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IF THESE WERE merely the musings of a presidential also-ran, perhaps they would be easy to dismiss. But Huckabee’s presidential campaign established him as one of the most important evangelical leaders in the country.
There is a trend among younger evangelicals toward embracing activist government. Huckabee spoke to it early in his campaign when he told the Des Moines Register, “I earn the right to push for a strong pro-life agenda only by making sure I’m concerned about poverty, hunger and homelessness.”
The problem isn’t the desire to help the poor or to grapple with the political limitations of economic conservatism in a new era of big government. The problem comes when good intentions trump results and self-righteousness substitutes for serious thought about what government can actually accomplish.
When the columnist and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson inveighs against the “antigovernment ideology” of his fellow conservatives, he often cites Hurricane Katrina as their “low point”: “The response of many Republicans was to use the disaster as an excuse for cutting government spending.” But who but the most blinkered ideologue looks at the federal reaction to Katrina as evidence of the competence and efficacy of munificent government? Who looks at the waste that poured forth after the Republican congressional leadership ignored the budget hawks seeking spending offsets and capitulated to the Gersons and sees a moral victory?
By stepping up his attacks on economic conservatives, Huckabee may have repeated the big mistake of his presidential bid. “The sound you just heard,” writes the blogger Daniel Larison, “was Mike Huckabee’s hypothetical 2012 campaign imploding.” Unless we are all big government conservatives now.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?