The week that was belonged to Mike Huckabee. He did the book tour thing so he was lots of places and said lots of things which got lots of press. But before we dive in to the possibles, there was major religion news last week and we need to look at what the punditry is saying about the forming field generally.
The President decided last week, not the Supreme Court mind you, but the President, that the Defense of Marriage act was unconstitutional and therefore instructed the Department of Justice to cease defending it. Forget the morality here and concentrate on the legal.
I don’t want to overstate things, but I am truly beginning to fear for our democratic way of life. This is very analogous to the governor and attorney general of California refusing to defend Prop 8. It is a willful abrogation of the procedures of our democracy. The executive has a duty, by the constitution, to uphold the law of the land, whether that law was passed by the legislature or directly by the people. It is not the executive’s job to decide what is good law and what is bad law – that is the judiciary’s job. It’s called “check and balances” and it is the thing that has allowed our democracy to function better than any form of government in history.
The lessons of history are important here too. It was when the absolute emergency powers of the Roman Emperor permanently displaced the representative Senate that the long fall of Rome began. It was when the Crown of England prodded the colonies to revolution through rule by fiat rather than representation, that the long slow decline of the British Empire began. When the branches of our governments overstep their bounds, we too begin to decline.
The good news is that our system contains within it the capability to restore the boundaries. The NYTimes wrote a story on the 2012 implications of this decision by Obama. Right idea, in that it is in the elections that we can right the ship, although typical for the old Grey Mare, er, Lady, they fail to comprehend the real depth of importance here. We must be mindful that as we consider who to elect in the future we do not want a polar opposite – someone that will through equally coercive, non-representative, means move the nation back in the direction we desire – but rather someone that will restore the balance of our government. If we play the game the same way as the opposition we may repair things for our lives but we accelerate the slide of our nation into the history books. We doom our children and grandchildren as surely as the mounting national debt does.
I trust the religious implications here are obvious. It is tempting to “preach the truth” about marriage; to apply the religious fervor that we righteously feel to this obvious misdeed. But to do so is to in fact play the game like the opposition. My faith tells me how very wrong same-sex marriage is; however, my faith also tells me that reason, process, and respect of the opposition are equally a part of my moral code.
On To The Election
Already, the unsettled situation is preventing prospective candidates from crafting a campaign strategy beyond the four states that both parties have pledged will go first: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
This piece is from the Boston Globe, and therefore is predictably being used to paint a picture that the Republicans will be unable to bring forth the best possible candidate. Nonsense, but it does make it difficult to strategize and gives an advantage to the candidate that is light on his feet and keeps his options open until the last minute.
Some are calling for a whole new primary system. Fine idea, but not happening this cycle.
USNews is running one of those online polls and the results indicate a dissatisfaction with the perceived field. Some are therefore reaching for straws. My comment is that it is early, as reflected in pieces from the New York and Washington Times. We Republicans love to dream big, but tend to settle down nicely when it gets to brass tacks time. The important thing is that we not let our dreams get in the way of reality.
So, What Was Mike Huckabee Up To This Week?
In a nutshell, doing lots of press trying to sell a book. Some question whether he still wants the job. Some read the book and wondered. Some sarcastically listed the reasons he won’t run. Some discussed whether he had a chance of winning.
Huck himself said he was “seriously contemplating” a run, but then hinted he was happy not running and said he would not run unless he though he had a chance of winning. (Here’s a hint – if he runs he’s delusional – he has no chance in the general against Obama – none, nada, nicht.) I thought this AP headline just about summed it up, “Huckabee toys with White House run.” [Emphasis added.] Folks, the White House is not a toy.
Huckabee got in a bit of trouble criticizing Islam. This caused our friend John Mark Reynolds to rise to his defense. The interesting thing about this discussion is that those that chastise anyone for criticizing Islam are generally very quick to try and push Christianity out of the public square. I can’t think of a bigger push of religion into the public square than flying an airplane into a skyscraper.
Huckabee did demonstrate a talent for saying things in a very unpresidential fashion. He also said there was too much attention paid to Obama’s pastor. That from the man who reminded the New York Times, Jeopardy style – in the form of a question, of a common misconception of Mormon doctrine? And people accuse Romney of the flip-flop?!
The most egregious statement he made all week was; however:
Former Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) told reporters at the National Press Club that he sees “no value” in Republicans attacking each other in the primaries for the next Presidential election.
Huckabee’s distaste for negative campaigning is well known, but there is an enormous difference between negative campaigning and playing flat out dirty. Religion is one of the places where the line between the two should be pretty easy to see – even on Jeopardy.
