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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why I Don't Heart Huckabee

I have a friend in Canada who sent me a message on Twitter asking about Mike Huckabee 2012. He said Huckabee was coming to his province for a speaking engagement and that he was being talked up really aggressively to libertarians there.

I'm glad he asked me so I can share the following information with you because a lot of people are asking and wondering: "Is Mike Huckabee a conservative? Is Mike Huckabee a progressive? Or could Mike Huckabee even be a libertarian??"

After following up with him very briefly to say that Huckabee is no friend to liberty, I sent him the following list of criticisms of Mike Huckabee based on his record as governor in Arkansas:


Here's a little more about Huckabee's record that worries me:

One of his first moves as governor of Arkansas in the 90s was to campaign hard for ballot Amendment 2 to increase the state sales tax to improve its park system, in essence, the destruction of private, productive capital to fund state projects.

He then moved to expand state spending by millions of dollars for medical entitlement programs and public schools, meanwhile signing a "faith-based initiatives"-style act that allowed religious organizations to contract to do social work for the state on the taxpayer's bill. While it may not be unconstitutional in a strict sense, I think such a policy is contrary to the principles of religious freedom.

Huckabee then made a highly politicized commutation of a convicted rapist's sentence, who then moved to Missouri and raped/killed a woman who lived near his home.

After being re-elected, he endorsed Lamar Alexander's exploratory bid for President in 1999 (a Republican Senator from my state who is extremely anti-Fed audit and who campaigned for Rand Paul's establishment opponent Trey Grayson at a DC fundraiser). Huckabee then changed his mind and endorsed George W. Bush- which I can forgive him for because at the time Bush was talking a lot like Ron Paul before going back on his word entirely as President.

Then Huckabee signed another tax increase on gasoline and diesel in 1999. He concurrently issued state bonds, which is just an IOU from the taxpayer to be paid in future taxes. At this time he also worked to establish a system of standardized state testing for students in Arkansas, and would remark years later during the Bush Administration that he strongly supported Bush's unprecedented and unconstitutional Federal takeover of education, No Child Left Behind.

In 2001, Hucakabee signed the Covenant Marriage Act, continuing the state's intrusion into the private institution of marriage, rather than working to reverse it.

In 2003, Huckabee mandated annual body mass index measurements for all public school children and tax increases on cigarettes and tobacco.

Then in 2005 Huckabee made illegal immigration a central issue, campaigning to make illegal immigrants eligible for state benefits like financial scholarships, calling opposition to his policy "un-Christian." He also apparently considers public drinking in entertainment districts un-Christian, because he vetoed a bill that would allow private citizens and businesses to make that decision for themselves.

The Club for Growth has called Mike Huckabee a "liberal" for fixing labor prices in Arkansas, opposing a repeal of the state sales tax on basic necessities like groceries, and being a tax hiker. And the libertarian Cato Institute gave Huckabee an F in its 2006 Fiscal Report Card. Perhaps the most telling endorsement Huckabee's received is being named one of the 5 best governors in 2005 by Time Magazine.

Huckabee is no friend to liberty!


  1. you forgot that he is pro-war, just rewind some of the footage from the primary debates

  2. Oh yeah- I didn't even get into everything he said during the primary!

  3. Wow thanks for enlightening me. I only saw the side he shows on Fox of being a Conservative hopeful for 2012. Thsnk you for digging beyond what he projects on "Huckabee" the TV show.

  4. This posting couldn't have been more timely. Just a few hours later and I'd say Governor Huckabee's political career and possibly TV career are over due to his pardoning of an Arkansas convict. The unfortunate result many years later in the execution style murder of 4 police officers has sealed his fate.

  5. I know! Wasn't the timing eerie? I'm actually working on a post at this very moment about this new Huckabee story. Should be up tomorrow. Good to have you commenting again, Dave.

  6. I like to consider myself a libertarian at heart, but having served 34 years in the Marines, I don't find any governmental official's "pro war" stance to be offensive. My only objection is going to war and not waging it fully and with all our weapons - go in, get it done, and get out!

  7. This article shows why Libertarianism is just as dangerous to America, if not moreso, than Liberalism. It's just as deceptive and fast and loose with the facts.

  8. Give me more, Anon. What facts am I playing fast and loose with?

  9. 1) Just what is so objectionable about a voter mandated sales tax increase? If The citizens wanted to improve state parks, they could vote for the 0.125 % increase in sales tax. The majority of the people wanted this.
    2)Huckabee used Medicaid and SCHIP along with a tobacco industry lawsuit settlement to improve schools and reduce uninsured children to 9%. You have a right to disapprove of 'faith-based initiatives' doing contract work for the state government. But does that extend to any person that professes their faith? Why or why not?
    3)I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one.. I'm sure you didn't know that Dumond's sentence was commuted by Huckabee's predecessor, Jim Guy Tucker (D). Huckabee's only official action in the Dumond case was to DENY clemency. So clearly you were just misinformed..and not a deceitful political hack.
    4)People can agree or disagree over whether this candidate or that candidate deserves an endorsement. To each his own.
    5) The voters of Arkansas affirmed the gas tax increase by an 80 percent vote, and in doing so added $1 billion to the state's economy, 40,000 jobs, went from having the worst to the best roads. On education, well Huckabee wants to do away with the Dept. of Education...but in the meantime, while taxpayer dollars are being funneled through Washington, he believes that there should be standards in place that make sure we're not just throwing money away. He is also against Federally-mandated school vouchers, but only on the principle of subsidiarity.
    6)Government will likely always be involved in the contractual side of marriage, because it's a basis for making decisions in questions of law regarding children and estates. The Covenant Marriage Act saved about $537million in state and Federal dollars by making it harder to get divorces (and thus keeping families together...a building block of any successful society)
    7) I don't understand the opposition to BMI measurements. Are you also opposed to hearing and vision screening at schools? No tuberculosis tests either? Let lice run rampant to be truly free-market ? :)
    8) There's a lot of confusion about the 'scholarships for illegals' claims. The preamble to the bill itself does mention "children of undocumented immigrants". "Any tuition rate that is granted to residents of Arkansas shall be granted on the same terms to all persons, regardless of immigration status, who have attended a secondary educational institution in Arkansas for at least three (3) years and who have either graduated from an Arkansas high school or received a general education diploma in the state." They also had to file an affidavit stating that they had an "intent to legalize his or her immigration status". What this was about was children being in the Arkansas school systems having equal treatment and protection under the law, regardless of what their parents' legal status was. The bill would have given these students (who committed no crime) the same access to in-state tuition costs as their peers. The bill did not pass.
    9) Huckabee is no friend to liberty? It should be noted that Huckabee is a strong proponent of the FairTax, which eliminates income tax withholding, and creates the most Conservative/Libertarian method of taxation- voluntary consumption tax!

  10. Thanks for taking the time to write out this response, Chris. Here are my thoughts:


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