Friendly Fire

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When Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race in 2o12 it was an easy decision to back Rick Santorum. Santorum was easily the best of the remaining field of candidates, as his political ideology closely mirrored my own. I have no desire to fe-fight the battles of 2012, though I will say that I thought some of the attacks on Santorum, particularly by some on the libertarian-right who depicted Rick as a big government conservative, were unfair.

Santorum is running again for the presidency, and thus far is gaining almost no traction. Considering that GOP runners-up have historically wound up being the man nominated next time, this is somewhat curious. It’s true that the field is (or was) much stronger, but Santorum had established a decent base of support. It’s also worth noting that while Donald Trump has rocketed to the top of the polls largely based on his strong rhetoric vis a vis illegal immigration, Santorum, unlike the Donald, has consistently been an immigration hawk. Even with Donald’s bluster, Santrum still holds the strictest line on immigration – legal and illegal. And yet he flounders, barely registering in the polls.

Whatever the cause for his stagnation, he and his supporters still hold out hope that he can make the same kind of poll comeback in Iowa as he did four years ago. Indeed he is in about the same spot in the polls as he was at this time, roughly five weeks before the Iowa caucus. Yet it doesn’t seem likely that Santorum will come from back of the pack this time, and one of the primary reasons is Ted Cruz. Cruz has garnered the support of the evangelical and conservative wings of the party, and what’s more, he has developed the sort of ground game in Iowa and elsewhere that makes it very unlikely he will fade from the race.

I am most certainly not the only Santorum supporter who prefers Cruz this time around. Though I still like Rick, there are a few key differences between the two that make me prefer Cruz. I’ve always been a bit bothered by Santorum’s more bellicose foreign policy views, and Cruz seems to fit a happier middle ground between the Paulite and McCainiac extremes of the party. Santorum has also backed ethanol subsidies and the Export-Import bank, two corporate welfare schemes that belie the idea that he is not in fact a big government conservative.

With Santorum being desperate to start gaining ground, he has decided to go after Cruz on social issues. Santorum, like Mike Huckaphony Huckabee last week, has tried to take advantage of a Politico hit piece news story purporting to show Cruz being two-faced on social issues.

In June, Ted Cruz promised on NPR that opposition to gay marriage would be “front and center” in his 2016 campaign.

In July, he said the Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriage was the “very definition of tyranny” and urged states to ignore the ruling.

But in December, behind closed doors at a big-dollar Manhattan fundraiser, the quickly ascending presidential candidate assured a Republican gay-rights supporter that a Cruz administration would not make fighting same-sex marriage a top priority.

In a recording provided to POLITICO, Cruz answers a flat “No” when asked whether fighting gay marriage is a “top-three priority,” an answer that pleased his socially moderate hosts but could surprise some of his evangelical backers.

Aha! You see – Cruz isn’t as committed to social issues as his public statements make him seen. He’s a fraud!

Except, as Patterico points out, everything Cruz said in private is what he has been saying publicly for months on the campaign trail. First, Patterico provides the full quote from the fundraiser:

Q: Can I ask you a question? So, I’m a big supporter. And the only issue I really disagree with you about is gay marriage. And I’m curious: Given all the problems that the country’s facing — like ISIS, the growth of government — how big a priority is fighting gay marriage going to be to a Cruz administration?

CRUZ: “My view on gay marriage is that I’m a constitutionalist and marriage is a question for the states. And so I think if someone wants to change the marriage laws of their state, the way to do so is convince your fellow citizens — and change them democratically, rather than five unelected judges. … Being a constitutionalist is integral to my approach to every other issue. So that I’m very devoted to.

Q: So would you say it’s like a top-three priority for you — fighting gay marriage?

CRUZ: “No. I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. …

I also think the 10th Amendment of the Constitution cuts across a whole lot of issues and can bring people together. People of New York may well resolve the marriage question differently than the people of Florida or Texas or Ohio. … That’s why we have 50 states — to allow a diversity of views. And so that is a core commitment.

There’s more at the link. Long story short, there is absolutely no inconsistency between what Cruz said in private and what he has said in public.

