Jay Reding.com

The Narrow Appeal Of Mike Huckabee

Byron Hill takes a look at why “values voters” love Mike Huckabee. He did do an amazing job at the Values Voters Summit, but ultimately the reason why Huckabee won’t win the nomination is because his appeal is largely limited to these values voters.

Huckabee’s biggest liability is that he’s not all that fiscally conservative. His record in Arkansas on taxes is mixed. His governing philosophies tend to be more about expanding the scope and reach of government rather than protecting and preserving individual rights against the state. He’s the sort of President who would be more likely to do things like regulate trans fats and other examples of nanny-state tinkering. Yes, he’s excellent on social issues, but the GOP isn’t driven entirely by social issues.

Despite Huckabee’s great performances and appeal to social conservatives, he’s still below the double digits in most polls. What that suggests is that for all the much-vaunted influence of “values voters,” they don’t have all that big an effect on Republican politics. The media loves to play up their influence because it fits with their narrative of Republicans all being closet theocrats. However, the real face of the Republican Party is much more diverse than that. Huckabee’s appeal is strong, but narrow, and ultimately that’s not enough to push him above his second-tier status.

The other issue that unites the Republican Party is the war—and Huckabee doesn’t have the foreign-policy credentials. With the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran growing more and more pressing with each passing day, the GOP is looking for someone who can lead a vigorous American foreign policy and strongly defend national interests. Mike Huckabee isn’t the sort of man who would strike fear into the heart of a madman like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Republican voters are looking for a President who can.

I think a Giuliani/Huckabee ticket is entirely likely as a way of balancing out Giuliani’s northeastern squishiness with some good old-fashioned Bible belt conservatism. I do think that Mike Huckabee is a charismatic speaker, a man of deep principles, and a great asset to the Republican Party. At the same time, he’s not Presidential material. A successful candidate has to have broad appeal with fiscal and social conservatives to win the GOP nomination. The GOP is characterized as the party of “God, guns, and gays” but that stereotype has little basis in reality. Huckabee may do well with the people who would attend a summit for self-described “values voters” but religious appeal isn’t the only value that Republicans are interested in seeing.

UPDATE: Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth says that putting Huckabee in the VP slot would be a bad idea. Granted, Huckabee’s fiscal record is pretty poor—but ultimately, the job of the modern VP is to break ties in the Senate and help the top of the ticket broaden their political appeal. In terms of formulating policy, I don’t see the next Vice President doing much—certainly not after the Cheney Vice Presidency. So long as Huckabee isn’t influencing tax policy, he would still settle the nerves of conservatives who are wary of a Giuliani Administration.

33 responses to “The Narrow Appeal Of Mike Huckabee”

  1. Seth says:

    The truly narrow appeal is that he’s one of the only Republicans running on a message of who he is. The rest have a message based on Hillary Clinton–the type of stuff you railed on the Democrats doing in 2006. I guess it’s a little different when it’s your party, though, huh?

  2. Eracus says:

    Seth, informed Republicans already know who Mike Huckabee is. He’s Clintonian in word and deed. Not a conservative. Accordingly, the only people who ever think he should be the Republican nominee are Democrats.

  3. Jay Reding says:

    The truly narrow appeal is that he’s one of the only Republicans running on a message of who he is. The rest have a message based on Hillary Clinton–the type of stuff you railed on the Democrats doing in 2006. I guess it’s a little different when it’s your party, though, huh?

    Except for the fact that the candidates aren’t just talking about Clinton. In fact, Thompson went out of his way in the Orlando debate to say why he doesn’t find such comparisons necessary at this point. Giuliani has been stressing his experience as Mayor of NYC (and more than just on 9/11). Thompson has been been talking about conservative first principles.

    One line by McCain doesn’t mean that the whole field is unable to talk about anything else other than HRC.

    The Democrats are still running against Bush in most of their speeches, especially Obama and Edwards. One would think he were running again by some of their rhetoric…

  4. Mark says:

    Jay, “one line by McCain”? Hillary’s name came up in last weekend’s Republican debate more than Reagan’s.

    As for Huckabee’s foreign policy credentials, how are they any less impressive than the former Governor of Massachusetts? Or the former Mayor of New York City? Or the guy most recently elected President based on six years as Governor of Texas? Funny how with all the perennial chatter that both parties MUST, MUST, MUST nominate a Governor if they expect to win Presidential elections, your rhetoric of “foreign policy credentials in a post-9/11 world” all but disqualifies just about any Governor, no matter how effective, from ever becoming President again.

