Last week I defended Huckabee from the charge that he is exploiting bigotry, or is a bigot himself, based on his refusal to spell out his views on the Mormon church. Since then, both Charles Krauthammer and the editors of the Wall Street Journal have repeated the charge. I still think it’s an unfair hit on Huckabee. It’s not as though any of his critics would be happier if he had said forthrightly that he does not consider the church to be Christian. Who are Krauthammer, or the editors of the Journal, to tell Huckabee he can’t take that view?
I’m not especially a fan of Huckabee’s fiscal record as governor, and I’m not terribly persuaded by his defenses of it, but I think his critics are going overboard on this issue, too. Republican governors should try really hard not to preside over net tax increases. But Huckabee has pledged not to raise taxes at the federal level, and has come out with a very specific (if to my mind dubious) right-wing tax-reform plan. If it’s good enough for Grover Norquist, how much is left here for conservatives to beat up?
(Thanks for the coinage, Mike!)