Third Party & Independents Archives

A Mormon for President?

Mitt Romney has decided to give a speech on his mormonism, hoping to educate Americans on his religious affiliation and to, presumably, reassure us that it will not get in the way of his governing of the country. I am curious as to the thoughts of the readers of Watchblog on this subject.

As a devout agnostic, I personally do see not much difference between a Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Atheist, Jew, Bhuddist, or Muslim running for office. The religion (or lack thereof) does not matter to me... what matters is that the person acts in accordance with their espoused beliefs, i.e. that the candidate is true to him/herself. If a person can't be true to themselves, how can we expect them to be true to the country? As an example, I would have no problem voting for a Catholic for public office. I would be suspiscious of a self-professed Catholic who talks about being personally pro-choice... the two just don't mix. As long as the candidate is true to the belief system to which they espouse, which belief system that is, IMHO, is irrelevent. But enough about me...

Religion has been a part of the American debate since the inception of our country. The founders wisely and clearly separated church and state when it comes to the official establishment of a religion, and years of case-law have kept that separation mostly intact. Meanwhile the Constitution does give us freedom of religion, it does not give us freedom from religion. That's an important distinction. People are free to worship as they choose and are just as free to speak publicly about it and to make personal decisions based upon it.

This election campaign, seemingly more so than any in recent past, has very much brought religion into the debate. For the first time we have a Mormon with a realistic chance of securing a major party's nomination. This has people worried...

According to the article in the link, 27% look unfavorably upon Mormons, and a full 34% either wouldn't vote for, or would be less likely to vote for, a Mormon for president. Those are sizeable numbers for Mr. Romney to overcome, but he did it once before as Governor of Massachusetts (about as far away from Utah as culturally possible).

There are those that would say Romney's religion is a personal matter for him and his family... and I disagree. The man is running for President of the United States of America... we should know as much about him as possible... including what his core values are and how he will use them to guide our country.

What do y'all think?

Posted by Doug Langworthy at December 4, 2007 7:00 PM
Comments
Comment #239998

I could care less what a federal office holder’s religious affiliation is, provided their actions in office represent the best interests of all the people of any faith and seek to rationally, factually, and efficiently solve the problems and challenges that face our nation and people.

Mitt Romney is clearly NOT a person capable of reaching my criteria for good governance, with or without his being Mormon. Romney will act according to his beliefs that corporations are the best governors, profits the best motive for human activity, and wielding devastating force the best avenue to peace.

On these beliefs of his, I decide not to vote for him. Not his religious beliefs. Though there are some religious beliefs held by a candidate which I could not support, such as those professed by fundamentalist Christians or Muslims. Their fundamentalist nature insures their religious beliefs will supersede fact, rational thinking, and results oriented solutions to America’s challenges, and that would indeed be harmful to America’s future and the rights and expectations of other American citizens.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2007 11:15 PM
Comment #240001

I’m like David. I could care less about a candidates religion. Just so long as they don’t try to force their beliefs down my throat that is.
The kind of candidate I’m looking for is one that will address the problems this country is facing and try to work with Congress to actually solve the problems. Not just put a band-aid on them.
I don’t believe for one second that Mitt Romney will do this.
As far as a candidate being true to their religious beliefs goes there aint been a President in my life time that’s done that. Why would one start now?

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 5, 2007 12:03 AM
Comment #240002

Ron… too true, too true…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at December 5, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #240005

Romney is probably the smartest guy in the race and he has the best resume, having been successful in the private sector, non-profit organization and government.

Religion should be an issue, since religious beliefs will inform the person’s decisions. If you knew nothing about the person, you might make a generalization based on religion. However, when you have a track record to consider, the general influence of religion becomes less important to the decision.

As Ron says, politicians have not been constrained by their religious beliefs in the past, why should we worry about it now.

Posted by: Jack at December 5, 2007 4:33 AM
Comment #240022

Jim DeMint is supporting him here in SC and he’s as Bob Jones an Evangelical as they come. Mitt has a good resume and survived as a Republican in Mass politics (that’s hard to do). His religion is potentially a negative in the Press’ eyes, and I think they are setting up this speech as part of their vetting process. If he uses the Reagan line of “all are free to believe or not believe” then adds “including me” then he should be fine.

Once he gets past this then he’ll have to tackle his problems on guns and abortion. Those are hurting him here in SC.

The rest of his record is conservative, INCLUDING the Mass health care as long as it is touted as a State approach.

FYI I will be going to hear Fred Thompson this afternoon and see if he is still alive. Hillary was here last week looking very “Presidential”. She had a good crowd including a few vocal Ron Paul supporters!

Posted by: George in SC at December 5, 2007 9:56 AM
Comment #240023

Well, I am a Mormon and I won’t vote for him. I wanted to like him and originally saw him as a centrist who may be able to work with both sides of the aisle. I was interested in the health care plan they did in Mass. However, I heard him speak and all he did was make fun of liberals and say that tax cuts were the answer to everything. He seems to have dumped everything I thought was good about him. I have never heard anyone sound more scripted in my life.

Posted by: Brian Poole at December 5, 2007 10:10 AM
Comment #240035

George in SC said: “Mitt has a good resume and survived as a Republican in Mass politics (that’s hard to do).”