    And just as a heads-up….if “Pat Toomey of the Club Growth” says anyone in your party would be a bad nominee, vote for them as fast as you can. Toomey’s history of picking winning teams is about as good as Bob Shrum’s.

  5. Mark says:

    Eracus, the “values voters” at last weekend’s summit who rated Huckabee their fave candidate are Democrats?

  6. Aaron says:

    Huckabee has limited foreign policy credentials? And what foreign policy credentials does Mitt Flip Flopper Romney have? How about Rudy? Oh yes, they have no foreign policy credentials. You want a President who has real intelligence, ability and vision? Or, someone who simply acts tought and says what sounds good.

    For that matter what foreign policy experience does President Bush have prior to his being elected. Fact is, the GW President has been an absolute disaster. The man is an intellectual lightweight at best. His actions have dragged the GOP into the dumps….the country into a mess. Iraq never ever should have happened.

    Huckabee is the oonyl GOP candidate I will vote for….I cant stomach the others except perhaps for McCain. If the choice is anyone besides huckabee or McCain against Hillary, I will vote third party…..

  7. Eracus says:

    Well, there ya go, Jay. State Governors have no foreign policy experience because, well, you know, states don’t have any foreign business relations, and well, you know, New York is just another American city with no outside contact with the rest of the world. So mayors don’t have any foreign policy experience either. And it’s the truth too. Mark says so, and so does Aaron…because, well, they are smart and so they just know things other people don’t know. Only senators know foreign policy, because well, you know… they’re senators and Hillary is a senator and so is John Edwards and so is Barry Hussein Obama. Egads, get with it, will ya? George Bush is a disaster. The economy is a disaster. Iraq is a disaster. We are all doomed, doomed, DOOMED!! It’s a disaster, Jay.

  8. Aaron says:

    uh….my point was and you know it…..we are talking about real military and diplomatic foreign polo\icy and Governors and State officials dont have the same kind of involvement on that level that Senators do. How can we say that Guliani is qualified or Romney but huckabee is not.

    As for what I said abotu GW…yeah the guy has been an absolute disaster…and this comes from someone who voted for him twice. His policies are a mess…he hasnt a clue about economic matters…he will go down as one of the worst in US History…..and if the US economy is so great, why are middle and low income americans falling behind…..why are wages lagging…costs rising……its the upper income levels that are thriving not the middle income worker.

    Do you honestly believe that this is a good economy? Do you honestly believe that invading Iraq was a good decision?

  9. Eracus says:

    You are just naive, Aaron, and present yet another glowing example of the failure of public education. Every state governor must participate in solving all kinds of military and foreign policy issues unique to his state, whereas our lugubrious Senators merely read the journalist and editorial opinions in the newspapers like everyone else. With few exceptions, most of them have never run a business or ever traveled abroad anywhere but a resort destination. Try to keep up.

    And please, spare us your fake “I voted for him twice” testimonials. You didn’t and you know it. You don’t do your homework either. Here you are living in the most efficiently expanding economy the world has ever seen — and complaining you’re not rich enough yet. While polemicists from Lou Dobbs to John Edwards find it irresistible to blame the current administration and economy for political advantage based on some misperceived middle-class decline, it is an outdated view of how our economy actually works and is empirically, demonstrably false. Real GDP per person is up more than 60% since Reagan took office, and as you well know, a rising tide raises all boats, including the middle-class which has never had it so good.

    So if you don’t like your job, Aaron, find another one. There has never been a better time in all of recorded history, despite a two-front war on a distant continent, two of the worst ecological disasters ever to strike these shores, and an implacable, faceless enemy determined to kill us all in our beds but has so far utterly failed.

    That would be thanks to President George W. Bush, Aaron, who you so foolishly and laughably accuse of being an idiot whose policies are a disaster. Would you prefer Saddam Hussein still terrorized the world from Iraq? Would you prefer middle-class taxes to be even higher than they are now? Would that be a more perfect world for you? Or would it instead be just a totally unmitigated disaster?

  10. Mark says:

    Eracus, if Aaron is embracing the campaign of conservative Mike Huckabee, your calling him a liar for saying he voted for Bush twice only makes you that much more of a cartoon character. When voters are abandoning your party en masse as they are now, it may not be the best idea to tell those still partially onboard that they’re idiots and liars for not realizing how good everything is. It’ll be interesting to see how many conservative-leaning independents and even Republicans will be driven completely away from the GOP in 2008 by people like you constantly reminding them how stupid they are for having doubts about the current administration’s successes. I invite you and Jay to continue to be as insulting as possible to the 70+% of Americans who are Bush doubters….maybe even step up the level of dripping condescension you direct their way if that’s humanly possible at this point.

