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the huckabee factor December 17, 2007

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, econ, news, politics, religion.
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nytimes magazine:

But things have changed since then. Huckabee says he believes that the next president of the United States will have to lead Western civilization in a worldwide conflict with radical Islam. For a man with that kind of ambition, he has not been particularly well briefed. On Dec. 4, for instance, he was asked about the National Intelligence Estimate released the day before, which found that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Huckabee said that he hadn’t seen it, though it had been the top news story in the country, maybe the world, for the previous 24 hours.

At lunch, when I asked him who influences his thinking on foreign affairs, he mentioned Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, and Frank Gaffney, a neoconservative and the founder of a research group called the Center for Security Policy. This is like taking travel advice from Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, but the governor seemed unaware of the incongruity. When I pressed him, he mentioned he had once ”visited” with Richard Haass, the middle-of-the-road president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Huckabee has no military experience beyond commanding the Arkansas National Guard, but he doesn’t see this as an insuperable problem. ”What you do,” he explained, ”is surround yourself with the best possible advice.” The only name he mentioned was Representative Duncan Hunter of California. ”Duncan is extraordinarily well qualified to be secretary of Defense,” he said.

Huckabee does not have an impressive grasp of its details. When I suggested, for example, that consumers might evade the tax simply by acquiring goods and services for cash on the black market, he seemed genuinely surprised. 

As a premillennialist evangelical, Huckabee also has no problem with enforcing the law, at the border or anywhere else. ”A person with a biblical worldview of human nature says humans are by nature selfish,” he has written. ”We are not basically good; rather, we are basically self-centered. . . . Only two things will change this behavior: either our nature will be changed by a supernatural experience with God through Christ, or we will fear the consequences of not doing the right thing.”




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