Santorum, though, has decided to attack Cruz for his federalist-inspired approach.

“It’s basically that he’s not the social conservative that he’s portraying himself to be and is the answer is he’s not,” added Santorum, citing aPolitico story where Cruz said on a secret tape at a fundraiser that he wouldn’t make fighting same-sex marriage a top three priority in his administration.

“If people want to do drugs in Colorado, it’s fine with him,” said Santorum. “If people want have different kind of marriages, it’s fine with him. He doesn’t agree with it. If you want to have an abortion, it’s fine with him, he doesn’t agree with it, but he’s not gonna fight it. That’s not what people are looking for. They’re looking for someone who has a very clear vision of what’s right and what’s wrong and be able to lay that vision out for the American people.”

This is at best a gross mischaracterization of Cruz’s beliefs. What’s more, as streiff at Redstate says:

There is nothing non-conservative about saying that you are willing to allow the voters of Colorado to legalize drugs or the voters of Massachusetts to legalize homosexual marriage. That doesn’t make those decisions right but what social conservatism is about is creating a space where people of faith are free to campaign to have their view be the dominant one. On abortion that means fighting in all states to have abortion outlawed. It doesn’t mean you have to win in all states. It means getting the Supreme Court out of these issues and not imposing Anthony Kennedy’s perverted view of human sexuality upon 300 million people.

I’d go a step further than streiff and note that Cruz’s approach is far, far more likely to lead to social conservative victories than is Santorum’s. Sad to say, Santorum is living up to his image as a would-be nagger in chief. Cruz’s approach, meanwhile, is one that would get the courts out of the social policy game. If the states are left to their own devices to set policy, then we would have a much greater chance of seeing abortion outlawed or gay marriages not sanctioned than we would now. That is not to say that we stop fighting the cultural values – just the opposite. It’s just that the primary objective of a president is to appoint justices who respect the 10th Amendment and would thus allow those fights to be had on a local level. It would then be up to social conservatives to spread their message in New York, California, Massachusetts, etc.

I understand why Santorum said what he said, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Yet I’ve been constantly disappointed by the need people seem to feel to absolutely denigrate every presidential candidate that is not their first choice, but that’s another discussion.

 

 

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44 Comments

  1. Santorum has always been a Boromir with federal power, another politician believing the problem of big government is not its size but who wields it. My disagreement with him is not with social issues, but in many other issues, primarily the relationship of the fed and our money. I agree with him in the role of government at all levels in helping maintain a strong moral fiber.
    .
    The 10th Amendment should be honored, but realize many issues cross state boundaries. No man is an island, and neither is a state. There is a strong tendency for conservatives, wounded from massive losses on social issues for two decades, to embrace the 10th Amendment as a salve. There are moral issues without state boundaries worth fighting for, e.g. abortion, one man/one woman marriage, harmful substance use, religious freedom, etc.
    .
    There were times in America we excused social moral crimes as a state issue. We should learn from history the value of the necessity of those confrontations and the benefit of those victories.

  2. It’s often said that Republican runners-up are guaranteed the next nomination, but the truth is more complicated than that, at least in the modern (post-Watergate) era of primaries. Let’s review. Reagan wasn’t granted the nomination in 1980 without a fight. In 1988 and 1992, Bush ran as an incumbent. In 1996, it was Dole, not Buchanan, who was fast-tracked for the nomination. In 2000, there wasn’t a strong previously-ran, and Bush won. In 2008, McCain got the nomination after having lost to Bush eight years earlier. In 2012, it was Romney rather than Huckabee who rode his previous runner-up status to the nomination. Now, in 2016, neither Perry nor Santorum have been able to build on their base from the last presidential cycle.

    So, what do Dole, McCain, and Romney have in common? And which wing do Reagan, Buchanan, Huckabee, Perry, and Santorum call home? It makes sense that the establishment of the GOP would be more likely to reward party service. It also makes sense that the Party’s right votes more on loyalty to ideas than on loyalty to party.

  3. Is this the same Santorum that believes Bruce Jenner is woman because Bruce Jenner says he is? Bit rich for him to call Cruz two faced on social issues.

