Borrowing a page from the left's playbook, Mike Huckabees
supporters are now engaged in full-scale class warfare.
message to the right: If you're skeptical about the
Huckster, you're an elitist -- a coupon-clipping, Wall Street
Republican snob who distains social conservatives and is
prejudiced against evangelical Christians.
But once you get past the preacher-man façade, it's Huckabee who
most resembles the old Rockefeller Republicans among the current
crop of candidates. Take away his pro-life position and his
primary posturing, and Huckabee is John Edwards with a $15-haircut
-- a softer Hillary Clinton.
One of the most egregious examples of class-baiting by Huckabee
partisans is a commentary ("The View from the Back of the Bus") by
Ken Connor, chairman of the Center for a Just Society.
claims beltway Republicans -- who "summer at Nantucket and Bar
Harbor," "are educated at Harvard and Yale," and "read the Wall
Street Journal and Barron's" -- are frantic over the
"They are the Republican elites, the bluebloods who fund political
campaigns" and are "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."
They're willing to use evangelicals as campaign foot-soldiers, but
are horrified by the prospect of Huckabee sitting at the head of
the table instead of merely giving the benediction.
Connor claims the battle for the GOP nomination comes down to
"bluebloods" versus "blue collars."
the business elite against regular folks (what Pat Buchanan calls
the Main Street/Wall Street dichotomy), economic populists versus
running dogs of corporate America, those who favor
"Harvard-educated, multimillionaire Mitt Romney" or
guitar-picking, good ole boy, preacher-turned-politician Huckabee,
in a cage-match for the soul of the Republican Party.
For the record, a lot of Main Street Republicans are dubious of
Huckabee's conservative bona fides. In the Michigan primary,
Romney got 41% of the vote among self-identified conservatives,
versus the 20% who went with the populist preacher.
Connor's sentiments are echoed by my friend, syndicated columnist
Star Parker, who decries the "hate campaign being conducted
against Huckabee" (which viciously focuses on his record) by
"inside the beltway Republicans." Said malefactors of power and
privilege "have also lost touch with the increasing seriousness
with which grassroots conservatives relate to the traditional
I don't want to be the one to tell Phyllis Schlafly that she's an
economic royalist. The founding mother of the modern conservative
movement says that as governor, Huckabee "destroyed the
conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a
Ann Coulter must be one of those champagne-sipping elitists who
shun social issues. Coulter declares, "On illegal immigration,
Huckabee makes George Bush sound like Tom Tancredo."
I've visited Nantucket and Bar Harbor exactly once in my life,
both on day trips. I "summer" in my backyard. I graduated from
distinctly non-elitist Boston University. It's hard to find anyone
to the right of me on abortion, marriage and other family issues.
I've probably devoted more effort to defending conservative
Christians than any other non-Christian in America.
And Huckabee scares me spit-less. Unlike his android followers, I
am not mesmerized by his clerical credentials or his
Besides his following on the deluded Right, the governor has a
vocal cheering section on the Left. If they could anoint the next
Republican presidential nominee, it would be Huckabee.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich, the doyen of
Christian-bashers, wrote a column after the Iowa Caucuses ("They
Didn't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow") singing the praises of
Huckabee and Obama. "The two men are... the least angry and the
least inclined to seek votes by saturation-bombing us with the
post-9/11 arsenal of fear...."
"They both radiate wit and joy (and, yes hope)," Rich gushed. Are
you sick yet? "They don't run from Americans who are not in their
"It's such populist Huckabee sentiments that are already driving
the Republican empire to strike back," Rich warns. "The party that
has milked religious conservatives for votes for two decades is
traumatized by the prospect that one of that ilk might actually
become its standard-bearer." (Sound familiar?)
Rich has spent years calling down curses on the GOP for
"pandering" to the religious right, but now he wants "one of that
ilk" to lead the party?
