Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Union Address

I'm behind on homework, so this will be short. Full text of the speech can be found here.

His "economic stimulus package" won't work, only tax and regulation cuts, not government handouts, stimulate the economy.

His "two democratic states" proposal for Israel/Palestine won't work either. When you have a terrorist organization in control of a "democracy," there will be no peace.

Of course he is right about Iraq and the war on terror, though his cuddling up with the Palestinians doesn't make any sense.

I loved his swipe at Bloomberg's push for "higher taxes on the rich" by pointing out that the IRS accepts checks and money orders.

Overall, it was a decent speech, but as we've seen throughout his presidency, some of his policies violate key conservative principles. The real problem is that the remaining GOP contenders, let alone the Democrats, will be even more liberal on some issues than President Bush has been.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Farewell to Fred Thompson: The Last, Best Hope for America

I had the honor of meeting former Senator Fred Thompson in person earlier today. He spoke to the National HQ staff for about 5 minutes, thanking them and telling them that it was a good experience for all involved. He said he might have done better if he'd done it the way the media and others wanted him to, but that it wouldn't have been being true to himself and his beliefs, so he didn't. I tell you what, he would have made a great President- totally unwavering and committed to his convictions. My friend Matt had Sen. Thompson sign his copy of "Government on the Brink" and Fred flipped through it and said "unfortunately it's still very relevant today." I sensed that he was somewhat discouraged that Washington didn't respond to his conservative ideas then, and now the nation rejected them (and him) again. I'm afraid he's very deeply concerned about the future of conservatism. Did you hear that after Fred dropped out, Rush said he may not support the eventual GOP nominee? Fred was drafted into the race because conservatives couldn't support any of the other candidates, but they didn't support him enough to avoid major compromise with a Romney/McCain/Giuliani/Huckabee nominee. I don't really like any of the remaining GOP candidates- each has strengths, but also many weaknesses. I'm backing Romney now, but probably won't give him any money or time. There is so much work to be done if we are to save our nation from total rejection of sound policies. Please join me in praying for the future of our nation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Farewell, Fred, and God Bless You For Your Service

Kathryn Jean Lopez has an excellent article about Fred Thompson's principled campaign. Please read it in its entirety, but here are a few excerpts:

"We need to deserve to lead. And this is what this is all about; it’s about deserving to lead.”That was Fred Thompson on Saturday in South Carolina during a sincere, passionate, well-grounded speech that sounded like his farewell to the campaign trail. With his announcement Tuesday afternoon that he has withdrawn his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, we now know it was. It was a bittersweet moment for any conservative who had been watching his campaign and wished it had been a more effective one earlier in the process. It was also a moment for the ages — one that every civics class in America should reflect upon: Politics is about policy and service to this great nation; that’s what makes the campaign worthwhile. That’s why you put up with the trophy-wife slanders and Chris Matthews’s questions.

Whoever winds up the Republican nominee for president this year, he’d be doing his country a service if he read Fred’s pre-caucus message to Iowa voters that Thompson posted on his website. In it he listed “the fundamental, conservative principles that have unified us for over two

“Doing our part. Stepping up to the plate. Stepping up for service. Stepping up to do the right thing.” That’s how Fred Thompson put it on Saturday night. That’s what he’s done. And no pandering or hand-holding (or -raising!) along the way. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing him again — he’s too invested in this country he loves for us not to. Thank God for Fred Thompson. May he inspire more to serve. And may he encourage us to rethink our may-the-man-with-the-best-soundbites-win electoral process.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mike Huckabee, John Hagee, and the American Family Association

I found this video tonight and while it is disappointing, it's not surprising.
Less than a month ago, Huckabee delivered a Christmas season sermon at Cornerstone about Christ's birth and embraced Hagee, calling him "one of the great Christian leaders of our nation.”

