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Huckabee for President Responds

Mike Huckabee's campaign manager counters Quin Hillyer. Also: Readers weigh in on underpaid (former) governor from Clinton country. Plus: Quaker Staters, go south! Agitated about Agincourt. Italians and the English language. Plus much more.

10.25.07

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THE HUCKABEE RECORD
Re: Quin Hillyer's A Tale of Two Candidates:

The October 24, 2007 article by Quin Hillyer, "A Tale of Two Candidates," is a biased and complete distortion of the record of Governor Mike Huckabee that needs to be addressed.

It is indeed disappointing -- but perhaps telling -- that Mr. Hillyer contacted neither the Governor nor the Huckabee for President Campaign for this article. The resurfacing of these old allegations, which have previously been addressed, and the Governor's surge in recent polling, is also suspect.

Clearly, the facts show that Mr. Hillyer needs to do his homework. The overwhelming majority of ethics complaints filed against Governor Huckabee in the state of Arkansas were regularly dismissed and / or proven to be frivolous.

It is also important to note that many of these complaints were filed by a member of the Arkansas "media." There was no mention in Mr. Hillyer's work that these complaints were later dismissed by that same news outlet.

The REAL story is that, despite the many attempts, there has never been a finding that Governor Huckabee ever received an illegal gift. Period.

To attack Governor Huckabee's wife, Janet, is the worst kind of journalism. As First Lady of Arkansas, Mrs. Huckabee served with dignity for many years. She was a leader behind the scenes during natural disasters within the state -- and her support of education and children is second to none.

With regards to attacking his fiscal record as Governor, what "think-tanks" such as CATO or Club for Growth consistently fail to recognize is that, regardless of party or politics, governors are responsible for delivering better government and balanced budgets to the people they represent. What mattered most to the people of Arkansas is results -- not rhetoric -- which is why Mike Huckabee was elected and re-elected as Governor.

A fair appraisal of Governor Huckabee's record reveals that he is an authentic, consistent conservative whose goal is to reduce both taxes and spending when he is President. Here are the facts.

* Regarding his record, Arkansas voters overwhelmingly approved of Mike Huckabee's performance in office. He was elected to a four-year term as governor in 1998, after succeeding to office in 1996, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas. In 2002, he was re-elected to another four-year term. When he left office earlier this year, his job approval rating was in the high 60s.

* Without doubt, Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who cut taxes almost 100 times in the state of Arkansas and returned almost $400 million to Arkansas taxpayers, including the first broad-based tax cut in the history of the state.

* He also doubled the standard deduction and the child care tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty and the capital gains tax on the sale of a home. He reduced the capital gains tax for businesses and individuals. He indexed the income tax to protect people from paying higher taxes because of "bracket creep."

* Governor Huckabee left the state with almost $1 billion in surplus, setting the stage for further tax reductions. He cut welfare rolls by almost 50 percent, while balancing the state budget every year of his terms.

* With respect to the tax and spending that he had under his control, spending rose about six-tenths of one percent a year during his ten-and-a-half year tenure. In Arkansas, over 90% of the state general revenue budget is spent on three things: education, Medicaid, and prisons. If the state entirely eliminated everything else but those three, it would save less than 10% of the budget. Despite those limitations, Huckabee managed to enact budget cuts.

Regarding Wayne DuMond, here are the facts:

* Governor Jim Guy Tucker gave executive clemency to Wayne DuMond, and commuted his sentence to 39.5 years. This action made it possible for Wayne DuMond to receive parole.

* The parole board was made up entirely of Governor Bill Clinton and Governor Jim Guy Tucker appointees. Governor Huckabee didn't have one member on the board that he had appointed.

* Governor Huckabee never took action in the DuMond case that made him parole eligible.

* Governor Huckabee either denied the commutation and pardon request, or took no action (which is the same as a denial) on 4 separate occasions.

* This wasn't Governor Huckabee's decision to parole Wayne Dumond. Governor Huckabee had no authority to do that, as governors don't have that authority in the parole process.

* The fact remains that Governor Huckabee didn't commutate, pardon, parole or grant any form of clemency to Wayne DuMond.

* Governor Huckabee denied 2/3 of all pardon requests while Governor of Arkansas from July 15, 1996-December 31, 2006.

* Governor Huckabee denied 86% of all commutation requests during the same period.

* Governor Huckabee signed off on, and carried out 16 executions while he was governor, which were more than 20 other states that currently had the death penalty in place.

