I Don’t Get It – Huckabee vs Romney Comparison

11 02 2008

Filed under: Politics, Election, 2008, Huckabee, Romney, Conservatism

UPDATED with comparison chart, reader emails. Scroll for updates…

I know it’s already too late. I probably shouldn’t even be writing this post. But it may, just may, have future implications, say . . . around 2012. Or even this year with VP considerations. That is primarily why I am raising this issue now. I should also make it clear that my goal is not to change anyone’s mind about their vote (past or forthcoming). It’s simply a matter of principle that Huckabee was subjected to false criticism that no one discussed.

Here is my plight. Please help me understand:

Why did conservative pundits compare Romney’s presidential campaign positives to Huckabee’s governor negatives?

This became increasingly obvious since January and with the less popular candidates dropping out. Conservative pundits, fearing Huckabee’s rise an presumed unelectability, assumed that Huckabee would run the country exactly like he ran Arkansas. But they gave Romney a pass on his conservative shortcomings and assumed his presidency would be run according his newfound conservatism. This despite the fact that Huckabee’s governor record nearly mirror’s Reagan’s. This despite a far longer list of conservative imperfections on Romney than Huckabee.

I’ve compiled a chart of their views, as governors, to demonstrate the unfair comparisons of Huckabee’s governor record vs. Romney’s presidential campaign views.

HuckabeeRomney
Click image to enlarge

A few points:

  1. If a candidate is going to have a change of mind on any issue, it is critical that it be on a political issue (immigration, taxes, healthcare) and not on a moral issue (abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage). Political issues, such as the ones cited above, can change over the course of five or ten years and demand candidates take stronger stances or place greater priority on them than prior offices held. Moral issues are absolutes and never change, despite where the popular culture is headed.
  2. If a candidate must flip flop on a moral issue, it is more acceptable in a younger age (20’s or 30’s). But Romney changed his heart in his 50’s.
  3. Romney’s Massachusetts version of universal healthcare has largely been ignored by conservative pundits throughout the course of the campaign. So has his history of not selecting constructionist judges.
  4. Based on the crucial gravity of moral issues, the score I allotted to the candidates for these issues is weighted more than on a political issue. The fact that conservative pundits and the conservative establishment place a higher value on political issues, by ganging up on Huckabee, illustrates an ignorance of the basic three parts of conservatism, social, defense, economic.

I realize this is hard to swallow, especially since Romney has now graciously “taken one for the team” while Huckabee is still on his “quest to undermine the party.” I want to re-emphasize my goal is not change anyone’s mind on their vote. My intention two-fold: 1) point out the unfair criticism of Huckabee and 2) the inconsistency of comparing Huckabee’s governor record with Romney’s newfound conservatism.

UPDATE – 2/14/08: Reader Jon emails:

One word…Money! Over the last few years, Romney has made numerous “targeted” donations to Conservative and Socially Conservative organizations (too many to list).

When Huckabee skyrocketed to the top of the National polls last November, it caught Conservative Talk Show hosts and the Republican establishment by surprise. Remember McCain was way behind in the polls and what putting all his hopes on New Hampshire…so no one was concerned about him.

The Talk Show hosts (Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh) couldn’t understand why their guy, Romney wasn’t gaining in the National polls when he was spending money on TV ads and Campaign staff. So, they attacked Huckabee hoping he would drop and Romney would gain.

Money over morals. Indeed, it’s the prayers of Christians that keep God’s favor on this country.

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