Before I get started, I wanted to respond to a commenter who said I would force readers to go through all 27 chapters of Huckabee’s book.
That’s impossible as:
1) The book has 12 chapters (which actually seems to be a Standard for Huckabee book as "From Hope to Higher Ground" and his weight loss book also had 12 chapters.)
2) Readers can read an entry or not. Their choice. But, if we’re going to talk about the book, let’s talk about it, not just rumor and innuendo about it.
Chapter 1 of Do the Right Thing is called, "Dude, Where’s My Candidate?" and focuses on a base that wasn’t enthused with either of Rudy McRomney (my word, not Huck’s) Trilemna. Huckabee lays out a set of signature issues.
Huckabee makes a succinct case for staying a socially conservative course in the GOP, writing, " Having lost our reptation as a competent managers and fiscal conservatives, we can’t afford to lose our credibility as social conservatives. If we do, they will point to us and say, ‘The Emperor has no clothes," and deservedly so."
Huckabee’s book gets a bit awkward grammatically. As he pretty much put the book to bed in June, the question of who would win the Presidency was an open issue and his books reflects it with warnings of why 2008 is a bad year to elect a Democrat. By the time that issue was decided, it would have already happened or not.
Huckabee lists five reasons a Democratic would be bad: Health Care, Taxes, Protectionism (instead of education reform), and that "Democrats still don’t understand how viscerally, obsessively, and fanatically, the Islamo-fascists hate us, and how determined they are to kill us and destroy our Judeo-Christian culture and civilization."
Huckabee then lays out the reasons that prompted his campaign. He laid out a sensible foreign policy, his belief in energy independence, his pro-second Amendment stance, support for the sanctity of life, and support for traditional marriage as issues that prompted his run.
This section on core issues strengthens my belief that if Palin runs, she will probably not have Mike Huckabee as an opponent. Excepting the Fair Tax, on the core issues that made Huckabee’s core platform, he and Palin are in agreement.
Huckabee also uses this section to explain the difference between him and the-then big three. Contrary to news reports, Huckabee talks about all of the three. As I stated in my previous piece, I think this is book is geared towards people who may not have followed the nominating process with rapt attention.
He’s generally quite short with comments on McCain, "I consistently supported President Bush’s tax cuts, John McCain voted against them in the Senate and then changed his mind to support them as he prepared to run for President."
Giuliani elicited some longer responses, "Rudy Giuliani said that his gun-control policies didn’t affect hunting. I’m an avid hunter, but I know and you know the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting: it’s about tyranny. The Founding Fathers weren’t worried about being able to bag a duck or a deer; they were worried about us being able to keep our fundamental freedoms…" and went on another two paragraphs.
Romney was hit hardest in this section on flip flops, the whole flap about whether Romney owned a firearm. Asks Huckabee, " Any of you there not sure if you own a gun? I didn’t think so." Huckabee concludes Romney offered a flip flop too many.
"He said he never really thought about when life begins until he was in his late fifties. I would be more inclined to accept his change as genuine rather than politically expedient if he hadn’t changed on so many issues at once–abortion, homosexual rights, gun control, the Bush Tax Cuts, campaign finance reform, and his appreciation for President Reagan’s legacy, which he ran from in 1994 and clung to in 2007. He spent more time on the road to Damascus than a Syrian camel driver."
Given the overall tone of the chapter, introducing the central conflict with Romney and explaining the key issue conservatives had with Romney really wasn’t out of sorts.
As a post-script, a lot of folks seem to feel that Huckabee shouldn’t be releasing this book now because it’s time for the party to close and ranks and unify.
May I ask behind whom and for what? We have no effective national leadership and no agenda. Huckabee timed the release of his book so that it was after the Presidential elections and well before the next Congressional Session. I’d argue that this is the time to go ahead and have our fights. Other than helping out in Georgia, there’s really not much to do.
For crying out loud, there seem to be some Republicans who believe the best time to discuss differences and issues is-well, never. Yes, the perfect model for political parties: dysfunctional famillies.