Friday, November 30, 2007

The true compassionate conservative

Question is, is he a true conservative?

My friend Jon at Crushliberalism, while intrigued by Huck's support of the Fair Tax, thinks he's not, and the mere thought of a Dubya reprisal is enough to just say no.

Me? Like Glenn Beck, I'm still on the fence for a number of reasons. But I do find Huckabee the most genuine-sounding of all the candidates running. The jury is still out as to whether that genuineness is live or memorex.

On the surface he makes good horse sense. I've been telling my kids for years that capitalism unchecked by personal morals or ethics is dangerous to a civilization. The Founders certainly seemed to echo that concern, at least one of them.

That said, having the market decide things is ultimately less evil than having some self-serving bureaucrat or politician do it. I'm not real sure where Huck comes down on that question yet, but many religious conservatives sometimes feel compelled to lean towards a big government solution when push comes to shove, ie, Katrina. The compassionate side takes over, which can also apply to illegal aliens and trying to understand and reason with al Qaeda. At such a point they are nothing more than a liberal in sheep's clothing.

Take his advocacy for a national smoking ban. Not a smoker and never have been, but I cringe at the idea of having the government pass a law banning such activity on the street corner or inside a home. I'm not sure Huck feels that passion.

And while the Fair Tax sounds great it's probably the one big carrot he's throwing to the right to overcome his weaknesses in other areas, knowing it'll never come to pass. When Congress eventually shoots it down that will provide some cover when he eventually has to raise taxes. "Well, I tried to pass the Fair Tax", etc.

Despite all that I'm still torn. Mitt seems too perfect and Rudy just the opposite, and Fred is having trouble overcoming his dull lack of passion. McCain is just never gonna do it. Sometimes I think it might benefit America to have a moral leader like Huckabee, presumably somebody who is just left enough to bring the country back together. Then reality sets in--this man is an ex Baptist preacher, just think how the militant gay and abortion rights advocates will go after him. But a genuine man of principle, a potential statesman president, is mighty attractive.

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