Mike Huckabee, Texas Ranger

by Jeff Siegel

I like Chuck Norris. I really do. His American chop sockey movies from the 1980s are still fun to watch, even though they lack basic acting, writing, and directing skills. And Walker, Texas Ranger, his 1990s TV show, is even more fun. Not only was much of it filmed in the part of Dallas where I live, but how can one not like a program where Norris – who sings about as well as I do – does the title song?

Yet are we ready for Norris as Mike Huckabee's secretary of defense?

There is much to make of last night's Iowa caucus results, but Huckabee's victory might be the most stunning. The former Arkansas governor is a Baptist minister who doesn't believe in evolution, doesn't drink, doesn't support abortion, favors a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage, wants to build the border fence, plans to abolish the IRS in favor of a national sales tax, backs President George Bush in Iraq, and trusts insurance companies to reform the health care system.

And Republicans in Iowa gave him almost 35 percent of the vote. This says two things: That the GOP's far right still controls the party, even in a state as moderate as Iowa, and that those voters don't realize how unpopular Bush is with everyone who isn't on the far right of the GOP. Huckabee is a double-plus Bush (to paraphrase George Orwell), with Norris at his side instead of Karl Rove.

The question is not whether Huckabee can get the nomination. The question is whether the two-thirds of the Republican party who are more or less rational will unite to stop him. Otherwise, what's left of the Republican Party in the northeast after eight years of Bush will eventually be as relevant as the Libertarians.

The Democratic results, with Barack Obama winning with about 38 percent, are less surprising. Iowa Democrats do not especially like front runners, be they Howard Dean in 2004 or Michael Dukakis in 1988 (who finished third). Its most famous "winner" was Jimmy Carter in 1976, who was almost unknown before finishing second to "uncommitted."

Still, the Obama people should not read too much into this. Hillary Clinton is far from finished; Dukakis got the nomination in 1988, after all. Obama benefited from a massive turnout, almost twice that of the 2004 caucus and 16 percent of the total who voted in the 2004 presidential election. That's an amazing number, and there is no guarantee the Obama campaign can repeat it elsewhere.

Finally, do not overlook the color of Obama's skin. The New York Times makes much of the fact that race was not a factor: "Mr. Obama’s victory in this overwhelmingly white state was a powerful answer to the question of whether America was prepared to vote for a black person for president." Perhaps. But Iowa is not Texas, where a 66-year-old woman was arrested last week in suburban Dallas for assaulting an African-American who had moved into her neighborhood. And Texas is not Mississippi or Alabama.

For previous posts on Barack Obama, please see:

(Political graphic © copyright DarkBlack and used with permission. For more material like this, please see DarkBlack's blog.)

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Anonymous said...

Obama's victory speech in Iowa was fantastic, this guy is starting to make a believer of me.

I agree he has a long road ahead of him but his message is so much more in tune with the public than Rodham Clinton and he is so dynamic that I really believe he has a chance.

On color, I don't want to be naive, but if for one second I can be, Obama's mother is 100% white and his father is 100% black. Technically speaking he is every bit as white as he is black. If race is going to be an issue in the south, why don't folks just start saying he's white??

Winghunter said...

Whoever the anonymous clown is talking about Obama...If the inexperienced and unqualified man were white we'ld be patting him on the head and say "See you next time". Therefore, you have no idea what to look for in a presidentail candidate and you have an eve lesser idea of loyalty and responsibility. Don't go away mad, just go away.

Candidate Research - Know Who You're Voting For
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The Heritage Foundation

The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration

Americans For Sovereignty

Anonymous said...

winghunter: Stated like a true partisan troller! At least I am original! In any case, if you are trolling to get folks onto your blogs it worked, I visited both of them, thanks for the laughs!

Fred Thompson is a tired old actor who stumbled into the Senate for 6 years in 1994 when any Republican with a pulse got elected. He hasn't a prayer of winning because his actual positions are to give more tax cuts to the wealthy and to ship more hard working americans jobs over to China.

On the GOP side I respect and could vote for McCain who is a man of courage and substance. His position on immigration is to be commended, and he is a man of depth and energy.

Thompson's best bet is to drop out and endorse Huckabee, hoping Huckabee offers him the VP slot.

Jeff Siegel said...

Wow. Who would ever think we would have a Heritage Foundation link here, and on one of my posts? I'm almost honored. Almost, of course, being the key word.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that Huckabee is an excellent bass guitarist.

Anonymous said...

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their executioner Lieutenant Karl Rove have disregarded the values so cherished by the Republican Party. Their ideology have been to channel millions of dollars to those party members who have pledged total absolute loyalty to the Bush administration. This includes creating/channeling campaign funds for their elections, making appointments of the undeserving and/or unqualified boot lickers to high Federal offices and awarding large military/government contracts to thousands of companies that are owned directly or indirectly by his supporters. Many of these contracting companies are sham organizations and/or have no accountability.

We in the “South Central States” have surely suffered the most from the presidency of Bush. It took us over a century to recovered from the scars of General Sherman’s army raping our women/children, burning our homes, crops, and industries. We are now facing another serious dilemma. High ranking Bush followers both state and federal are above the law. With election frauds, illegal campaign contributions (with money being laundered from large oil companies, Tobacco Companies, Gambling Casinos), political profiling and political prosecutions. Our prisons are at three times capacity. Only 59% of our children graduate high school on the average.

Rick Rockwell said...

I say this only because I have a long record here as a critic of the Bush administration.

In regard to the last comment, I believe the president's legacy is one of corruption and he has been equally ruinous to the entire country. And any good president will go after Bush and his cronies hard after Bush is out of office, because the message has to be sent forward that the corruption of this era cannot be used as an excuse or example for policy in the future.

That said, I think the previous commentator is wildly over-the-top. Perhaps this is a demonstration of how angry Bush makes folks even within his own party these days.

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