Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Has Huckabee learned?

I whacked presidential candidate Mike Huckabee pretty good once and twice when he gave very lame answers to questions for which he should have been far better prepared.

Well, let none say that I'm not fair.

Though I'm even less likely to vote for him than I was when I wrote those posts, I think he is reported as giving a much wiser response to the question of Romney's faith. In fact... you'd think he read my blog! Check it out:
"I'm just not going to go off into evaluating other people's doctrines and faiths. I think that is absolutely not a role for a president"

"I don't think it's relevant to the presidency. I really don't," he said. "You know, I get all these questions about somebody else's religion. I only want to address the ones about my own, and I think some of those get a little bit almost unfortunately laborious because, you know, we ought to be talking about education and health care and energy independence and all these other things."

"If I'm invited to be the president of a theological school, that'll be a perfectly appropriate question, but to be the president of the United States, I don't know that that's going to be the most important issue that I'll be facing when I'm sworn in"
Isn't that almost exactly what I suggested he might have said, in the context of this race?

Everybody wave at the nice man!

UPDATE: but then, there he goes again: "Education is a state function."

The heck it is, Governor; or at least, the heck it should be.

Whatever happened to Reagan's vision to abolish the Department of Education? Good idea then, good idea now. (Sub-update: Huck then says "The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are." I say, the more parentally-controlled and the less state, the better off we are. And I reiterate: what about abolishing the Dept. of Ed? Is there any aspect of government he'd like to shrink?)


David Wolfe said...


This will clearly demonstrate that: a) I'm a 25 year old peon surrounded by wise men and women and b)I've only been a believer for two years, but I have to ask...in your last political post you said that Huckabee would be a good "evangelical politician." Obviously, for both of us, that leaves a lot to be desired, but why are you even LESS likely to vote for him now then before his Brownback comment? Short of establishing a theocracy (which probably won't happen until Christ's return) what more do you want? Your sermon on Col. 1 is still ringing in my ears, and yes I wish he had confronted Brownback and Romney with the truth of Scripture that they might confess of their sin, repent, and believe. It is my constant prayer in the vein of Romans 13 that all of our politicians might yet believe on the God who appointed them. If not Huckabee though, then are you content to lay off in the primary?

DJP said...

I said that? /c:

(Looks at last political post.)

Hm... I don't see where I said that.

But never mind, I'm glad you asked and would be happy to answer your central question.

It isn't Huck's standing as an evangelical that has me unlikely to vote for him. It's his judgment and his overall politics. Now, this recent response does have me more positive about his judgment, though it's a bit late. But I cited Novak's pretty devastating column in my last: Huckabee seems to stack up as an odd combo of fiscal/philosophical liberal, and social conservative. Sound on some social issues, but okay with government getting more and more control, and being larger and larger. And his position on illegal immigration sure doesn't seem to be mine.

Plus I must say, David, I think Hillary would make yogurt out of him. Think of it: her people would comb over every sermon he ever preached, and interview every disgruntled church-member he ever had,, and every newsletter he ever wrote, and find every joke he ever told on the golf course.

I wonder whether the fact that we aren't hearing any of these things may well indicate that they'd LOVE to run against Huckabee.

David Wolfe said...


Took you a bit out of context. With reference to Huck's debate comments you said "Probably a good argument for a (here's that word) evangelical politician." In the sense that I wrongly insinuated your support for him through my words, I apologize. Moving to the meat of the matter, I fully agree with your political take. As you read in my comment on your last political post, we are both deeply troubled by the same issues. However, I'm kind of intrigued by a potential Clinton/Huckabee matchup. Remember, he's beaten the Clinton machine once (granted, that was against a very politically weak and scandal-plagued Jim Guy Tucker) but at least he won't be intimidated by it. However, I would agree, if playing defense and keeping Hill out of the White House is the number one priority, Huckabee won't cut it. You won't like this, but I think Giuliani is the only one that has a chance against her, because he's the only one that can play to the center and scoop up moderate Dems. Romney will never be able to get past the Mormon question, and Thompson's star is fizzling faster then soda left out in the sun. Plus, things aren't exactly sown up among the Dems either...if I'm Barack Obama, I'm right where I want to be four weeks before Iowa.

