Saturday, December 5, 2009

Huckabee's Evangelical "Friends"

Huckabee's former staffer during the Iowa primaries and Evangelical blogger, Joe Carter, wrote the column "limits of compassion" in which he accuses Huckabee of having confused his role as pastor with his role as Governor of Arkansas while giving clemencies. With such Evangelical friends, you don't need ennemies.

The argument has off course been echoed in blogposts, articles and columns across the US these last days. Some opportunists, like Frank Schaeffer, have jumped on this bandwagon.

I am not impressed, while I have followed those primaries closely. Huckabee was not supported by the conservative Republican elite last year. Huckabee was not even supported by the Evangelical establishment during those primaries and clearly he is not supported by these same people today. Marvin Olasky, known for "compassionate conservatism" openly attacked Mike Huckabee during the primaries several times in for instance the article "Uniting Christians and Libertarians": "He needs to show that Christian conservative views and small government views logically go together." Just recently Lynn Vincent, a reporter for worldmag and close friend of Marvin Olasky, has written Sarah Palin's bestseller "Going Rogue". And Marvin Olasky off course continues to write-off Huckabee.

Governor Huckabee has swiftly countered these baseless accusations stating:
Religion had nothing to do with the commutation. It’s been erroneously expressed that my own personal faith or the claims of faith of the inmate factored into my decision. That is simply not true and nothing in the record even suggests it. The reasons were straightforward -- a unanimous recommendation from the board, support from a trial judge and no objections from officials in a case that involved a 16 year old sentenced to a term that was exponentially longer than similar cases and certainly longer than had he been white, upper middle class, and represented by effective counsel who would have clearly objected to the sentencing.

This response will have many conservative talkshow hosts and Evangelical leaders grind their teeth. But it's the realiy in the US and it should be fixed.

Furthermore, it's convincing, while it's consistent with his political message during the primaries. I still admire Mike's "victory speech" on Supertuesday which started with the words:
"Tonight, we are making sure America understands that sometimes one small smooth stone is even more effective than a whole lot of armor...."

Or his headon attack in his essay in Foreign Affairs, blasting "the Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality."

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