  4. Is the term “friendly fire” apropos when talking about Republican tradition?. Maybe true among conservatives too.
    People of the Left seem more “liberal” with each other. More tolerant. Willing to forget if it means winning.

  5. Cruz may be the best of a bad lot, and Santorum has no chance but what he said about Cruz rings true. Defending Federalism in the context of gay “marriage” or abortion are great in theory, but useless in practice in the post Roe and post Obergefell eras and Cruz, one of the most brilliant Harvard law students liberal prof Alan Dershowitz said he ever had knows, that perfectly well. To declare that the states should decide on gay marriage means absolutely nothing in our current legal environment; an environment that Cruz apparently will do little if anything to change. Maybe he believes he can’t. Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean that Santorum was wrong to point out Cruz will leave social conservatives disappointed.

  6. That’s precisely the point, Chris. The judicial branch has ruled by judicial fiat on these issues, and Cruz wants to disentangle the judicial branch from social policy making, thus returning these matters back to the states. The idea that Cruz would “do nothing” to change the current legal environment is the complete opposite of reality.

  7. The battle against gay marriage has been utterly lost. It was lost when Griswold v. Connecticut was decided. Any President, not matter how conservative will just be wasting resources fighting against it. Reversing Griswold et seq. would require fifty years of Supreme Courts composed of Clarence Thomas clones. Not likely.

    Otoh, we have had quite a few successes with restrictions on abortion at the state level.
    The next big battle for conservative will be religious liberty — an issue I think Trump couldn’t care less about.

  8. A big reason I don’t support Santorum this time around is because it is way too easy to dismiss ANYTHING he says with a “you’re just saying that because you’re Catholic” attack, and he’s not good at defending against it. Hostile media, yeah, but he’s still not good at it.

  9. Santorum was thrown out of office in 2006. He has no chance at receiving the GOP nomination. He has no base in Pennsylvania, the state he represented. What base he had here is gone, knowing that he lived in Leesburg, Virginia while in the Senate. Yes, I know he has a big family, but Santorum excoriated Doug Walgren for living full time in Virginia when Walgren was the US Representative from the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
    Santorum runs to be a voice for his issues. He is a good Catholic but his days as an elected officeholder are over and have been for almost ten years.

  10. Paul, I’m sure that Cruz along with most social conservatives would like to disentangle the Supreme Court from legislating on social issues, but with regards to gay “marriage”, are you aware of any proposal he is making to achieve that end such as a constitutional amendment, or congressional action to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction over the matter of marriage? Rand Paul has talked about the latter. Frankly I have the impression that most GOP candidates as usual, will say just enough to entice social conservatives to support them, while being little prepared to make things happen. Santorum seems to be calling them on it, starting with Cruz.

  11. are you aware of any proposal he is making to achieve that end such as a constitutional amendment, or congressional action to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction over the matter of marriage?

    In the immediate aftermath of the Obergfell decision Cruz indicated that only the states that were parties to the decision had to abide by it, but that all other states could ignore it.
    http://therightscoop.com/ted-cruz-says-states-should-ignore-same-sex-supreme-court-ruling-twitterati-debates/

    A constitutional amendment regarding marriage has zero chance to pass. The slow process of transforming the courts, tedious and daunting as it is, remains the best course of action.

  12. The slow process of transforming the courts, tedious and daunting as it is, remains the best course of action.
    ==
    You’re problem is not only the courts, it’s the legal profession (leaving aside rank-and-file general practice lawyers) and the professional-managerial class of which they are a part. This notion of ‘transforming the courts’ has been implemented assiduously for over 30 years and haphazardly for 15 years before that. How is it working out for all of us?
    ==
    The constitution is defective and institutional habits people adhere to within it are even more so. If you want to take a whack at this problem, you have to disrupt the daily routine of people like Anthony Kennedy and tell people like John Roberts that they better pick a side, because it’s game on. First things first would be to tell particular federal districts and circuits that their geographic jurisdiction is one square yard in the middle of Sunset Blvd, or Castro Street, or 6th Avenue. Next would be to tell particular districts that they’ll have to hire someone out of pocket to enforce their decisions, because all the U.S. Marshalls have been transferred elsewhere, but maybe you get them back if Judge X resigns. Another would be to inform particular districts that they will, henceforth, be paid in potatoes. Dumped on their lawn. Once a year. Oh, you’re getting death threats? Well, sucks to be you. Buy a pistol and learn how to use it.