He survived in Mass. by bending to the political pressures bearing on him. Which accounts for the flip flop from his Mass. record to accommodating the expectations of the GOP constituents nationally. As President, Romney will act according to GOP beliefs that corporations are the best governors, profits the best motive for human activity, and wielding devastating force the best avenue to peace.

If that is what the majority of Independent voters want in their president, Mitt Romney will be President. I strongly suspect that is not what the majority of Independent voters are looking for, and the 2008 election, by the numbers, will be decided by the Independent voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #240036

I’m not so sure, David… the Primary season is so early this time around that, IF Romney were able to secure the nomination, I think we would see a different person running on the general election. He is simply trying to secure the Republican nomination first, and to do that (as you are aware) he has to cow-tow to the far right. Once he were to enter the general election I think we would see the more Massachusetts Governor side of him, and his resume’ from there is pretty bi-partisan… one can certainly not argue that he didn’t have to work with Democrats while being a Republican Governor of Massachusetts.

I say all of this, of course, with very little respect for his flip-flopping, which you are correct to point out, David.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at December 5, 2007 1:00 PM
Comment #240040

George in SC: FYI I will be going to hear Fred Thompson this afternoon and see if he is still alive. Hillary was here last week looking very “Presidential”. She had a good crowd including a few vocal Ron Paul supporters!

What part of SC do you live in that candidates go there?
If they bother to come to GA at all they go to Atlanta, 200 mile North of here.
I wish just one of these candidates would come to my neck of the woods. They would have to come here. Valdosta is only 17 miles away and most folks would go there from here. Heck all they’d have to do is go to Tallahassee, 70 miles, and it would be an easy drive. But they seem to go to North GA and South FL and completely ignore North FL and South GA.
Reckon we’re just to hick around here for them.

David said: As President, Romney will act according to GOP beliefs that corporations are the best governors, profits the best motive for human activity, and wielding devastating force the best avenue to peace.

Of course he’d have to follow most of the GOP beliefs. But from what I’ve seen and heard he didn’t seem to follow them to closely as Governor of Massachusetts. He just might be that way as President. But I somehow doubt it.
Sometimes ya just need to let the world know your willing to kick butt and take names to make sure that they leave ya alone. Trouble is that last few times we really aint done that.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 5, 2007 1:50 PM
Comment #240042

Correction:
They would wouldn’t have to come here. Valdosta is only 17 miles away and most folks would go there from here.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 5, 2007 1:52 PM
Comment #240044

Ron-

I live in Western SC between Augusta GA and Columbia.

Because of South Carolina’s “First in the South” primary position we’ll get a lot of candidates through here through December. Hillary was in Aiken last week which is about 15 mi from Augusta, GA.

Fred will be in Lexington SC tonight. Edwards will be in Seneca (his birthplace) tomorrow. Huckabee will be in Columbia on Friday I think. The big one though, is Barak and Oprah this Sunday! It’s sold out though….

Posted by: George in SC at December 5, 2007 2:20 PM
Comment #240052

Doug said: ‘IF Romney were able to secure the nomination, I think we would see a different person running on the general election.”

You mean he would flip flop, yet again? Not sure that would help him in the General. But, the revelation that he STILL has illegal immigrants working on his home’s landscaping as reported by the Boston newspaper, suggests he is now going to lose ground fast to Giuliani and Huckabee in the primaries.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 3:53 PM
Comment #240053

Daicd… I disagree… it WOULD help him in the general election… call me overly-pessimistic on the subject, but voters have a short memory about stuff like that. And besides, his record as Governor of Mass, while potentially hurting him in the primary season, will only help him in the general…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at December 5, 2007 3:57 PM
Comment #240056

I really do consider a candidate’s religion…at least his manifestation (or lack thereof) of that religion…if it is his entire life (Huckabee), I would tend to be quite leery that all his decisions would be based solely on his religion.

If one’s religion informs but does not absolutely rule the candidate’s view and ethics, I would be more willing to consider that candidate.

Will Romney’s speech include anything on “temple underwear”…seems mighty strange and perhaps he should demystify something that seems cult-like to a good number of people…

Posted by: Rachel at December 5, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #240069

Doug said: “call me overly-pessimistic on the subject, but voters have a short memory about stuff like that.”

OK, you are overly-pessimistic. Illegal immigration and employers of them, is not a topic the public is going to forget about by Nov. 2008. Sorry, just ain’t going to happen, because these issues are going to be front and center in voter’s minds in Nov. of 2008.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 6:40 PM
Comment #240070

Nah… I’m not so conviced illigeal immigration is the number one issue this time around… not even in the top three. I could be wrong (and often am), but I do not think that’ll hurt him too much should he survive the primaries.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at December 5, 2007 7:17 PM
Comment #240076

Not to hijack the tread, but Fred did a good job tonight. He’s not a soundbite guy and it takes him a while to get a point accross. But he’s consistent in his message.

I got a push call from Hillary tonight. She’s says she’s running for President. Duh….

Big news, Obama and Oprah are no longer sold out! They are moving to the 82,500 seat Billy Brice!

Posted by: George in SC at December 5, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #240085

I find it very interesting that ascribing to a religion breeds doubt about sincerity, or the ability to lead in a practical (vs. ideological) way.

To Rachel, would it make you more comfortable to have a professed atheist running for the presidency?

