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Friday, December 07, 2007

Thinking about Mike Huckabee

I want to preface this post by saying that there are very few Republican candidates who could make me think of voting Democratic in the upcoming Presidential election. One is Ron Paul and depending who's on the other side of the slate, that would be a tough choice. The other is Pat Buchanan and I don't think he's running. So the odds are pretty high that I'm voting with the elephant in 2008. Having said that, there are still primaries to get through.

Back in August, I did a positive post on former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, whom I regarded as a dark horse but maybe a running mate for Giuliani. Recent polls show Huckabee in the thick of the race in Iowa, and I thought this might be a good time to revisit his campaign.

I started to write this post with a bit of discomfort because I heard some things from the Huckabee campaign this week that gave me the creeps. One was this piece at Hot Air which, aside from bringing back memories of Willie Horton in the 1988 election (when I still lived in the US), especially upset me because of this quote from a Byron York piece in National Review:
Critics, and some friends, too, say Huckabee’s position [to release rapist Wayne Dumond - see the full piece at the Hot Air link above. CiJ] was deeply influenced by his Christian faith. “When I first met him, I was going through his positions on issues and I said, ‘You’re a conservative, so I’m sure you oppose granting parole for violent felons,’” says Dick Morris, the campaign consultant who ran Huckabee’s first run for lieutenant governor. “And he said, ‘Oh no, I would never take that position, because the concept of Christian duty requires that there is a possibility of forgiveness. The concept of Christian forgiveness requires that we keep open the process of parole — use it sparingly, but keep it open.’”

When I ask Huckabee about that, he reminds me that he was tough on a lot of criminals, too. “Heck, I executed more people than any governor in the history of the state,” Huckabee tells me. “It’s not something I’m bragging about, I’m just saying that if it had been simply a matter of my Christian conscience saying I don’t believe in capital punishment, then I was pretty lousy in my conscience.” Watching him speak, it’s clear Huckabee feels deeply about the issue. If he continues to rise in the polls, it’s likely he’ll be talking about it a lot more.
That got me to thinking, what if he decided that the 'Palestinians' need to be forgiven for murdering all those Jews over the last 90 years? Will he suddenly turn around and decide to give them a state reichlet that will turn into the end of the Jewish state if (as would be expected) they continue with their terror onslaught?

Then, there was this in National Review's The Campaign Spot blog yesterday:

First Mrs. Huckabee:

Janet Huckabee also admitted she is "very disappointed" in the National Right to Life's decision to endorse Thompson over her husband. "Mike has been a true Right to Life person,” she said. “He's marched in the Right to Life parades for 13 years. He's just been a big supporter pro-life legislation, and it was disappointing to him."

"God's a big God," Huckabee continued. "If he wants us to continue to go and to fight the giants, we'll do that. You remember Jesus feeding the 5,000 with two fishes and five loaves. So, we're multiplying our money. Every dollar spends like a thousand and every prayer we get is like a million bucks."

Comparing effective use of campaign funds to a miracle? Cringe. Well, it's just the candidate's wife, it's not like Huckabee would say something like...

STUDENT: Recent polls show you surging... What do you attribute this surge to?

HUCKABEE: There's only one explanation for it, and it's not a human one. It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of five thousand people. (Applause) That's the only way that our campaign can be doing what it's doing. And I'm not being facetious nor am I trying to be trite. There literally are thousands of people across this country who are praying that a little will become much, and it has. And it defies all explanation, it has confounded the pundits. And I'm enjoying every minute of them trying to figure it out, and until they look at it, from a, just experience beyond human, they'll never figure it out. And it's probably just as well. That's honestly why it's happening.

Wow. Huckabee's been endorsed by both Chuck Norris AND Jesus Christ.

It's no great secret here that I believe in God. I wear my religion in my heart and on my head (Jewish men keep a skullcap on their head at all times to remind us that God is present), but not on my sleeve. For a mortal to think that God has spoken to him in December 2007 is a bit beyond the pale for me. The Rabbis tell us that these days, God only speaks to children and fools. I sure hope Mike Huckabee is neither of the above.

I felt better about Huckabee when I started to look for his position on a 'Palestinian' state reichlet (recall that I said in August that it wasn't mentioned) when I found this in a report of a campaign appearance in New Hampshire in October:

In response to a question about the Middle East from Rabbi Moshe Bleich of the Wellesley-Weston Chabad Center, Gov. Huckabee expressed frustration with Israeli politicians who wanted to give away the Golan Heights and firmly opposed dividing Jerusalem.