It's interesting that this wasn't an issue for 6 years (1996-2002) until the election year of 2002, when Governor Huckabee's Democratic opponent, in the midst of a heated general election, made a political issue out of the case.

Finally, one more note: Calling him "The Huckster" in a hatchet job like this shows disrespect, not only to the Governor himself, but to the office he held for 10 1/2 years.

Governor Mike Huckabee has shown leadership, compassion and strength in tough times. In this important presidential election cycle, the facts are what matter to the American people.

Sincerely,
-- John "Chip" Saltsman
National Campaign Manager
Huckabee for President

Quin Hillyer replies:
I stand by everything in my column except for one single word, which was a self-editing error. When I double-checked the record of the release of rapist Wayne Dumond, I discovered that he had not actually been pardoned. That's why I re-worded the key sentence thusly: "Huckabee helped secure the release of already-well-known-rapist Wayne Dumond." Unfortunately, when I corrected the original sentence to the accurate wording above, I forgot to take out a reference earlier in the paragraph to "one of his pardons." But the fact remains that Huckabee agitated for the vicious rapist's release. To show how involved Huckabee was in Dumond's release, I refer readers to this award-winning news article; and I am willing to let the readers be the judge.

Other than that, I find it interesting that the letter from the Huckabee campaign doesn't actually accuse me of mis-stating facts, but instead finds ways to change the subject. The fact remains that the Ethics Committee did indeed reprimand Huckabee on five separate counts. And for all the other allegations, I provided links to original source material. As for his fiscal record, I think the conservative Club for Growth's reports critical of Huckabee speak for themselves.

One other note: I fully admit I did not call Huckabee's campaign for a response, and for good reason: For some of the allegations, I was there covering Arkansas politics myself as an editorial writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- a conservative editorial page that was sympathetic to many of Huckabee's stated goals -- and so I saw the governor's failed responses or non-responses myself when they happened. There was no need for me to plow the same ground I already plowed once. I have since followed the other imbroglios from afar; and the news stories on which they are based, done by reporters whom I trust, are full of the governor's thoroughly unconvincing explanations. Again, I provided the links so readers can decide for themselves.

BAYOU NORTH
Re: Quin Hillyer's A Tale of Two Candidates:

Why are we just now hearing about these transgressions? Looks like Mr. Hillyer performed a huge public service here. What is the status of the RNC's vetting process? Oh, that's right -- Mr. Martinez is in charge...oops, he just resigned.

I imagine lots of folks will view this column as a major hit piece. But before pulling out their fillet knives, they should research the previous columns Mr. Hillyer has written since the time this current election cycle started. He is definitely an equal-opportunity offender.

Why does Arkansas insist on taking a synonymous, or parallel, path with that other bastion of ethical attitudes -- Louisiana? After a while, the names of Long and Clinton and now, Huck, seem to blur together. Is there hope in Hope?
-- Owen H. Carneal
Yorktown, Virginia

First I can't believe his salary was only $60,000 a year. That's about what a 2 or 3 year accountant makes, and he's a governor and makes that? Anyway the meat of the topic seems to be differences of opinion on what was or was not proper expenses to be reimbursed by this mansion account. IMO, it hardly seems like a scandal. But just a lot of petty bickering about fairly small expenses.

Next, why should people that donate to a private charitable organization, have their names dragged through the mud? People should be able to feel free to donate to private charitable organizations without media criticisms.

And of course the pardon thing. Basically it seems like no one should ever be able to pardon anyone anywhere. Because if you do, and they do anything, then you are toast. Obviously in hindsight he shouldn't have pardoned this man. But hind sight is always 20/20.

Finally the diatribes from the Club for Growth are the most ridiculous of all the accusations. They want no taxes ever anywhere. But how can you grow without a good infrastructure? I personally don't mind paying for good roads, or say bridges that don't fall down. And I'm sure there are some other people particularly in Minnesota that feel the same. To bad their governor had recently vetoed a bill to address the same issues. Any other questions about taxation can simply be answered by the fact he supports the fair tax. Which would do wonders for our economy, and as the name states be a far fairer tax system.
-- Mathew Andresen

"Has even the cynical big media been fooled by a Huckster?" Hillyer is inadequately cynical about the "cynical big media." They can't be unaware of all this, but to dwell on it now would eliminate Huckabee and make the other conservatives stronger. The MSM is not interested in anything right now other than the Right dividing its strength.