Many people would feel just as uncomfortable about an atheist because atheists have a secular track record and typically (not always - but typically) show very little regard for the value of a person’s faith in their life.

All candidates on both sides are going to be swayed by some moral compass, (let’s hope) - I think the question is, will Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs demonstrably affect his policies in a way that is bad for America? Key word being America, not some special interest group.

One thing’s for sure, no one markets the importance of family better than the LDS church. There is a lot of stigma around that wedge of the christian faith (usually) by judgemental and intolerant christians, but how bad is it really to believe that it’s your good deeds that get you into heaven and not simply your faith. I think one could argue that a mormon’s compass would probably make for better policy decisions than an evangelical christian.

All this aside, Romney strikes me as inauthentic - he does sound scripted, which is why I’m still supporting Huckabee - the only candidate yet to start slinging mud, and IMO also the most eloquent of the bunch.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 5, 2007 9:42 PM
Comment #240087

Doug said: Nah… I’m not so conviced illigeal immigration is the number one issue this time around… not even in the top three.

Sorry, but I have to agree with David. Illegal immigration is gonna be up at the top of issues for voters. If the politicians will actually address the issue during the campaign or not remains to be seen.

Yukon
If I was registered as a Republican I’d most likely vote for Huckabee in the primaries. Even though I’m not real crazy about him he the best the Republicans have to offer right now.
I have a sister in Arkansas. She tells me that he’s a pretty moral guy but he really wasn’t all that great as Governor. But was a whole heap better than the guy he replaced. His biggest problem is that the boy aint never seen a tax he doesn’t like.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 5, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #240090

Ron,
True, Huckabee did raise taxes on several occassions, when necessary for the overall good of the state, but he actually he saw 94 different taxes that he didn’t like - and he cut them.

There is a ton of mud-slinging going on, and oodles more to come (I hope he stays above it all) but he never says or said, all I do is cut taxes (as his opponents spin his words to say) he simply says that he found 94 different taxes that were unnecessary or bloated and hurting the economy of Arkansas, and that he cut them - which he did.

The fair tax won’t go through, it’s a wonderful idea but it doesn’t have the support it needs to go anywhere, and it would take (no pun intended) an act of God to overthrow Roe vs. Wade - so for me it really boils down to his theory on vertical politics. The reason I like him is he is genuinely not afraid to take a liberal stance on something if it is genuinely good for the people from a moral, right-thing-to-do perspective. He calls it vertical politics (unlike the left/right horizontal approach) Like his stance on college tuition assistance to illegal immigrant kids who came over as little kids, got good grades and graduated high school and then apply for citizenship. That’s just a smart way to plug them into society and get them out of the shadows.

He isn’t all pro-corporation like Bush, as all the people who dislike him on this blog say he is, in fact he initiated a health food and healthy living program that only had measurable benefits to organic farms and produce outlets. You know, the small mom and pop shops that sell the fruits and veggies that still taste good.

He’s just a good guy, plus he is an excellent communicator, and I really hope he gets the nomination.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 5, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #240099

Ron Brown said: “She tells me that he’s a pretty moral guy but he really wasn’t all that great as Governor.”

Same thing was said of GW Bush, by many before he was elected to his level of incompetence, yet, again.

Yukon Jake, the record reflects on net, Huckabee raised more taxes in dollar amount than he cut. That fact I do not find an indictment, taxes SHOULD be raised when the need is there and the public is willing. But, for Huckabee to lie about the net outcome of his tax policies is not reassuring of his bid to become President. We have had enough liars over the last two decades for which we and our children will pay dearly.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 5:20 AM
Comment #240100

Yukon Jake said: “Many people would feel just as uncomfortable about an atheist because atheists have a secular track record and typically (not always - but typically) show very little regard for the value of a person’s faith in their life.”

My, my, is there any empirical data whatsoever to support such a claim? Can you please name 6 atheist federal office holders, present or past, whose official actions in office compromised the value of anybody’s faith in their personal life?

This kind of rhetoric is just beyond the pale. Would you point to the Mullah’s of Iran as exemplary of the notion that Religious persons make the best government leaders? The Constitution and courts protect religious freedom in one’s personal life, quite adequately. Atheist or religious, government officials are charged with solving problems their constituents face as a whole, and freedom of religious practice in one’s private life is not one of those problems in America.

Hence, it matters not, objectively, whether a politician is atheist, agnostic, theist or deist. What matters is, is the politician able and effective in solving problems their constituents face in their relationship and interaction with their government, society, and world as a whole?

Got a religious or faith problem, see a pastor, priest, or reverend. Got a problem with government, foreign nations, or neighbors impinging on your rights, see your politician.

I understand some religious fanatics want to follow the path of the Taliban in Afghanistan and join government and their particular brand of religion into one monolithic authoritarian military backed hegemon over all others within the country. I understand that there are atheists who would want to strictly enforce the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment by declaring all organizations of religion as for-profit enterprises.

But, as I said, our courts and Constitution prevent such threats from ever establishing themselves in our government. So, whether a candidate is religious or not, is a personal preference, but in no way, and objective qualification for competence in office. George W. Bush is a perfect example. His lack of competence alienated both the secularist and the religious, regardless of his Born Again status.

Pete Stark? Know who he is? Probably not. That is just how threatening an atheist Congressperson is in government. Given the extremely low approval ratings of Congress, and the fact that 99.8% are religious, I would have to conclude that being religious is no assurance of good governance.