Over the past two decades, Frank Rich enthusiastically smeared religious conservatives as patriarchal,
homophobic, theocratic, demagogues -- with pronounced fascist
tendencies. The same ideologue attacked The Passion as anti-Semitic before he even saw it and could barely contain his glee over the death of Jerry Falwell last May.
is willing to overlook the Governor's pro-life, pro-marriage
stands, because Huckabee is so joyfully PC on issues like global
warming, education spending, compassion for border-jumpers, taxes
and the war on terrorism.
Besides, Rich knows that Huckabee is the
candidate most likely to make the Reagan coalition implode this
Among the Huckster's other admirers on the left is Larry Schweiger
of the tree-hugging National Wildlife Federation, who beams, "He's
only the second Republican (the first being McCain) to say
he supports cap-and-trade, which we believe is the critical part
of any effort to stop global warming."
I didn't know grassroots conservatives had joined the Al Gore
crusade -- that they'd bought in to junk science and were willing
to sacrifice industrial jobs, kill off what's left of the U.S.
auto industry and bleed at the pump for environmental Marxism?
Hmmm? I must have been clipping coupons and reading
Barron's while vacationing in Bar Harbor when that went
Prior to the Granite State's presidential primary, Huckabee was
endorsed by the New Hampshire Education Association, state
affiliate of the NEA, the left-leaning teachers' union.
The teachers' collective really digs Huckabee's "strong views on
public education" -- translation, as Arkansas governor, he
reflexively supported shoveling more money at the public schools
and adamantly opposed education vouchers, which might threaten the
state school monopoly.
In his new book, Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues With
Timeless Truth, Albert Mohler predicts that public schools "will
soon become even more hostile to the convictions of Christian
convinced that the time has come for Christians to develop an exit
strategy from the public schools," the president of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary writes. But Huckabee wants to slam the door shut on those trying to escape.
Earlier this week, the Governor engaged in the most
shameless hypocrisy I've ever seen in a presidential campaign (and
my memory of same stretches back to William Henry Harrison's run
With not a hint of irony, the Huckster signed a pledge to oppose
amnesty and make illegal aliens go home. His frantic attempts to
reinvent himself here started before Iowa, when Huckabee vowed to
send supporter Chuck Norris to the border. (To make bad
Could this be the same candidate who only months ago disclosed, "I
tend to think that the rational approach (to illegal
immigration) is to find a way to give people a pathway to
citizenship." Writing in Human Events (not the Wall
Street Journal, which sounds like the old Huckabee on
immigration), James R. Edwards, Jr. observes, "Pathway to
citizenship is Bush-McCain-Kennedy code for amnesty."
Huckabee used to compare efforts at border enforcement to racism.
He told us that by being nice to illegals, we could atone for
For God's sake, would Huckabee's supporters please look past his
opportunistic rhetoric and examine his record. I know its hard for
you, but, come on, give it a try.
As governor, he opposed a bill to require proof of citizenship to
obtain government benefits and vote. That's right, Huckabee thinks
that those who are in America illegally should have a voice in the
electoral process. (He said the measure "inflames those who are
racists and bigots.")
Why not allow the Mexicans still in Mexico to vote by absentee
ballot? Why discriminate?
He supported drivers' licenses for illegals and in-state tuition
for their children. In 2005, he told the open-borders League of
United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), "We should accommodate
people" who want to come here from Latin America. What more could we do, provide public subsidies for Univision?
Moreover, the man who now bills himself as an
honorary Minuteman told LULAC that we had to "recognize and
cherish diversity in culture, in language and in population."
Hello bilingualism, multiculturalism and the devolution of America
from nation state to conglomeration of warring tribes.
And you wonder why Huckabee is Frank Rich's favorite
Immigration isn't the Governor's only flip-flop.
supported a nationwide ban on smoking in public places, until he
figured out that those blue-collar voters he claims to represent
are more likely to smoke than other Americans. (It's hard to play
tribune of the people while acting as agent of the nanny state.)
Huckabee now says states should decide whether to impose this form
of health fascism.
