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Faith Is Not a Marketing Tool

I don't want to pick on Governor Huckabee too much, but he's starting to really creep me out. I figure I can write about this, since the man has it in mind to become our next President, a possibility which can only come to pass if God turns out to be really angry with America and determined to punish us with a thoroughly incompetent and dishonest President. Sure, Liberals say that now about President Bush, but in the case of Huckabee, it really would be near a worst-case scenario.

Of course, there are other candidates equally unsuited to the job, but for here one trait which sets Huckabee apart is his belief that selling himself as a devout evangelical Christian is a political advantage. I have to admit that there is strategic precedent for this belief; Jimmy Carter essentially ran as a devout Christian, sort of a juxtaposition against the immorality of the Nixon Administration, even though Carter was running against Ford. And before Carter, many earlier politicians ran on their religious image. So, it's no new thing for Huckabee to sell himself as a pastor-cum-leader. But this is a very dangerous thing for voters to believe. Real Christians do not flaunt their pious credentials, but sell their skills and experience. George W. Bush appealed to Christians, but did not speak about his faith except to answer direct questions. Ronald Reagan was a very devout Christian, but he too separated his role as a believer from his work as a President. John F. Kennedy made a point of asserting that while he was a strong Roman Catholic, as President he would answer to the American people, not the Pope in Rome. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, all throughout American History the greatest religious Presidents made sure not to blur the boundaries between Church and State. So, when a candidate sells him or herself as a strong believer in a particular faith, this is a danger sign. A big one.


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Comments (18)

It seems to me that the peo... (Below threshold)
hermie:

It seems to me that the people pushing the 'faith card' are in the MSM. They are the ones who pushed stories about the Mormons, in an attempt to damage Romney. Then they keep bringing up Huckabee's supposed strength among evangelicals, while at the same time pushing stories about evangelicals' supposed dislike of Giuliani the Catholic.

This huge volume of religion-related stories then affect how the candidates tune their messages to the voters. Huckabee seems to actually believe that his showing in the polls is solely because of his faith...and is pushing his faith even more, rather then immigration, etc.

What I am afraid of is the MSM entrapping GOP candidates with faith-based messages, then when the nominee is decided, the MSM anti-faith stories will be pushed 24/7; which will result in the GOP candidate being sidetracked. Then the Dems will use the 'GOP = religious extremist' mantra, bolstered by the MSM.

The result will be the 2008 vote being made not on the issues of terrorism, the economy, etc...but the fear of some 'religious extremist' taking over the White House.

It must be nice to have a s... (Below threshold)
Ed M.:

It must be nice to have a scapegoat like the "MSM." If they ever report a story you don't like you can just blame it the big, bad "MSM" and it's mythical "liberal bias." Makes it a lot easier to just stick your head in the sand and cry "bias!"
Anyone with a lick of common sense can tell you the media have one bias and one only. It's money. Everything they do is designed to increase profits. Just like any good business. So that's where you get, "If it bleeds it leads." There's no vast liberal media conspiracy any more than there is a vast right-wing conspiracy. There is nothing good or bad, right or wrong, or right or left about it. It's just a fact.

I've been completely baffle... (Below threshold)
harris:

I've been completely baffled by Huckabee's appeal. Educational background: graduate of a Baptist College. Maybe it's a great college. Maybe not. Maybe it teaches foreign afffairs. Maybe even ethics. If so, the latter didn't take very well as Arkansas Govenor, and the former seems somewhat lacking in many of his recent statements. The man is all one-liners and charm, and has the depth of a mud puddle. I watch him and I see another Jimmy Carter. Someone please, please tell me that Iowa voters can see below the surface.

Huckabee has personally use... (Below threshold)

Huckabee has personally used his faith and background as a preacher to augment his campaign. It's his right to run on any issues he chooses, of course. But it's not something the media created. They've reported it because he emphasizes it.

As one of Mike's fellow evangelical Christians, I must say it takes a heckuva lot more than being a Christian to qualify one for the Presidency, a job which involves managing the world's largest enterprise (the US gov't., with about $3 trillion in the annual budget) and being the Leader of the Free World, & etc.

Having seen the results of Arkansas experience already, I'm not willing to accept it as qualifying in and of itself. He did get some lovely parting gifts, though, didn't he?

Lets face it, Huckabee's ap... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Lets face it, Huckabee's appeal is not that great. Maybe 20% nationwide
according to the polls(and can any of them be trusted?).
He is a flash in the pan...soon to fade.

No, the MSM isn't just moti... (Below threshold)
LenS:

No, the MSM isn't just motivated by money. If that was the case, newspapers and TV newscasts wouldn't have driven away the conservative audience years ago. But it's not surprising since the people in charge or at top continue to make great salaries, especially in network news.

To be honest, I think that Huckabee is just using his "faith" to hide his actual positions and actions. He's like a televangelist putting on a show while he gets rich.

