Is Huckabee a "False Conservative"?

UPDATED on Wednesday, November 28th. The update follows the original post.

On Monday, November 26th, journalist Robert Novak’s article “Huckabee: the False Conservative” was published. The article painted Mike Huckabee according to the stereotype: as a socially conservative but fiscally liberal Republican. Some intelligent political observers, such as my good friend Philip, agreed with Novak’s tired and uninformed criticism.

Does Robert Novak have it right? Does Fred Thompson? (He accused Huckabee of being a “pro-life liberal”) Is Mike Huckabee a false conservative? In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”

Susan Stilley of the blog Politics and Christianity has written an excellent response to Novak. Please do not swallow the stereotypes. (If you think Huckabee is a closet liberal you probably also think that Thompson is lazy. Well, that may be a bad analogy. Fred does appear a tad lethargic at times!)
Read Stilley’s post Robert Novak: the False Journalist. To whet your appetite I will include this snippet from the post:

Novak claims that serious Republicans know that Huckabee “is a high tax protectionist advocate of big government”. I consider myself a serious Republican and know no such thing. As a former resident of Arkansas during Governor Huckabee’s tenure I know that he pushed through the Arkansas Legislature the first major, broad-based tax cuts in state history – a $90 million tax relief package for Arkansas families. He also doubled the standard deduction to $2,000 for single taxpayers and $4,000 for those who are married. Some taxes he eliminated entirely: the marriage penalty, bracket creep caused by inflation, income tax on poor families, and capital gains on home sales. To encourage investment, he cut capital gains for both individuals and businesses. To help people better themselves, he provided tax credits for employee training and education. In total, he cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times during his ten-and-a-half years as Governor, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.

UPDATE: read Dick Morris’ article – “Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative”. Morris includes actual data to back up his assertion that Huckabe is indeed fiscally conservatice.


About Travis

Christ follower. Husband of one woman. Father of three young men. Former 11B. Blessed to pastor the Bible Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, KY.
This entry was posted in Fred Thompson, GOP, Journalism, Mike Huckabee, Presidential Campaign, Talking Heads. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Is Huckabee a "False Conservative"?

  1. Marc says:

    Help spread the word about Mike Huckabee! On December 29th there will be a national effort to raise awareness about Mike Huckabee and his campaign for President.Grab your signs, shirts and other Mike Huckabee for President materials and get out. Run, walk, bike, march or drive around in a public place where you live. Let’s make sure that anyone that travels on December 29th sees a Mike Huckabee for President sign.

  2. KeepRight says:

    Yes Huckabee is a false conservative and a pro-life liberal; just like Fred said. Plus, every Iowa vote for Huckabee is a vote for Rudy who is conceding Iowa and focusing on New Hampshire. If you social conservatives don’t want a genuine socially liberal candidate like Rudy to win the nomination, you’d better turn to Fred.

  3. Joe says:

    First of all, thanks for visiting my site. I appreciate it.Secondly, while I don’t know a lot about Huckabee, much of what I have heard is that he’s not been exactly honest.Here’s a few of those links. a Huckabee supporter, I’d like to hear your take. I’ll be back to find out!Cheers! I’m off to explore more of your site, but I don’t know how far I’ll get if you’re an IU alum. Go Illini! 🙂

  4. Kingdom Advancer says:

    None of the “Big 3” candidates can stand on their positions on social conservatism, so they must try to attack Huckabee’s fiscal policies. That’s just basic politics. It goes right along with the “Huckabee can’t beat Hilary” argument. By the way, I found your blog linked from Mike Huckabee’s website, so I thought you might be interested in a blogging effort I started called “We Want a Christian President.” ( If you go there, you can read why I think we need a genuinely Christian President (perhaps like Huckabee), and I’ve also started a series on the candidates’ positions on key conservative Christian issues. Please check it out when you get the chance. I want as many people to get involved with the effort as possible.

  5. Travis says:

    Thank you for using the Oxgoad, Joe. I’ll check out those links and respond soon.

  6. Travis says:

    Kingdom Advancer,Thanks for using the Oxgoad. While I do like the idea of having a Christian President, my support for Huckabee is not based on his Christianity/Baptist identity. I support Huckabee because of all the other options (including the Dems) he is the one I agree with most.I haven’t read any of your material, so I do not want to assume too much, but I hope that you do not feel that “advancing the kingdom” is accomplished in the political sphere. Were Huckabee a Mormon, holding to the same values and policies that he currently holds, I could and would still support him. I prefer him over Romney because I feel that Romney is a political opportunist. He changes with the political wind. The kingdom of God is not advanced with the sword or with political office; it is exclusively advanced with the gospel of Christ.

