I tried to watch the Dr. Helen & Instapundit interview with Mike Huckabee. (Interview starts about 7 minutes into video.) I really tried to watch the whole interview. I happen to like Glenn Reynolds. But I only lasted through Huckabee's response to the first question. And then I turned it off, just like I did when he entered the primary.
I tried to hear him out, but he makes fictitious constructs and I only get angrier when people keep listening to him without thinking. (Note: I am not a libertarian like Glenn and his wife Helen. I am the feared and/or maligned Capital C Conservative, whom Huck keeps claiming to also be. Blech. My arse.)
After introducing Huckabee and showing his new book, Helen asks the first question. "You attack libertarians as worse than liberals. Are we that bad?"
After demurring that he surely doesn't mean either of the hosts, naturally, Huck's partial response should be an eye opener, not an applause gatherer.
"There's this sort of growing, I guess branch or whatever, within the Republican party who don't want to hear anything about some of the, say, traditional values issues. They say we shouldn't be talking about those, we only want to talk about cutting taxes and reducing government.
But the truth is we can't reduce government and cut taxes without also understanding that a lot of the cost of government is directly related to the breakdown of family and individual responsibility.
So if we, um, you know, just say we are going to arbitrarily cut things, how many police do we take off the streets, how many people do we let out of prison beds?"
Click. I closed the window and shut him off (and sadly Glenn & Helen as well).
Who - Libertarian, Conservative or otherwise - has ever advocated "arbitrarily" cutting things? Do you know any? What kind of a jackass construct is this? Pardon my frank language, but this is the sort of thing that just pisses me off to no end.
I have heard Barney Frank talk about arbitrarily cutting defense by 25%. But I've never heard any Libertarian or Libertarian think tank talk of arbitrarily cutting the whole of government. They've been quite specific, actually, Mr. Huckabee. So have Conservatives.
And what is with the the "how many police do we take off the streets, how many people do we let out of prison beds" gloom scenario laid out beneath the construct of the fictitious argument of "arbitrarily" cutting government? No, those are the kinds of things government is supposed to be doing. Those aren't the bloated parts of government that hang over the budgetary belt. And he surely knows it.
Let's turn Huck's words around in a more logical order. Has this supposed fiscal conservative ever stopped to consider that "the breakdown of family and individual responsibility" is "directly related to" many of the bloated programs that make up "a lot of the cost of government"? Has he looked at the inner cities - or depressed rural areas for that matter - and wondered just how much government subsidizing of single parenthood has contributed to the breakdown of families? It's not the only cause, to be sure. But it is more of a contributor than a cure.
The cause is societal in nature. And the fact of the matter is that government has contributed to this rather than solve it. Yet he wants more of this or sustained, and justifies it by holding up what the government he wants more of has, in part, created? Unbelievable.
Maybe Glenn and Helen took this on. I don't know. I couldn't continue, through no fault of their own. Just couldn't take any more of the Huck. One question and one response based on false constructs, and I was done.
His campaign, while based largely on false premises and a refusal to reduce government, was successful because he designed it around short, simple messages that resonated for their simplicity and their cloaking in family values. Too bad they (and he) were so damned wrong.
But who am I kidding? I should just hop on board the Easy Train. Mike Huckabee has a much-hyped book and a prime time show on FOX News. Baffles me on a good day, enrages me on others. Because it's conservatives buying his book and watching his show, both based on a distortion of conservatism.
This is what happens when the Republican Party fails to elevate a principled core conservative in the primary process. This is what happens when a principled core conservative fails to elevate the Republican Party in the primary process. Take your pick. Either way, Huckabee and McCain - and a President-Elect Obama - are the result.
Prediction: The next President of the United States will not be a professional career politician. I think we're just about sick of them on both sides of the aisle and, as a country, are quite prepared to leap in support of someone (and something) much different. We'll likely elevate and choose someone who has run something instead of run for something. We'll likely elevate and choose someone who has not been in DC (or a state capital) for so long that government is seen as the solution to every ill. Here's hoping he or she is a conservative with communication skills.