    As for the constitution itself, it’s a broken down wreck. An Article V convention is the only solution within its terms.
    ==
    Memo to Mr. Edwards: Many thanks.

  13. Excellent writing, Zummo; my favorite pithy Zummoism (of many): ‘…like Mike Huckaphony Huckabee “.

    What a snake-oil salesman, the Huckster. Go back to your tax-avoiding Florida-haven mansion and rake in more $$$ off all the dupes.

    Happy New Year and Octave of the Nativity, everyone.

  14. I, too, was in Rick’s corner in 2012…but his problem is that when he’s wrong, he’s off-the-charts wrong. The bellicose foreign policy is one thing (and it’s shared by pretty much everyone except Cruz and Paul), but he just can’t keep his Inner Purity Scold under control.

    That’s hobbled him his entire career, but it’s worse when he can’t make up for it with retail state-level politicking, which he was pretty good at.

    The rounding-on-Cruz thing is a great example of this. I’m sure he’s doing it for slightly better motives than Huckabee (a quite nasty politico underneath the folksy shell), but it’s still the wrong move.

  15. knowing that he lived in Leesburg, Virginia while in the Senate
    ==
    I think Richard Armey had a cot he slept on in his office, and Barbara Mikulski used to commute on the Metroliner. These aside, it is pretty standard for members of Congress to have a Washington residence. Unless his Pennsylvania residence was phony (and Richard Lugar, Pat Roberts, and Robert Packwood were all caught doing that in flagrant ways), I’m not seeing how this is an issue.

  16. Rick Santorum may espouse solidly orthodox positions on various social issues but he presents himself as a self-effacing person on the verge of utter success. Trump seems a polar opposite who will utterly fail. I may change my mind tomorrow.

  17. I like Rick Santorum. The more I go to hear him in person the more I like him. He doesn’t stump like most others.. each time is different and not what you just hear in the tiny amount the media gives him. He has more to say and is terrific with questioners. We sent some money for his campaign today. I figure if I don’t even try to do the right thing- well then, I will not have even tried. I can’t just blow off steam, but I have to try to participate for the good.

  18. Trump seems a polar opposite who will utterly fail.

    If you take survey research at face value, four candidates have lost ground since last July (in the cases of Gov. Bush and Gov. Huckabee, about 2/3 of their body of respondents have deserted them). As for the rest, Mrs. Fiorina and Gov. Kasich have persuaded < 1% of those not previously declaring for them to change their minds and support them. Regarding Gov. Christie, about 2.5% have done so; regarding Dr. Carson, ~ 3.5%; regarding Sen. Rubio, ~5.5%; re Sen. Cruz, 13%; re Donald Trump, 20%. If he's going to 'utterly fail', he's going to have to register a radical reversal of fortune.

  19. Huckbee, is a huck-a-phony, because like many other conservative-pretender-snake-oil salesmen, he has made himself a multi-millionaire, by posing as a serious political opponent: first in 2008, pretending to seriously oppose McCain; later in 2011, teasing everyone that he would run against Obama before self-fizzling; and now in 2015-2016, running again only to get more air-time and attention for the advertisers for his mediocre radio show (Motto of his show; “Conservative, but not angry about it.” Sweet.)
    ..
    He was of modest financial circumstances when he left the governorship of Arkansas, and now enjoys his $3 million Florida mansion in between fake money-raking runs for office—of which he will always bow out, because he is a gutless poser. He is not alone—throw in Lindsay Grahamnesty, John McVain, and several others. But the country needed a serious candidate to defeat Obama in 2012, and after the Huckster cluckingly fled, we ended up with the most gutless candidate in recent history, the Mitt.

