What’s a Huckabee?

For those of you who have not followed the presidential race up to this point, this is a Huckabee. This largely unknown former Gov. of Arkansas has made a surge up to the front of the Republican polls. I watched a little of Mr. Huckabee at the Youtube Republican debate a few weeks ago. He was the one candidate who I thought I would like to hangout with. This might be why he is coming on so strong, they guys seems honest, friendly, and not as polemic.

I guess I should mention that part of his rise might be that he knows how to speak “christianese” he is a former Baptist preacher and loved by the right wing evangelicals. I think what makes Huckabee truly intriguing is that he, if any Republican can make it a race in the general election. If it was Romney then many of the evangelical voting bloc that put Bush in the White House will stay home, same with Giuliani. Come to think of it, Huckabee is the first Republican candidate I have had the slightest inclination to consider voting for.

So who knows if we will have another Arkansas Governor for President, but I think all of us should seriously tune in and pay attention. As one historian I know recently told me, “This might be the most important election and presidential decision our country will make since Abe Lincoln.”

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11 Responses

  1. Interesting post, Ryan. I don’t think Huckabee is a bad guy, but he will not win if he is the candidate, and his Democrat opponent will appoint Supreme Court judges that will be *very* unpopular with Evangelicals. I think Huckabee is good for the conversation on the national level, but I hope he fades very soon.

    I think you are right on about the importance of this election. The Evangelical community simply has to learn that government by the people requires compromise from all parties. If we don’t get wise to that, things could get uglier.

  2. Whats your beef with Huckabee Adam? Why do you want him to fade away? I hope its not so Rudy can take the ticket, he’s about as promising as a Duke PG in the NBA draft.

  3. I don’t really have a beef with Huckabee…look, all a President is good for anymore is to appoint Supreme Court Justices. In every other way they are a figurehead and a target for late night comedians. I don’t think Huckabee can win the election, and I am not sure he would appoint strict constructionist justices even if he did.

    To be honest, something about Huckabee doesn’t sit right. He uses language that makes Christ a political weapon, and has on numerous occasions called his opponents ‘un-Christian’ for voting a certain way, etc. He seems manipulative to me.

    Rudy…meh. I think he is a good leader, but I don’t trust him at all, and his personal life disgusts me. If I voted for him, it would be while pinching my nose shut.

    Really, this election cycle has already burned me out, and it hasn’t even gotten on yet. Obama – I want to like him, but there is too much that we don’t know and he has NO experience in government. Where to go from there?

    Maybe Huckabee…

  4. I’m also not sure I want another Evangelical President right now. I think Evangelicals need to lay low for a while and ditch the ‘party in power’ image, true or not. Huckabee as President would unleash more controversy than GWB.

  5. “all a president is good for is appointing Supreme Court justices”

    Umm, I guess vetoing legislation or working with Congress to pass legislation have now be reduced to just show?

    And foreign diplomacy among world leaders also impotent?

    Leading the cabinet, also unimportant?

    Appointing district judges?
    Leader of the military? (note: even Bush showed how the President needs to take this responsibility seriously)

    I am constantly reminding people that the President is only 1/3 of our government. but that kind of reductionist thinking is what erroneously leads many people to be ignorant single issue voters (and no Adam I do not consider you one of those people).

  6. Matt does bring up some good points. I also think the office of President has expanded beyond the 1/3 role it Constitutionally is supposed to function as, or even did a generation ago.

    Adam I am with you though on having a break from an evangelical President. Lets get a hard core atheist in there and then bring on a depression and WWIII, and then their belief system will get all that baggage! Hey this might be a new approach to evangelism!

  7. Now that’s why I love you guys!

    Matt – all true…but strip it all away, and the longest term of impact is the Supreme Court…also, in my opinion, the branch of the government that potentially has the greatest effect on day-to-day citizenry, as far as determining which laws the country has to live with. Basically it is the President’s biggest of all the responsibilities you mentioned, and therefore in my mind the most important. My children will be impacted more heavily by the judges the next President appoints, more so than which policies get changed or enacted.

    Ryan – I would love to be surprised by a candidate’s spirituality, rather than having it be a campaign issue. I am flat out against anyone legislating their morality, even if I agree with them, and even if they are sincere. Huckabee seems to like to use his spirituality as a political tool.

    Interesting approach to evangelism, though. Write a book and put it on the counter at the Christian bookstore…get your picture taken standing in a field while not quite looking at the camera, with a healthy gleam of light from your wedding ring…get a few megachurch pastors to pretend like they’ve read it and endorse it…claim to revolutionize how we ‘do’ evangelism…you, my friend, may be sitting on a gold mine!

  8. “I am flat out against anyone legislating their morality.”

    I always find this to be an interesting argument because all laws are morality. Like do not kill, steal, rape, cheat on taxes. So it is really impossible to not legislate morality. The question is what morality will we legislate and from what worldview.

  9. Totally agree with you Ryan, in fact, I have said that to two people in the last week (take that guy who called me a liberal ass on Bob Hyatt’s blog!).

    I do agree with Adam that I am weary about another Evangelical President. Especially one that seems like a down to earth, friendly guy that doesn’t act like a politician and who could work well with both parties. I say that because that is exactly what people said about George W. Bush in 1999.

    On that note, when is the last time you had a conversation with someone and you put Bush down and they defended him or acted as if they still like the guy? Seriously, I can’t remember, and I express my disdain often.

  10. On that last note Matt that happens every time I come to visit and stay at my in-laws house. So it happened about three weeks ago when I was in Vegas for thanksgiving, and will happen again when I am in Vegas for Christmas.

  11. OK, one more for the sake of discussion:

    “…all laws are morality…it is really impossible to not legislate morality.”

    No argument here, but the pronoun is crucial. I am saying I do not want anyone legislating *their* morality. I want governement leaders legislating *our* morality, meaning the people of the country and not a particular interest group. That’s what a democracy does. What happens when someone like Clinton or worse gets in and begins legislating *their* morality? I am saying that I don’t want either Huckabee, or anyone else, imposing their worldview on the country, but rather implementing the will of the country. The debate over morality and the attempt to change minds and influence life should occur at the family and friendship level, not the Presidential politics level.

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