And conversely, the fact that 99.9999999 percent of voters could not accurately name an atheist Congress Person says, atheists don’t stir up much controversy over religion as Congresspersons. Objectively, there is no rational case to be made for or against religious affiliation of candidates for public office.

Church Alderman, sure. But, let’s not confuse the two, which many on the Right try ardently to do.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 5:31 AM
Comment #240117

C-Span’s preview of Romney’s speech contains an excerpt about the separation of church and state.


VIDEO
Mitt Romney - Separation of Church and State has gone too far
http://test.redlasso.com/service/svc/clip/playClip?fid=ace4caf4-4072-4fca-9002-9f66dbdf010f

Posted by: PaulD at December 6, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #240168

The thing that impressed me the most about Mitt was his declaration that secularism is a religion. I know he is not the first to do this and I do realize he was trying to warm up the far right to his religion by sharing a trait they both have in common. But this means, I assume, that those that beleive the government to be a secular government are now protected by the 1st amendment the same as all other religions and we can put this “freedom from religion is not part of the constitution” back in the can.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 6, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #240172

David
I don’t have any intention of voting for Huckabee unless no one on any of the third party tickets or none of the independence are worth voting for. From what I’ve seen so far from the Democrats there aint none of them I’d elect dog catcher much less President. And unfortunately the Republican choices aint really any better.
Just hope that the third parties and independents put candidates up that are worth voting for.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 6, 2007 11:50 PM
Comment #240201

Ron Brown, the whispers are that Bloomberg is still sending out exploratory feelers. We need another corporate billionaire in office like we need to resurrect Ulysses S. Grant to office. But, I will reserve judgment until I hear his agenda and plans, if they are forthcoming.

CUIP will be putting forth a candidate early next year. The one enormous benefit of such a prolonged campaign season is that Independents have more time to get fed up with the traditional party candidates creating the potential of a Hallelujah late entry Independent candidate who could rally the Independents into a monolithic vote. Maybe not probable, but, certainly possible.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 7, 2007 10:31 AM
Comment #240203

I don’t care what any person’s religious beliefs are.
That’s their own business.
What I don’t agree with is any person who proselytizes and promotes their religious beliefs onto others using their office within the government.

And I find the following statement by George H. W. Bush (41) to be despicable and bigotted:

    No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
That sort of bigorty based on religion is just as revolting as bigoted statements based on race, color, gender, etc.

If I’d known that in 1992, I wouldn’t have voted for him. But he lost any way, and now I’m glad he did lose the election (even though I’m no fan of Clinton).

Funny. I didn’t see anywhere in the Constitution (nor the 1st Amendment) that required religion to be a citizen of the U.S.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 7, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #240208

d.a.n

No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Unfortunately there’s a lot of folks that like that. And on the other side of the coin there’s folks that think anyone with religious beliefs are screwing this country up.
Both are wrong. What’s messing this country up are the bought and paid for politicians that are true only to the highest bidder. And it doesn’t seem to matter what the claim to believe or not believe.
I know registered Republicans that don’t plan to vote for Romney in the primaries because he’s a Mormon. But they plan to vote for Huckabee because he’s a Baptist. And none of them can tell me where either one stands on the real issues.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 7, 2007 11:40 AM
Comment #240217

Ron Brown,

You’re right.
Religion is not the problem.
Those that hijack religion for their own nefarious purposes, and use religion to discriminate against others is a problem.

What a persons’ religion is should make no difference to anyone. What is important is that they understand the Constitution, will uphold and protect the Constitution (something ALL 535 Congress persons are currently violating by refusing to call an Article V Convention), respect and enforce the laws (as local, state, and federal government are not doing now by pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes), and respect others despite their religion, race, color, gender, ethnicity, etc.

By the way, look closely at Huckabee’s statements, and tell me if there isn’t a hint of discrimination in his statements: Mike Huckabee stated/voted:

  • Three Strikes based more on revenge than restoration. (Jan 2007) {that may be why each time we hear about another child molestation, it’s the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or more time it has occurred}

  • Gay tolerance reflects lack of fixed societal standards. (Jun 2007)
  • {So gays should not be tolerated?}
  • USA has gone from Barney Fife to Barney Frank. (Jan 2007) {Barney Frank is gay. This is another condemnation of gays?}

  • Nonsense of Three-Strikes makes system overrun with people. (Sep 2007) {Really? Better to let repeat offenders out to commit more crimes over and over?}

  • Build more prisons, and privatize their management. (Nov 2002) {privatize prisons? Bad idea. Now politicians want to turn the justice system over to corporations too?}

  • More drug courts & rehab, instead of incarceration. (Sep 2007) { … yet …} Huckabee said: Drug education fails; drug punishment works. (Jun 2007) { … and …} Stricter penalties for drug-related crimes. (Nov 2002) {So which is it?}

  • Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling. (Sep 2007)
  • {Hmmmm, and how about Islamic or Buddhist schooling? … Doesn’t the 1st Amendment state: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, … Huckabee clearly doesn’t have a clue about the 1st Amendment.}
  • Ending school prayer was one step in society’s moral decay. (Jun 2007) {Right. So which prayer shall we use? Christian? Jewish? Islamic? Buddhist? Atheist? Shinto? Hindu? Unitarianism ? Mormon? Paganist? Zoroastrianist? Baha’i? Jainism ? Taoist? … again, Huckabee doesn’t have a clue aobut the 1st Amendment. People can pray anytime they want and no one can stop them from it. What Huckabee is talking about is organizing and institutionalizing it. OK. Which religious prayer shall it be? And what about the agnostics and atheists? Will they be forced to participate? What does religion have to be institutionalized in public schools. If were are going to allow one, we must allow all. And now the problem is all too obvious. You can’t have freedom of religion by forcing it on people. }

  • Does not believe in evolution. (May 2007) {That’s his choice. It’s not a crime and that belief hurts no one else. So why does he feel compelled to tell others that? Are those that disagree somehow less moral or subhuman?}

  • Incorporate character education into school curriculum. (Jan 2007) {Hmmmm … will that include, as Huckabee stated elsewhere: “Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling?” }

  • Support displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools. (Nov 2002) {Hmmmm … from which religion? Does he realize that the Ten Commandments vary by religion? Again, is Huckabee trying to promote moral values or proselytize HIS religion?}

  • We answer to our Constitution, not to international law. (Sep 2007) {Really? Then what about Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which ALL 535 Congress persons are currently violating? What aobut abuse of eminent domain laws? Habeas Corpus? Spying on citizens without civil oversight? Regressive taxation? etc., etc., etc.?}

  • This country can never yield its sovereignty for any reason. (Sep 2007) {Then why are the borders still nearly open and immigration laws still not being enforced? Why are politicians despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes?}

  • China trade contingent on human rights & product safety. (Sep 2007) {Really? The U.S. trade deficit with China alone is the largest in U.S. history with one country ($201 billion). That deficit has cost an estimated 410,000 U.S. jobs and job opportunities in the past two years alone (according to the Economic Policy Institute). The U.S. trade deficit is further increased by China’s manipulation of its currency, the yuan. But I guess late is better than never?}

  • Farm subsidies are OK because Europe & Asia do same. (Jan 2007) {Right? Check out these farm subsidies. How is it not pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare? Where’s my subsidy? I want a subsidy!}

  • Ok if church identifies candidates who favor its principles. (Sep 2007) {Fine, but they should then be subject to the same FEC rules like everyone else if they want to engage in the political process and influence government.}

  • Attacking others’ integrity reflects people’s own immorality. (Jun 2007) {That’s B.S. Not if it is TRUE and verifiable.}

  • Honor the Tenth Amendment & strengthen the states. (May 2007) {Really? But then ignore Article V? If only Congress controls the amendment process, it controls the Constitution. So how about Article V, which is being violated?}

  • Limit campaign contributions, but no public funding. (Nov 2002) {Of course not! Cha - ching ! }

  • Disclose political gifts, but don’t prohibit them. (Oct 2000) {Of course not! Cha - ching ! }

  • Dems want government in charge; GOP want consumers in charge. (Jun 2007) {Really?From all the corporate welfare, pork-barrel, graft, and bloat, it’s hard to tell. BOTH parties do it plenty. When BOTH are so corrupt, does it matter much which is more corrupt? Fueling the partisan-warfare is just a clever mechanism to distract voters from the massive corruption of most (if not all) incumbent politicians in BOTH parties.}

  • Guantanamo prisoners are treated very well. (Jun 2007) {Really? Have you asked Spc. Sean Baker}

  • Better to make mistakes at Guantanamo to protect Americans. (Jun 2007) {Is Huckabee so certain they are all criminals? Some have been found to NOT be.}

  • Change rule barring immigrants from running for president. (May 2007) {What? Seriously?}

  • Path to citizenship if illegals admit guilt & pay fine. (Jan 2007) {Clearly, Huckabee has more compassion for illegal aliens than American citizens? }

  • Import farm workers from Mexico. (Sep 2001) {Yes, we can’t have anything stopping the massive inflow of cheap labor for profits?}

  • Supports farm subsidies & fully-funded crop insurance. (Sep 2007) {A lot of these are corporations, and a lot of it is corporate welfare.}

  • Plenty of choices for candidates who don’t believe in God. (Jun 2007) {Interesting. Why did Huckabee feel it was necessary to tell us that?}

  • One worldview will prevail: God-centered or human-centered. (Jun 2007)

  • Pastors & politicians have same skill set in common. (Jun 2007) {I won’t argue with that.}

  • Ten Commandments are basis for appropriate behavior. (Jun 2007) {Which Ten Commmandments? Again, they vary by religion (see above).}

  • A “grace Christian”: dislikes “law Christians” AND liberals. (Jun 2007)

  • My faith does affect my decision process; it explains me. (May 2007) {That’s fine. So? Are others with other faiths less moral? }

  • We are a nation of faith, and we are stewards of God’s world. (Jan 2007) (Really? What about atheists and agnostics? Are they citizens? Or does Huckabee question citizenship and patriotism based on religion as George Bush(41) does who stated “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” ?}

  • George W. Bush has done a magnificent job. (Jan 2007) {Really? What planet has Huckabee been on for the last 7 years??}

  • Replace payroll tax & fund Social Security with FairTax. (Sep 2007) {I can not vote for Huckabee or anyone who supports a regressive 30% National Sales Tax. All flat sales taxes are regressive unless everyone spends the same percentage of their income, despite a prebate that merely untaxes the lowest income levels. It’s not that complicated. There is a better and faster way by simplifying the current system.}

