January 11, 2008

Escape & Evasion

Fred Thompson was strong in last night's South Carolina GOP debate. For once, it wasn't only Romney who effectively targeted Mike Huckabee for the pretender that he is.

In one exchange, Thompson ticked off a devastating litany of the not-so-conservative credentials of Mr. Huckabee. When given the chance to respond, as pointed out by the guys at Powerline, Huckabee addressed exactly none of the very valid points made by Thompson.

Instead, Huckabee smiled and trotted out one of his tired cliches:

"The Air Force has a saying that says that if you're not catching flak, you're not over the target. I'm catching the flak, I must be over the target."

This huckster-ism wasn't even appropriate. He's certainly not "catching flak" because he is too conservative, that's for sure. In fact, exactly the opposite. If the "target" is Reagan conservatism, he's at least three timezones away from being "over the target". Chuckabee must have zoned out during Thompson's laundry list because this generic answer, meant to charm the audience, was not a good fit rhetorically based upon what Thompson said.

I, for one, have had my fill of one-liners and quips in this election cycle. Mike Huckabee is trying to smile and wise crack his way into the White House at this point. He's the used car salesman of Presidential politics.

Here's what Thompson said of Huckabee to which the silver tongued Huckster escaped and evaded with no substantive response:

"This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future. On the one hand, you have the Reagan revolution. You have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security.

On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies. He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy and the tradition of, blame America first. He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually. He believes in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas. He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers. He said he would sign a bill that would ban smoking nationwide. So much for federalism. So much for states' rights. So much for individual rights.

That's not the model of the Reagan coalition, that's the model of the Democratic Party.

Right on Fred, right on.

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