  20. I know many here have read about Hitler and his capacity to mesmerize and strike utter fear into his opponents after direct encounters with him—Napoleon was another who did the same, notwithstanding his physical lack-of-height—but Obama, who I am convinced has a devil, really must do something to make grown men like all these I have mentioned shrivel up inside and cower like fearful children.

    The only three I have seen who do not act like this with Obama are Trump, Cruz, and Carson. Most of the others, to varying degrees (I will except Santorum—I have seen his fearly face-to-face debate on partial-birth abortion with Barbara (I am not a dog) Boxer, and he intellectually eviscerated her). But we need someone with steel guts because time is running out for the country.

  21. He was of modest financial circumstances when he left the governorship of Arkansas, and now enjoys his $3 million Florida mansion in between fake money-raking runs for office—

    My suggestion was that you all offer a reason for your complaints. “Reason” is not a synonym for ‘fictions and resentments’.

  22. AD, aren’t you the one who sounds surprisingly resentful? At the facts I pointed out, that is? Several, out of just a few facts, of the Huckster’s self-aggrandizing career:

    Huckabee was a man of modest means, worth only 6 figures, when he left the Arkansas governorship in 2007 to run for president. After gaming the campaign with McVain, he folded in March, 2008. The Florida mansion purchase, if you check, occurred in Dec. 2010, after he abandoned his faux campaign but which enabled him to previously secure a lucrative Fox News position. He parlayed that into taking over the slot for the Paul Harvey commentary with “The Huckabee Report”. He then spent a few months of 2011 as pretender to run against Obama in 2012, pushing up ratings and advertising on his radio show and Huckster Report sales. I had been a Huckster supporter until he, again, quit and left the field to nice-guy loser Mitt Romney.
    ….
    Then, like clockwork, in Sept. 2014, he started revving up interest that he was thinking of running in 2016. After milking that speculation for some months, in early 2015, he announced and his supporters developed a Super PAC. One of the things you are apparently unaware of is that he specifically targeted “po’ people” donations, seeking $25 a month donations, saying something like, “I will ask you to give in the name of your grandchildren.” He is a shameless carnival barker, and he will drop out after again milking it for all the money he can get thru HuckPac. But you didn’t know all that. As a former Huck supporter, I do, and one gets a feel for the cheap-suit-fold-o coming on.

    So, apparently all these facts are “resentment” and probably meeaan-spirited. Facts they remain, and I wish I had my money back to this guy. And, keep it up, AD, you will be in fine fettle with the progressives—whenever a criticism surfaces, the birds on the line start chirping, “Ohhh, that’s re-seeeent-ful.” 🙂 Happy New Year!

  23. Huckabee was hired by Fox News in June of 2008. His house in Florida was paid for with the proceeds from the sale of his house in Little Rock and the income from his employment with Fox. It had nothing to do with any political campaign he did not run.

    Huckabee quit the race in March 2008 for a simple reason: it was over. McCain had the votes. Nothing odd or sinister about that.

    From the time Mike Huckabee was old enough to hold a job to the present day, eighteen individuals have run passably competitive campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination. There are usually three such candidates each season bar when an unchallenged incumbent is running. To be able to do so is not a prevalent skill set. For every man who manages it, there are one or two other prominent politicians who set up campaign committees, raise some money, and sink without a trace (see John Connolly, Jack Kemp, Lamar Alexander, Phil Gramm, Orrin Hatch, Fred Thompson, and Tim Pawlenty for examples). Somehow, in your mind, Mike Huckabee ginned up a business plan whereby he runs for President, makes quite a show, and then uses that as a launching pad to persuade Fox News to hire him (even though the number of quondam presidential candidates who had built a lucrative career for themselves as television commentators is around about zero), and them makes even more money running phony presidential campaigns which either never happen or fail just in the same was as other campaigns which are in your mind non-phony. I will be plain: this has no reality outside the space between your ears and is delusional.

    Also in your mind it is something sinister that he raises money in small donations from ordinary people. (I have little doubt that if he’d gotten a wad from Sheldon Adelson, you’d attack him for that too).

    You have no facts, Steve. You just put frames on ordinary public data which no ordinary person would consider the least bit worthy of comment. That’s your problem, not mine or his.