  • FairTax eliminates all taxes on productivity & saving. (Sep 2007) {Nonsense. There is nothing fair or productive about any regressive 30% Sale Tax.}

  • Gut this incredibly complex and arcane tax code. (Aug 2007) {Yes, but not with a regressive 30% Sales Tax}

  • No national sales tax or VAT. (Feb 2000) {So, in year 2000, Huckabee was against a sales or VAT tax. But the FairTax.org plan is just that with a prebate; after the prebate (e.g. $2400 runs out, it’s still a regressive tax. There’s a big difference between taxing spending and taxing income.}

  • More bible; less blogs; more music; less network TV. (Jan 2007) {More bible? Is that Huckabee’s place to tell others to do that?}

  • Supports Internet sales tax. (Nov 2002) {All sales taxes are regressive. Huckabee doesn’t have a clue when it comes to taxation.}

  • Don’t judge Iraq war while we’re in the middle of the war. (May 2007) {Nonsense. It should be judged, measured, and scrutinized every step of the way.}

  • Opposing Bush’s troop surge is a dangerous position. (Jan 2007) {Really? Dangerous? For who?}

  • Opposing Bush’s troop surge is a dangerous position. (Jan 2007) {Really? Dangerous? For who? So Bush thought that up all on his own? Perhaps what is dangerous is blindly following without questioning or ever opposing; especially someone who said about the U.S. Constitution: “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” (source: Capitol Hill Blue)?}

  • Supports Charitable Choice for funding faith-based providers. (Dec 2006) {Doesn’t the 1st Amendment state: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, …}

Posted by: d.a.n at December 7, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #240231

Dan,
If you make the case that no explanations or context exist in society then your assumptions about these partial quotes would (in large part) be accurately alarming.

However, if you have the capacity for reason, which I believe you do, then you have to concede that this list of partial sentence quotes was collected for the sole purpose of discrediting Huckabee. Can’t imagine anyone would do that in politics.

I don’t read your alacrity into his comments -

For example - delve a little deeper: The comment that “George W. Bush has done a magnificent job” is the preface to a sentence about bungling border security. That would be like you quoting me saying “My wife is terrible” when my sentence was “My wife is terrible at keeping secrets, which is why I always know when my birthday party is before it gets here.” It is purposefully taken out of context with the express goal of discretiting the man.

The “don’t judge the Iraq war while we’re in the middle of the war” is another example. He was speaking about how the war will go down in “history.” And was saying don’t judge the impact of the war long-term, because we’re still in the middle of it. It wasn’t a blanket statement that sounds like a classic Bush-ism. By your logic, we never would have toughed it out against Hitler because our human losses were so catastrophic they would have warranted intesnse scrutiny at the moment, and we probably would have deemed the war across the world not worth fighting, after all, he wasn’t after us.

Granted, there are a few that even I don’t think a context would explain, like tax-credits for Christian schools, which is an absolute slap in the face of our constitution. But by saying ending prayer in school was one step in the moral decay of society, he in no way says or implies that ending a particular religious prayer is what did it, only that removing faith from the classroom did it. But then again, you may think our society has suffered no moral decay - I disagree, and there have been many, many steps in the chain, but I do believe that an abandonment of the judao-christian principles this nation was founded upon were certainly part of the downward spiral.

If you don’t get your quotes from organizations hell-bent on discrediting Huckabee, and always assume they are non-biased and true, and you actually listen to what he says about other religions, he is extremely inclusive of the rights of EVERY faith. But you choose to make your decisions on the quotes you get only from his opponents. That stance on research makes about as much sense to me as making policy decisions based on Stephen Daugherty’s point of view because “If it is written, it must be true.”

Are you trying to convince a swing voter who may frequent Watchblog not to vote for Huckabee? It seems so, instead of propagating information that is blatantly taken out of context, maybe you should counterpoint some of his speeches that have been made recently enough that people haven’t forgotten what was said, or able to find it on you tube, that would be intellectually honest, and all of your points would be based on what is verifiable, vs. what is total spin and conjecture.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 7, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #240242
Yukon Jake wrote: d.a.n, If you make the case that no explanations or context exist in society then your assumptions about these partial quotes would (in large part) be accurately alarming.
Go here for the full context of Huckabee’s statements and positions. If you find an error, I have found this web-site willing and eager to correct any statements that are false or misleading.
Yukon Jake wrote: However, if you have the capacity for reason, which I believe you do, then you have to concede that this list of partial sentence quotes was collected for the sole purpose of discrediting Huckabee. Can’t imagine anyone would do that in politics.
I don’t believe that at all. The statements are Huckabee’s and the web-site provides a full context of each.
Yukon Jake wrote: I don’t read your alacrity into his comments -
alacrity means: cheerful willingness; eagerness, speed or quickness; celerity.

Thus, I’m not sure what you mean. But I will make it crystal clear. In my opinion, Mike Huckabee’s statements reveal bigotry based on religion and sexual orientation.

Yukon Jake wrote: For example - delve a little deeper: The comment that “George W. Bush has done a magnificent job” is the preface to a sentence about bungling border security.
Not true.