    Eracus, you’re part of “the new Left Behind Series”, an increasingly nervous cabal of robber barons watching as their dreams of permanent war profiteering and consolidation of national wealth into as few as pockets as possible gets unraveled. Even hedge fund managers are sending disproportionate campaign dollars to Democrats this cycle, realizing the futility of clinging to a conservative movement (1981-2006, RIP) that voters drove a stake through the heart of nearly a year ago. All that’s left of that movement are the pathetic redoubts of the conservative blogosphere and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, with nothing left to do but twist their handle-bar mustaches waiting for the next Gilded Age to arrive….and waiting….and waiting….

  11. Eracus says:

    As usual, Mark, you are engaging in self-delusion and projecting your imaginings hoping to impress us with your deep, penetrating analysis of things you obviously know absolutely nothing about. With Congressional approval ratings nearing the single digits under the feckless and moronic leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, I hardly think the GOP has anything to worry about when it comes to the voters. And as for Aaron’s testimonials, surely Aaron is not such a fool that he would vote not once but twice for George W. Bush blissfully ignorant of the Democrat template that’s been with us since Al Gore invented the internet. Or are you suggesting that Aaron is so deaf, dumb, and blind that he only just recently discovered his error? That he voted for Bush before he voted against him? That all these disasters he only recently discovered? My, my. Just who is insulting whom here?

    And while you are entitled to your own misinformed opinion, Mark, you are not entitled to your own facts. That conservative movement with the stake through its heart twice elected George W. Bush and has so far defeated the majority party in Congress on every issue save the minimum wage. Nevertheless, we invite your party’s communist leadership to continue to demand and plot the defeat of these United States in Iraq and elsewhere (that is, when they are not attempting to deny Rush Limbaugh his livelihood and First Amendment rights) and to demand free health insurance for millionaires at taxpayers’ expense, and to continue to call loud and clear for the return of high taxes to pay for all this socialist, Marxist-Leninist crap. I’m sure the voters will eat it right up, because, you know, Americans love to wallow in self-pity and defeat, are convinced health insurance is a human rights issue, and don’t yet quite believe they are giving up still enough of their income to support Government waste and abuse in service to “the poor.” Or is it “the children??” I always forget.

    By the way, how’s your 401(k) doing these days? You haven’t neglected your share of all that war profiteering and consolidation of national wealth, have you? I mean, you haven’t completely missed the boat or been left behind, right?

  12. Eracus says:

    Heh.

    “Almost every Republican message contains a simple and direct moral imperative, a stark contrast between good and evil, right and wrong, common sense and fuzzy liberal thinking,” Helfert wrote. “Meanwhile, we’re trying to ignite passions with analyses of optimum pupil-teacher ratios.”

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/internal-dem-memo-faults-party-message-2007-10-26.html

  13. Aaron says:

    Mark thank you. You got it right. I am embracing Mike Huckabee becuase he is everything GW is not. Huckabee is the only real hope the GOP has. As for Eracus, well….I did indeed vote for GW twice. I did indeed graduate from the public school system,which I am quiet proud of. Its high browe snobs like you who believe only private school education is worthwhile. You state that now is th ebest time to find another job and that Americans are doing wel economically. Perhaps in your elitist circles this is true. However, those of use who earn $100k or less are struggling to support our families whil corporations and CEO reap huge rewards.

    You want to know why the GOP is going to get slaughtered in 2008? Becuase idiots like Bush and Rove have destroyed the values our party was set upon. Keep on living with your head in the sand Eracus and we can be sure to have to endure at least 4 years of Queen Hillary thanks to your sanctimonius arrogance.

  14. Eracus says:

    Yes, and thank you, Aaron, for so dramatically illustrating my point about the failure of public education. You can barely read, you obviously can’t spell, you are incapable of critical thought and yet you are “quiet (sic) proud of” … er, well, being an ignorant fool, I guess. No doubt that’s how you earned all those smiley-face grades in high school, eh?

    Not to pile on, but to complain that “those of use (sic) who earn $100k or less are struggling to support our families” is just plain, flat-out hilarious. Even to Mark. You are a completely transparent fraud, Aaron, and not even you believe a single word you’ve written here. It’s just for show; it’s all pap. Woo-hoo! Meanwhile, the only thing keeping you from realizing success is you, Aaron. Life is difficult, Aaron. Life is unfair. And neither Mikey Huckabee or anybody else is gonna save you from yourself. No one owes you a thing. Deal with it. Grow up.

