Today the congressional caucus of the GOP unveiled their “bold new economic plan” for stealing some of the wind from the democratic sails as we move forward into preparations for the general election. These plans included agressive proposals for finally pushing forward with oil and gas exploration and extraction, and a move towards long overdue tax reform.
“To protect consumers, the House GOP plan would harness new technologies and unlock America’s energy resources in the Alaskan coastal plain, deep ocean energy zones, and elsewhere to lower gas prices, create jobs, and break America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. To protect taxpayers from pork-barreling politicians and wasteful Washington spending, our plan would establish an immediate earmark moratorium and prohibit federal spending from growing faster than the overall economy. And to protect American families and small businesses, the Republican blueprint would stop the Democrats’ largest tax hike in history, eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, and give taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and filing their taxes on a single page.”
After taking a moment to give our people a mental clap on the back, frustration and to some extent despair reared it’s ugly head in my heart.
Our radical new plan, is in effect a watered down version of some of the platform issues that made Mike Huckabee so attractive to his supporters. The same Huckabee vision that was shot down by party elites as one that was not well thought out, or practically impossible to accomplish.
When I thought further of the tumultuous ride we have all been on in this econonomy and society in general these last crazy months of the political silly season, I found more and more examples of Huckabee’s foresight on issues that later came to be the talk of the day.
Let’s start with the economy. During one of the early debates, Huckabee was the only GOP candidate to answer a question about the state of the economy with a ‘non party line,’ but truthful answer. For the working class American, the economy was not doing very well at all; and he was right. Within a month of that debate, the sqeeze that the working class was feeling, had crept into the middle class sensibility, and the stock market was on the fritz. Now the struggling economy is “issue number one”.
On the war on terror, Huckabee wrote a comprehensive analysis of current strategy in the middle east, and proposed that we needed to be focusing more on Pakistan and holding them more accountable for helping us in the GWOT, given the amount of resources we are pouring into their coffers. He was ridiculed for suggesting that the Bush administration had a ‘bunker mentality’ to the war, and his position on Pakistan was laughed out of town. A few weeks later, Bhutto was assasinated, democracy took a few steps backward in Pakistan, and an environment of political unrest increased the chances that Pakistan would fall into the hands of the extremists in its midst. Who’s laughing now?
Anybody who ever watched a republican debate was sure to hear the mantra from Huckabee, ‘We need to be able to feed ourselves, fuel ourselves, and defend ourselves,” if we are to stay free.
He suggested, again to ridicule, that America needed to start exploring all options, alternative and fossil, to ensure our energy independence within ten years. He even went so far as to draw paralells with the pace of the progress that was made by Kennedy in the space race. He did not talk about long term planning, he talked about doing it NOW, and agressively. Now we are paying over four dollars a gallon for gas, and everybody wants to ‘Drill now” with the ultimate effect of possibly being energy independent within the decade.
Huckabee talked about the importance of being able to feed ourselves, and implementing policies that would insure that our food supply did not have to come from external sources. This may seem to be common sense, but he was the ONLY candidate, on either side of the isle to talk openly about food sustainability on the campaign trail. Now, the world is in the middle of a food crisis. Rice and flour are being rationed at Wal-Mart and Cost-Co. Food prices are going up in part because of poor policy implemented regarding biofuel mandates, and there are riots in the streets in developed and third world countries alike. why was Huckabee the only one with the vision to adress this critical subject as part of his policy platform?
Huckabee also talked about the danger inherant in outsourcing our self defense. Again, this was not part of ANY other candidates talking points on the stump. Along comes the scandal of the outsourcing of our fuel tanker pentagon contract to a European based company. Now ‘Outsourcing our defense’ is the latest buzzword on the talk circuit.
Huckabee was howled out of town for daring to suggest that our Tax system needs a massive overhaul. He was considered naieve for adopting a platform issue in the Fair Tax that ‘could never be passed.’ Well somebody needs to do something!! Tax reform MUST be on the agenda of one party or the other, and whoever latches on to it first will have a winning platform for years to come. It looks like the GOP is taking a step in the right direction with the disclosures in today’s statement.
Huckabee was the only GOP candidate to call the stimulus package the farce that it is, pointing out that it only stimulates the economies of the very countries with whom we have a terrible trade deficit imbalance. Many lauded, and some decried his suggestion that working on restoring our infrastructure would stimulate our local economies, while providing jobs and strengthening the foundations that ensure our transportation veins remain open for commerce. The tragedy of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. subsequently made the subject of our rotting infrastructure take center stage for weeks on end. Now many in congress on the left and the right are advocating for infrastructure development in their home states as a means of stimulating economic growth.
When all is said and done, time and time again, the wisdom and foresight that Huckabee has demonstrated in sensing what issues need to be highlighted and adressed is nothing short of astonishing. It shouldn’t be, he has governed for ten and a half years successfully, even if his detractors prefer the spin that he is a preacher on a political holiday.
It is high time that this man get some of the respect that he deserves for being a brilliant and visionary politician. If you’re going to adopt and implement his ideas, at least have the courage to admit that he’s not the ‘hick, knuckledragging, snake oil salesman, Huckabilly’ that so many of you, liberal and conservative alike, have deemed him to be.
America may never know the gem it lost by not having the courage to believe that somone so unorthodox, and yet so intimately connected with her heart, could make it all the way to the oval office. She may yet be lucky enough to benifit from his vision, if John McCain finds the courage in his heart to do the hard thing and offer him the veep spot.
I can only hope.