Daniels Continues to Need the Scraper for His Shoe Bottoms
His “social issue truce” comment continues to dog him. But Daniels’ problems don’t end there.
The Indiana legislature attempted to follow the Wisconsin lead. Daniels tried to get them to call it off, and the left was all over that like white-on-rice. Daniels was pilloried in some circles. Daniels had a lot of splainin’ to do and NRO appeared to be his major mouthpiece. Rich Lowry chimed in; as did Avik Roy and Katrina Trinko. But Jim Geraghty seemed to function as the chief apologist as seen here – here and here. In that last, Daniels finally admits he was “careless” in his choice of words, etc. In the end, Daniels was proven correct and the Indiana Senate dropped the bill, mostly because he had already achieved the bulk of what needed to be done by executive order when he took office.
Results notwithstanding, this was a major political mistake by Gov. Daniels, obvious political skill or not - a major chink in the “real deal” armor that was developing around him – right up there with the truce comment.
But his issues did not end there. Some were quick to point out in the media saturated age, he has some presentation problems. He did get some major shout outs, but talk of his youthful drug arrest surfaced. I am not sure what to make of this. Marijuana became a non-issue with Clinton, but other more serious drugs are a problem from my perspective. Obama’s admitted cocaine use seemed to pose him no threat, though it certainly made me wince. Not, by the way, because the use of cocaine a few times damages anyone in any way, but recreational marijuana use is a not much of a crime – the same cannot be said of cocaine.
That said, some reports said LSD was involved in the Daniels case. Not only is that stuff incredibly illegal; it can leave life long psychological scars. I have seen no evidence that Daniels took the stuff, let alone that it has damaged him psychologically in anyway – but there is a a bit more than a youthful indiscretion involved in being near it – that is a major lapse in judgment, even in college in the drug saturated ’70′s. As a chemistry major in that same era, I have some personal knowledge. The chemical manufacture of LSD is a fascinating bit of laboratory practice – for me it would have been a real rush just to make it. The temptation lasted about as long as it took me to look up what would happen if I got caught.
Daniels is a major asset to the Republican and conservative cause and he would be a huge and worthy presence in any Republican administration, but there is just too much stuff piling up to make him a viable candidate for POTUS.
…really only came up this week in the context of the Huckster “calling him out” on health care. (So much for not attacking potential primary opponents [see above] and denials of the feud between them. And while we are being parenthetical, why does the Huckster talk about Romney so much? I don’t hear Romney talking about Huckabee? Who is doing the negative campaigning here?) The left, in this case Politico, was happy to join the Huckster in the effort. (Funny how the left-leaning MSM seems to agree with Huckabee so much.) Romney responded. The prevailing consensus seems to be that the response was inadequate. I’m not so sure. This needs to age before Romney can give a definitive answer – until then its a delaying action.
Romney is not polling with with “those who social issues as the biggest issue in 2012” [sic] That’s not news – that’s trouble making. But wait – it’s the MSM so where’s the surprise.
Remember how last cycle, there was a study at Vanderbilt (where yours truly spent his freshman year) that showed the correlation between “flip-flop” and “Mormon.” Well, Romney is getting some help from Vandy in other ways this cycle.
Romney’s faith came up mostly as people discussed the forthcoming “South Park” Mormon themed musical. The left is using the musical as an attempt to warp religion generally into a shape they can deal with. Of course it came up in regards to whatever the heck it is Huntsman is doing as well. Huntsman launched his PAC on the web, but has some serious legal complications. Huntsman is a non-starter for the moment, except of course in the mind of those that want to make Mormon hay out of it. John Mark Reynolds responded quite well to any potential Mormon hay.
(Lowell interjects: We heard from a highly-placed and deeply credible source that Pawlenty pretty much laid an egg in his Phoenix Tea Party appearance. For evidence supporting that assessment, we need look no farther than Herman Cain’s victory in the Tea Party straw poll there. Cain had 22%, Pawlenty and Romney both had 16%, Ron Paul was at 15%, and SarahPalin mustered 10%.)
Learn about Pentecostalism. I have always contended it is a short step from Pentecostalism to Mormonism, but I usually get beat up by Pentecostals when I say that.
Fred, Fred, Fred – it’s not about religion and its not about your sexuality – it’s about the fact that you want to use one to pervert the other and have no real interest in being president.
More on the faith of the Founders. *YAWN* This has grown past serious, it’s just an axe for people to grind.
This argument is not unique to Mormonism – we creedals have it too – read Acts Chapter 2. This is why we developed rules for reading Scripture called hermeneutics. You have to read Scripture in light of other Scripture. Pretty much the entire Old Testament reinforces private property rights. Now what do we do?