Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Huckabee and Akin’s Phony War Against the "Establishment" – Update





On Saturday, Doug posted the following Politico article concerning a conference call between Todd Akin backer, Mike Huckabee, hundreds of Southern Baptist pastors, and Christian talk show hosts:

Mike Huckabee rallied hundreds of Southern Baptists on a conference call Friday night in support of Todd Akin, offering advice about how they can help the embattled Missouri Senate candidate stay in the race — while acknowledging Akin still may have to bow out.

“This could be a Mt. Carmel moment,” said the former Arkansas governor, referring to the holy battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal in the book of Kings. “You know, you bring your gods. We’ll bring ours. We’ll see whose God answers the prayers and brings fire from heaven. That’s kind of where I’m praying: that there will be fire from heaven, and we’ll see it clearly, and everyone else will to.”

Peter Hamby from CNN reported more on Huckabee’s hyperbolic rant:

Speaking harshly about establishment Republicans who have tried to force Akin from the Missouri race, Huckabee at one point compared the National Republican Senatorial Committee to "union goons" who "kneecap" their enemies.

The former Arkansas governor said party bosses were "opening up rounds and rounds" of ammunition on Akin and "then running over with tanks and trucks and leaving him to be ravaged by the other side."

[...]

Huckabee said he spoke directly with NRSC officials this week and was assured that they would begin to dial back their offensive against Akin. He said party officials specifically told him they would stop pressuring Akin’s consultants and campaign vendors to drop the congressman as a client.

A Republican source provided CNN with the dial-in information for the call, which was convened by Don Hinkle, the editor of ‘The Pathway,’ a publication of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

[...]

Acknowledging the political damage done to Akin, Huckabee encouraged the pastors and radio hosts to aggressively defend Akin to their congregations and listeners.

"The poll numbers need to come back up," he said. "Todd needs to show that he can raise money and be competitive. That will be a game changer. If not, the pressure will still be there for Todd to exit the race and clear the field for somebody else."

A spokesman for the NRSC, Brian Walsh, took issue with Huckabee’s comments Friday.

"We have a great deal of respect for Governor Huckabee and regret that we do not see eye to eye with him on this race," Walsh said in an email to CNN. "It’s important to set the record straight though that the types of tactics he describes simply did not happen and further, no one at the NRSC has even spoken with the Governor this week."

Did Mike Huckabee lie to the pastors? Did he not actually speak to anyone with the NRSC? Depends on who you want to believe because the NRSC says he did not. Keep in mind that Huckabee has a history of being less than forthright while ranting. Just last June, he went on a tear against Bristol Palin for allegedly not "showing up" to be interviewed on his show. It turns out that Huckabee’s staff had actually dropped the ball and forgot to call Bristol, thus she didn’t know when to "show up." Did she ever receive an apology from Huckabee? Not to my knowledge. Beyond that, what exactly is the former Governor of Arkansas doing telling hundreds of pastors what to say to their congregations? The answer to that lies within his own ego.

He is attempting to cast himself as the "moral" leader of the social conservative movement, while trying to save face after the Akin fallout. And worst of all, he and his friend from Missouri are trying to co-opt the real battle that people like Governor Palin have been waging for years against the GOP establishment in the process. That is extremely offensive when you consider who these men are.

Todd Akin has been in Washington D.C. since 2001. What has he done to "fight the establishment" since he’s been there? Was he a reformer? Did he ever stand up to his own party when they were acting unethically? Why would they come after him then unless they,  like everyone else, can see the writing on the wall?

The reality is that Todd Akin is basically a DC Republican who votes the right way on some matters (when he actually shows up to vote), yet loves earmarks:

“Some people call amendments ‘earmarks’, I call them amendments.”

- Todd Akin

Mike Huckabee didn’t serve in Washington, but he certainly never fought against the establishment from the national stage he’s been standing on since 2007. He has endorsed a number of non-reform candidates in primary elections, and he never speaks out against the status quo in DC. He never took on crony capitalism, he never sought to reform entitlements, or clean up the system in any way.

Also, just exactly how "moral" is a person who destroys all of the records of his administration when he leaves office? Isn’t the idea to serve the public? Didn’t the people of Arkansas have a right to know what was going on in their government during Huckabee’s administration? What was he hiding?:

Send a public records request seeking documents from his 12-year stint as Arkansas governor, as Mother Jones did recently, and an eyebrow-raising reply will come back: The records are unavailable, and the computer hard drives that once contained them were erased and physically destroyed by the Huckabee administration as the governor prepared to leave office and launch a presidential bid.