American Family Association, a 501(c)(3), is sponsoring the latest of their campaign events for Huckabee in Florida one week before that key primary election. Of the listed speakers, I'm not sure where Gingrich stands, but all the rest (including Hagee) have either hosted events for Huckabee or formally endorsed him as part of his "Faith and Values Coalition." This seems to be pushing the edge or blatantly violating IRS regulations (also here). Are there AFA members out there who are as outraged as I am that Don Wildmon (whohas personally endorsed Huckabee) is putting their organization's tax status at risk in order to assist the campaign of a man with a moderate/populist record?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Letter to my Friends

By Daniel Davies

Dear Friends,

Over the last month or two, Mike Huckabee's astounding rise in national and early-voting-state polls has been the focus of much discussion. Apparently, this rise is in large part attributed to evangelical Christians in general and homeschoolers in particular. As an unabashed member of these groups, I feel an obligation to inform my fellow evangelical homeschoolers. I realize that Mr. Huckabee has been endorsed by Michael Farris of HSLDA and PHC. But I also know from Dr. Farris that it was due to Huckabee being so bold and eloquent when speaking about his faith that apparently Dr. Farris was sold on him on the spot. I fear that this is the case with many Christians and homeschoolers. They are supporting Huckabee because of how out-front he is about his faith, and because of some key endorsements he has received from religious leaders.

Unfortunately, there is much more to Mike Huckabee than this. His 10-year record of governance, and even his current policies, are a mixed bag of some good and an equal or greater amount of bad. I am very supportive of Christians running for office and being very open about their faith in doing so; in fact, I believe that assisting Christian leaders in the political process is God's life calling for me. There is a point at which, however, a candidate crosses the line from his faith guiding his policies and campaign to one where his faith is his campaign; I believe Mike Huckabee has crossed this line and is using his faith for political purposes. His policies on Homosexuality and abortion are strong, and I applaud him for that. On fiscal, foreign affairs, immigration, crime, and other policy issues, as well as ethics, however, he has a very poor record/current policy statement.

The mainstream media has been fairly positive in its coverage of Huckabee for most of this year, based on his media-friendly nature, eloquence and humor in his speeches, and perhaps a fascination with the faith so many in the media don't understand. As he has risen in the polls, the media realized that he could actually stand a chance of winning the nomination, and have begun examining him seriously in an attempt to prevent such a dedicated evangelical from taking the White House. Notably, the DNC has refrained from attacking Huckabee much because they see his record makes him easily defeatable in the general election.

For the sake of disclosure, I am wholeheartedly supporting Fred Thompson's campaign, as I have since long before he announced his candidacy. He has a consistent pro-life, limited government, federalist, and pro-military record. He was also the first candidate to offer solid, detailed policy proposals for immigration, tax reform, social security reform, and other critical issues facing our nation today.

Please read my “Tale of Two Candidates” essay and the links below to learn a few of the reasons why I favor Fred Thompson over Mike Huckabee. Thank you for your time, and may God bless you in the new year to come!

In His service,

Daniel Davies
Patrick Henry College- Government major- class of ‘09

Religion-mandated big-government?

And . . . Huckabee signed a law placing more restrictions on homeschooling?

Also . . . .Huckabee received $35,000 in consulting fees last year from one of the world's largest embryonic stem cell research companies?

"If a man gains the whole world, and loses his own soul, what does it profit him?"
Apparently about $10,000. This is the amount of money Huckabee accepted from the owners of two gambling racetracks in AR after signing two of his often-touted 94 tax cuts: targeted tax exemptions for those two tracks worth $2,300,000

Huckabee and Homeschoolers

By way of introduction, I am a born-again Christian that was homeschooled K-12 and am currently a Sophomore at Patrick Henry College, majoring in Government. I liked Mike Huckabee earlier this year, but once I started checking into his record, there were many problems, and I am now supporting a different candidate who is a true conservative. I won't get into the other issues, but on the homeschooling issue, Huckabee signed a harmful bill that was opposed by the HSLDA, and is the first Republican ever to be endorsed by the NEA's New Hampshire chapter. Here's some more information on this from a friend:

Huckabee has been endorsed by the NEA of NH. What kind of conservative does the NEA of a liberal state endorse?
The endorsement is simply the logical choice for an organization that opposes school vouchers, as Huckabee does.

