The False Conservative

With Mike Huckabee surging in both Iowa and in national polls the business portion of the former Republican majority has launched an all out attack on his “conservative” credentials. The attack has been led by the “Club for Growth”, who have attacked Huckabee for raising taxes while governor of Arkansas. A recent column by conservative columnist Robert Novak gave rise to main street Republican frustrations with “evangelical Christians” who desire to nominate one of their own rather than marching in lockstep with more traditional Republicans. Huckabee’s designation as a “heretic” is widening the growing chasm between the two main branches of modern Republican thought, and bodes well for the Democrats in November. How hard is the hit being placed on Huckabee? From Novak:

Huckabee is campaigning as a conservative, but serious Republicans know that he is a high-tax, protectionist, big-government advocate of a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans. Until now, they did not bother to expose the former governor of Arkansas as a false conservative because he seemed an underfunded, unknown nuisance candidate. Now that he has pulled even with Mitt Romney for the Iowa caucuses with the possibility of more progress, the beleaguered Republican Party has a frightening problem on its hands.

What has Huckabee done to warrant such conservative concern?

There is no doubt about Huckabee’s record during a decade in Little Rock as governor. He was regarded by fellow Republican governors as a compulsive tax increaser and spender. He increased the Arkansas tax burden by 47 percent, boosting the levies on gasoline and cigarettes. When he decided to lose 100 pounds and pressed his new lifestyle on the American people, he was far from a Goldwater-Reagan libertarian.

I wish Novak would define libertarian. Goldwater was a libertarian. Reagan? I don’t think so. But back to the subject at hand. How about the sniping between the Club for Growth and Huckabee.

Huckabee clearly departs from the mainstream of the conservative movement in his confusion of “growth” with “greed.” Such ad hominem attacks are part of his intuitive response to criticism from the Club for Growth and the libertarian Cato Institute for his record as governor. On Fox News Sunday Nov. 18, he called the “tactics” of the Club for Growth “some of the most despicable in politics today. It’s why I love to call them the Club for Greed because they won’t tell you who gave their money.” In fact, all contributors to the organization’s political action committee (which produces campaign ads) are publicly revealed, as are most donors financing issue ads.

Huckabee’s rise in the polls has brought significant attention to him, including the highlighting of the many ethics charges filed against him while governor. Kudos to the opp research team at Club Mitt. Should get pretty nasty by caucus time.

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14 Responses to The False Conservative

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    ….and your point.

    Are you trying to sell us on the fact that candidates are not what they seem?

    Hold the presses.

    Candidates have, as a critical staff member, a PR expert whose whole job is to to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

    Question: can any of the candidates for the high office of President of the United States say they are what they seem to be? If so, who?

    I will have more “stuff” on the “end is near” blog entry. That will be fun.

    I bet you don’t have a PR man.

    The friendly opposition.



  2. Bill Manzi says:

    No that was not my point. The point here was to highlight the serious divisions between the business Republicans and the social value Republicans. It appears that the business class has had just about enough of those pesky evangelicals.


  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Are you trying to say that a “business Republicans” have no social values, and a “social Republicans” are not capitalists?

    Do you paint Evangelicals as evil? Many do. The word Evangelical is used in a pejorative way.

    Before you judge, remember, even Jesus was willing differentiate that which is Caesar’s and that which is GOD’s.(a clever application of metaphors)

    I believe the Democratic “Move On.Orgs and Kos adherents probably give the Democrats headaches as well. Those are your “Evangelicals”.

    I maintain there are serious “moral” issues on the other side.

    I can’t figure out what a Democrate is or believes in.

    Here are some observations;

    The Democratic party is a loose confederation of issue oriented organizations. Abortionists (1.4 million per year in the U.S.), Union organizations, Womens organizations, and a whole host of political single issues organizations all funded by multimillionaire “business” types. The common thread-to acquire power to maximize their own individual ends. Power is the Democrat GOD.


    How do “rich” Democrat business types compare to “rich” Republican business types?