In 2007, during Huckabee’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, the issue of the eradicated hard drives surfaced briefly, but it was never fully examined, and key questions remain. Why had Huckabee gone to such great lengths to wipe out his own records? What ever happened to a backup collection that was provided to a Huckabee aide?

Huckabee is the guy who granted clemency to Maurice Clemmons, who later murdered four police officers in Parkland, Washington after his release. Was that the moral thing to do? I doubt the families of those officers, or the people in that community think so.

Another uncomfortable fact is that the former Governor was admonished and fined five times by the Arkansas’ Ethics Commission, for things such as:

  • Failing to report that he paid himself with campaign money
  • Failing to disclose money he received from non-profits
  • Failing to disclose benefactors, failing to disclose gifts
  • Using the governor’s mansion account for personal matters
  • Trying to keep furniture donated to the governor’s mansion
  • Setting up a registry for he and his wife to collect gifts as they left the governor’s mansion,
  • Spending $13,000 of state money to destroy all of the records from his time in office.

Moral? Hardly.

Huckabee may lean right on social issues, but that is where his conservative attributes seem to end. Pat Toomey wrote an informative piece in 2007, stating:

Given his folksy charm, social conservative credentials, and embrace by the mainstream media, it is not surprising that some are increasingly enamored with him. But this flirtation does a great disservice to the conservative movement if it overlooks Huckabee’s stunning record of big-government liberalism.

During Huckabee’s tenure as governor, the average Arkansan’s tax burden increased 47 percent, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A dyed-in-blue tax hiker, Huckabee supported raising sales taxes, gas taxes, grocery taxes, even nursing home bed taxes. He virulently opposed a congressional moratorium on taxing Internet access, and sat on the sidelines while his Democratic legislature pushed the largest tax hike in Arkansas history into law. What’s more, on his watch, and frequently at his behest, state spending increased by 50 percent, more than double the rate of inflation, and the number of state government workers rose by 20 percent. Yes, as a presidential candidate, Huckabee has signed on as a supporter of the Fair Tax and pledged against raising taxes, but when a candidate’s long and clear record flies in the face of his election-year symbolism, you can chalk it up to politics every time.

The Cato institute gave him an "F" in 2006 on their yearly "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors," and a "D" for his entire tenure as Arkansas Governor. He supported Michelle Obama’s nanny-statism, at one time supported Cap and Trade, he referred to the Constitution as a “living, breathing document,”  he supported in-state tuition and taxpayer funded scholarships for illegals, and has embraced a big government philosophy overall. One would hope that a "conservative leader" would hold conservative views on more than just social issues and that a man who tells religious leaders what to say on Sunday possesses a moral backbone.

But these sorts of charlatans have been infecting the body politic for a long time. Huckabee is nothing new to the GOP, and promoting believers of fraudulent science in government is nothing new for the former Governor of Arkansas. Via Slate:

In 1998, Arkansas State Senator Fay Boozman helped wreck his chances at a U.S. Senate seat by suggesting that rape-activated female hormones could prevent pregnancy — "god’s little shield."

Boozman lost by 12 points. Then he lucked out. Gov. Mike Huckabee, a friend and political ally for many years, put Boozman in charge of the Arkansas Department of Health. The "god’s little shield" controversy was fresh, and Huckabee kept getting asked about it. As far as he was concerned, the story was over, and it was unfair to harp on it. "If nothing else," said Huckabee, according to a February 1999 story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "I hope to make it very clear that our administration is not governed by intimidation. We’re not going to allow the shrill voices of a few to so disparage the character of a very decent and good person to an outstanding position in such a way that Arkansas would lose his service at the Department of Health."

The man doesn’t like criticism, but he is loyal, I’ll give him that. Promoting this stuff however, is not good for the conservative movement, the GOP, or the pro-life movement for that matter.  In this day and age, we need to engage people with responsible, credible dialog. The issues are too important to get distracted by this sort of idiotic madness that only serves to muddy the debate.

Some may think I am needlessly piling on Todd Akin and Mike Huckabee. That writing a piece like this doesn’t do anything but help Claire McCaskill keep her Senate seat. I assure you, nothing I write will have any impact on a race that is already over. Todd Akin is sinking fast, and he has nobody to blame but himself. Huckabee should have advised Akin to leave the race, but instead, he turned the spotlight on to himself and is currently in the process of destroying any credibility he once had with the conservative movement.  He has turned it into a spectacle and will end up hurting the country if the GOP cannot get control of the Senate over this asinine episode.

No, Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Akin, you are not fighting the GOP "establishment." You are fighting reality.

 

Update: Dan Riehl shares his latest thoughts on Huckabee:

Social conservatives who still latch onto him better clue up. Huckabee is and always has been out for himself and most of the conservative base is sick of it. He’s been a consistent loser on the national stage, with liberal policies couched beneath a social conservative veneer. In short, he’s a phony as a conservative, or a false prophet, if you prefer. His propping up Akin is just the latest of his self-satisfied and treacherous acts to the conservative cause.



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  • DougBrady

    Awesome post, Stacy. I guess, according to the Huckster and Akin, we’re part of the GOP Establishment now.

  • ZH100

    Excellent post.
    —–

     "He is attempting to cast himself as the “moral” leader of the social conservative movement, while trying to save face after the Akin fallout"

    Exactly!

  • VADMCollingwood

    Increase in state spending
    Huckabubba = unprecedented increase
    Palin = unprecedented decrease

    Increase in state private sector employment
    Huckabubba = not really
    Palin = unprecedented increase

    Number of psycho murderers released from prison
    Huckabubba = 12
    Palin = 0

    Number of emails and other records destroyed when leaving office
    Huckabubba = total amount unknown – but it cost at least 13 grand to do it
    Palin = 0, all released and posted on the internet

    2012 US Senate Race
    Huckabubba = Todd Akin and the opponents of Gov. Palin’s picks
    Palin = Ted Cruz, Orin Hatch, Jeff Flake, Deb Fisher, Richard Mourdock, Sarah Steelman, Dan Bongino

    I’m only a retired sailor; but, if his Huckness wants to take on Governor Palin … permission granted. Only watch yourself there Huck boy, she fights like a girl.  

    Rhetorical question: Why does the atheist, anti-Christian media love the Huck and hate the Governor? 

    Never entrust power to anyone not willing to surrender it.

  • gwspfan

    This was poor Huckster’s attempt to try and be a king maker. All Tax Hike Mike has ever been concerned with is attention, status and money. The man is as phony as Michelle Obama’s diet. He has never been and will never be a Conservative.

  • StandProudNow

    Ouch!  My mouth was literally hanging open. Had no idea about any of this re. huckabee.

    Thanks for an AWESOME post, Stacy!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_377ED42ISJIFXSCTSQSLO25U4Y Ric

       Hey, they don’t call him Huckster for nothin!

  • John_Frank

    Stacy, an excellent piece. Thank you.

  • JELRGrandma

    Excellent post. A phony all the way. My gut instinct told me so. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.hansen.18488 Mark Hansen

    Well written and well researched, Stacy.  Really eye opening.  Frankly, I had forgotten why I didn’t really care for Huckabee when he ran for President in 2008, but this brings it all back for me.  The good will he recently garnered with me for spearheading "Chick-fil-a day" has all been squandered.

    The remarkable thing about the call for Akin to step down is its sheer breadth.  There are as many "non-establishment types" (R. Johnson, Palin, Levin, Hannity, Ryan) calling for his head as establishment figures.  Why can’t Akin and Huckabee see that Akin simply disqualified himself?

  • TheresaAK

    Wow…Romney and Huckabee have a lot in common….

    • wandrako

      Romney has nothing in common with Huckabee in this regard.  He is an honest man that will turn this country’s finances around.  Guess what Huckabee would do in the same position. 

    • Alrightalready

      Ha! Not even close lib! …nice try…but nothing in common.

  • kurtisfechtmeyer

    Bravo.   We must stop the damage to the R party by people like Crist, Foley, Craig, Huckabee and other "Republicans" that (i) ignore the principles of the Founders, (ii) forget the lessons of great Republicans like Lincoln, Coolidge and Reagan and (iii) cynically exploit those who love Christ and his teachings for their own ego and aggrandizement.    The first mistake Akin made was his offensive and ignorant comment.   The second mistake he made was thinking he could win an election knowing that no national Republican of any stature or leaning could support him.   The third mistake was taking on the public posture of a persecuted Christian, when there are so many truly persecuted throughout the world.   Three strikes.  He is out and Huckabee with him.