  15. Aaron says:

    Eracus your just an arrogan, ignorant fool. I did not realize a few typos exposed once intelligence….in any event….have you tried living on around $100k in the Northeast with a family of four. My property taxes alone are nearly $13,000….throw in income taxes, motor vehicles taxes….income taxes….living costs and it doesnt go nearly as far as one might think. And yes you sanctimonious moron….I am proud of my public school education from a HS which has the highest number of national merit honor students in america when I graduated…I am proud of my degree in engineering from a pubic university….what I am not proud of is the fact that you actually pretend to represent my party the republican party.

    What I am disgusted by is that this President and his cohorts mislead the public into believing the lies about Iraq and plungedus nto this mess instead of focusing on afghanistan, Iran and the rest of the mess in the middle east. I am disgusted that my party thinsk everything is hunky dory with the economy despite the fact that middle income america is seeing their employers dump their healthcare insurance…dramatically increase their costs, hold wages steady while rearding executives with multimillion dollar bonuses….allow amnesty to illegal immigrants….continue giving oil companies billions in subsidies and so on and so on….you keep believing what you want you knucklehea while members flee the party and turn to the other side out of frustration.

    Bush is no Reagn…hell he cant even measure up to his father whom I have enourmous respect for…no GW and the current leadership of the GOP are in no way representative of the conservative cuase or the party itself.

  16. Aaron says:

    Eracus….I just realized…sounds like you suffer from little man syndrome…..alot of talk to cover for your smallish stature in more ways than one…….admit it you really dont work for a living. You are living off of daddy’s wallet.

  17. Eracus says:

    A few typos?? A FEW TYPOS??!! And an engineering degree from a “pubic” (sic) university?? I rest my case, Aaron. You’re a poseur, a complete fraud. You learned all you know at the MoveOn.org seminar, dintcha? And I guess it was all those Republicans fleeing the party that just elected Bobby Jindal governor of Louisiana, eh? Go soak your head, Aaron. You’re not fooling anybody.

    As for my father, he served in 3 wars. All he left me was a flag. That’s probably why I don’t suffer fools whining and complaining about how tough they have it living on $100,000 a year while blaming everybody else for their troubles. That’s just too pathetic for words.

  18. Aaron says:

    Eracus, ever try typing with two kids under 5 running around ya? Not likely….poser I think not…I am a Reagan Republican…voted for every republican ever since…..I served as a member of my town’s Republican Committee for 7 years…..I worked on several local campaigns……I dont need to really justify my background….but alas…I did….I graduated with honors, jerko from a darn good Public University…..and since you obviously dont live in the Northeast you have not a clue as to what the cost of living is here…..as for you father….well…..you should be proud of him for serving, as I am of my father and my uncle……..

    That does not change the fact that the current administration and party leadership has nothing to do with the conservative cause…or the true identity of the GOP. I put country before party…..I serve my community…I contribute to the cause and my community….how bout you?

    And whom do you support in 2008?

  19. Jay Reding says:

    Aaron:

    However, those of use who earn $100k or less are struggling to support our families whil corporations and CEO reap huge rewards.

    $100K is over twice the national average income for a family of four in this country. (The average is somewhere around $43,000.)

    Not to be harsh, but life is about making choices. Yes, Connecticut’s a beautiful state, but if you have an engineering degree you could easily switch jobs and make more anywhere else in the country. Why stay in a place that’s been rendered unaffordable by years of punishingly high taxation? Yes, the Northeast is unlivable on $100K, so’s most of California. But $100K is a decent living in Minnesota, and in South Dakota you can live like a king on $100K a year. It’s all about choices.

    My feeling is that you’ve bought into the media narrative on the condition of this country. Don’t. The media tells you that the economy is tanking: the numbers say otherwise. The media tells you that Iraq is unwinnable: people whoa re actually there say otherwise.

    Blaming Bush for everything and seeking a savior in some Presidential candidate (*any* Presidential candidate) doesn’t help things. The President’s power of the economy is generally confined to either making things worse or getting out of the way. The situation in Iraq is not going to change no matter who gets elected, except possibly for the worst. At the end of the day, we spend three years in Iraq learning painful lessons about how to fight wars in the 21st Century, which will save us more pain when the next conflict rolls around.

    Yes, the GOP is losing its conservative edge. At the same time, the alternative is President Hillary Rodham Clinton. No matter what our assessments of the Bush years are — good, bad or indifferent, this country cannot stomach even four years of Fabian socialism. If you think your personal economic situation is bad now, take your paycheck and add another 10% to the tax bite. Because you make over six figures a year, according to the Democrats you’re “rich” and you don’t pay enough taxes.