    You obviously do not share my observations of the Democratic party. Please enlighten me as to the truth.

    I await your reply.

    Your friend, Jules


  4. Matt says:

    The Democratic party is much more than a loose collection of special interest groups. It is the oldest political party in the world. It stands for social justice and working class values. In the early 80’s the Repubs courted the vote of the born-again Christians. Now that they are asking for a real place at the Repbulican table, they are being shut out by old guard… the “county club conservatives.” I guess there is not enough room in the Republican “Big Tent” for the Born Again crowd. BTW – Mayor Manzi has several great PR people – himself included.


  5. Jules Gordon says:


    The “oldest party in the WORLD”? I don’t thinks so.

    They had a history of bigotry.

    The Democratic Party was the party of slavery. President Lincoln (Republican) freed the slaves. Ku Klux Klan, bigotry and prejudice, Democratic institutions in the south, were overcome in the 60’s during the civil rights drive. Northern Republicans and Democrats supported this turn in justice.

    President Eisenhower (Republican) sent soldiers into the south to defend the right of black students to attend schools of their choice. In opposition were the Democrats.

    The Democratic party has since transformed itself into what it is today.

    As far as justice and family values are concerned, look at Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states. Full Democratic control has not eliminated poverty, crime, poor education or institute justice or family values (crooks go free and single family households are a a growth industries).

    By the way, Matt, having PR people is not a good thing.

    Matt, are born again Christians the same as evangelicals?

    What do you think, Matt?



  6. Bill Manzi says:

    Jules brings up some interesting points. I would like to focus on two of them. The first is the age of the Democratic Party. It dates back to 1792 and Thomas Jefferson, and has a legitimate claim to be called the worlds oldest political party. As far as the Jim Crowe background of the very strong southern wing of the Democratic Party it is undeniable. The segregationist wing of the Party lasted well into the 1960s and beyond. But having acknowleged the historic truth involved there maybe you can help me with some Republican history, circa 1968. Jules, in light of national Democratic support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the segregationists in the South realized that they could not live in a national party so committed to Civil Rights. When Richard Nixon unveiled his “southern strategy” in 1968 do you deny that the most reactionary, segregationists elements drifted to the Republican Party? Were Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond both Republicans who left the Democratic Party over Civil Rights. Wasn’t Nixon’s desire to create an electoral college majority consisting of the old confederacy and the sun belt (and other pieces) what led the Republicans to abandon the principles of Lincoln on civil rights. Since I answered honestly can you now deny that those forces most opposed to civil rights ended up in the Republican Party? Do you claim to disavow Strom Thurmond or Jesse Helms as good Republicans. Yes, the Democratic Party has some shameful history in this area. But they grew and fought within the party to promote civil rights, while the Republicans exploited these issues for electoral gain. You are right. There is a difference, and it is not one Republicans should be proud of.


  7. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Interestingly, Wikapedia agrees with Matt that the Democratic Party is the oldest in the nation and they say in the world.

    Another website says the Republican party has its roots in the English Torre Party from the 16th century.

    However, I think there were parties during the democratic days of ancient Athens. Heck there may have been one called the “democratic” party. I base the thesis on the fact that in any democratic society people will join forces for some purpose opposed to some other group.

    I will research this and get back to Matt and yourself.

    I do not disagree with you on your history. I only respond when people think their party has all the solutions.

    I have never argued the superiority of the Republican party. I have, in fact, been quite disappointed in my party for not following it basic tenants, and have said so in these blog entries.

    They committed a political sin and are paying for it now.

    The pols show the congress of the united states has a lower rating than George W. Bush.

    Not the Democrats only, nor the Republicans only. The whole kit and caboodle.

    To answer your question about racist Democrats moving to the Republican party during the 60’s civil right movement you may be right. However, most of the rocks and sticks being thrown were by stubborn Democrats who fought the change in their institutions.

    The head klegel (I mangled the spelling)of the clan, however stayed with the party, and is today the oldest member of congress respected by his colleges despite his cross burning days.

