arkansas schools have improved. Arkansas children have health insurance. Arkansas prisons, while not up to Gitmo standards, are holding the bad guys. Huck left office with a budget surplus of close to a billion dollars, and approval ratings in the 60′s.

The quip that I often hear on the Rightosphere is that “Huckabee could have vetoed those tax increases.”

Sure. Most everyone knows by now that the Arkansas Legisture is governed by a Democrat majority. What most people do not know is that it takes only a simple majority to override a Governor’s veto – not the 2/3 majority required in most every other state. So, yes, Huckabee could have vetoed every single veto-proof spending bill that the Legislature sent him. Huckabee chose instead to govern as an economic pragmatist, and the people of Arkansas are the beneficiaries.

If Arkansas issues such as good highways, good schools, and healthy children, are a problem for Toomey and the Club for Growth, I am not surprised. Their march toward irrelevance continues unabated.

Dick Armey should know better. Quinn Hillyer has no excuse, he does know better. The remainder of the list of probably took the carefully framed CfG talking points on good faith.

But, if they did know these things, and they still disagree with the Tenth Amendment principles of responsible state governance, then they can go jump in the lake.

Our strongest nominee?

Bill Kristol writing in the NY Times (yeah, I know how odd that looks), with his take on last night’s GOP forum…

…the most interesting moment in Saturday night’s Republican debate at St. Anselm College was when the candidates were asked what arguments they would make if they found themselves running against Obama in the general election.

The best answer came, not surprisingly, from the best Republican campaigner so far — Mike Huckabee. He began by calmly mentioning his and Obama’s contrasting views on issues from guns to life to same-sex marriage. This served to remind Republicans that these contrasts have been central to G.O.P. success over the last quarter-century, and to suggest that Huckabee could credibly and comfortably make the socially conservative case in an electorally advantageous way.

Huckabee went on to pay tribute to Obama for his ability “to touch at the core of something Americans want” in seeming to move beyond partisanship. And, he added, Senator Obama is “a likable person who has excited people about wanting to vote who have not voted in the past.” Huckabee was of course aware that in praising Obama he was recommending himself.

I was watching the debate at the home of a savvy, moderately conservative New Hampshire Republican. It was at this moment that he turned to me and said: “You know, I’ve been a huge skeptic about Huckabee. I’m still not voting for him Tuesday. But I’ve got to say — I like him. And I wonder — could he be our strongest nominee?”

He could be. After the last two elections, featuring the well-born George Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that. He came up from modest origins. He served as governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He fought a successful battle against being overweight. These may not be utterly compelling qualifications for the presidency. I’m certainly not ready to sign up.

Still, as the conservative writer Michelle Malkin put it, “For the work-hard-to-get-ahead strivers who represent the heart and soul of the G.O.P., there are obvious, powerful points of identification.” And they speak to younger voters who are not yet committed to the G.O.P. In Iowa, Huckabee did something like what Obama did on the Democratic side, albeit on a smaller scale. He drew new voters to the caucuses. And he defeated Mitt Romney by almost two to one, and John McCain by better than four to one, among voters under 45.

I admit that I had not seen that comment by Ms. Malkin. In fact, as a Huckabee supporter, it has become almost painful, and frustrating to surf over to most any of the A-list blogs lately. HDS has infected them to the point that I would rather not even read their pages anymore. Their threats to sit out the election, or even support the donk candidate is not only not divisive, but to me, infuriating. If Huck is the straw that breaks it for them, then their opinions are based less on fact, and more on fear.

One thing that I noticed last night was the fact that all five candidates are worthy. I can support whomever gets the nod, but for me, Huck’s the guy.

“Which One?” Huck gets “clean shot” in on Romney

The Republican debate in NH tonight on ABC featured Mitt Romney getting up close and personal with both Mike Huckabee and John McCain. Huckabee landed what George Stephanopolis described as a “clean shot” when he was heard to say, off camera, “Which one?” in response to Romney’s propensity to shift positions. For example, on the issue of implementing a withdrawal table for Iraq, Huckabee claimed Romney was for it, but I could have sworn that I heard Romney say he was never for timetables:

FACTCHECK

April 03, 2007 4:33 PM

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Gov. Mitt Romney’s, R-Mass., call this morning for a set of timetables for withdrawal from Iraq — private timetables unknown to the public — bears some striking similarities to an idea hatched and endorsed by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas.

Ktracy has the video of Governor Romney supporting timetables.

