by Laurence M. Vance: Why
They Hate Us
Mike Huckabee, A
Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington
(and a Trillion That We Don’t!) (Sentinel, 2011), x + 228
pgs., hardcover, $26.95.
Just as all
the clowns aren’t in the circus, so all the Republicans aren’t in
the 2012 presidential race.
I think that
Mike Huckabee – former governor of Arkansas, ordained Baptist minister,
2008 Republican presidential candidate, host of the TV show Huckabee
and the radio program The Huckabee Report, chairman of the
political organization HuckPAC, widely sought-after public speaker,
and bestselling New York Times author – made a wise political
decision by not entering the 2012 presidential race. The Republican
field is large, and the Democrats have the incumbency advantage.
True, twentieth-century incumbents Bush Sr., Carter, Ford, Hoover,
and Taft were defeated for reelection, but incumbents Bush Jr.,
Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, Coolidge,
Wilson, and Teddy Roosevelt were victorious in their bid to return
to the White House.
is not a candidate this time (born in 1955, he is young enough
to run in the next few presidential elections), I decided to review
his book anyway because it emits the typical Republican hot air
that we are hearing from the major Republican presidential candidates
right now (except, of course, for the truth machine – Ron Paul).
The first thing
I noticed about the book (aside from its high price – $26.95 for
a 238-page, small [5.5 x 8.5] hardcover book), is that Huckabee
and/or his editor[s] couldn’t decide when the book was actually
written. In the introduction, Huckabee says that he is writing "in
the fall of 2010." The introduction closes with "Mike
Huckabee, October 2010." But on page 207, he says that he is
writing "just a few days after the election" while six
House seats "are still unconfirmed," which would be November
2010. We know that Huckabee finished writing the book before Congress
voted to extend the Bush tax cuts (December 17), because he often
refers to the tax cuts expiring and the tax rates going up in January
After the introduction,
the book has twelve chapters, an epilogue, acknowledgments, notes,
and an index. Each chapter has a particular theme (family values,
local government, taxes, spending and debt, health care, education,
the environment, immigration, and faith in the future), except for
chapters 9-11, which I call the warmongering chapters.
and libertarians would agree with many things that Huckabee says
in chapters 1-8. Some conservatives and most libertarians would
disagree with most of what Huckabee says in chapters 9-11. Chapter
12 is just fluff.
redistribution of wealth, public assistance, abortion, Obamacare,
out-of-wedlock births, public employee unions, government debt and
deficits, tax increases, the estate tax, and government stimulus
programs. He talks about the Tenth Amendment and local government.
He maintains that "states are increasingly enslaved to the
federal masters." He wants Congress to "define all spending
as discretionary." On Social Security, Huckabee even calls
for raising the retirement age, cutting benefits, delaying payments
to the elderly by giving them tax incentives to keep working, and
offering those who don’t need Social Security the option of a tax-free,
lump-sum benefit payable at their death to their chosen beneficiary
in lieu of collecting Social Security benefits. On Medicare, he
calls for raising the age of eligibility.
falls short of labeling Social Security and Medicare what they really
are – redistribution of wealth schemes that he condemns – and calling
for their elimination. This is the problem with Huckabee and most
Republicans and conservatives – they fall short, too short and too
So, out of
one side of his mouth Huckabee can disparage the things he does,
but out of the other side he can support government-funded school
breakfasts, "the right of every citizen to a free public education,"
vouchers for Medicare recipients, elimination of the home mortgage
interest deduction, the FairTax with its public-assistance, wealth-redistributing
prebate, the Race to the Top federal program, a "reasonable
deficit" of no more than 3 percent of GDP, and "hefty
fines and prison time" for employers who choose to hire whom
I note also
that Huckabee gives some dubious health advice on PSA tests, colonoscopies,
mammograms, and cholesterol. (See LRC articles by Dr. Miller, Dr.
Mercola, Dr. McDougall, and Bill Sardi).
The worst part
of Huckabee’s book is, of course, the three chapters on terrorism,
the military, and foreign policy. As mentioned previously, they
are the warmongering chapters. Here Huckabee basically calls for
perpetual war and defends drone strikes, the TSA, Guantanamo, a
European missile shield, and preemptive war while disparaging Miranda
rights, the Geneva Conventions, and FISA. Like he did in chapters
1-8, here Huckabee also talks out of both sides of his mouth. He
says we should stay out of the Israel/Palestinian conflict but "provide
Israel all the moral and military support she needs and deserves."
So much for staying out of it. What Huckabee actually believes is
that the United States "cannot give up on the wars in the Middle
East until we’ve definitively finished the job there." Huckabee
maintains that Bush "was only half right when he said that
we have to fight them there so that we won’t have to fight them
here." He says we should "fight them here, there, and
The most disgusting
statement in the book is found on page 176. With Huckabee being
a Baptist preacher, one would think that he might call for missionaries
to go to Iraq and Afghanistan and convert Muslims to Christianity
instead of calling for U.S. soldiers to go and kill them:
too many of our troops spending too much of their time painting
schools and digging wells. They should be allowed to focus on
killing Islamic extremists who want us all to die.
is a simple-minded warmonger; that is, he is indistinguishable from
Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Although it would be sad if he
ever ran for president again, even worse is the fact that millions
of Christians would vote for him.
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, and Rethinking
the Good War. His latest book is The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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