And if Huckabee makes it onto the national ticket? Ah, then it all comes off the spike. Enjoy.
-- Stephen Foulard
Waiting for Fred Thompson to re-ignite in Houston, Texas

Quin Hillyer asks (among other things): "Has even the cynical big media been fooled by a Huckster?" Probably not. If Huckabee grows up to be a genuine "top tier" candidate, it will become more fashionable for the MSM to kick up some dust and appear important. The true fun, of course, will ensue if it's Mr. H. vs. Mme. H. come 11/08. Arkansas will become its own (breeding) ground zero for "inconvenient truths."
-- Nick Hauser

Regarding Quin Hillyer's discussion of Mike Huckabee in "A Tale of Two Candidates," an unusual position (at least for a Republican) taken by Mr. Huckabee makes me question his conservative bona fides. Not only did Huckabee sign a statewide smoking ban into law as governor of Arkansas, he is now advocating a nationwide smoking ban.

Personal attitudes toward smoking notwithstanding, most conservatives would agree that the government has no place telling business owners they cannot make the decision to allow smoking inside their bars, restaurants, or other places of business. Politicians who advocate smoking bans demonstrate an appalling lack of respect for free enterprise, private property rights, personal liberties, and the concept of limited government. And one who advocates a nationwide smoking ban also shows no respect for the concept of federalism.
-- C. W. Brownell

Mr. Hillyer has presented and interesting article regarding Mr. Huckabee.

Since I do not personally know Mr. Huckabee, let me, for discussion purposes, accept Mr. Hillyer's analysis as completely correct. I still wonder why the more important stuff is being ignored by particularly social conservatives. Now I will grant that Mr. Huckabee is 100% pro-life, but is that all that matters. What about the taxes and fees that increased during his term as Arkansas' Governor? What about the well documented fact that he is 100% plus some behind the Bush illegal immigration amnesty program? If one studies his position, one would think that Huckabee would go even further down that path then even George Bush. Does anyone even care? That certainly does NOT bode well for our national sovereignty or national security. Mr. Huckabee is every bit the squishy, compassionate conservative that we have just gone through 6+ years with. To top it all off, I do NOT have a good feeling about Mr. Huckabee as regards determination and strength of spine in dealing with Iran or any of the other actors in the current war between us and Islamic Jihad. I am not a fan of Mayor Rudy, but I would rather he conduct our foreign affairs then Mike Huckabee. At least I am sure that Rudy has experience with conducting affairs.

Of course I would prefer to go with Fred Thompson. One can be assured that he would conduct the business of the nation in a calm, rational, almost emotionless way that would bode extremely well for not making catastrophic mistakes, and he would do all he could to shrink the national government and return as much power to the states as possible. I am a great fan of the first and Second Amendments, but I also hold the Tenth Amendment in great respect.
-- Ken Shreve

Gov. Huckabee can give good speeches until he turns blue in the face, but he will never win me over. And why? Illegal immigration.

When the chips were down, Huckabee not only came out for amnesty but he accused people like myself, who opposed the immigration "reform" effort of George Bush, John McCain and the Democratic Party, of being racists.

That did it for me. I want advocacy for a rigorous deportation policy from my candidate, not talk of "roads to citizenship" and "rights for illegal aliens."
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

My father, until he chose not to run for reelection, was one of a handful of elected conservatives and Republicans in "yellow dog" Northeast Arkansas (Gosnell city council). He was no fan of Mike Huckabee, because of his shenanigans in Little Rock. Those touting Huckabee for the Republican nomination or even VP slot, because he once was a Baptist pastor in Texarkana, Arkansas need to reconsider their support. Being pro-life and anti-gay marriage is not enough to make up for his lack of judgment and veracity. Huckabee is without a doubt the Republican's version of Bill Clinton without the moral pitfalls.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Regarding Quin Hillyer's closing question on why the mainstream media is ignoring Mike Huckabee's alleged ethical lapses, I think I know the answer: they do know about them, and are simply waiting to see if he secures the GOP nomination. Then they will unload on him like there's no tomorrow. For now, since he is down in the polls, they are content to play nice.

Don't forget, the MSM has a habit of doing this to Republican presidential aspirants; just ask John McCain.
-- Greg Hoadley

Quin Hillyer replies:
Mr. Hoadley is on the right track. The Clintons, being from Arkansas, probably have files two miles deep on Huckabee, and I believe they are eager to see him nominated so they can then, and only then, unleash the dogs of war against him and have Mrs. Clinton waltz into the Oval Office right over Huckabee's political carcass.

KILLING THE GOLDEN GOOSE
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Killing Business in Pennsylvania:

I guess this means that we will be having more people from Pennsylvania retiring and bringing their retirement income to Tennessee. We had a little bump from Connecticut after they passed their state income tax and another bump after the Enron mess from California.