  24. Well, then, benedicamus Domino, glad to hear you aren’t resentful or inclined to angry attacks sparked by a different view of the facts! And Happy New Year, Happy Art D!

  25. At this point, we have but a single-minded anxiety. Hillary Clinton should not be elected President. After two disastrous terms of Obama, the election of Hillary would be like changing engineers on the down-bound train to destruction. The Democrats are clever. Their faux debates are predetermined to nominate Hillary. The Republicans are not so clever. Their debates resemble circular firing squads. By the time the nominee is determined he or she will be on the political equivalent of life-support. I wish I could be more optimistic but I think this is a job for Saint Jude.

  26. I’d suggest you consult national polls and prediction markets. Hildebeast has an intermittently appearing notional lead over the four main Republican candidates (as in 1% point). Only with regard to Trump might she be outside customary confidence intervals (and not in half the most recent polls). The prediction markets still give a generic Democrat and advantage, but it depends on how you frame the question. For Hildebeast to win the Presidency, she has constrain Democratic losses to 3.9% of the popular vote, give or take. That doesn’t usually happen in these circumstances. It has happened just once in the last century, and that was one of FDR’s re-election campaigns.

  27. sparked by a different view of the facts!

    You have not one intra-office communication which indicates that Gov. Huckabee had any objects other than those the other candidates had in 2008. All but 11 of the 50-odd states and territories had already voted at the time he discontinued his campaign in 2008 and these comprehended 85% of the population of the United States. He remained in the race 4 weeks longer than Gov. Romney. Alan Keyes and Ron Paul maintained pro-forma campaigns after Gov. Huckabee withdrew. Everyone else had departed the race earlier. Gov. Huckabee won 7x as many delegates as the sum of Paul and Keyes delegates and more delegates than did Gov. Romney, yet somehow in your head his campaign was some Rube Goldberg gambit to get on Fox News. That’s not derived from ‘a different view of the facts’.

  28. As for the constitution itself, it’s a broken down wreck. An Article V convention is the only solution within its terms.

    Professor Turgeson and Frank Sinatra approve!

  29. For those perhaps like Zummo, certainly like myself and others (Art the Indecorous, take a break, I am not to be held responsible for making you use up all your BP medication early this month) who can see that Huckabee the Huckster is only orchestrating the present run to keep himself economically viable after he then inevitably bows out as a candidate in coming months, here is a good summary of Huckabee’s incessant worries about money—which is what fundamentally drives him:
    ..
    https://www.yahoo.com/politics/eyeing-the-white-house-again-huckabee-cant-118167936046.html
    ..
    Holly Bailey gives a good review of Huckabee’s issue of living beyond his means (getting the $3M custom-built Florida mansion with its $16400/mo payment and its coming balloon payment), his teasing the public as a populist representative of the poor (while earning reputedly $500k annually at Fox News), and his “struggles” to make ends meet — hence, the pandering latest book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”, he released a year ago when he announced his run. Steve Deace, a conservative radio show host in Iowa has commented, “Had [Huckbee] run in 2012, the sea would have parted for him.” But the Huckster dropped out. Obviously Deace is another Rube Goldberg with little but delusion between his ears.

    Yet it is hard to understand how, in barely 8 years, someone who earned $74K/year as Arkansas governor and was worth perhaps at most 6 figures in 2007, has parlayed that into a current worth of $5M. And he still owns the mansion in Little Rock, worth about $450k (he sold a $350K vacation house for the down on the FL mansion—not the original residence) , of which he moans about the utility and other bills he has to pay. (We all suffer with him so.)

    That is why he has sponsored pricey trips to Israel (reputedly starting at $5k a head) and come under fire for pumping up and then selling his e-mail list. (Oh, by the way, Sheldon Adelson already awarded him an honor in 2012—I hope it had a financial component: Huck seems to always need the cash.) The Huckster can out-Gantry Elmer.
    ….
    So my 2016 prediction is: After again milking the present run for all the name-recognition, PR and e-mail subscribers that he can, he will shop himself around to one of the Alphabet Networks or Fox News in the unfolding election year as a qualified moderate Republican commentator, and drive up his salary again for a new high-dollar contract.