UPDATE:

Andrew Sullivan has another……….LINK 

An Open Letter To Mike Huckabee

Dear Governor Huckabee:

Let me tell you how proud I am of the Iowa victory. When I decided to support your campaign in early August, the thought of actually winning the opening contest of the ’08 election seemed little more than wishful thinking. Back then, being able to drop a few hundred dollars in the bucket meant a lot to me, and I know it meant a lot to the campaign. Many of us were contributing to a Presidential campaign for the first time ever. We were inspired by your words, your demeanor, and the optimistic message that you are able to deliver. And, after a tremendous effort by your and your family, and Chip and Chris and the rest of the blog-swarm that rose to your defense in the face of some pretty vicious attacks, we find ourselves on the brink of something pretty special. Exciting times, indeed.

Now that the probability of actually getting the nomination has increased, it is time for some straight talk (sorry Maverick).

We Republicans are the national security party. We read Totten, and Yon, and keep ourselves highly informed on THE issue of our times: the threat to Western civilization posed by the convergence of islamic jihadism with activists in the international radical left. We don’t need a program to know the players, and frankly Governor, your apparent weakness in military and foreign policy matters is causing my spidey senses to tingle. I don’t presume to speak for anyone but myself, but I do believe that regardless of where we find ourselves on the conservative coalition continuum, it is the protection and security of the Republic that is our uppermost concern.

A portion of your stump speech is dedicated to issues on which you are unwilling to compromise. I respect that. But, some of your recent answers to serious national security and foreign policy issues have raised more questions than they have answered. Like it or not, it is the role of Commander In Chief that will dominate the waking hours of our next President. While assessing and recognizing personal limitations is not a sign of weakness, giving on-the-fly responses to serious issues of the day IS.

I am comfortable with your political instincts. Even with the lack of big money donors, you’ve shown how to make a grassroots campaign more than just a pipe dream for those of us in the Right blogosphere. You’ve got a real shot. Reaching out to the rest of the conservative coalition will only be successful if you are credible on national security.

Finally, on a minor point, stop gigging the fiscons. I know they’ve acted like real jerks, but the fact is, they really don’t want to see another Southerner in the White House for a while. Otherwise, they would be lined up 10-deep behind Fred Thompson. They’ll either come around, or they won’t. I’m guessing they will, eventually. So, leave the snark to the blogswarm. We live for that stuff.

Sincerely,

Nuke

P.S. : If you really want to gig someone, then gig the Donks. Just start a rumor that you’re planning on asking Dick Cheney to be your Vice President. They will go abso-freakin-lutely nuts. Heh™

Nuke Gingrich is my nom de guerre. It is fictitious, and not related to any living person (or any dead person either, for that matter).

++++++++++++++++++

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The Club for Growth: slouching towards irrelevance

Over the next few days, we will hear a great deal about the meaning of the Iowa Caucuses, as pundits and bloggers will sift through the demographic data to interpret trends, and voter preferences. There were two obvious winners. There were several losers.

The Big Loser tonight in Iowa: The Club for Growth.

I’ve written quite a bit about The Club for Growth’s ongoing jihad against Mike Huckabee.

With each salvo launched by Pat Toomey and the Club for Growth, the Huck has seemed to gain additional momentum. Each time a new “White Paper” has been released (there have been three so far) the level of skepticism towards CfG has grown. Among a large portion of the conservative coalition, the Club for Growth is no longer viewed as an honest broker. After spending upwards of $700,000 in attack advertising with the stated aim of derailing Huckabee, and future buys pending in Carolina, Huckabee went from low single digits in the polls to this solid victory in the opening act of the 08 election.

Toomey will, no doubt, claim that the message just isn’t getting out, and will order his troops to increase the volume, exaggerations, demonizations, polarizations, and continue the promotion of small-tent conservatism that continues to drive the Club towards irrelevance. In fact, I noticed today over on the CfG blog that they were still looking for reasons to explain Toomey’s primary loss to Arlen Specter.

This time? “Did Specter break the law to beat Toomey?

Last time? Well, Toomey blamed it on Stephen Moore’s lack of managerial acumen, despite the Club for Growth spending over a million dollars in negative advertising aimed at Specter.

After his election defeat, Toomey was able to build alliances on the Board in order to force out Moore and the rest of the brainpower that was originally responsible for the rise, relevance, and prominence of the Club for Growth.

There is only one reason Toomey was unable to beat Specter: Pat Toomey executed a poor strategy. Sooner or later, Steve Stephens and the rest of the big boys on the CfG Board are going to realize that Toomey’s execution during this election cycle has been equally poor. Frankly, I haven’t seen any really good stuff from CfG since the “Blowing in the Wind” ad.

Hopefully, along with that realization will come the affirmation that social conservatives are their allies, not their enemies. I’d love to see them go after the Democrats with the same fervor that they’ve gone after Huckabee. Oh, and while y’all are at it, how about using some of that supposed expertise to do a fair critique of The Fair Tax?

also at ConservaBlogs,

great analysis at American Thinker,

another great analysis at NYT, 

and also at caucus blogs

ConservaBlogs 2008 GOP Poll — go vote!!

