Saturday, May 31, 2008

Huckabee and the final GOP repudiation of Reagan

Mike Huckabee’s comments this week stating that libertarianism is un-American signals the final Republican repudiation of Ronald Reagan, who said: “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”

Huckabee is right in stating that libertarianism is more of a threat to the GOP than liberalism, given that the GOP has become even more liberal in their use of government power to control our lives than the Democrats. Consider this: George Bush and his GOP Congress have presided over the fastest growth in federal spending since LBJ's Great Society. They created the largest federal intrusion into the classroom in history (No Child Left Behind), the most expensive public-works program ever (the 2005 highway bill), and the largest new entitlement program (the prescription-drug benefit) since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. They launched an alleged “war on terror” that spent upwards of $3 trillion, killed 4,000 Americans, and brought us $4 a gallon gasoline. They trampled on states’ rights over issues such as assisted suicide and medical marijuana. They expanded the government's power to spy on Americans.

Huckabee fits right in with this crowd. According to the Club for Growth, while he was governor of Arkansas, Huckabee increased state spending by 65%, increased the government workforce by 20%, raised taxes by 47%, and increased the state debt by $1 billion. He also had a strange penchant for releasing convicted murders and rapists from prison. During his tenure as governor, Huckabee issued more commutations and pardons than all of the six neighboring states combined. Those states include Texas, which has more than 8 times the population of Arkansas.

If this is what passes for "conservatism" today, please count me out.

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