I have heard that the population loss is helping the congestion problem somewhat in Philadelphia. Of course the local Metropolitan Planning Organization is probably taking the credit for their measures to suppress the number of miles vehicle miles traveled.

For those of you who stay in Pennsylvania: Cheer Up! Even the worst screw-ups can become very good bad examples.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

Cheer up, Professor Reiland! Governor Rendell is at the helm! Consider his plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Turnpike and at the same time turn Interstate Route 80 into a toll road! Sheer genius!

And the Casino's are now just getting started. One just opened this week in the Stroudsburg area while a Grand Jury in Harrisburg was still investigating whether it's owner has ties to organized crime or not. The owner was even allowed to pick the Auditors overseeing his management of the Casino. This after his first eight or so choices refused to take the positions after they found out they would be subject to investigations into their personal lives before they were appointed.

The population loss is statewide. As the saying goes: "Pennsylvania is a great state to be from!"

One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. Lincoln's Secretary of War was from Pennsylvania. Old Abe said about him that "If you invited him into your home, the only thing he wouldn't steal would be a red hot stove." Things haven't changed much since then.
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

A couple small but important additions to the "state of taxes" in Pennsylvania.

1) The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) runs the liquor business through its' LCB stores. The state sets the price and the profits go into the state treasury along with the sales tax they charge on top.

2) Pennsylvania is the only state to tax as regular income the pretax portion of the 401(k).
-- Wayne Applegate

Mr. Reiland states: "Just as stores compete for customers, states and counties compete with every other state and county for business -- and, more and more, compete with every part of the globe in what's now an increasingly integrated global economy."

Let's apply this idea to the country and the "increasingly integrated global economy" and consider some current Federal and State policies applied to businesses. Corporate taxes are high, as are individual taxes. It makes more sense to work in Texas or Tennessee than it does in New York or California because you keep more of what you earn. The two Ts don't have an income tax, just state sales taxes. The same is going to be true to a business. If you can run your manufacturing business at a lower tax in Tennessee than in Michigan, guess where the factories go? Now, let's take a look at a different consideration. Every corporation and business must pay so much money to hire and maintain each employee above and beyond the salary or wage of that employee. Social Security taxes, benefits, and other seen and unseen factors apply. Mean wages for the area also apply. You can pay a worker in Murfreesboro, Tennessee less than you pay him in Deerborn, Michigan and end with a happier, more capable, and better compensated worker due to the vast differences in the costs of living between these two metropolitan satellites. Cost of living is effected by many things, including area income and sales taxes, property taxes, and mean wages. This is one of the major reason that Detroit is losing people hand over fist, and the jobs that go with them, while places like Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Greensboro (all in Tennessee) are gaining both.

Now, how does this apply to the nation as a whole in the global economy? Our standard of living is the highest in the world, and wages are similar. But it's taxes, more than anything, which drive jobs out of the country. This is most effected in support sectors. Support doesn't earn new business, though it does help keep business. Without bringing new money in to provide for their own financials, making these areas more efficient financially requires less money being spent on them. There's a reason why every major computer manufacture has tech support and customer support in countries like Panama, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, and other developing countries. Not only can a company pay far lower wages in comparison to the U.S. (yet still provide some of the highest wages in these countries), but they pay far less in cost per employee (social security taxes, unemployment insurance, extra property taxes for a place for these people to work, etc). Manufacturing is another industry heavily affected by these considerations. These jobs are being sent overseas because it's better for the business, and consumers want the business to be there to continue to provide products and services.

These considerations cannot all be address by a single sweeping reform, but the first thing that must change is taxes. Taxes, and in that I mean all taxes of all types and on all levels, must start going down and be rearranged so as to be better for the individual. The first step in this is the Fair Tax (see www.fairtax.org) removing corporate taxes (more money for investments and employees), capital gain taxes (more prosperity for corporations and individuals alike), and Social Security/Medicare taxes (lowering the cost per employee for hiring in America).

The next step is lower entitlements, finding more efficient and less expensive means to provide unemployment services and health services, and many other issues.

If American wants to keep her place at the top, she's going to have to learn how to compete better across the board. We've had a technological and cultural advantage for nearly a century, but as we export that culture (while losing it ourselves) and technology, we give away our advantage. It's time we find a new one.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

As was observed long since, civilizations ascend to greatness in hobnailed boots and descend to oblivion in silken slippers.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

ENGLISH SPEAKING EASY
Re: Judd Magilnick's Celebrate Victory on Crispin's Day:

I am not comfortable with the recent comments concerning the English language and our culture. I am very concerned about illegal immigration because it is a matter of national security (and local security for border towns) and it is a huge waste of our tax resources to spend them on illegal immigrants. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with the English language.