I wanted to bring to your attention the latest RCP interactive poll, hosted by Eric over at ConservaBlogs.

So, please take a moment and vote!
Here is the LINK

Go forth and VOTE!

Conventional wisdom

Listening to Howard Dean

This afternoon’s Rush Limbaugh Show, hosted by Mark Belling, featured a semi-restrained rant by the host against Mike Huckabee. I listened to one segment of the show, as time allowed. According to Belling, other than the two issues of gay marriage and abortion, reading the words of Mike Huckabee is virtually indistinguishable from reading the words of John Edwards.

Belling needed only to include Mike’s pro-Second Amendment stance, and he would have scored the Howard Dean Trifecta:

I am tired of coming to the South and fighting elections on guns, God and gays.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m picking on Belling. Rudy Guiliani said much the same thing with his statement on social issues a few months back:

“Our party has to get beyond issues like that.”

Jeffery Lord in the American Spectator tried a similar tack in a blistering piece today, assailing Huckabee for “attacking Reaganomics.”

So while it does not surprise that there are class warrior Democrats attacking the idea of economic opportunity as “greed” and promising all manner of ways to pit one group against another, it is startling indeed to hear the following from a Republican presidential front runner — former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Lord makes no specific references to Huckabee’s policy positions, but instead relies on statements by The Club for Growth as the arbiter of true conservatism. Any serious observer of the Republican Primary season understands that the The Club for Growth has been anything but an honest broker with regards to Huckabee specifically, and generally, any Republican who fails to meet the small-tent definition of conservatism they espouse.

The idea troubles that the nominee of the conservative party could be someone who fails to understand that his apparent scorn for “Wall Street” could resonate negatively with the almost 50 percent of the American population who are now shareholders — because of Ronald Reagan. Does Huckabee really believe that all these millions of people are therefore “greedy”? That economic growth as exemplified by Reaganomics is nothing more than a show-stopping parade of excess by out of control Middle Americans? If in fact in his heart- of-hearts he has some sort of contempt for the Reagan agenda — and the Reagan economic accomplishments that restored America to its place as the shining city on a hill — Governor Huckabee will soon find himself doing his best to balance on a stool that is missing a leg.

Do Mr. Lord, Mr. Belling, and others actually believe that the Club for Growth represents the 50 percent of Americans who own a small piece of Wall Street in their 401(k)’s?

Please.

The Club for Growth represents The Club for Growth. Their crusade for ideological purity is largely responsible for the loss of the Senate in 2006. If the Club for Growth is such a serious and respected group policy wonks, as Lord suggests, then why haven’t they successfully answered the leftist mantra of “Tax Cuts for the Rich?” Answer that and you take the whole “Greed” issue off the table.

There is only one reason that the left trots out that line: It works.

If the smartest guys in the room at The Club for Growth can’t answer that, then maybe they’re not so smart after all. And, maybe their personal crusade against Mike Huckabee has cost them in credibility in ways that they cannot yet fathom. And maybe, just maybe the middle class, gun-toting, Bible believing, wife-loving, foot soldiers of the Reagan coalition just don’t believe the Club for Growth anymore, and couldn’t care less about what the American Spectator says, and are just as likely to tell NRO and WSJ to go jump in the lake as not.

Try this experiment: Go back just a couple of years and find any Mitt Romney speech concerning the social issues, right to life, defense of marriage, and the right to keep and bear arms. Any of them, it doesn’t matter. Now, close you eyes as you listen and you just might think you’re listening to ….. John Kerry.

Get it?

Club for Growth goes all in

Can the Republican nomination be bought?

The Club for Growth apparently thinks so, as their spending on the anti-Huckabee crusade has grown to over $550,000 in the last three weeks alone.

The Associated Press is reporting that Houston homebuilder Bob Perry of Swiftboat fame, is joining with fellow scalawag 1 Jackson “Steve” Stephens, Jr. to bankroll the Club for Growth’s last ditch effort to stop Mike Huckabee. Mr. Perry is actively supporting Mitt Romney for the 2008 nomination, having donated the maximum allowable to Romney’s campaign.

Perry, who has been described as “the man who pulls the strings,” but “never gets his hands dirty,” is largely “unknown outside campaign-finance databases and a small group of political leaders. Many politicians who have received Perry’s money say they never have met him.” 2 Perry was the nation’s biggest donor in the 2006 elections, giving more than $16 million to state and federal candidates and campaign groups.

Bob Perry’s political donations figure prominently in a recent lawsuit against Gov. Rick Perry’s (no relation) 2006 re-election campaign and the Republican Governor’s Association today claiming they illegally hid $1 million in donations from the Houston homebuilder. 3

You can view a copy of the lawsuit here.

