Tax Hike Mike
While Tax Hike Mike Huckabee matches the brand of intrusive, big spending and big government “compassionate” conservatism that he and his son pushed while in office, George H.W. Bush has named Mitt Romney as his favorite for 2012:
Asked by King who his personal favorite in 2012 is, Bush said, “Well, I mentioned [my son] Jeb, but he’s not going to try. So, I don’t. I don’t really. If you asked me, who will the nominee be, I couldn’t tell you. We like Mitt Romney. We know him well and like him very much.”
The informal endorsement comes three weeks after the midterm elections in which Republicans, partly on the backs of conservative Tea Party activists, took back control of the House and picked up six Senate seats and seven governorships. Their wins sparked talk that the party stands a good chance of defeating President Obama in 2012.
King asked Bush if Romney is “keeping with the Bush political stance,” as in being “middle of the road.”
“Don’t want to kill him off,” Bush replied before calling him a “reasonable guy” and a “conservative fellow.”
Of course, Barbara Bush’s humorous comment about Sarah Palin are what everyone has taken from this interview with Larry King.
Here is a great editorial out of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on why the tea party movement should turn its it attention toward farm subsidies:
The stakes really are not very large, about $15 billion to $20 billion per year for the U.S. as a whole. Some $10 billion to $15 billion is in cash payments to farmers, including land rental under the Conservation Reserve Program. Another $5 billion or more goes into subsidized crop insurance.
For Minnesota, direct payments in 2009 came to $852 million, of which $114 million was for CRP acres. Overall, our state came fifth in national rankings. Neighboring states also placed high, with Iowa second, North Dakota sixth, South Dakota ninth and Wisconsin 11th.
Murray County in southwest Minnesota, where I grew up and own farmland, got $15 million, a typical amount for the uniform rectangular counties across the southern part of the state.
These sound like big sums, but relative to total cash flows in farming, especially with growth in Asia propelling crop prices higher, they no longer are that important. The tragedy is that relative to the cost to the Treasury, they do little good for anyone.
Compared with an annual budget deficit of $1 trillion, $15 billion or $20 billion saved by complete elimination of farm payments is a drop in the bucket. But so are many other programs dear to the heart of one interest group or another.
That is the point. If the tea party adherents in the new Congress are not able to completely chop out entire programs like this, their movement will quickly become a debacle, economically and politically. Committed tea party members will be bitterly disappointed by the realities of Washington, just as true believers in Supply Side economics like Reagan Budget Director David Stockman were back in 1982.
According to a Gallup survey, the Republican nomination for president in 2012 is basically open, with four potential candidates (Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tax Hike Mike and Newt Gingrich) essentially tied for the lead.
Out of the “second-tier” names below, Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour have a good shot at making a run at the nomination.
Personally, I’m going with Gary Johnson for now.
Even though we just wrapped up the mid-term election (though a handful of races are yet to be decided), the presidential election is just around the corner. This was something I noted last week on my personal blog. In case you don’t remember, the first debate for the Republican nomination for president for the 2008 cycle took place on May 3, 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Semi Valley, California.
Yesterday, Politico and NBC announced the first debate for the 2012 cycle will take place “during the spring of 2011” at the same location, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. You can read the press release below.
We’ve compiled a list of potential candidates. We expect more names to be floated out there over the next several months, so we’ll be adding to it. But the obvious names are that you’re going to here are Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
While visiting with Judge Andrew Napolitano on Freedom Watch this past weekend, Mike Huckabee, a potential GOP candidate for president in 2012, took issue with libertarians and free marketers over his record, saying, “If a libertarian thinks he’s a better Republican and calls people like me a RINO or a liberal, I have a real problem with that.”
Here is the segment:
While many are fans of Huckabee because of his support of the “Fair Tax,” there is little question that he is a fiscal liberal. During his tenure as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee gave residents of the state a net tax hike of over $505 million to finance his big government agenda. His record on taxes is worse than Bill Clinton.
We’re not even out of the mid-term election yet, but some are already looking towards the 2012 presidential election as Right Wing News brings us a survey of conservative bloggers and their preferences for the candidate to go up against Barack Obama:
If you had to choose today, which of the following candidates would you be most likely to support for President in 2012?