In 2002, the then-governor supported lifting the trade embargo
against Castro's regime. After looking at Florida's Cuban émigré
vote, the Huckster reversed himself on that too.
asked about his change of heart, he cynically replied, "Well, what
changed was I'm running for president." Now there's a response
guaranteed to inspire confidence in a candidate's commitment to
The man from Hope recently picked up an important Republican
endorsement, that of the Iranian Republican Guard.
December 25 report in Iran's state-run Fars News Agency observed:
"Huckabee is of the opinion that relations with Iran deteriorated
following Bush's 'axis of evil' speech." In many points his
message on Iran is more akin to that of the Democrats: there is a
need to dialogue with Iran and more diplomacy is needed.
the same time, Huckabee told conservative talk-show host Hugh
Hewitt: "We haven't had diplomatic relationships with Iran in
almost 30 years, most of my adult life. And a lot of good it's
done. Putting this in human terms, all of us know that when we
stop talking to a parent or a sibling, or even a friend, it's
impossible to resolve the differences and move the relationship
forward. Well, the same is true for countries."
let's negotiate with Hitler at Munich, and let's have arms control
treaties with the Soviet Union. And, by all means, let us engage
in diplomacy with theocratic Dark Ages Holocaust-deniers who arm
terrorist gangs and are Allah-bent on acquiring nukes.
hard to tell if Huckabee is more Opie or Oprah.
foreign policy, he's pure psychobabble: Communication breaks down
barriers. When we're talking, we're not fighting. If we're really
nice, people will love us. Will he try to resurrect Mr. Rogers as
his Secretary of State? ("It's a wonderful day in the global
neighborhood and won't you please be my neighbor?")
admitting in early December that he hadn't heard of the National
Intelligence Estimate on Iran (is it an IQ test?), Huckabee wrote
an article for the January/February 2008 issue of Foreign
Affairs ("America's Priorities in the War on Terror"),
presumably to prove that he can spell foreign policy.
world's last superpower, America is less vulnerable to military
attack but "more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries,"
Huckabee wrote. "Much like the top high school student, if it is
modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in
helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate
others, it is despised."
"American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude,
open up, and reach out," and move away from "the Bush
administration's arrogant bunker mentality."
exactly what the left has been telling us since Vietnam, and
especially after 9/11, albeit phrased in Huckabee's folksy
metaphors -- Jihadists don't love us because we're arrogant and
ungenerous and haven't taken the time to get to know them. ("Hi,
Osama, I'm Sam, and I'm humble and would be grateful if you'd stop
trying to kill me.")
of his supporters got agitated when it was disclosed late last
month that Huckabee is getting foreign-policy advice from Richard
Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (more elitist
than this you can not get).
beats the New World Order drum when he observes, "States must be
prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies if the
international system is to function."
quell a case of jitters among the faithful, Huckabee responded to
an inquiry from CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "Well, I have a number of
people from whom I get policy (sic.). I'm talking to Frank
Gaffney (of the hawkish Center for Security Policy) . I
talk to Richard Haass." This is like saying, "I seek broad input
on criminal justice issues. I talk to Joe Arpaio (the law and
order sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ.) and the head of the
American Civil Liberties Union."
see -- he wants to help the downtrodden from the taxpayers
pockets, kowtows to radical environmentalism, wants more money for
public education, thinks we can win friends and influence people
abroad by showing that we care, hangs with internationalists,
believes in tax-and-spend policies (during Huck's years as
Arkansas governor, there was a net tax increase -- adjusted for
inflation and economic growth -- of $505 million) -- yup, sounds
like a Rockefeller Republican (AKA a RINO) to me.
hey, what do I know?
one of those anti-Huckabee elitists, a minion of Wall Street and a
beltway-insider who lives off his trust fund and is about to sail
off to Nantucket in my yacht as I enjoy a fine bottle of Chateau
This column originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com and appears here with the author's permission.