Friday, December 28, 2007

Huckenfreude!

I stumbled across this editorial by Rod Dreher via the CL blog, Paperclippings, this morning. I have enjoyed reading Mr. Dreher for several years. While I have areas of significant disagreement with him, I agree with him more often than not and, to a very large extent, identify with his crunchy conservatism. He pretty accurately reflects my own take on this election so far, which we are about to be bombarded by with turn of the year.

These three paragraphs in particular resonate with me. They resonate because I find what Dreher has written about former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, hopeful, a political virtue in short supply as we limp to the end of what will no doubt compete with the Carter years for the most disastrous presidency in the history of our fair republic.

"But this populist revolt is not just about religion. Mr. Huckabee calls himself the candidate of Main Street, taking on a party that has become 'a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.' He's a throwback to a kind of conservatism that had a home in the Democratic Party before it embraced the counterculture - and created Reagan Democrats.

"In a time of mounting economic anxiety, Mr. Huckabee could do worse than to position himself as an outsider critic of a party that just last week blocked an exceedingly modest tax increase on big oil companies to fund research into alternative fuels. His about-face on immigration indicates that he is either an opportunist, or that he is beginning to understand that the conservative grassroots is tired of globalizing Washington elites favoring business interests over their countrymen's common good.

"And Mr. Huckabee is hitting the demographic sweet spot in a changing conservative coalition. A comprehensive 2005 survey by the non-partisan Pew Center found most Americans who identify with the GOP favor policies that are socially conservative but economically progressive. A significant number of conservative Democrats identify with this basic outlook - and conceivably would be open to voting for him over Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, two social arch-liberals."


If I were to describe myself politically socially conservative and economically progressive would fit. I would only diverge with my conscientious stand against the death penalty and my commitment to a complete reform of our country's penal system. Then again, Chuck Colson, who can be described in many ways as an arch-conservative, founder of Prison Fellowship, has been on the leading edge of this movement for decades. I also loathe, and I mean loathe, the position of Republicans on immigration. The only Republicans who even make sense on this issue is Senator McCain and, believe it or not, President Bush. I like Senator McCain a great deal. He is a person I would trust to lead the country. His recent surge now that it is time to put one's vote where one's mouth is indicates that there are many people who share this view.

I also like Dreher's parallel between Gov. Romney and the character Douglas Neidermeyer from the movie Animal House. This post does not constitute an endorsement, just an observation at this early stage of the race for the presidency. In fact, I will not publicly endorse any candidate. In addition to Governor Huckabee, I have many positive observations about Ron Paul. However, because Paul is a libertarian, he is not somebody for whom I could vote because I find libertarianism economically unacceptable and, in terms of foreign policy, too isolationist. I also have a lot of good will towards Governor Bill Richardson, except his crazy Iraq policy, as well as toward Senators Biden, Clinton, McCain, and Obama. Of course, as with Giuliani and all the Democrats, I am concerned about their views on abortion and marriage.

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