    Ave, atque, vale.

  30. I need no blood pressure medication.

    You’ve condemned Mike Huckabee for running a competitive presidential campaign but losing. You’ve condemned him for not running a presidential campaign. You’ve condemned him for running a failing presidential campaign. You’ve attributed the same mercenary motive to him on all three occasions. That’s not because that explanation makes any sense except as a guide to what you’ll resort to to justify your animus.

    It’s not that difficult to understand where Huckabee’s assets come from: broadcasting pays well for the favored few. His salary at Fox was $500,000 per annum; he earns money from radio syndication; and he can command fairly high speaking fees, taking in $90,000 in a good month. It makes no sense for him to be holding on to a house that’s stupidly large for an elderly married couple and no sense for him to leave his lucrative job at Fox if financial worries are driving him. Much simpler than running another presidential campaign would be to remain employed at Fox and sell the house. (And, while we’re at it, he sold his house in Little Rock quite some time ago).

    You are obsessed with this man’s books, and impute all sorts of ugly motives to him. The problem is yours, not his.

  31. While we’re beating up each other, Obama’s climate deal harms (Tell the Pope) blue collar and rural Americans. “Take that, bitter clingers.” See Instapundit.

  32. Well, here goes the rest of Indecorous Art’s nerve meds for the month! Fair warning.

    Actually, Elmer Huckabee Gantry would be at the max fed income tax rate of 39.6%, plus the max Ark state income tax rate of 7%, and if he earned $500k, he might be lucky to net around 50% of that— And don’t forget huge property taxes, because Huckster lives large–so where did the estimated $5M net worth come from (in about 8 years) of the Huckster? Certainly that was behind his moving to tax haven, no-state-income-tax Florida.

    Yet he is always strapped for money: so what does he do? From amping his speaking fees, to his sale of email lists, to his pandering books, and thus elevating his PR—now Indecorous Art appears to agree with me on those points— and harvesting fools’ money by conducting or appearing to conduct a presidential campaign, about every four years. Soon the train will leave the station again; and I just marvel at how many people continue to be taken in, as was I for quite a while.

    Watch for his new lucrative TV contract in coming months, as soon as he inevitably drops out.

  33. Here’s another article from Amanda Carpenter on Elmer Gantry, excuse me Mike Huckabee. It’s certainly possible that the mountain of evidence that indicates Huckabee is a back-biting, self-interested, big government promoting fraud is all mere coincidence, of course.

    You mean we have it on the authority of a quondam member of Mr. Cruz’ staff that a Huckabee campaign operative was (eight years ago) slamming a competitor’s campaign over the phone, that Huckabee and surrogates have criticized Cruz’ position on a given issue making use of public information, that… well, that’s it. You’re pulling my leg, right?

    As for components of your complaint that whatsherface does not address, when one utters the words ‘big government’, I think it’s incumbent upon one to have an idea in one’s head about what ‘small government’ is, brass tacks. For a number of years, I’ve been poking and prodding purveyors of the ‘big government’ discourse to offer some specifics on ‘small government’. These are the answers I get:

    1. Vulgar Rand: e.g. the woman who told me that people who could not afford to pay their medical bills should die in the gutter.

    2. Romantic babble about financing common provision through voluntary donations (complete with Davy Crockett homilies). William Voegli and (in a more qualified way) Marvin Olasky peddle this.

    3. Fanciful alternative history: cue Ron Paul on why it was wrong to enter World War II

    4. Fanciful current history: that would be the libertarians who seem to think we’re going broke enforcing drug laws and maintaining an ’empire’. Less than 2% of public expenditure is attributable to enforcing drug laws. Military deployments abroad might account for a mean of about 10% of public expenditure if measured over the whole of the last 75 years. In real time, it’s less than 5%.

    5. A list of complaints and suggestions which, while valid, save about $1.95 per fiscal year. A retired political science professor (theorist, natch) indignantly offered me this some years ago.

    6. Complaints about the other guy’s stuff. This would be she who shall not be named, who seems to think that higher education priced below marginal or average cost is something other than what it appears to be (if you’re an Arkansas state resident with an intense enough catalogue of resentments).

