The continuing conservative fight over Mike Huckabee’s candidacy is escalating. National Review just published a scathing critique:
…what Huckabee offers by way of solutions is a mixture of populism and big-government liberalism; the common theme of his policies is that they are half-baked. If an ill-considered slogan can be used to justify a policy, he is for it. He is a protectionist, because we need to have “fair trade.” He wants to put illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, because we need them “to do jobs that are going unfilled because nobody here wants to do them.” Energy subsidies and farm subsidies must be increased, because they’re a matter of “national security.”
When he was governor of Arkansas, these instincts led Huckabee to move farther and farther in a statist direction. (Education policy offers a nice example of what happens when his statism and his social conservatism conflict: He opposes meaningful school choice.) The Cato Institute gave him a D on fiscal policy, noting that spending had increased at three times the rate of inflation during his governorship. Not surprisingly, Huckabee is the one Republican candidate who flinched when President Bush vetoed the Democrats’ proposed expansion of S-CHIP. He says he is against socialized medicine, but don’t look for him to resist the drift toward it.
As a wise uncle once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Such advice is useful not only for superheroes but also for super magazines. National Review Online is, deservedly, one of the most influential online magazines in the conservative movement. But when wielded recklessly, such power has the ability to harm not only honest conservative politicians but also the credibility of the magazine itself.
A prime example is “The Editors” recent hit piece on Mike Huckabee. “The Editors” are Mitt Romney boosters so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would take cheap shots at other candidates. What is shocking is the level of vitriol reserved for a suppossed “second-tier” contender. Apparently, Huckabee is now considered such a threat by the East Coast conservative intelligentsia that he must be taken out by any means necessary.
He then goes on to eviscerate every single criticism NR levels against Huckabee. It is a fairly devastating piece of work.
The conservative establishment and religious conservative establishment is very, very scared of Mike Huckabee and they should be.