David Wolfe said...

FWIW: Jim Guy Tucker had actually resigned, allowing for Huck's (then the L. Gov.) appointment to the top spot. However, Jimmie Lou Fisher, the women he defeated in 2002 was a Clinton appointee and was very active in his campaign for Gov.

Strong Tower said...

"Huckabee seems to stack up as an odd combo of fiscal/philosophical liberal, and social conservative."

Sheesh, why is it that when an evangelical, an SBC'er, runs for office, it's like someone gave them control of the church budget. If we have to endure one more redistributionist moral conservative, we'll all go broke. Haven't they ever heard, "You shall not covet...you shall not steal"?

I remember running for the WY House Of Reps., and my father-in-law had the candor to tell me that all politicians were liars. I didn't know whether to slug him or hug him. You know, when I told him the truth about not having any rights to use School Trust Lands for grazing, I thought he was going to slug me, he being a rancher and all.

Somewhere along the line, I'll have to pick a candidate even though he will all be found wanting in some area. Shame isn't it, that to win office, certain truths have to be spelled shuttr.

Libbie said...

Education is a state function?

That's quite a scary concept.

Dr. Caligari said...

What was the context? Did he say it's a state opposed to a federal function? That would be at least consistent with the original understanding of the Constitution.

Stefan said...

Judging by the full quote, that's what he meant: a "state function" as opposed to a "federal function"; not a "state function" as opposed to, say, a "church function." He was being prodded on the issue of teaching creationism in schools; he said, in so many words, that educational matters should be up to the states (plural, not the state (singular)).

Stefan said...

Or so it was stated.... ;)

DJP said...

This is strange; I'm not getting email notifications of new comments.

Yes, I believe I understood him correctly. That's why I phrased my criticism the way I did: "The heck it is, Governor; or at least, the heck it should be," and then brought up about abolishing the Dept. of Ed.

One Salient Oversight said...

At least "small government" isn't a biblically defined prerogative. Huckabee may not necessarily be "politically conservative" but he seems to try to be morally conservative.

That is, unless he actually DID fight hard to free that rapist...

DJP said...

Picking my pocket at gunpoint to satisfy your charitable notions is not a Biblical procedure. So... wrong.

Strong Tower said...

Our state constitution doesn't give our state control of the schools, and actually forbids if from writing laws that would force the several S. Districts to adhere to state mandates. It didn't keep em from doing so. Just that way, there is nothing in the US Constitution that authorizes the Feds to impose any regulatory control on the several states. It doesn't stop em though. Beginning to see a pattern here?

Want to know something? Well I'm gonna tell ya any way. Our state constitution mandates only three years of funding per child. Under the Acts of Admission, a set of laws illegally passed by Congress in the late 1800's, states had to provide education for their citizens out of proceeds of School
Trust Lands proceeds. I am not sure exactly how it shook out but our state wrote into its constitution only three years, most likely meeting the Fed requirements. But, now, we mandate education 1-12 be funded by the State and recently there has been talk of requiring Kindergarten. Kindergarten is included, but not mandated. Beside that with the activity NEA which has sued and won in more than forty states, Wyoming's Surpreme court ruled that lack of funding could not be a consideration in providing the best education. By the language of the 2005 ruling, all property could be taxed away from pivate ownership if needed to fund the educational system, meaning the NEA and her wholets (can I say that?). Why do they require funding of 1-12 and require attendance through the 8th grade (that may change soon too)? Because they get Federal funds to help provide education. And by the way, this is an old problem. John Adam's wrote to his wife Abby, that a federal system of education was necessary to inculcate the ideals of the state in the children because parents could not be trusted to do so.

The point to this wind is many politicos really believe that our pockets belong to them. To them it is not picking pockets, it is that we are keeping from them what is rightfully theirs. Huckabee may be one of these who thinks that charitable deeds is a church/state function. I have a neighborhood church whose Pastor thinks like that, want me to tell ya about him....