Although he has tried recently to flip on this issue, he also called No Child Left Behind "the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in my lifetime," (Washington Times 03/01/05) a program that stripped schools of local control and increased federal spending on education by 48% over three years ( 11/09/06). NCLB was a big government proposal from Bush that is widely regarded as a failure. Also, because he believes that "art and music are as important as math and science" in public schools, he wants these programs funded -- and thus, directed and administered -- federally.

In 1999, Huckabee signed into law a bill that HSLDA described in this way: “The enactment of House Bill 1724 on April 5, 1999, gives Arkansas the unique distinction of becoming the first state in the nation to add restrictions to its existing home school law . . . Arkansas is now one of only 12 states to impose a deadline for beginning home schooling or requiring parents to provide advance notice to public school officials of their decision to do so. Because of this restriction, parents who encounter intolerable conditions at the public school, such as imminent danger to the safety or welfare of their child, will have to wait at least 14 days before withdrawing the child to begin home schooling or else face truancy charges for unexcused absences during the 14-day waiting period. No such restriction exists for parents who decide to immediately remove their children to attend a private or parochial school in Arkansas. This raises serious issues regarding the right of parents to direct the education of their children and equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." and also for more.

Considering the NEA endorsement listed above, the HSLDA endorsement is a cause for puzzlement, especially when you take into account their 2007 - 2008 NEA Resolutions: "The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used."

Ned Ryun (former director of Generation Joshua and of HSLDA’s Federal PAC) was the director of HSLDA’s PAC at the time of their endorsement of Huckabee, but he did not know about the endorsement until after the fact. Ned left HSLDA-PAC shortly thereafter.

A Tale of Two Candidates

By Daniel Davies

The first candidate is a southern governor who is outspoken about his Baptist faith and is highly involved in his church, including serving in places of leadership. He is a faithful family man, married to one woman for over 30 years, and places great emphasis on family values. His time as governor was marked by compassion for racial minorities, the poor, and trying to assist those stuck in the criminal justice system. He is committed to his principles, even when it brings disagreement with members of his own party in the state government.

The second candidate claims to be a Christian, but admits to not regularly attending church at times. He has been divorced, with children from both his past and current wife. He has a successful career as an actor on both big and small screens. While he has spent time as a political office-holder, over the last several years he has done short radio commentaries on current events which were syndicated nationally. This candidate was motivated to get into Republican politics by the conservative policies advocated by Barry Goldwater in the 1960s.

Who are these two candidates? You may have guessed that the above descriptions describe current 2008 Presidential nominees Mike Huckabee (#1) and Fred Thompson (#2).

You may not have realized that the same descriptions apply to the general election candidates in 1980, Jimmy Carter (#1) and Ronald Reagan (#2).

What can we learn from this comparison? Do Christian principles and beliefs necessarily make a good President? Many Christians, with the best intentions, are flocking to support the Mike Huckabee campaign. Conservative leaders, including Rush Limbaugh, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Grover Norquist, and GOP leaders in his home state of Arkansas have pointed out that Huckabee’s liberal policies as governor greatly damaged the conservative cause in Arkansas. Huckabee currently advocates a mixture of some conservative policies and some liberal ones. But should his current conservative positions on immigration and spending, for example, cause us to ignore his previous actions as governor? As former Sen. Zell Miller declared in his 2004 RNC “spitballs” speech, “Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric.” Mike Huckabee would be unable to keep the GOP’s coalition of religious, family-values, fiscal, and foreign affairs/national defense conservatives together. He has demonstrated an ignorance of foreign affairs that indicates that his foreign policy could resemble the disasters of 1976-1980 under Jimmy Carter. Fred Thompson has years of experience in foreign affairs, including chairing an advisory committee for Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Christians must realize that a candidate’s ability to lead the nation and the free world does not come from how openly he advocates his religious beliefs. The only 2008 candidate with a consistent conservative record on all issues is Fred Thompson, the new Ronald Reagan for the challenges of the 21st century.