    If you want to push the GOP back towards conservatism, get involved at the grass-roots level and become a BPOU chair or a delegate. We need more principled conservatives in power within the GOP.

  20. Eracus says:

    Cry me a river, Aaron. 7 years? Try 40 years, beginning with Nixon. And for the record, I made my bones in downtown Manhattan and Washington, DC, and I did it in a severe recession making a helluva lot less money than you’re making now. So please, don’t expect any sympathy from me about how tough you have it, ok? You don’t know what tough is.

    I do agree, however, that the GOP stopped teaching its core values quite some time ago in the heady haze of easy money and a ridiculous adolescent culture. It’s not the first time; Nixon was great on foreign policy but a disaster nearly everywhere else. And certainly “compassionate conservativism” turned out to be neither compassionate nor conservative, but it is still no reason to abandon first principles in the vain pretense you are a conservative representing the GOP while parroting nothing but leftist propaganda. It’s just not believable.

    To have voted for Reagan, you’d have to be at least 45-years-old by now, and with 2 kids under five, that would mean you were at least 40 when they were born. And yet, presumably working as an engineer making a six-figure income, you can’t make it in today’s economy so you blame George W. Bush for … well, everything from lying about the war to oil executives’ salary bonuses to universal healthcare and so on and so on — pretty much the complete Democrat propaganda screed we see everywhere in the mainstream media today.

    And yet you expect us to believe you’re really a Reagan Republican? Sorry, no sale.

  21. Mark says:

    Jay, would an engineer making $100K per year earn anywhere near that in South Dakota? Highly unlikely. I hate to break it to you, Jay, but there’s a reason why South Dakota has only slightly more people today than it did during the Dust Bowl….and what little growth there is comes primarily due to high birth rates on Indian reservations.

    This about the 60th time that you’ve invoked the need for those struggling in the current job market to abandon their lives and move to South Dakota, oblivious to the concept of familial commitments to one’s hometown. Perhaps you are lucky enough (or selfish enough as the case may be) to drop everything and move cross-country on a whim, but for most people, it flies in the face to the “family values” you guys invoke as the highest priority of life, partially in cases of split custody of children or a sick parent that requires care.

    In conservative orthodoxy, the life situation of “Jay Reding” represents a one-size-fits-all blueprint to success in life that can be easily replicated by anyone willing to play ball. The mindless hubris that is required to tell anyone struggling financially to move to the Upper Midwest is part of the reason why the conservative movement (1981-2006, RIP) has finally met its maker. In honor of you, I recommend burying the conservative movement (1981-2006, RIP) in a South Dakota cemetery.

  22. Jay Reding says:

    Jay, would an engineer making $100K per year earn anywhere near that in South Dakota? Highly unlikely. I hate to break it to you, Jay, but there’s a reason why South Dakota has only slightly more people today than it did during the Dust Bowl….and what little growth there is comes primarily due to high birth rates on Indian reservations.

    Actually, Lincoln County is one of the fastest-growing areas of the country.

    This about the 60th time that you’ve invoked the need for those struggling in the current job market to abandon their lives and move to South Dakota, oblivious to the concept of familial commitments to one’s hometown. Perhaps you are lucky enough (or selfish enough as the case may be) to drop everything and move cross-country on a whim, but for most people, it flies in the face to the “family values” you guys invoke as the highest priority of life, partially in cases of split custody of children or a sick parent that requires care.

    Which is a choice people have to make for themselves. Yes, if you have family commitments, you have family commitments. At the same time, the cost of travel has plummeted to the point where it makes economic sense to live in one area of the country even if you have family in another.

    In short, despite the fact that most on the left aren’t adult enough to understand it, life is about tradeoffs. Yes, I’d love to live in New England myself, but there’s no way in hell I could afford it.

    This is the 21st Century. Tying yourself down to only one location will limit your choices.

    In conservative orthodoxy, the life situation of “Jay Reding” represents a one-size-fits-all blueprint to success in life that can be easily replicated by anyone willing to play ball. The mindless hubris that is required to tell anyone struggling financially to move to the Upper Midwest is part of the reason why the conservative movement (1981-2006, RIP) has finally met its maker. In honor of you, I recommend burying the conservative movement (1981-2006, RIP) in a South Dakota cemetery.

    Oh please, can the silly hyperbole.