In my state of Texas, the white culture dominated the Mexican and Native American cultures long ago because we became the majority. If that majority legally changes to a Hispanic culture there is nothing wrong with that. I believe that fighting for our culture and language is not the same thing as securing our borders. It sounds more like the cry of a person who desires social dominance and I don't think it is a fight I am concerned about.
-- Adam Jones
Arlington, Texas

Henry V had no legal claim to the throne of England, he was the son of a usurper called Henry IV, let alone the throne of France. His invasion of France was a brutal act of aggression. He also had the throats of his French prisoners cut. Also his army was "English" not "British" as Great Britain did not come into being until the Stuart Kings in the 17th century.
-- Joel Goldberg

If, as the author suggests, we have a 600th anniversary celebration of Agincourt with fireworks and we invite the French, how will we keep them from waving a white flag and surrendering when the fireworks are discharged?

I'm sorry, but it had to be said.
-- Andrew Cole

TIMES ARE CHANGING
Re: Henry Gekonde's Language and Immigration:

Henry Gekonde rhetorically asks "Why don't they[Spanish shopkeepers] learn English?"

The question of course should best have been asked of the shopkeeper. The likely answer is that not only is there no need to, but there is real reason and/or pressure not to.

Whenever this question comes up, an episode of the infamous TV series "The Untouchables" comes to mind. Some Italian-American tailor was being squeezed by the Mob, and of course was approached by Eliot Ness / Robert Stack, and the tailor explained that he loved his new country so much, and so terribly wanted to be a good American, that he named his American born son Paul and not Paulo. Unfortunately, the son had gotten involved with the Mob, with dire results, but that was a different matter.

All of us are perfectly capable of respecting our ethnic heritage, yet always be 100% American. I love Italian food. My own veal picatta with a side of long fusilli "al dente" in my red gravy is to die for. The best and hottest looking women in the world are originally from the Boot, but regrettably have an even worse crazy gene than the men. I've been from Como to Palermo, and every place of significance in between. But it is Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" that blubbers me up, not for a second "O Sole Mio." Ditto "America the Beautiful." Most readers of TAS have a passport and an American Express card. They can show up at Kennedy or Dulles or Logan and go wherever they want on a moment's notice. But we know how good we've got it, and are both immensely proud and grateful for it.

Why the difference? Pardon my invoking Hollywood again, but like Michael said to Mama Corleone, "tempo cambi," times are changing. For one, see above, there is no urgent need to learn or speak English. But much more significantly, the changing times of dictated cultural equivalences have required that one's ethnic pride be expressed by not learning or speaking English. It is unrealistic to expect most people to defy that combination. That will not change until the reality of the superiority of traditional American culture be once again taught in schools, portrayed in film, and publicly displayed with pride.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MISERY
Re: Francis Hannon and Dave Livingston's letter (under "Discounting Values") in The Enemy of the Imperfect and Jeffrey Lord's Dr. Dobson and Justice Bork:

With regard to the threat of some conservative leaders such as Dr. James Dobson to sit out the 2008 election unless an ideologically pure conservative is on the ballot (see

Dr. Dobson and Justice Bork), I am reminded of the epitaph composed by Jefferson Davis for the defeated Confederacy: "Died of a Theory."
-- Stuart Koehl
Falls Church, Virginia

Let me see if I understand this. Someone won't vote for Giuliani because of he's not pro-life enough, even if it means Hillary Clinton will be elected, and she's even less pro-life than Giuliani.

Help!
-- A. C. Santore
Pennsylvania

When I studied Civics 101 (in grade school) I was taught that voting for president involved doing what was best for the country, even if I had some personal disagreements with one or another candidate.

Yes, Mayor Giuliani seems to be "pro-choice" -- but he is adamantly against "partial-birth abortion." Hillary supports PBA. Anti-gun? He was the mayor of New York City, and had an obligation to enforce the law. The Clintons (well, one of 'em) signed DiFi's AWB into law. If Hillary is elected, you can expect a redux of the AWB. Since you apparently don't like homosexuals, I would remind you that, while Dame Hillary ran the White House, the place was crawling with them. You claim to be a Roman Catholic. Are you aware that, in 1960, many otherwise-rational Americans flatly refused to vote for John F. Kennedy -- or any other Catholic, for that matter?

There is a phrase that aptly describes those who would foist off upon us the Stalinist Mrs. Bill Clinton in order to indulge their personal prejudices and their desire to "feel good." That phrase is "incredibly self-centered."
-- David Gonzalez (who isn't, particularly, a Rudy fan)
Wheeling, Illinois

It seems that Mr. Hannon and Mr. Livingston, in light of their immovable positions, forget that a Clinton administration guarantees that at least nothing will be done about abortion or at most rolls back the gains conservatives have seen, small that they are. Let's be brash about it: more babies will be killed under a Clinton administration than a Giuliani administration -- certainly not less. Is that what they want? I'm as socially conservative as the next guy, but that's foolish. I believe we're held accountable to our votes, too. What about our non-votes, or our throwaway votes? Kill more babies to make a point? No thanks.
-- Jesse Milligan

You can slam Rudy Giuliani for merely opposing partial-birth abortion, government subsidies of abortion, and gay marriage (while, admittedly, supporting gay civil unions and gay rights), but the fact is that Giuliani is the strongest Republican candidate in terms of meaningful family values.

Complete bans on abortion and gay rights are conservative social goals that cannot be achieved in the next eight years. Most Americans still need a lot of convincing before they will support either ban. Therefore, social conservatives need to focus on public opinion on these issues, not Presidential litmus tests.

But on family values issues where something meaningful can be done in the next eight years, Rudy Giuliani is hands-down the best person running for President of the USA. Rudy is anti-crime, anti-pornography, anti-welfare, pro-free market, and pro-school choice. And his track record shows that he not only means what he says, he gets it done too.

The last issue alone (school choice) makes Rudy far superior to any other Republican candidate in terms of meaningful family values. Rudy is the only candidate to aggressively advocate vouchers, including vouchers allowing parents to choose a religiously affiliated school or home schooling.

The government monopoly on education is destroying not only the ability of Americans to compete in a global marketplace of rapidly advancing technology, but is also undermining morality, ethics, and the idea of the family itself. Public schools teach second-graders that having two moms or two dads is just as normal as having one of each. They have even been known to demonstrate homosexual positions to elementary school students. They teach that Western culture is imperialist, racist, and generally unfair to everyone except white males. They teach that religion is refuted by science and can only be taken seriously by stupid fanatics. They teach that capitalism is evil, profits are anti-social, and global-warming proves the necessity of one-world, UN-style (read, non-democratic) government.

Anyone who really cares about family values, rather than mere pompous preening, will support Rudy Giuliani and nobody else, on the issue of school choice alone. Look at what he accomplished in New York City. He can move this country toward private schooling at the K-12 levels over the next eight years, and that will do more for family values than anything else you can name.
-- Richard Marliave
Oakland, California

I will vote for McCain, Giuliani, Thompson...Hell, even Ron Paul if nominated because the Republican party is the only Conservative party we have. Nonetheless, you have to give Dr. Dobson his due. "Frost" gives himself away by using the phrase "anti-Choice platitudes."

Hillary or not Hillary, Frost is not likely to give any quarter to the social-conservatives. Even at this late date, many simply do not recognize that abortion is not simply one issue among others. It is a transcendent issue against which all others pale. "What good is it to save the nation from socialized medicine and yet lose the unborn by the millions?" Unfortunately, a whole lot of Republicans would be all too happy to make the trade.

The truth is, 2008 will not be a unique election. There will always be Hillary's and Giuliani's. Social conservatives will always be expected to take the back seats in order to win the next election. And what will social conservatives get? Nothing.

It is only by threatening the next election that social conservatives are given a hearing within the party. If "Frost" doesn't like it, tough. "We" have your number, too. You "hard reality" types should know that you can't get something for nothing.
-- Mike Dooley

PILGRIMAGE TO ROME
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's The Power and the Glory:

A beautiful column. An hour spent in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament -- that used to be a standard Lenten means of recalling and strengthening one's Catholic Faith. I was in Italy decades ago as a military dependent and remember the shrines in churches festooned with letters of thanks to the saint or the Blessed Virgin (a bent and broken steering wheel with an inscription describing the driver's miraculous survival was my favorite).

I thank Ms. Fabrizio for this most inspiring column.
-- unsigned

IRAQ'S BAND
Re: Shawn Macomber's A New Soldiers' Hymn:

God bless Drowning Pool, and God bless the troops.
-- Mark Schlesinger
Columbus, Ohio

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