When asked about a Palestinian state, Gov. Huckabee stated that he supports creating a Palestinian state, but believes that it should be formed outside of Israel. He named Egypt and Saudi Arabia as possible alternatives, noting that the Arabs have far more land than the Israelis and that it would only be fair for other Arab nations to give the Palestinians land for a state, rather than carving it out of the tiny Israeli state.

Gov. Huckabee, who has visited Israel nine times, also expressed support for moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and stressed the importance of making America energy independent in ten years for both environmental and national security reasons. “We just can’t continue to be dependent on Saudi oil,” explained Huckabee, “I want to be able to tell the Saudis that we need their oil about as much as we need their sand.”

I think the Saudi desert will freeze over before Saudi Arabia or Egypt gives a grain of sand to the 'Palestinians' for their reichlet. So the fact that Huckabee thinks there ought to be a 'Palestinian' reichlet puts him behind Giuliani in my book because Giuliani has come right out and said that America should not support a terror 'Palestinian' state at all. On the other hand, if Huckabee were the Republican nominee, I don't think I would have a problem voting for him. But he's got to work out this stuff about God talking to him: I think God has better things to do.


At 6:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Look, I have problems with Huckabee about a lot of things, but not Israel. After his endorsement by unwavering Christian Zionist Tim LaHaye, Huckabee's position on Israel is clear and firm--Tim LaHaye,'nuf said--no really, Huckabee doesn't need to say a thing, while Jews may not understand the significance of the LaHaye endorsement, for Christian Zionists it's like shorthand for telling us where Huckabee stands.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

I don't think you should focus too much on what he said about G-d. The Christian relationship with G-d is an intimate personal relationship via our mediator in Yeshua. It is probably hard for you to understand this, being Jewish. Yes the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a holy G-d who deserves to be feared and revered, but why did he create Adam and Eve? Fellowship with man. What Mike Huckabee said is very normal for most Christian evangelicals, although somewhat odd for a Baptist. Christians walk closely with their G-d.

I will say this, the Independent
Baptists are the best friend Israel has, ask any Muslim. A Muslim visited my pastor insisting he reveal how much he gives to Israel, my pastor said "nothing" and the Muslim kept insisting. The Muslim said "everybody knows independent baptists are the best friend Israel has"... I'm unsure if Huck is a Southern Baptist or Independant though, but the theology is very similar among both and both preach and teach supporting and loving the Jewish state. I cannot recall how many times my pastor, a Baptist, said this: "That little strip of land is theirs, and you don't mess with the Jew". Too many times to count. If Huck is the real deal, he'll be a much better friend to Israel than Dubya.

BTW, Jimmy Carter is only a baptist in name, I'm hating all the comparisons over at HotAir. The fact he is anti-semitic proves he is no Baptist. Out of all the Christian denominations, the Baptists are even more supportive of Israel than the evangelicals. Go to sermonaudioDOTcom and look for "Marc Monte" and listen to his sermons on Israel and the ones on Islam.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I respectfully disagree with kronik about the Independent Baptists being the strongest supporters of Israel in comparison to the Southern Baptists. (Full disclosure, I am nondenominational.) Jimmy Carter left the Southern Baptists I can't remember, maybe 7-10 years ago, something like that, and he and Bill Clinton have announced starting a new Baptist group, to convene in early 2008, I think. The late Jerry Falwell was unflinchingly pro-Israel and a Southern Baptist. Of the denominations in existence (i.e., not those like myself who attend independent, nondenominational or "Bible" churches), I strongly believe the Southern Baptists are the strongest defenders of Israel by far, because they do not adhere to "replacement theology" but take the word Israel in the Bible to refer to literal Israel. That said, many Southern Baptists for a variety of reasons, are hybrid in their theology or fall under that label due to tradition not belief, "cultural Baptists".

Independent Baptists just aren't a monolithic group, with some, probably most, adhering to "covenant theology" (similar to replacement theology) and therefore perpetuating anti-judaic doctrine that manifests itself in anti-zionism. Others, though, are friends of Israel. kronik, your pastor gives nothing to Israel--not to Magen David? not for aliyah? nothing?

Seeing as how Carl is "in Jerusalem," there is a Jewish Christian pastor there who, like myself, considers himself in the Baptist vein, though I believe he's nondenominational as well. Anyway, his name is Meno Kalisher and his church is the Jerusalem Assembly. He's involved with Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, which has been around since 1948 (!), and he can provide resources and/or explanation about the Baptists and their different positions on Israel could ask him, he's a nice guy who explains things well.

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