It is highly unlikely that ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

It is highly unlikely that Mike Huckabee will capture the Republican nomination (although if he did, I am convinced he would win 40 states in the general election). But since you asked, the appeal he has to supporters such as myself is his refusal to compromise on core issues such as abortion, marriage and compassionate conservatism. We (Republicans)have allowed ourselves to be defined as the party of the privileged and Huckabee possesses the Reaganesque quality of reaching out to the millions of conservative Democrats that we so desperately need to win in November... and still remain faithful to the TRUE conservative values of faith, family and freedom.

We have come to idealize Reagan into something that he was not. He reached across the aisle on issues many issues such as immigration... and every time he did so, it blew up in his face. But he WON elections and did so in convincing fashion. I can speak with some degree of knowledge in that I coordinate a very large Huckabee contingency here in Florida that our support for him is based almost entirely upon his core beliefs regarding the sanctity of life and marriage, his support of the Fair Tax and his superior communication and debating skills which render him a most solid candidate in November. Seriously, this guy will absolutely destroy Hillary in each and every debate. This is the source of the "appeal" of which you are so surprised.

With all that said, if he loses Iowa next Thursday, he is finished. If he does win Iowa, however, he is very likely to take South Carolina and Florida. Everything depends upon Iowa.

As an evangelical, I don't ... (Below threshold)

As an evangelical, I don't want Huckabee even visiting the White House. If he was campaigning for president of a Baptist university, his faith would matter. Christian faith does not confer wisdom or leadership skills. Alan, I will have to disagree with you on his electability. If the things we have heard about Huck's money are true, the MSM will be all over him if he gets the nomination. I am pleased about his not compromising on life and marriage, but I trust Rudy, Mitt and Fred to put good judges on the bench.

I agree completely about th... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I agree completely about the "creep-out" factor. And this is coming from a Tennessee Southern Baptist. As far as I can tell, Huckabee's faith is long on lip-service and short on principle. If you want to see what I mean, read this in its entirety:

Christians--Beware Of Mike Huckabee!

Alan Orfi:"Compass... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Alan Orfi:

"Compassionate conservatism" is nothing but code for "same old big government socialism." Throwing [someone else's] money at the problem [by force of government] has never worked and never will work. There is nothing "compassionate" about it.

Where did you get the idea ... (Below threshold)
CraigC:

Where did you get the idea that Reagan was a very devout Christian?

Jeff:You are confu... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Jeff:

You are confusing "let's have the rich pay their fair share" with big government socialism. Compassionate conservatism is fiscal conservatism first -- with an allowability for compassionate exceptions in areas such as medicine and education. No, Huckabee in not a big government guy in the means that ignorant Republicans have tried to create. But there is room for the types of logical and sensible programs that help us attract conservative Democrats. You have far exaggerated Huckabee's fiscal platform.

Craig,

Read Reagan's autobiogrpahy. I was amazed to learn how different he actually was in comparison to how Republicans have idealized him today. For starters -- although he made a ton of blunders on the campaign trail, he was extraordinarily intelligent.

It seems to me tha... (Below threshold)
waveman:
It seems to me that the people pushing the 'faith card' are in the MSM.

1. Posted by hermie | December 29, 2007 2:57 PM


True, in most cases. But I heard a 30 second radio ad Thursday, voiced by Mike Huckabee himself, that was almost totally a discussion of his Christian faith. After listening, my impression was... Vote for me for your pastor-in-chief, 'cause I'm a devout Christian, and God will tell me everything I need to know. Oh by the way, did I tell you I was a Christian?

Outside of Jimmah, I've never encountered a candidate whose discussion of his faith made me uncomfortable. But that commercial did.

Alan Orfi,My asses... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Alan Orfi,

My assessment of compassionate conservatism relates to the phrase itself and is not intended as a specific indictment of Mike Huckabee. However, if the shoe fits...

"The rich" [another code for "middle class" and a euphemism for the Marxist "bourgeois"] ARE paying "their fair share" and then some.

True compassion does not come by taking one person's bread, earned by the sweat of his brow, and giving it to another.

I liked Huckabee at first, ... (Below threshold)
Bill Author Profile Page:

I liked Huckabee at first, but the more he talks, the less I like him.

Jeff,You misunders... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Jeff,

You misunderstood. I said, "Compassionate conservatism is fiscal conservatism FIRST." I don't know how that statement compelled you to interpret that as the liberal mantra about the need for wealth distribution. We are on the same side on this issue.

Alan,I don't see h... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Alan,

I don't see how to reconcile so-called compassionate conservatism (a phrase I have never liked, since by definition it deems plain-old conservatism un-compassionate) with fiscal conservatism. As far as I can tell, the two are at odds as compassionate conservatism is actually practiced. Fiscal conservatism means "cut spending" and "limited government" whereas so-called compassionate conservatism is characterized by increased spending and more bureaucracy.

As far as my interpretation of your remarks, when I hear class warfare rhetoric about the "rich" paying "their fair share" the alarm bells necessarily go off.

Hucksterby seems more like ... (Below threshold)
914:

Hucksterby seems more like a Jim Baker televangelist type..good intentions with bad judgement, ie pardoning a rapist or 2? or more perhaps who then go on to rape and kill again. where is the compassion for the victims and their families? if He were truly of any moral standing He would have resigned and disappeared.




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