17) John McCain: 0.0% (0 votes)
17) Mike Huckabee: 0.0% (0 votes)
17) Rudy Guiliani: 0.0% (0 votes)
17) Scott Brown: 0.0% (0 votes)
13) Rick Santorum: 1.4% (1 vote)
13) Eric Cantor: 1.4% (1 vote)
13) John Thune: 1.4% (1 vote)
13) Condi Rice: 1.4% (1 vote)
7) Newt Gingrich: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Jeb Bush: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Herman Cain: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Haley Barbour: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Ron Paul: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Tim Pawlenty: 2.8% (2 votes)
6) Mitt Romney: 5.6% (4 votes)
5) Bobby Jindal: 8.3% (6 votes)
3) Mitch Daniels: 11.1% (8 votes)
3) Mike Pence: 11.1% (8 votes)
2) Sarah Palin: 15.3% (11 votes)
1) Chris Christie: 26.4% (19 votes)
I’m glad to see that Tax Hike Mike Huckabee got no love, but the lovefest on the right for Sarah Palin seems to still be there. Chris Christie has repeatedly said that he has no presidential aspirations.
Out of this list, I could live with Ron Paul or Mitch Daniels…maybe even Tim Pawlenty. Of those not listed, I could also see myself voting for Sen. Jim DeMint and Gary Johnson.
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder points out that the Republicans may be ignoring a very important constituency:
Economic libertarianism is the message du jour, and Pawlenty’s budget-cutting in Minnesota may get some attention. But really, neither he nor the other sober wing candidates have figured out exactly what the non-Palin wing of the party wants. There’s no way to court social conservatives with Palin or Mike Huckabee in the race. So who’s left to help you win primaries and caucuses?
To the Republican Party, they are — they could be — what the anti-war left was to Democrats in 2003: the out-of-the-establishment power center that can drive the narrative of the race. How do you get the attention of libertarians without losing conservatives? You could shift positions on the war in Afghanistan, or try to fashion a more realist foreign policy. That seems to be a non-starter; the consultants for these candidates are fairly covnentional and risk-averse. Endorse medical marijuana? Legalize gambling? Something else?
The problem for the GOP is that they’ve never quite figured out what that “something else” is, and they’ve spent so much time supporting candidates, and backing policies, that are anathema to libertarians that it’s hard to beleive them when they say they’ve changed this time.
In my time, I’ve lived through two occasions when the GOP claimed to be the party of small government.
The goal of a new Chinese government campaign is to “eradicate all social evils” and “advocate a healthy, civilized and high-minded lifestyle,” according to the Washington Post. Some elements of the state just don’t like the way the Chinese people are using their newfound freedom.
On a different level, we face the same arguments here in the United States. Both the Hillarys and the Huckabees in our world seek to fight “social evils” and lead us to “a healthy, civilized and high-minded lifestyle.” The Huckabees focus on our souls, urging the government to stamp out sin and push us to do God’s will (as they see it). The Hillarys often focus on our bodies, with campaigns against smoking, popcorn, sodas, salt, and all manner of “unhealthy lifestyles.” Then again, the Hillarys do want to save our souls, as well, with campaigns to eradicate racism and sexism and spread the environmentalist gospel.
I’ve mentioned this before, but that does sum up Tax Hike Mike Huckabee, as Jonah Goldberg noted back during the race for the GOP presidential nomination:
Recently, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels suggested economic issues should the focus for the next president. Of course, this didn’t sit well with an authoritarian like Tax Hike Mike Huckabee:
“Let me be clear…the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues,” the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate said in an e-mail to supporters Friday. “They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and deficit spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.”
Daniels’ comments came in an interview with the Weekly Standard, during which the Indiana Republican said the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues” so he or she could focus on the fiscal problems facing the country.
The comments have riled several prominent social conservatives, including Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who called them “astonishing.”
In his e-mail Friday, Huckabee said Daniel’s sentiment was “heartbreaking.”
“For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican ‘leaders’ would suggest this truce, even more so,” he wrote.
A new survey on prospective match-ups against Barack Obama in 2012 by Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul could be competitive (emphasis mine):
Polling close to Obama are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. The President leads Huckabee 46-44 and Romney 45-42. They both do a good job of consolidating the GOP vote and holding a solid advantage with independents.
Doing less well are Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul. Obama has a 47-39 advantage over Gingrich, a 50-41 against Palin, and 46-36 edge matched against Paul.
One thing that’s very interesting about these numbers is that Ron Paul is the most popular out of the whole group with independents. They see him favorably by a 35/25 margin. The only other White House hopeful on positive ground with them is Romney at a +2 spread and they’re very negative on the rest: -5 for Huckabee, -16 for Gingrich and Palin, and -17 for Obama. All five of the possible GOP contenders lead Obama with independents, but Paul does so by the widest margin at 46-28.
That is encouraging. It means that independents are becoming more familiar with what Ron Paul has been saying over the last several years. Unfortunately, the GOP presidential primaries will come down between Tax Hike Mike, Multiple Choice Mitt and a couple others, maybe Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels.