Friday, January 11, 2008

Taking a look at the Republican candidates

It’s time to take a look at the candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president. For many conservatives, a candidate’s position on such issues as immigration, border control, taxes and economic policies and foreign policies (not necessarily in that order) are very important in deciding which candidate to support in the primaries.

Huckabee won the Iowa caucus and the news media has tried to propel the Arkansas governor into a front runner position. The results of the New Hampshire primary did not indicate support among Republicans for Huckabee but the liberal press tried to portray the vote in New Hampshire as somehow a good result for him; obviously trying to divide Republicans to the advantage of whomever becomes the Democrat nominee. However, as Senator Fred Thompson pointed out recently, Huckabee’s positions on important issues more resemble the Democrat policies than conservative views.

Huckabee is in favor of closing the Guantanamo Bay facility for enemy combatants and supports taxpayer-funded programs for illegal immigrants. The governor’s record in Arkansas shows him to favor tax increases and his support of the federal government over state’s rights is exemplified by his support of a national law to restrict smoking. Huckabee has no foreign policy and has even refused to support the war against Islamic terrorists. Also, Huckabee is portrayed as a “populist” but that is not a good thing for conservatives. As I explained in a previous article on this blog, a populist is one who “offers unorthodox solutions or policies” that are not in accordance “with traditional” ideologies of the party whose nomination the candidate seeks". Clearly, as a ‘populist’, Huckabee is not someone who supports the views held by most Republicans.

Two years ago Huckabee appeared before an open-borders Hispanic group preaching an ‘open-door policy' and also criticized state legislation requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote as “un-American", “race-baiting” and “demagoguery” (according to the Arkansas News Bureau). He also said of opponents of amnesty for illegal immigrants; they are “driven by racism and nativism”.

If anyone needs more evidence that Huckabee may be a better candidate for the Democrats than for Republicans, here is what the 'populist' said recently:

“We need to make sure that we communicate that our party is just as interested in helping the people who are single moms, who are working two jobs and still barely paying the rent as we are the people at the top of the economy”.

John McCain won the New Hampshire primary but it is debatable whether it was because Republicans voted for him. In the open New Hampshire primary, McCain received votes of so-called ‘independents’ and very likely some Democrats who crossed over because they did not want to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama. Actually, Mitt Romney appears to have received more Republican votes than McCain.

In any case, the outcome of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire is determinative of absolutely nothing insofar as indicating the preference of Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular.

McCain may be more ‘Republican’ than Huckabee but he has been on the wrong side of very important issues. For one, McCain has been an avid supporter of illegal immigrants and is in favor of ‘amnesty’ while doing nothing to close our borders. [McCain once called Rush Limbaugh a ‘nativist” for opposing amnesty.] What conservative can forget the disastrous McCain-Feingold attack on the 1st Amendment? As a result of this law incumbents have an enormous advantage and issue advocacy proponents also took a body blow. If these aren’t bad enough, McCain led the ‘group of 14’ Republican and Democrat senators who thwarted appointments of conservative appellate judges.

As for the former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giulani once said “I supported sanctuary policies before I was against them, but my sanctuary policy wasn’t really a sanctuary policy anyway”. Giulani also brought a suit against the government to block them from enforcing immigration laws. He also invited illegal aliens into open-borders safe harbors.

McCain and Giulani are now attempting to jump the open-border sinking ship but how can the be trusted to adopt different policies after the election than the immigration policies they expressed before running for the Republican nomination this time around?
Senator Fred Thompson is likely the most conservative of the four remaining main candidates for the Republican nomination. He has been criticized as a candidate for not appearing to have "fire in the belly", i.e. not working hard enough to seek the nomination. However, more recently he seems to have awakened to the task. If he continues along that path, he may turn out to be the more consistent conservative candidate Reagan Republicans can support.

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