It does makes one wonder if running afoul of campaign finance laws is an unwritten requirement for membership in the Club for Growth, whose own settlement with the FEC made headlines just three months ago:

The agreement [with the Federal Election Commission] asks the court to enter a consent judgment requiring Club for Growth to pay a civil penalty of $350,000 for failing to register with the FEC as a political committee and report its contributions and expenditures. 4

In the 2006 election cycle, Perry, who was the “#1 individual donor to 527 committees, donated as much as the #2, #3 and #4 on the list. That is $9,750,000 in total.”5

Update: I ran across this6 a few days ago, and it made me wonder.

Jackson (Jack) Stephens, Steve’s father, who passed away on June 23, 2005, apparently made some 20 contributions totaling roughly $200,000 to The Club for Growth, after he died.

How can that happen?

_____________________

1 To most Southerners, scalawags were an unprincipled group of traitorous opportunists who abandoned their countrymen and ingratiated themselves with the hated Eastern Elite for their own material gain.

2 Seattle Times

3 Texas Politics

4 USA Today

5 Sourcewatch

6 Campaign Money

Trackposted to Is It Just Me?, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, DragonLady’s World, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Chuck Adkins, Adeline and Hazel, third world county, The Uncooperative Blogger, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, Stageleft, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Bloggers 4 Huckabee

Recently over at the Huckabee Forum, someone asked an excellent question regarding negative media attacks aimed at the Huckabee campaign…

How do we counter that?

How, indeed?

The attacks from the Right have come from A-list blogs, as well as well-funded interest groups, and media outlets and pundits generally sympathetic to conservative causes. These first-generation centers of influence in the Right Blogosphere, along with talk radio, have comprised the lion’s share of opinion-molding and issue-framing of conservatism ever since Rush Limbaugh and the EIB Network changed the way America thought and spoke about Conservatism. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 had a similar effect on the growth of A-list blogs, notably on the Right, Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, Powerline, Captain’s Quarters, and Hot Air.

How do we counter that? If it is possible, and I believe it is, we need to find a way to change the playing field.

I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already occurred to the netroots of the political Left. They are years ahead of us in this arena, and quite frankly, anything we do isn’t going to have much effect on them at all. The only one on the Right that even comes close to competing with them is the Libertarian candidate. His grassroots success, for which the candidate himself claims no personal credit, is positively netroot-ish in its attitude, passion, and ability to manipulate second-generation tools and strategies.

The Huck campaign is doing some of this already. Raising 5 million dollars on line is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, the grassroots forum is another step in the right direction. In fact, I saw an article praising the Huck campaign’s use of the internet over at MyDD.com, comparing the campaign to Dean ’03. High praise, indeed. But, to counter the influence of the attacks from the Right, we need to use a few more tools, and make a concerted effort to influence the news cycle.

Try this: Take a quick look at popurls.com and see the news of the day from social networking 2.0 perspective. It’s almost a chicken-egg type situation: does web 2.0 drive reporting of the top news stories of the day, or do the news stories of the day drive the social networking sites? The news cycle is a daily occurrence, even on “slow news” days. On those days, headlines from social networking sites may be 3 of the top 5 stories of the day, as reported by the main stream media. A-list bloggers and talk radio can drive 1 or 2 stories, but unless there is a breaking current events story, the left controls 60-80% of the news cycle by default.

Responses to campaign slurs and negative articles can achieve widespread visibility by a significant increase in friendly blogger “authority.” Authority is generally measured by incoming links to other blogs and overall traffic. Ranking services such as Technorati, TTLB, and Alexa use linkage and traffic to rank websites. Stories and web searches are often ranked by authority, with search engines providing access to the higher authority blog as the default choice. Another criterion for blog ranking is the number of RSS subscriptions from services like Bloglines. Blogs which consistently have the highest number of links, traffic, and subscribers are considered generally credible sources, and are often quoted by other providers of original content. A response linked by a large number of blogs goes to the top of the list of stories at Tailrank.com, and combined with a significant number of votes at Digg.com, has an opportunity to greatly influence coverage.

There are currently close to 800 bloggers on the Bloggers for Huckabee blogroll, many who are registered users in the grassroots forum, growing daily. Linkage to the rest of the grassroots would very quickly put friendly blogsites in the top percentiles of each of the ranking services. Authority assures that responses to negative reports are circulated and heard. Strategic linking of favorable articles and posts will give specific articles of interest an opportunity to rise to the top of the 2.0 sites, as users are constantly scouring news sites for popular articles.

There are enough motivated grassroots users to have a significant impact on targeting articles of interest for circulation.

Click this link to add the Bloggers for Huckabee blogroll to your website.

See also: When will the Right recognize the cost of conceding web 2.0?

Trackposted to:

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