One Salient Oversight said...

is not a Biblical procedure

Perhaps you need to argue this out more. Do you have a post which says that small government is the only model prescribed in the bible?

And don't use Romans 13 to justify it. I hate eisegesis.

One Salient Oversight said...

When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

That's Deuteronomy 24.19-20.

Gosh. That doesn't sound like charity to me. It sounds like a command that farmers have to follow whether they like it or not. No choice about it at all. It's very much the case of "You WILL leave some of your riches to be taken up by poor people".

DJP said...

Exactly. Individuals, told by God to give directly to the immediate need of the poor, which the poor work to receive.

Not masses ordered by the government to give to the government so that it can redistribute it inefficiently, counter-productively, and to a dehumanizing effect.


One Salient Oversight said...

No. Not individuals. Masses. Farmers. Israel was an agrarian culture. This command was given to a group. And who enforced the law? Who would punish the farmer for not obeying this law? Individuals? No. The civil government God set up in Israel.

Any more modern philosophical beliefs you want to mash in with the bible Dan?

DJP said...

No need. The fact that you don't like the one doesn't obligate me to come up with any more; in fact, it's usually my practice that, when I encounter someone who simply doesn't want to learn, to stop with the one rather than waste my time.

If you're favoring a larger, more socialist government than either God in Israel, or the Framers in America envisioned, then you would require the text to say something to the effect that the judges would collect a certain amount from the individual farmers the text addresses, and then redistribute it. And you'd require the Constitution to say other than it does.

Individuals, told by God to give directly to the immediate need of the poor, which the poor work to receive.

Not masses ordered by the government to give to the government so that it can redistribute it inefficiently, counter-productively, and to a dehumanizing effect.

That you feel you h ave a better idea than God did really isn't my problem.

dac said...

why shouldn't education be a government role?

In a democratic/republic form of government, representatives, elected by the people, adopt laws. If you disagree that they have a right to do so, you either misunderstand democracy or believe that it should be done away with.

It's called democracy Dan - not socialism. You may not like it, but it doesnt change the facts.

And in some states public education is a constitutionally guaranteed right.

Strong Tower said...


In reality education has been provided by both church and state primarily. In our early government, there was not so clear a separation as there is today. The majority of "free schools" were funded and promoted by the several denominations.

Traditionally, we as a republic have not favored the government involvement in schools. First, it was considered the propriety of the church, and second, it is understood that schools are the primary tool for indoctrination. As I mention earlier, John Adams clearly understood the power of the schools in controling the minds of the people. In a conservative republican democracy, the power is best held closest to the people. In upholding that paradigm is was considered by the vast majority of the several governments that schools should be governed locally. The schools were first of all local and generally administered by the churches, and only later agressively taken over by the government. Ergo, in most states you will find districts that operate somewhat autonomously, only of late, becoming more and more overseen by the state and not until @1965 did it become a federal concern. Thomas Jefferson who fathered the School Trust systems understood this also. It is a trust system. A trust is a private property organization. In otherwords, the reason that you see education garaunteed by constitutions is in reality a constitutional right to have the trust administered by the state. The trust holds the private property of the trustees and is to carry out its feduciary responsibility to the "best benefit" of the beneficiaries, namely the students whose education is garauntee.

Local control then is the ideal in the U.S., protecting the right of private property holders, namely the students. It is a socialist progressivism that has empowered the state to oversee it, and for those very naferious reasons that were feared; government schools have become more indoctrination centers and less and less institutions for educaiton.

dac said...

Since the middle of the 1800's, many states (and/or teritories) provided public education.

That seems to me to be a fairly long time.

Strong Tower said...


I am sorry it I confused you. Yes states have provided for education. My point was that control, not funding was in the past local. The Acts of Admission were a late inclusion by the Feds which required states to set apart portion of land for the support of Schools. In Wyoming as in many western states, the funding for schools should come from these lands. And, the point being, is that the land is private. No doubt there are states that have directed funding out of general revenues, but our nation, if we include the period before the revolution is three hundred years old and for the majority of its years the primary source of funding and control came from the local communities, which meant the churches. Free-schools were called so for two reasons. First, they were public, that means that they were open to all, not that they were government schools. Second that they free of government entanglements. In states like Massachusetts, the free-schools were take over by the state very early with the adoption of laws that forbade them. Any tahoot, the final analysis is, do you want the government of say Hillary controling the curriculum? Think of the liberal education now being foisted upon public school children. Local control breaks up the power of imposition.

