Mike Huckabee keeps blowing my mind

Not really a political rant or debate, just an observation, but since it’s policital I’ll put it here. Let me preface by saying I consider myself a left-leaning moderate, I voted for Obama in '08 and will almost certainly vote for him again in '12 despite my disappointment with him.

But Mike Huckabee has impressed me twice in less than twelve hours.

First, last night I’m watching a repeat of The Daily Show where Jon Stewart had done a long piece on the 9/11 Responders bill before the senate. Huck comes on, ostensibly to promote his new book, but Jon asks him about the bill. Huck tries to be diplomatic about it, he doesn’t badmouth the folks (Republicans) who are blocking it - but he comes out and says that every Republican should vote for it. And regarding the one Senator’s comment that keeping Congress in session after Christmas was disrespectful to the holiday, Huckabee (who has the born-again Christian credibility) called it nonsense. It warmed the cockles of my heart to see him break with his party.

Then this morning I see on CNN Huckabee Takes Michelle Obama’s Side Over Palin. Again, he doesn’t denigrate Palin (“I think she’s misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do”) but speaks well of Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. After all, Huckabee is a former heavyweight (280 lbs at one point) so again he knows what he is talking about.

Things I like about Huckabee:

  1. He’s okay with disagreeing with leaders of the Republican pary
  2. He doesn’t speak badly of people he disagrees with. They can be wrong or mistaken, but that doesn’t make them evil.

So like I said, I’m sure I’ll end up voting for Obama in '12, and I doubt Huckabee has much chance of getting the GOP nomination anyway. But I probably will vote in the GOP primary in my state, and as of now it’s his vote to lose

Huckabee has dangerous ideas about the Constitution:

Don’t be decieved by his folksy charm.

Yeah, just listen to The Huckabee Report one day on your local conservative talk radio. You’ll probably change your impression of him really quick.

Yeah, I’m not going to join his campaign based on two interviews, and I do remember being turned off by his radio report when I heard it once (although I don’t remember the topic). But these stories at least give me some hope that he can be rational. And hell, he’d be better than Palin or Gingrich.

That’s kind of like being the prettiest girl in a leper colony.

Huckabee does break with the Republican party on some major issues, which is one reason he’ll never get the presidential nomination if he runs again. (Well, there’s also this.) Aside from being occasionally willing to criticize other Republicans, he is very far from the rest of the field on economic issues. His version of Christianity also seems to be a lot more compassionate. He’s wrong about a lot of things but he is personable and usually manages to act like a reasonable person.

My view of Huckabee has always been that he’d be a terrible President but would throw the Best Church Picnic Ever. A nice guy, but a better pastor than a POTUS.

Not to be too cynical but …

Remember also that he is competing against Palin and to do so needs to both appeal to the mindset that sees Washington incumbents as the problem. Gently dissing those in Congress as do-nothings and softly portraying Palin as too knee-jerk divisive and not so smart, while being likable himself in the process, is not bold. It is a marketing strategy.

The impression that I’ve always had of Huckabee is that he was a nice guy held back by a Jesus-shaped blind spot. He can be trusted to do what he thinks is the right thing, the problem is that this includes things like pardoning violent criminals and wanting the Constitution to reflect his god’s morals.

He’s one of the few conservative commentators I can stand to listen to for more than 5 minutes. He’s not a partisan hack, and he doesn’t demonize the opposition.

Having said that, he’s waaaaaaaaay to religious for my tastes. I can understand his pro-life stance, but he’s also an anti-evolutionist. He’d probably make a better prez than Bush, and he’s certainly a lot smarter (more knowledgeable) than Palin, but that’'s not saying much.

Pretty much everything I have to say about Huckabee has been said here, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m totally stealing this.

Too late. Mine. Back off!

I actually like Huckabee’s Constitutional views. He’s a religious fundamentalist - but unlike most, he completely understands that it would be contrary to the Constitution for government to act in the ways he’d like. I’d be very unhappy to have him in power, spearheading an effort at Constitutional amendment - but unless and until that effort paid off, I think Huckabee would be pretty scrupulous in staying within current Constitutional boundaries.

The thing about changing the Constitution to reflect “God’s law” is just pandering the religious right. He knows that even the President has very little influence on constitutional amendments, and the bar to making them is sufficiently high to pretty much rule out the changes he would endorse (I’m guessing anti-abortion or anti-SSM, based on the context). Like Mr. Excellent, I appreciate his respect for the Constitution even if he is only using it for cover (“I’d like to outlaw abortion, friends, but the Constitution won’t let me.”)

The fact that he’s religious doesn’t bother me in the least as long as he can govern fairly and responsibly. I’d have to take a closer look at his record as a governer to see if that’s the case.

What makes you think he doesn’t mean it?

Huckabee lost my vote when I found a youtube clip of his band playing a bad cover of the immortal Free Bird, and dedicating it to a bunch of damn yankees. Republican politicians, by definition, are not Free Birds. Yankees are not Free Birds. For the most part, people with short hair are not Free Birds.

For those interested, Free Birds include the following:

  1. Past and present members of Lynyrd Skynyrd
  2. Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy (RIP), Buddy Roberts, and Jimmy Garvin
  3. Oakminster (and his Druidess)
  4. Others so designated in my sole discretion.

Because he can’t do it.

Would he have vetoed the repeal of DADT? I’m guessing “yes”.

He can’t? I though Presidents could drum up support for Constitutional amendments and sign them into law. Certainly they can’t do it alone, but they play a major role in that process. Of course, in that speech he doesn’t really specify what he would like to see. I’m looking for a more complete video or text of the speech,. I agree he would probably fail if he tried to support an overtly religious amendment, but that’s not the same thing.

Then it’s odd how he says he supports changing the Constitution and his opponents don’t. That kind of sounds like he wants to do something rather than an excuse for why he can’t do it.

So Free Bird-dom isn’t free?