    Plenty of skeletons on both sides.


    Do you feel the state of Massachusetts is being well run under the present administration and a legislature run by a dominant party?

    Oh, by the way did you read the Sunday Tribune editorial ” Municipal ‘meltdown’ gets cold shoulder from taxpayers”? How about putting in the blog and let’s discuss it. I think you will see many arguments I have been making.

    Hope you have a good week.



  8. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor and Matt,

    As promised, I did some research into Ancient Athens for political parties older than the Democratic party we all love and cherish.

    A book titled “Aristophanes and the political parties of Athens” written by Maurice Croisets and James Loeb in 1909, does identify the Demagogical party. Having Demagog as the root word makes me wonder what they were.

    I could only get a small summation of the book on line, but it does, as I suspected, define earlier parties than the Democratic.



  9. Derek Jackson says:

    Whoops, forgot the word ‘not’ in my first post…

    Might the democrats have the oldest party in the world that is still active? Maybe that Wikipedia entry just needs some rewording…

    The problem is that most of the Republican or the Democrat members of our government are not living up to the values of their respective parties. They should really all join up and form a new party, the Plutocrats, because Plutocracy seems to be what they are striving for. No wonder a record number of people are registering as independents.


  10. Matt says:

    The Dems are the oldest political party that is still in existence. There is no debating that point. They have lasted so long because they are progressive and inclusive, unlike the Repubs who increasingly define themselves by who they hate, rather than by new ideas and sound public policy.


  11. Jules Gordon says:

    Well Matt,

    Let’s look at some local examples.

    Have you read Dante Ippolito’s frequent letters to the editor? They spew hate for all things republicans. It’s full of nasty references.Read yesterdays letter by him. It is typical. His pal mike Verve (Spelling in doubt) writes in the same manner.A pundit said that Liberalism is a mental disease and these men are prime examples.

    This is followed by the “sound off” crowd. Lots of hate words about all things Republicans.

    As far as new ideas and sound public policy is concerned; are you satisfied with the new tax burden coming up on real estate taxes and water rates. What do you tell your Democrat friends who are on fixed income of the sound policy?

    This is a 98% Democratic managed state. Can’t blame us nasty Republicans.

    The future of your sound public policy; The governor, who was aghast at the 1/2 million dollar short fall when he took over from Gov Romney, released Romney’s line item vetoes of 1/2 bilion dollars and is now working to add 14 billion dollars to our burden. That, Matt, will come from the payments to the cities and towns and result in even higher local taxes. Great for the poor folks. SOUND PUBLIC POLICY WE WILL LIVE WITH FOR YEARS.

    As far as the oldest party in the country is concerned, Thomas Jefferson through Jack Kennedy were not “progressives”. What ever that means. Please read my entry describing the Democratic Party and slavery (inclusive???). Freed by a Republican.

    Lately, even Bill Clinton did not end the “don’t tell” gay policy in the armed service.

    Matt, I wait for your reply.



  12. Derek Jackson says:

    Actually there are very few real republicans and democrats, most people laying claim to belonging to either of those parties are what I like to refer to as “Antis”, or anti-democrats and anti-republicans. They’re so busy bashing the other party (as seen in the comments under this post) yet they never seem to have anything constructive to say.


  13. Jules Gordon says:


    Right on. I agree.

    My arguments are to show that the Democrats are not superior as some people believe.

    I have already expressed my disappointment at the Republican party for abandoning its basic tenants, which, in my view, was largely responsible for its loss in the general election and the loss of the entire NH legislature.

    It has become a race for power to be had at all costs by both parties.

    You and I along with Matt will get run over in the process. Our taxes are going up and I see no end in sight in order to pay for this race.

    We got to remain civil to each other and respect our different views.

    The question is, how do we get to be friendly opponents? We differ then have coffee together.

    Let me know what you think.



  14. Karen says:

    Time to update this site, for cryin’ out loud.
    Chop chop.


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