    • James McKenna

       "forget the lessons of great Republicans like Lincoln"….
      What if the Current president had been elected by less than 40% of the popular vote?
      What if he shut down all news media opposed to his agenda and jailed the editors and producers…
      What if he signed an arrest warrant for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
      What if he arrested the majority of one states legislature because there was a chance those legislators may oppose him?
      What if he deported his most vocal critic in Congress?
      What if he declared Marshal law and suspended Habeas Corpus, so that anyone could be arrested without being charged and held indefinitely?
      What if he violated the 2nd Amendment by disarming the states of his choosing?
      What if, after only one month in office and without congressional approval, he unleashed the full might of the military on any state that refused to pay federal taxes.
      What if he initiated these actions against the almost unanimous advice of his military and cabinet advisors?
      What if the military, while carrying out his orders, killed thousands of civilians, burned down homes, destroyed property and torched countless cities; while robbing and raping citizens?
      And what if he created new states formed out of existing states simply for political expediency?
      And what if he was so wildly unpopular that just months before the election he was almost certain that he would not be re-elected to a second term?
      What if he stationed armed guards at polling places to intimidate voters and help insure his re-election?
      What if, after the president’s death, the government told us that this was all done for the good of the country and to ensure that all races would be free and equal?
      What if, BECAUSE OF ALL HIS GROSS VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH HE WAS SWORN TO UPHOLD, WE BUILT HIM A HUGH MONUMENT IN WASHINGTON DC AND CALLED HIM OUR GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER…?
      Yeah, makes perfect sense to me

      • kurtisfechtmeyer

        The case against Lincoln is "not nothing" as they say.   All I will say is that it was a unique time and unique place and if you believed, as Lincoln did, that slavery was a moral curse, you were certainly going to stretch the "war powers" as far as you could to preserve the Union without it.  In the end, we’ll simply never know for sure if there was an alternate path.  All we can do is honor all the men, women and children who died, whatever side they might have fought on. 

  • Steve_Flesher

    Thanks Stacy.  We have to make sure that "the grassroots" doesn’t get redefined just as we have to call it out when Christians are being discredited when people like Huckabee portray Akin as just another guy who goes to church.

  • TheresaAK

    There is only one part I agree with Huck on…the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s denial…

    Oh yes, they are known to lie…I remember when they said they would stand behind Joe Miller…lied to our faces….

    I’ve seen the GOP in action and they are liars…

    The rest of the piece is very enlightening…

    • StacyDrake

      I actually deleted a few lines talking about the NRSC. It ended up distracting from the piece, but you’re right, neither they nor Huckabee are trustworthy. Hence my "depends on who you believe" remark.

      • wandrako

        The republicans are not liars. 

  • anyonebutbarry2012

    very good article thanks 

  • http://www.solitudebooks.com/ Dan C

    Great writing Stacy. 

  • SunnyJS

    This is why alternative media is so important…it’s how we can really get a 360 degree view of all of the agendas at the table when an issue arises.  Huckabee has some valid points, and he has some clunkers.  Akin is being cast as a one dimensional figure when in fact there were 2 issues:  1. His completely out in left field remark on rape and the biological issues surrounding pregancy related to rape; 2) the issue of abortion.  The establishment repubs could have handled this better had they separated these two issues and distanced themselves based on issue one and noted that the Repub platform on Issue two has not changed in many many years.  The next step was to frame Obama as the "extremist" in the abortion issue discussion and move on. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2G5XQGZSHDSTBX6E2HEAN6BY3A Angela

    Still would vote for Akin over his demonic democrat opponent!!

  • carmtom13

    Thanks for writing this informative and truthful article about Huckabee and Akin; didn’t know what Akins record in congress actually was. Huckabee put his big ego before the country. Huckabee gave Mrs obamacare (MCcaskill) a win by encouraging Akin to stay in the race and if that is the seat we needed to repeal obamacare we lose it that is something Mr ego is going to have to live with. We the people will NEVER forget nor will we forgive Huckabee for doing this. What a FOOL!! Once again thank you Stacey, I am posting this on FB and I hope everyone puts this out to.

  • Tanker74

    Schmuckabee and Akin are a match made in "heaven." I’m beginning to think the only reason Akin won the primary – aside from the $1.5 million in support he received from his Democrat friends – is because he was first alphabetically on the ballot.

  • Spartan4Palin

    Great.  Huckaboob is our current version of Jimmy Swaggert!!!!

  • LuvGuvSP

    Mark Levin recently tweeted this post about 20 minutes ago!!

    Congrats Stacy!  Great job!

    https://twitter.com/marklevinshow/status/239764430659940352

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