That statement (in full context) was with regard to Iraq:
Huckabee stated:

  • Question to Huckabee: Last we talked, I asked you about George W. Bush, and you said, “I think the president has done a magnificent job. And generally, you know, I don’t find that many areas where I would disagree with him.” You still hold that view?

  • Huckabee’s Answer: Well, I think he’s had a lot of struggles, particularly in managing the war in Iraq. We did a great job of going in and toppling Saddam Hussein. The tough part has been bringing some sense of stability there. The domestic agenda has almost been ignored and overlooked.

  • Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Jan 28, 2007

Yukon Jake wrote: That would be like you quoting me saying “My wife is terrible” when my sentence was “My wife is terrible at keeping secrets, which is why I always know when my birthday party is before it gets here.” It is purposefully taken out of context with the express goal of discretiting the man.
As revealed above, the statement was with regard to Iraq. And based on Bushes ratings, and polls on this matter, most Americans would vehemently disagree with Mike Huckabee’s conclusion.
Yukon Jake wrote: The “don’t judge the Iraq war while we’re in the middle of the war” is another example. He was speaking about how the war will go down in “history.” And was saying don’t judge the impact of the war long-term, because we’re still in the middle of it.
Not true.
  • Question to Huckabee: What’s your strategy to protect our American way of life from the designs of radical Islam?
  • Huckabee’s Answer: The threat we face is one a lot of Americans don’t fully comprehend or understand. This isn’t a typical geo-political war. It’s a war against an enemy tha has no national borders or boundaries. It’s a theological war. It’s not politically correct to say that. It’s just the truth. We are fighting people whose religious fanaticism will not be satisfied until every last one of us is dead, until our culture, our society, is completely obliterated from the face of the earth. It is the perfect marriage of religion & state, and that’s why it is so incredibly dangerous, more so than any enemy we face. And here’s the reality. War is about will. Whoever chooses to leave loses. We can’t afford to lose, because this is not a war about Iraq, it’s not a war about Afghanistan, it’s a war about our survival as a civilization and as a people, and every effort must be made to defend this great country against it.
And I completely disagree. First of all, the war in Iraq was based on many lies (WMD, connections between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, oil would finance the war, we would be greeted as liberators, Mission Accomplished, etc., etc., etc.).
Yukon Jake wrote: By your logic, we never would have toughed it out against Hitler because our human losses were so catastrophic they would have warranted intesnse scrutiny at the moment, and we probably would have deemed the war across the world not worth fighting, after all, he wasn’t after us.
Not true.

In my opinion, we should have got into World War II sooner, because Germany was clearly invading and attacking other nations, and Germany’s submarines were sinking our ships, commercial ships, and British ships (our ally). Germany and its allies (Japan, Italy) were a MUCH larger threat and spreading to all continents. Saddam Hussien was contained and Blix was right about no WMD.

There is no doubt that terrorists exist. So why did Bush take the eye off the ball. Bin Laden was in Afghanistan and Pakistan (and still is). Iraq was one of many blunders. And when there are so many blunders, there should be questions. Especially when focus has been shifted from the perpetrator of 911 to Saddam who t had nothing to do with it.

Yukon Jake wrote: Granted, there are a few that even I don’t think a context would explain, like tax-credits for Christian schools, which is an absolute slap in the face of our constitution.
Yes it is.
Yukon Jake wrote: But by saying ending prayer in school was one step in the moral decay of society, he in no way says or implies that ending a particular religious prayer is what did it, only that removing faith from the classroom did it.
I disagree. People of different religions, or no religion can have morals too. To say otherwise is to say that people of different religions, or no religion are somehow inferior.
Yukon Jake wrote: But then again, you may think our society has suffered no moral decay
On the contrary. I think the last 30 years has seen a significant decay (fiscally and morally).
Yukon Jake wrote: - I disagree, and there have been many, many steps in the chain, but I do believe that an abandonment of the judao-christian principles this nation was founded upon were certainly part of the downward spiral.
I disagree that it has anything to do with religious beliefs. It has everything to do with moral values, and morals do not begin and end with religion. Atheists and agnostics have an equal capacity for understanding and living a life as moral as any religious person.
Yukon Jake wrote: If you don’t get your quotes from organizations hell-bent on discrediting Huckabee, and always assume they are non-biased and true, and you actually listen to what he says about other religions, he is extremely inclusive of the rights of EVERY faith.
See OnTheIssues.ORG which reveals all of its sources and the statemens in full context. There are reams and reams of information there. If you think it is a biased organization, then see what they have to say about other politicians (of BOTH parties).
Yukon Jake wrote: But you choose to make your decisions on the quotes you get only from his opponents.
False. I’ve shown my sources (e.g. OnTheIssues.org). Show me exactly where any statement has been unfairly taken out of context, or is false, or is misleading. Like I said above, OnTheIssues.org has been willing and eager to make corrections when identified. They once had a position wrong on Hillary (to her detriment, in fact, even though I don’t like Hillary), and they corrected it.
Yukon Jake wrote: That stance on research makes about as much sense to me as making policy decisions based on Stephen Daugherty’s point of view because “If it is written, it must be true.”
Again, see OnTheIssues.ORG to see the sources of Huckabee’s statements. There weren’t merely pulled off some Huckabee Hate page.