    There are plenty of places that are cheaper than New England. It’s not just the Upper Midwest, it’s the Southwest, the South, Texas, anywhere where it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to raise a family than the crushing tax hell of the New England states. Again, I know that liberals hate the very concept of choice (unless it’s choosing to terminate an unborn human life), but this isn’t the 1930s anymore. If you want to be successful, you have to be flexible.

    And 1981-2006? Give me a break. The modern American conservative movement can at least be traced back to 1955 with the publication of National Review. And I would trace the conservative movement to 1783 with the ratification of the Constitution.

    And if you think that one bad election has destroyed the conservative movement, you’re an even bigger idiot than you make yourself out to be. The 2006 election was historically typical for a 6th year election. The GOP lost seats, but it was because it was insufficiently principled, not because the nation suddenly adopted the Fabian socialism of the modern Democratic Party.

    Only a liberal would be so historically ignorant to think that an entire ideological movement that is far larger than just one political party would begin and end with elections.

  23. Mark says:

    “Actually, Lincoln County is one of the fastest-growing areas of the country.”

    When a county that began with 20,000 people has the sprawl of a city growing into its north side, it’s not surprising that the “growth rate” seems impressive as a pure statistic. Yet the fact remains that in this tax-free paradise of South Dakota, about 10 counties (mostly Indian reservations with high birth rates) are gaining people as the other 56 are losing people at a breathtakingly fast pace. Congratulations on your anti-tax success story!

    “Yes, if you have family commitments, you have family commitments. At the same time, the cost of travel has plummeted to the point where it makes economic sense to live in one area of the country even if you have family in another.”

    Wow. So your solution that someone in economic diress flee the “high taxes of New England”, move to Middle America, and then fly back and forth to Hartford every other weekend to see their son, daughter, or ailing parent? Regular cross-country air travel is cheaper than Connecticut taxes, huh? I recommend Fred Thompson add that little nugget to his stump speech. He just might be able to extend said stump speech from four minutes to five minutes before retreating to his backstage La-Z-Boy.

    “anywhere where it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to raise a family than the crushing tax hell of the New England states.”

    You do realize that Massachusetts and New Hampshire are in the bottom tier of states in state income tax, right? Only business owners care about “high state tax rates”. The quality of life in low-tax utopias like Mississippi and Alabama is drastically lagging their “high-tax” peers. Even the few economic success stories of low-tax states are the result of oil revenues and regressive “fee” structures and toll roads that ultimately impose a higher tax burden on the common working person in places like Texas.

    “The modern American conservative movement can at least be traced back to 1955 with the publication of National Review…..Only a liberal would be so historically ignorant to think that an entire ideological movement that is far larger than just one political party would begin and end with elections.”

    Well, yes….we’ll continue to have the National Review….and the Wall Street Journal editorial page…and the John Birch Society….and JayReding.com, all getting themselves excited over the virtues of starting more wars and cutting more taxes on the wealthy. But as far as conservatives being trusted with actual governing, the movement’s lifespan was 1981-2006.

    “The GOP lost seats, but it was because it was insufficiently principled,”

    And these same “insufficient principles” are being worn like a trophy by this year’s batch of GOP Presidential nominees, who except for Huckabee, show absolutely no comprehension of the modern electorate’s evolved worldview. Nobody is a bigger critic on the electability of Hillary Rodham Clinton than myself, but with more of this kind of help coming in the form of stunning GOP cluelessness, you guys just might make this happen for her.

  24. Eracus says:

    Oh, woe, woe…. what a flood of crocodile tears for the divorcees, as if that wasn’t a choice too, you know, like having children you can’t afford. Darn that George W. Bush!! Yes, all is lost. We are all doomed, doomed, doomed. It was just reported on CNN! The conservative movement has died and the only one who can save us now is little Mikey Huckabee. Nevermind he has no foundation in the conservative movement whatsoever. Nevermind that as governor of Arkansas he was against free trade, or that he raised the sales tax, created a grocery tax, tried to tax the internet, and meanwhile expanded state expenditures more than twice the inflation rate effectively obliterating the conservative agenda he represented and more or less disemboweling the Arkansas Republican Party. Did I mention his raising the gas tax? Little wonder all the liberal socialists love him so much and are singing his praises from Newsweek to The New York Times, praise so often repeated here by Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum as honest-to-goodness conservative doctrine. And just how is Arkansas faring these days?? Where is the record? And just why, exactly, isn’t Mikey Huckabee running on it?

  25. Aaron says:

    Eracus…you do realize that as an 18 year old I voted for Reagan in 1984…..and I would be 42 today….and I would have had kids at 37 and 39…..you just dont like the fact that anyone would disagree with your misguided opinions….and cant deal with.

