My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Unseriousness Not Confined To The Left 

I have spent several kilobytes this year chiding the Democratic Party for putting forward as its two front-runners this year two individuals who, between them, have 10 years of national office, ZERO military experience, ZERO executive experience, and ZERO business experience. Being a gifted politician is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't strike me as the sort of thing that would give me confidence in a crisis. But, there you are--the Dems seem to be headed for either Hillary or Barack.

And then there's this: enter a third unqualified into the top tier--this time, on our side.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has vaulted over his major GOP challengers to take a commanding lead in the race to win the Iowa caucuses, while Barack Obama continues to edge ahead of Hillary Clinton among Democrats likely to participate, a new NEWSWEEK poll shows.

The most dramatic result to come out of the poll, which is based on telephone interviews with 1,408 registered Iowa voters on Dec. 5 and 6, is Huckabee's emergence from the shadows of the GOP race into the front runner's spot in just two months. The ordained Southern Baptist minister now leads Romney by a two-to-one margin, 39 percent to 17 percent, among likely GOP caucus-goers . . .

Let's look at Mike Huckabee, shall we?

Military experience: zero

Business experience: zero, unless you count the ministry. All things considered, being a Baptist Minister put Huckabee a lot--LOT--closer to real people than Hillary's corner office in the law firm and White House.

Executive experience: 12 years as governor of Arkansas. Plenty on that count, though that hardly distinguishes him from Rudy or Mitt.

Federal office: zero, though those 12 years in the State House pretty much make this one moot.

I would have to say he has a much better resume than the Democrats. But you cannot infer from that that he is serious.

Take, for instance, his ignorance of the NIE and subsequent blaming of that to his staff. In this year, in the Republican Party, to be even the slightest bit uninformed about such a significant foreign policy issue is unforgivable. It would be like a Democrat being uninformed about the latest predictions of global warming. (for more on this point, check out my brother's blog)

Take, for another instance, his advocacy of the "Fair Tax." Regardless of your position on taxes, the idea that a Republican would champion a massively regressive tax such as this shows a bit of a tin ear to the GOP base and political reality.

Take, for another, his open endorsement of state benefits for the children of illegal aliens. It is one thing, as a Christian, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless; it is quite another to advocate for the upward mobility of those who are already huge beneficiaries of this country's magnanimity.

Huckabee is a gifted politician, who has a real talent for the sort of debate format these primaries have been full of. And, since the press really didn't know that much about him two months ago, he has really had a chance to enjoy the "flavor of the month" status.

But the long knives are really starting to come out for him now (here, here and here), and Republican voters are really starting to finally take a good long look at him and his record and his positions.

I suppose we'll find out soon enough if the GOP remembers that it is the party of grown ups.

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