The sources of Huckabee’s statements (in full context) come from:

  • Meet the Press

  • Mike Huckabee’s own book: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, 2007

  • 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

  • Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews Nov 18, 2007

  • FOX News Sunday, 2007 presidential interviews Oct 21, 2007

  • [X-ref Paul] 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News Sep 5, 2007

  • 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

  • Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 4-21 Jun 1, 2007

  • 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007
Feel free to debunk any of Huckabee’s numerous statements (the full context of each is at OnTheIssues.ORG).

Yukon Jake wrote: Are you trying to convince a swing voter who may frequent Watchblog not to vote for Huckabee? It seems so, instead of propagating information that is blatantly taken out of context,
False. See the full context above. The assertions about Huckabee’s statements and positions are plausible and supported by the full context.
Yukon Jake wrote: … maybe you should counterpoint some of his speeches that have been made recently enough that people haven’t forgotten what was said, or able to find it on you tube, that would be intellectually honest, and all of your points would be based on what is verifiable, vs. what is total spin and conjecture.
Again, I’ve provided the sources in full context. Feel free to provide specifics to debunk the statements. Saying it isn’t (or isn’t) so and proving it are two different things.

Where exactly is the spin and conjecture?
The few examples you provided above were thoroughly debunked.
The statements by Huckabee were not portrayed to be anything different.
If you doubt it, see the numerous sources and statements in full context at OnTheIssues.ORG.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 7, 2007 4:36 PM
Comment #240243
To Rachel, would it make you more comfortable to have a professed atheist running for the presidency?

Just because one is an atheist, doesn’t mean s/he bases every decision on atheism…an atheist can certainly be quite compassionate and be all for policies that mandate the greatest good ad look for the common good….it’s quite obvious after the last 7 years that a “Christian” (and I use the term lightly!) hasn’t done any of that…

It’s what the effect that a person’s religion has on their views and their life that’s important…just beliving a bunch of dogma is worthless if it isn’t transformative…

Posted by: Rachel at December 7, 2007 4:38 PM
Comment #240354

David wrote- “The Constitution and courts protect religious freedom in one’s personal life, quite adequately.”

That’s just nonsense. The courts treat the Constitution as their personal feifdom these days, and the people we conservatives call “activist judges” believe the document is whatever they say it is. That is why one of the key issues today is Supreme Court justices and who will pick them. No one can point to any document directly relating to the Constitution that speaks of a “separation of church and state”. Instead they misapply that term, used by Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association specifically addressing their concerns for religious liberty as a minority church in the state of Connecticut.

When the courts drive religious expression out of the public square they are doing specifically that thing they are forbidden to do- making a law respecting religion. In response to this argument I have heard the wisecrackish response that “Congress” is not allowed to make such a law, but the First Amendment says nothing about the courts. My response to that is that the courts are not permitted to make law at all. Since the Franklin Roosevelt administration courts have seen fit, none the less, to engage in the fluffy coup d’etat of creating Constitutional law from vapors and thin air.

More to the point of this article, though, I find attacks on Romney’s religion to be apalling, even from, no- especially from my fellow Christians.

Jesus had the courage to commend the faith of a Roman centurion at the steps of the synagog at Capernaum, where the capitals of the columns of the then new building bore the spit-in-the-Roman’s-eyes image of palm fronds in reference to the Hasmoneans, who were the last Jewish rulers of Judea. He spoke of the good Samaritan before Jews who despised Samaritans. Christians can call Mormonism a cult until their faces turn blue, but with half a century under my belt I have yet to meet a Mormon who was not an upstanding person. Would that I could say the same thing of Christians.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 9, 2007 12:48 AM
Comment #240356

One more quick point on religion. For those of us who believe in a deity there is really only one question of the first rank we need ask. All others are secondary. “Is God omnipotent- all powerful?

If the answer is “yes” every other doctrinal question is really about what one thinks God himself believes. If God believes in the virgin birth, for example, it is true. If God believes Joseph Smith, well…

From that point the really interesting question is, if you get to know that God disagrees with you will you change your mind?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 9, 2007 1:05 AM
Comment #240525
Source: ALIPAC.US Our archives indicate that Mike Huckabee supported in-state tuition benefits for illegal aliens and opposed ICE raids to round up illegal aliens working at Tyson Chicken plants in his home state of Arkansas. Tyson is a large contributor to Mike Huckabee’s campaigns. He has now stated that he is against amnesty but for a path to citizenship which means he is one of those two-faced doublespeak politicians we dealt with in DC earlier this year. Furthermore, Huckabee’s recently released “Immigration Plan” says illegal aliens should have to leave as current law dictates, but he is promoting the unpopular and failed ‘touchback’ provision. Mike Huckabee wants illegal aliens to leave for a day and walk back in claiming they are now LEGAL. We are disappointed to see these nasty tricks from the Mike Huckabee Campaign for President.
Posted by: d.a.n at December 11, 2007 12:40 PM
Comment #240599

Still Worrying about Religion?!!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 12, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #240634

Lee, where do you get this prejudice? Please provide one single court ruling that prevents any religious person in America from practicing their religion in their private life. You say its nonsense, but provide NOTHING of substance to support your claim. An opinion of certitude without evidence is prejudice, as in, a prejudgment of the facts, whatever they may prove to be.

Please, demonstrate your comment is not prejudiced by citing one single ruling in the last decade that preempts a person’s right to observe their religion in their private life?

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 13, 2007 9:33 AM
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