    Jay you and I agree on many issues., but your contention that I can just find a job in another state as you suggest perhaps in the midwest and earn the same near $100k….is terribly wrong…..yes I can still earn a good salary and considering improvement in cost of living would be better off…..but it wont be $100k…..typically about $20k less …as for the idea of relocating we are working on it, but the job market isnt as you believe it is…..major companies are outsourcing hiring contractors who receive little to no benefits…with a family that isnt feasible,….

    Finally for Eracus…I wont even bother to address you anymore…the ignorant are best left to themselves….

  26. Mark says:

    Eracus, you may have noticed last year that the only part of the country where Republicans actually won elections was the South, home of big-government conservatism. As a consequence of your party’s culture war posturing in recent election cycles, the GOP’s base has become an assortment of Pat Buchanan, Charlie Daniels, and William Jennings Bryan clones watching NASCAR every Sunday afternoon after hearing a fire-and-brimstone sermon from the preacher at the Baptist church. There remains millions in this demographic of mostly white Southern males who would impale themselves before voting for a Democrat, but most of them still abide by the FDR model of domestic governing and will furrow their brow when they hear Jay’s advice to move to South Dakota after their factory moves to China. Mike Huckabee, while certainly not in the Grover Norquist wing of the GOP, is the only candidate who can speak to the demographic of Republicans that continues to win elections for them in the remaining enclaves of intolerance and anti-tax hysteria of the Southeast. If the GOP runs on a “we’ll be corporate America’s best friend” platform as you endorse, even Hillary might seem attractive by comparison. What a joy it is to watch the absolute dissolution of the Republican Party. I’m gonna go make some popcorn quick and keep watching the show. I can’t turn away.

  27. Eracus says:

    Oh, really, Aaron. You “would” be 42? Don’t you know how old you are, dear?? Really now. How curious.

    You’ve obviously been caught up here, Aaron. Found out. Exposed. You are not at all who you represent yourself to be and are only now desperately trying to stage some kind of dignified departure. But having misrepresented yourself as a “Reagan Republican” apostate, damning Bush and trashing the GOP, etc., spewing that same ol’ Leftist propaganda, you’ve succeeded only in destroying every bit of credibility you might have ever had.

    You are nothing but a fabulist and a fraud, Aaron.

    Oh, and one more thing, cupcake. Next time don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. The MEDIAN salary for an “engineer” in Minneapolis is about $85,000. That’s typically entry level. I’m sure with your strong writing skills, political acumen, and penetrating analysis you can do much, much better than that.

  28. Microharman says:

    Well as a fellow proud public school graduate with woefully terrible writing skills, I guess it was my time to weigh in and get flamed by Eracus or Mark or both.

    (FYI Eracus the writing thing in an engineer thing not an intelligence thing trust me. We are notorious for it)

    Anyway, I also attended public high school and got my engineering degree at a public university in the North East. I can also empathize with how far 100k will go, especially with kids.

    That is one of the reasons why two years ago I moved to Iowa. I ended up with nearly the same job with the same salary. I’ll admit that the move was inconvenient and tough. Leaving family and friends was hard. I thought the kids would take it the hardest. Over the short term I think they did but over the long term it was much harder for my wife and i. A quick compare of my budgets pre and post move I would guestimate that my buying power grew about 40% by moving to Iowa. (this was really obvious when we started looking for homes out here)

    I’d admit that moving was risky. (Especially if I got all the way out here and I hated the new job) But following my American dream certainly was less risky what people did 100-150 years ago to come out to the Midwest. It really does boil down to priorities or as Jay put it, choices.

  29. Eracus says:

    Mark, the medication will help you control your impulse to project your flagrant bigotry in long-winded streams of consciousness, but only if you take it as prescribed. You are obviously just as ignorant about the South as you are the GOP, so projecting your delusions only more accentuates how far removed from reality you really are.

    You might be interested to learn that a hundred years ago, Mark, 40% of the US labor force was engaged in subsistence farming. Today, that number is 2%, and it’s agri-business now. We all eat so well we’re having an epidemic of obesity. That’s because most of the people in the demographic as you have defined it have successfully made that transition generation to generation, even if you have not, because they understand, even if you do not, that their future and the future of their children depends on successful businesses. They think business is good and government is bad. You believe just the opposite.

