The Trouble with Huck

Our favorite North of England guy, Fergus, sends me this column from the NYTimes. (Fergus does me a huge service by reading the Times so I don’t have to.)

In it, liberal Gail Collins wonders why all social conservatives aren’t flocking to Pastor Mike:

“But why aren’t the social conservatives rallying around this guy? Unlike any of the major candidates, he’s still on his first wife and first position on abortion.”

East Coast liberals like Collins tend to think all of us yokels here in fly-over country are two-issue voters, she comes right out and says so in her column:

“They’re united mainly by their hatred of abortion and gay marriage, and a desire to win.”

To say that any columnist writing in the Times, with the possible exception of David Brooks, is clueless about social conservatives is to state the glaringly obvious.

So to help, allow me to explain why this Southern social conservative has mixed feelings about Gov. Huckabee:

  1. He’s wrong on immigration, and that is a HUGE problem for me and many others.
  2. He’s questionable on free trade. See this discussion on NRO.
  3. He’s to the left of Hillary on government-mandated health policing. (i.e., a federal ban on smoking) Promoting a British-style “nanny state” is not exactly a big winner with conservatives.

If you think all of that sounds a lot like “compassionate conservatism,” I suspect you’re right. And I, for one, am ready for a conservatism that leaves compassion where it belongs, in the hearts and actions of those who comprise the Church. And I will readily admit to a raging case of Bush Fatigue right now.

From what I can tell, Mike Huckabee is an outstanding, admirable man. But as I’ve stated elsewhere, any candidate that credibly promises to nominate more Scalias and Alitos to the Supreme Court; and uphold the Hyde Amendment on federal funding of abortion; has passed my test of support on that issue. And right now that leaves this pro-life voter a number of other options.