    There’s a lot of crap in public sector budgets, but you are bound to be disappointed if you expect Gov. Huckabee or any other working politician to rebuild the sort of political economy that was to be found in 1928. Sorry to be repetitive on this point. You can click on Sen. Margaret Chase Smith here:

    http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964

  34. on one to have an idea in one’s head about what ‘small government’ is, brass tacks. For a number of years, I’ve been poking and prodding purveyors of the ‘big government’ discourse to offer some specifics on ‘small government’. These are the answers I get:

    If this list is your honest assessment of all that you’ve taken out of years of dialogue, then I don’t know what to tell you. I think we’re done with this conversation.

  35. Thank you, Zummo, for the Conservative Review article—of which I was aware, but prior to reading, had already an idea of the Huckster’s’ m.o. He’s smooth.

  36. Huckabee’s property tax liability at current rates in Walton County, Fl. is about $42,000 per annum. Florida has no state income tax. If he’s like anyone else with that amount of money, he employs an accountant who assists him in finding the optimal balance between minimizing tax liability and sound investment, so he isn’t paying any 40% rate on his taxable income. For someone in Huckabee’s age bracket, municipal bonds are generally recommended as an investment vehicle. The interest income therefrom is exempt.

  37. If this list is your honest assessment of all that you’ve taken out of years of dialogue, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    My ‘honest’ assessment? Paul, that’s what people tell me when I ask. If you want them to say something else, complain to them. If the regulatory state is what concerns you, that’s a legitimate point. However, regulatory agencies seldom have large budgets. Your government might be less officious without this or that agency, but it won’t be appreciably smaller.

  38. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horacio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet, I, 5, 166-67.

    .
    Now, stop it. As Hamlet and his father’s ghost required, keep silent on this. It serves no useful purpose when the fate of the Republic stands in peril of four/eight more years of psychopathic narcissism and nefarious nihilism.

    Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Never speak ill of a fellow Republican.
    .
    N.B. Sanders isn’t clawing away at Hillary; and I am independent.

  39. Are the Indecorous, It is clear you do not understand federal income tax law, so let me help you a bit. If Huck has annual earned income of $500,000, that earned income is subject to the maximum federal income tax rate of 39.6%, no exceptions. Once that income has been subjected to tax, any savings he can invest it perhaps in nontaxable municipal bonds. However there is a new Obama surcharge tax as of 2014 of 3.8% for incomes over $250k, and even so (as I mentioned to you b4), if he has no state income tax, he will be a paying minimum rate of 43.4%: plus I am glad you noted the $26k annual or so in Fl property tax, and he still has to pay property tax on his AR mansion. He may have netted about $200-250k per year. But Huck lives large, as we’ve seen, and expects the gullible poor to pay his way.

    Any way you cut it, it is hard to to fathom how he got from perhaps $300k net worth in 2007 to $5M now…. except for running as a phony candidate every 4 or so years, and gunning up his PR for his next TV position.

    Anyway, like Zummo, I don’t expect you to understand, so I am done here.

  40. All this talk about Huckabee is discouraging. We are in crying need of honesty and integrity.
    .
    T.Roosevelt July 4, 1903:
    “In civil life we need decency, honesty and the spirit that makes the man a good husband, a good father, a good neighbor and a good man to work alongside of or to deal with.
    That makes a man, consequently, who does his duty by the State. The worst crime against this nation which can be committed by any man is the crime of dishonesty, whether in public life, or whether in private life, and we are not to be excused as a people if we ever condone such dishonesty, no matter what other qualities it may be associated with.”

    I see my favorites, Santorum, Cruz, Rubio as honest men as described above. Trump may be forthright in what he says but I can’t categorize him as reliably honest because of his changing positions which are pandering and a type of lie.

    As for honesty among the D candidates, it would be Jim Webb.

  41. Hey Steve P- you made my day!!

    back to Santorum for a moment- one of our many problems is short memories- I’m still angry at Santorum for ARLEN SPECTER – remember that chameleon miscreant and Santorums’ support thereof ??

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