Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Governor, You're No Ronald Reagan

Mike Huckabee was on the Don Imus show yesterday. Not exactly in the spotlight, because it's radio. But when you are speaking on the radio, your words themselves come under special scrutiny because there is nothing to distract from them. Power Line has an excellent analysis of the whole sorry affair.

Pastor Mike made the mistake of comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. He did this because Imus compared him to Sen. John McCain, the candidate with the most foreign policy experience, and asked why we should take seriously the candidacy of a governor with little or no experience at a time when international dangers are a prominent national concern.

Because it's radio, you have to picture the foot approaching the mouth:

Neither did Ronald Reagan [have much foreign policy experience]. Ronald Reagan came as a governor, he had been an actor. But ten years after he was sworn into office, there wasn’t a cold war, the Berlin wall was down, and there wasn’t a Soviet Union.

He says this as though Republicans do not remember the map of Reagan's life and how in detail he accomplished great victories for economic and political liberty. Huckabee suppresses (or forgets -- how can you forget?) the fact that after leaving the stage, Reagan thought deeply about the nature of communism and about how most effectively to deal with the Soviet threat to our national security. But Republicans who will decide the nomination will have noticed this omission, and will surely consider in light of that what is lacking in a Huckabee candidacy.

Huckabee then went on offer the foreign policy experience that any governor brings to the White House: "trade missions," "cultural exchanges," dealings with multinational corprorations when courting business, and the extensive "travel" that the job involves these days. Talk about damning with faint praise. The very fact that he would offer these as qualifications to be Commander-in-Chief in an age of terror and nuclear proliferation to rogue states is sufficient evidence of his disqualification for the office of President.

This can only help John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in the long run (as neither one is even attempting to do well in Iowa).

Power Line then goes on the compare Huckabee more convincingly to Jimmy Carter on the basis of his naively and dangerously moralistic approach to governing in both domestic and international affairs. You must read this. As Gov. Huckabee climbs in the polls, especially in Iowa, we are finding it increasingly reasonable to ask whether Hillary Clinton or Michael Huckabee would conduct a more prudent foreign policy. That's disturbing.

It seems that Huckabee and Obama, in practice, could be indistinguishable in their foreign policies: essentially a revival of Carter's moral crusade without any regard for prudence. Today's Power Line tells us that on an October 2006 Imus show, Huckabee endorced the James Baker Iraq plan, viz. draw down the troop levels and ask Iran for help. Bad call! You're gone!

For my own comparison of Mike Huckabee to Jimmy Carter and (as if that were not bad enough) Bill Clinton, go to "Fred, Huck and Rudy Part II."

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