Here's a quick post on a wonderful snuggly rainy Saturday. Family games in front of the fire and Miracle On 34th Street are on tap for later. I wanted to post today because I'm concerned about the first real mistake I've seen the Huckabee campaign make.
Mike Huckabee's decision to write an article for a respected (ie mainstream elites) foreign policy magazine was probably necessary, but he's made a pretty severe tactical error by his forceful criticism of the Bush Administration's so-called arrogant "bunker mentality." What, pray tell, would Huckabee have had George Bush do in a post-9/11 environment when the consensus of the intelligence community pointed toward Irag's possession of weapons of mass destruction? Remember that the leadership of France and Germany based their foreign policy on opposition to America's interests. Remember the noxious corruption of the UN, evidenced in the Oil For Food scandal. Remember that, conversely, many nations, including England, Australia, Poland, and others have been staunch allies of Bush Administration policies. Remember also that, pre-9/11, candidate George Bush campaigned on a platform of "humility" in American foreign policy. The recognition of the civilized world's mortal danger from Islamic terrorists forced the change in Bush's foreign policy approach, and thank God for George Bush's willingness to face the threat. I certainly don't agree with everything the President has done, but it's helpful to no one at this point for Republican Presidential candidates to use such incendiary rhetoric.
Not only am I disappointed in Huckabee for making these statements, but it raises legitimate questions about his willingness to stand up to the liberal elites' conventional wisdom on any number of other issues. I've been a huge Huckabee supporter, in part because of his willingness to stand up for social and cultural truths unpopular on the East and West Coasts. Huckabee allayed my initial concerns about his commitment to limited government and personal liberty with his Second Amendment support and his advocacy of the FAIR Tax. If his purpose in writing this article was for short-term media approbation, his character is not as strong as I'd thought. If he actually believes such silly claptrap, his judgment and philosophy are suspect. I admit I haven't read Huckabee's article, but only seen excerpts from it, but even if the reporting on the article is incorrect, Huckabee should have had the good sense to see how the article would be portrayed.
None of the exogenous attacks on Huckabee that I've seen could harm him significantly, in my opinion. Unfortunately, this unnecessary and self-inflicted blunder has the potential to stall the enthusiasm of his supporters and his appeal to those voters for whom national security is the paramount issue. Even if Huckabee survives the Romney and Thompson attacks in Iowa and New Hampshire, this article supplies Rudy Giuliani with plenty of ammunition to use against Huckabee later in the nominating process. What a big mistake! I hope Mike Huckabee has the good sense to back away from these comments, and the quicker the better.