State and local funding dates back to the mid-late 1700's with the Land Acts, later the Acts of Admission would require new states to set apart land for the support of public schools. Again, this is a trust, essentially, though govermentally administer, it is a private source of funding. The monies derived from the School Trust Lands is not government money, it is private and the land itstelf, does not belong to any government, it belongs to the trust, meaning its beneficiaries. The wisdom of this is obvious, though practically not applied, it was meant to keep governments out of the control of curriculum.

The terms are confused. Common schools, private schools, public schools, government schools, the definitions have change over time. Initially, most common schools, or free public schools, charity schools, and the largest sector, private schools were established for the transference of academic skills with a distinctly Calvinistic orientation (for the most part) and were funded by and controlled by the local churches, but one must remember that the line of separation between the several local and state goverments and the churches was not as black as it is today. In 17th and 18th century America, your local church fathers were the state and local government. It was only later that Arminian and Unitarian theologies became dominant in civilian education (for the most part Catholic schools remained separated but they too received, often, funding from the state and local governments).

Then there was the "father" of modern socialism, the first communistic promoter, John Ownen. His common schools were geared towards the indoctrination of children. This is not uncommon, as mentioned before. In every educational system, there is going to be taught, whatever is the dominant politico/philosophical orientation that is in the control of the power majority. (Note I did not say majority power because, it is not the "democratic ideal" that is the determiner of the flow or direction that society goes, it is the political power, and that means money and majority party, not necessarily electorate majority). Later, Horace Mann, one of the first prevailing educational experts and a proto-fascist in the socialist establishment would begin the consolidation of the "common schools" under the control of the state, cerca 1850. Schools were called "change agents" by the insiders who knew that they could be used to establish their utopian idealistic socialist societies. He would be followed by other proto-fascists like John Dewey and the story goes on. John Dewey is called the father of the NEA, which though not named so formally until after his death, its history can be traced directly to him and other like minded anti-republican philosophers and educational psychologist like Mann, Thordike, James and others. So, for more than 150 years we have had an "nationalized" educational system imposed by academics who operate in the background. The first teachers college was not founded until the 1930's (interesting erra, perhaps the zenith of fasci/communistic influence politically) and it for the express purpose of training teachers in the progressivistic model. Its first experiential, student centered school, was a failure, but it was the proto-type of todays public schools. Formally, the Dept of Education was not established until the 1960's. Right next to it is the NEA headquarters, and the Dept is controlled by it. State and local funding is inextricably controlled by mandates from the Feds. They simply give the states their own money back and in exchange require state compliance. How kind of them, eh? States in turn, to insure the flow of Fed dollars, have legislated ever more direct control of local school districts to meet Fed compliance. Why do we not like Bush? It is called No Child Left Behind. Instead of doing away with the Dept of Education, he strengthen Federal control. A conservative, he is not.

So, yes, there was a great deal of public, that is governmental funding. What needs to be kept in mind is how the founding fathers of the various educational models viewed the nature of public education. Its purpose and philosophies need to be scrutinized. The early Calvinistic fathers, and the system of government that they erected known as the USA, clearly understood that the closer to the people the government the less chance there was of the "state-church", that is the philosophical systems of the state, to oppress the people. It must be remembered just where they were coming from. They had escaped the oppression of the Pope, just to fall victim to the state-church. The aim was to remove themselves as far from central control as possible so that they might maintain their freedom to worship according to their convictions. We have by the way, people like Luther and Calvin who established public schools to equip the common man in defense of his faith against the encroachment of popery, to thank.

Anyway, this history is complicated as all history is and many factors affected the resulting sad state of affairs that we have today. For my money, and knowing what is going on the the public schools today, the Calvinistic fathers were right. I am sure that I have not gotten all of it right in this shatter-glass review, but it is essentially, the way it was and is.