Values Voters for Huckabee

 Posted by on 21 October 2007 at 11:54 am  Uncategorized
Oct 212007

The straw poll at the recent “Values Voters Summit” yielded some noteworthy results:

Romney took 27.6 percent of almost 6,000 votes cast, just ahead of Mike Huckabee, the folksy former governor of Arkansas, who gained 27.1 percent at the conference organized by the Family Research Council.

Maverick Texas Congressman Ron Paul was third with almost 15 percent while former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson got under 10 percent, a major disappointment for his campaign.

Giuliani was eighth with 107 votes — under 2 percent.

Apparently, Romney’s campaign encouraged his supporters to register online with the Family Research Council to vote for him. So Huckabee might well be the man to watch.

Marc Ambindiner of The Atlantic observes:

Huckabee has made a habit of performing well at straw polls like these; there did seem to be a fair number of FairTax supporters, and they may have helped. But Huckabee’s victory — without much organizing — suggests that his powers of persuasion are mighty and that the social conservative activists have come to know who he is and what he’s about.

It’s hardly surprising that Huckabee appeals to evangelicals. On his issues page, the first item is “Religion and Politics.” The summary says: “My faith is my life — it defines me. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them. For example, when it comes to the environment, I believe in being a good steward of the earth. I don’t separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.” In other words, “I, Mike Huckabee, plan to govern as President of the United States of America based on my delusions about the will of God, as opposed to based on any kind of rational evaluation of the facts.”

Consistent with that faith-based approach to politics, Huckabee advocates constitutional amendments to ban abortion and to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He also says that his “personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.” Consistent with Jesus’ admonition against divorce except for “unchastity” (Matthew 5:32), he supports — and helped Ankansas adopt — covenant marriage.

Obviously, Huckabee doesn’t have much national name-recognition yet. However, I worry that he might appeal to fiscal conservatives oblivious or indifferent to the danger of further entanglement of religion and politics. After all, he advocates the replacement of all federal income, payroll, corporate, and capital gains taxes with the “Fair Tax,” i.e. a sales tax on all consumption above the poverty level. That might seem very appealing to the fiscal conservatives frustrated by President Bush’s wild spending.

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