  7. Kingdom Advancer says:

    My reason for wanting a genuinely Christian President is based upon the fact that I feel there are special benefits that come from having a true relationship with God through His Son. To quickly summarize (but I have more detailed articles on two of these points already posted, with more on the way): 1. Godly strength Not that leaders can’t be strong without being true Christians, but they can’t have GODLY strength. 2. Godly wisdom Not that leaders can’t have useful wisdom without being true Christians, but they can’t have the extra insight of godly wisdom. 3. Godly consistency Not that a non-Christian leader can’t hold to the same conservative ideals his whole life. But if his foundation is sand, we cannot expect more than for his house to fall when the storms come. See Romney, especially, on this point, as you have pointed out. If a leader’s political views are founded upon only his own reasoning, his own education, or some form of utilitarianism, they are going to be more subject to change than the Christian’s views, based on an absolute sense of right and wrong stemming from God, God’s Law, and Natural Law. 4. The Holy Spirit’s Guidance I don’t want to sound mystical or abstract or anything, but when my President is faced with a tough judgment call, a virtual coin-flip, I want the Holy Spirit guiding him, accompanying God’s wisdom and strength. 5. Ambassador of Christ No, I don’t expect the President to “advance the kingdom,” as you say. But I do think there are appropriate ways for a Christian President to be an ambassador for Christ (that will be my next post on this topic). Just consider all the ridiculous controversies over the separation of church and state right now! A good Christian President, in the least, can set an example. And, would you not agree that politics/government can make it either easier or more difficult for the gospel to spread? By the way, although I feel that Mike Huckabee is probably the most outspoken Christian of the bunch (besides perhaps Alan Keyes, who noone even seems to consider part of “the bunch”), and although he lines up with my political views as much as anyone, he is not the only one who I think could potentially make a good Christian President. How do I define a Christian candidate? Well, there’s no way to be sure, but I use two main criteria: in practice (eliminate Romney) and in deed (eliminate Giulani and maybe some others). As for Mormonism: one person made a good point when they wrote in to World Magazine and said, “How could I vote for a candidate whose judgment is so impaired that he doesn’t realize he is part of a cult?” Very interesting point.

  8. Travis says:

    Kingdom Advancer,I agree with your 5 points (that sounds funny), but your last statement intrigues me. You wrote, “As for Mormonism…”How could I vote for a candidate whose judgment is so impaired that he doesn’t realize he is part of a cult?”I concur that Mormonism is a cult, but I could make the same argument about Keyes’ Catholicism. While I know and love many Catholics (I do not know any Mormons personally) the Catholic church is an apostate church that has denied Sola Fide – salvation by grace through faith alone.I do agree with many, certainly not all, of Keyes’ conservative views, and that is why I would consider backing him. Not because he is a “Christian”, but because he is a conservative.

  9. Kingdom Advancer says:

    To use informal language, that’s a “buzz-kill.” I try to be as informed as I can about all the candidates, but I was not aware (or had forgotten) that Keyes was Catholic. Although I think there is a better chance for a Catholic to be “saved” than a Mormon (since Catholics are so often a la carte), that fact about Keyes definitely bothers me. Thanks for mentioning that.

  10. Philip says:

    Looks like Huckabee is making his move…I couldn’t help but notice than while you are quick to dismiss Robert Novak as a liberal hack, you freely embrace Dick Morris’ comments. Just to remind you, Dick Morris didn’t just vote for LBJ one time, he WORKED FOR CLINTON. Novak may have an anti-Huckabee agenda, but he knows a lot more about conservatism than Dick Morris.Unfortunately, the only real conservative (according to Rush Limbaugh) has almost run out of steam… 😦 GO FRED!

  11. Travis says:

    Philip, here is my reasoning. Novak’s criticism of Huckabee was based on his fiscal policies. I found that to be red herring coming from a man who supported LBJ/Great Society. While Dick Morris will work for almost any political mover/shaker, his fiscal positions are for the most part solid. I have not read all of his book “Outrage” but I’ve liked what I have read.

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