Saturday, January 12, 2008

Is Mike Huckabee a Liberal?


Joe Carter

Am I wrong about Mike Huckabee?

For the past few months I've been arguing that Governor Huckabee is a solid and consistent conservative. I even went to work for his campaign in a role that gave me a clear and detailed view of both his record and his policy positions.

Yet many conservatives that I respect believe that I am wrong. In the last debate Sen. Thompson even said Huckabee would "bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies." Are they seeing something that I am not?

My answer,
First a story. Then an explanation.

In 2000 Jorge the Younger Shrub was campaigning for President here in Iowa. And the most powerful radio station in Iowa is WHO radio. They are very conservative in philosophy, the hosts are conservative and if your going to reach a conservative audience you have to go there and make an appearance.

Now Jorge made his appearance, and as the Mickelson show progressed Jorge made his claim of being a "compassionate conservative". Asked to explain, he talked about a smarter, less intrusive government, a government that would not tell people what to do, it would respond to their needs. A government that would follow the Constitution.

Now up to this point I was convinced. That sounded really good. That sounds like the opposite of Bill and Hillary care, cradle to grave nannyism. I was ready to buy Jorge the Younger, he was the man.

That all changed in the next sentence. Jorge said, I want to be the education president. Mickelson, said, Please explain. I want to make our education system better, I want our students to learn faster and help those who are falling through the cracks.

And there is the nut of the problem. One sentence, a government that follows the Constitution. The next he wants to be the education president, government giving us a bigger better education system.

Nowhere in the Constitution is education mentioned. Let me repeat that. NOWHERE

Jorge the Younger and now Mike Huckabee have accepted the liberal position that since some other fool violated the Constitution and entangled the Federal Government in the education system, therefore it's his job to make the education system bigger and better.

A conservative/Constitutionalist would close the Department of Education.

Since governor Huckabee has proposed fixing the education system, he clearly does not understand the role of the federal government. Therefore one can only conclude that he is a liberal.

Maybe you doubt my characterizations of Huckabee's ideas.

In an article/chart in the Des Moines Sunday Register Sunday July 29, Mike gave the following answers.

Question, What would you do to ensure U.S fourth graders are competitive in academic achievement with there international peers in math, science, and reading?

Huckabee said he would create preschool programs and implement a program similar to Arkansas' Smart Start, which targets children in kindergarten through fourth grade with increased standards and accountability measures.

Question, What, if anything, would you do to change the No Child Left Behind legislation, and how much, if any, federal money needs to be added to the program?

My comment, this legislation was written by Ted Kennedy.

Huckabee said the legislation should be tweaked to create a level playing field for schools with disproportionately large numbers of children who can't speak English, who live in poverty or who have other disadvantages. He doesn't support increasing federal money for the program because such money often comes with stipulations that don't allow states to make localized decisions about education.

Are you concerned about the amount of college debt young people have? If so, what should the federal government do to help solve this problem?

Huckabee said he would allocate money to federally funded, state-administered scholarships for college graduates who who are willing to go into national service outside of the military, such as teaching in impoverished areas of the country. He also supports similar merit-based scholarships for college students who come from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Want to see how a conservative/constitutionalist answers the same questions?

----- said he would get the federal government out of the classroom and allow states, local officials and parents to make the decisions that are best for their individual situations.

---- said that No Child Left Behind is uncontitutional legislation that usurped state and local authority over education. He said he would seek to repeal the law and give the money being spent on No Child Left Behind back to America's parents so they could once again be in charge of their children's educations.

---- said he is concerned about college debt, and the best way to combat it is to lower the tax burden on the American family so a person can have more resources to devote to education.

I rest my case. Mike Huckabee is a classic big government liberal, because he has accepted the principle that government can do a better job of managing education or (fill in the blank) than individuals can.

On the other hand the conservative/constitutionalist is more concerned with the individual, with protecting and empowering the parent/family than expanding or (tweaking) the existing system.