    What you don’t realize is ignorant people like yourself, and most Minnesotans and the upper midwest in general, are typically viewed in the South and on the East Coast as completely backward European socialists who have discarded the American Dream for the ease of government hand-outs. They see no industry, no free enterprise, no small businesses thriving in growing communities. Even worse, they don’t see any successful football teams. Blasphemy!! What they do see is government infecting every aspect of people’s lives from higher taxes to smoking bans to speech codes to what kind of dock you can have on the lake, how many bullets you can have in your gun, what kind of bait you can use on the lake, and so on. To them, that’s not just ridiculous, it’s tyranny.

    By contrast, people in the South generally are left alone to do what they want, which is mostly have fun. They see the governor of Georgia, who runs a couple of enormously popular Bar-B-Que joints, sometimes stops by their table just to say howdy. They see Bobby Jindal at their parish church in Louisiana. They don’t pay high taxes, they can typically smoke where they want, they can have as many bullets as they like, and they have winning football teams.

    The point is, Mark, southerners already have Mikey Huckabee’s number in spades. He impresses you dumb Yankee socialists in your flourescent light government cubicles, but most definitely not the Johnny Rebs in the juke joint down by the river. They have family in Arkansas. You don’t. They know who Mikey Huckabee is. You don’t. They know what I’m talking about. You don’t.

    Once again, you have no idea what you are talking about, Mark. You have obviously never lived in the South. All you have to offer us here is your racist, bigotted, uninformed and baseless opinion.

  30. Aaron says:

    Eracus once again you prove your an arrogant ass sniffing elitist. Does not matter what you think……here’s a thought next time bring your brain to the game…..and I seriously doubt you have ever done any of the things you claim….yes I was correct you suffer from little man syndrome….both in stature and below the belt it seems…..have nice day junior……by the way I wont be exiting. I have posted at Jay’s blog many times, usually in agreement with him. Why because as a Conservative we have much in common….however I wontbe responding to your stupidity in the future…why waste my time…

  31. Aaron says:

    Jay, I do apologize to you for allowing the discourse to be turned to such an ugly nature….I disappointed I allowed Eracus to bait me into such a distasteful argument….this is a great blog….I will be sure to return but will not allow your fine blog to be turned into the typical ugly examples of personal attacks we see at other blogs…especially the filth on the left. My apologies..

  32. Eracus says:

    Personal insult, Aaron, is the last refuge of a defeated argument and an exhausted mind. You are right to apologize.

    Representing yourself as a devoted Reagan Republican, loyal Republican committee member, and dedicated local Republican campaign worker all the while repeating the Leftist memes that “Bush misled us into believing the lies about Iraq,” that Bush is “clueless,” his policies a “disaster,” that Iraq is a “mess” (what war isn’t?) how the economy is failing the middle-class, the usual Marxist hue and cry over corporation executive salaries, and how “idiots like Bush and Rove have destroyed the values of our party” and so forth…. Well, Aaron…..it just doesn’t square.

    Then to go on to sing the praises of Mike Huckabee in such a way as to be entirely consistent with the Left’s agenda to promote socialist candidates within the GOP and to proclaim “I will vote third party” if he is not the nominee just digs your rhetorical hole deeper. Meanwhile, your crying poor on a six-figure salary and describing anyone who confronts your apostasy as, (to paraphrase) a “sanctimonious, arrogant, elitist high-brow ass sniffing snob” who has not earned a living or struggled with family finances speaks volumes about your true ideological fealty and more defines the problem in America today than illuminates any solution.

    Not only is it anathema to constructive debate, it is just plain childish and immature. It does, however, square perfectly with the radical Left’s policy of character assassination, of shooting the messenger, of smearing and ruining the image of anyone who dares disagree. I think we pretty well got your number here, Aaron.

    You can run, but you can’t hide.

  33. Seth says:

    Seth, informed Republicans already know who Mike Huckabee is. He’s Clintonian in word and deed. Not a conservative. Accordingly, the only people who ever think he should be the Republican nominee are Democrats.

    All comments about you thinking you are an informed Republican aside, given the fact that Guiliani is leading in national polls, you might shut your yapper a little bit.

    Except for the fact that the candidates aren’t just talking about Clinton.

    Which is very cute of you to say. But they’re talking primarily about Clinton, which means they’re defining themselves in terms of what they are not, rather than what they are.

    In fact, Thompson went out of his way in the Orlando debate to say why he doesn’t find such comparisons necessary at this point.

    Again, that’s very cute, but Hillary Clinton was mentioned more than 30 times in that debate. So you tell me where the emphasis is.

    The Democrats are still running against Bush in most of their speeches, especially Obama and Edwards.

    Which would mean something if either of them were going to be the nominee.