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Good on a Few Issues
Bad for Real Conservatives

John Gaver
December 27, 2007

John Gaver Until the recent unexpected rise of Mike Huckabee, in the polls, we have not felt it necessary to address the Huckabee candidacy, in any way. Frankly, for reasons that I will explain, we never saw him as a viable candidate, in the first place. Due to the changing polls, we now feel it necessary to point out some issues of extreme importance, concerning Huckabee.

I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. It's not that I disagree with Huckabee on important issues. In fact, I, like many conservatives, agree with him on more than a few of the issues important to conservatives - enough that if it were not for one major problem, I would find it easy to support him. The problem is that, above all, he is a single issue candidate.

I don't mean to suggest that Huckabee doesn't hold passionate positions on other issues. It's just that while he may be passionate about a number of issues, he is absolutely committed, only to a very few issues and the whole world knows exactly what those issues are. This makes him extremely vulnerable to being subverted on any or all of those other issues, by knowledgeable political operatives.

Anyone knows that you don't play a game of poker, where your hand is the only hand, face up on the table. But, if Huckabee were to be elected president, that would be exactly the case. Let me give you an example of what would likely happen, using two issues on which both Huckabee and I agree - the Fair Tax and defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Many political movers in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, realize that the Fair Tax threatens their gravy train and want to keep the income tax, just as it is. Those people also know that Huckabee is an evangelical Christian, who would give up on his passionate goals, like the Fair Tax, if he thought that he might possibly be able to get enough votes for a marriage amendment, to which the devoutness of his religion commits him. That's a major weakness. The same or a related weakness could be used to turn him from his Second Amendment support.

The point is that any politician, who is publicly committed to only one or two issues, cannot possibly be a good political negotiator and could actually be dangerous. It's like playing poker, with your whole hand showing.

President Reagan was called the "Great Negotiator," because he could get the other side to give up things that they very much wanted, in exchange for insignificant concessions from him. He was able to do this, because the other side never knew what he was willing to give up. When he told the other side that a particular proposal was not an option, it gave them pause, even if they didn't entirely believe him. He kept all his cards close to the vest. At the same time, he played to their weaknesses. But, they knew of none of his.

Mike Huckabee would enter office with his hand exposed. The other side, regardless of what the other side might be, on any particular issue, would know that they could trade nominal support for one of Huckabee's pet issues, in return for Huckabee allowing them to push their own agenda.

I would never vote for any evangelical Christian, for the same reason that I would not vote for someone like one of two of my personal heroes, Larry Pratt or Wayne LaPierre. While I am a major Second Amendment supporter, I realize that they are identified as people who will give up on some of their other values, in order to gain concessions for their pet issue (gun ownership rights). The same applies to John Linder, who is identified as heavily favoring the Fair Tax. The point is that if a candidate is identified as one who has "favorite" issues, as does Mike Huckabee, other politicos can and will use that foreknowledge to subvert him, on other important issues.

We need a committed, broad-based conservative, who doesn't have any known favorites, on any issue. Such a committed conservative, would be able to negotiate much better deals, because the other side would not be aware of any pet issues that they could use against him. Mike Huckabee is most definitely not such a person.

While we have not yet decided who to actually endorse, it is an absolute certainty that Mike Huckabee is not going to be endorsed by ActionAmerica, either for the primary or the general election. In fact, if Huckabee were to some how manage to actually win the GOP nomination, we would be forced to endorse a third party candidate, for the November election.



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