The Campaign Spot

Looking at Jim Pinkerton’s Greatest Hits…

I think Jim Pinkerton is a nice pickup for the Huckabee campaign. But one of the challenges of adding a professional columnist or writer to a candidate’s campaign is that writers, who write regularly, on deadline, for long periods of time, usually end up writing something that some of the candidate’s supporters may not like.

You know, like this

In making their case that the pro-life position hurts Republicans, veteran GOP strategist Jim Pinkerton and abortion-rights activist Ann Stone argued that the abortion issue cost both Bush and Dole support in key states. Mr. Pinkerton declared that a party that loses states like California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in two consecutive national elections “is not fit for national leadership.”

Or this

The anti-Arabist view was most strongly held, of course, by the neoconservatives, who came from a very different tradition. Many of the “neocons” made no pretense of knowing much about the Middle East, except for Israel. By background, most of them were pundits, polemicists, and military theorists, as distinct from career soldiers. When they looked to the Middle East, they focused not so much on the region itself, but on US policy toward the region. And they disdained the Arabists, whom they regarded as naïve apologists at best and terrorist-coddlers at worst…
After 9-11, the neocons gained the heart of the President. So they began their effort totally to transform America’s Middle East policy. Whenever the Arabists raised objections (practical or ideological) to the emergence of the neoconservative Bush Doctrine for remaking the Middle East, the neocons stomped them down —in intra-government meetings, in opinion pages, in the larger court of American public opinion.
So while overall policy toward the Middle East is still undeniably being run from the White House, by neocons-in-chief Bush and Dick Cheney, the actual policy implementation, on the ground, is changing.

Or this

[The Christian Coalition’s Vice President criticized ]the U.S. Air Force Academy, for its “politically correct” announcement that public prayers would be discouraged—this decision being made, of course, in the wake of allegations about coercive evangelizing at the Air Force Academy.
In the words of the press release, “At a time of devastating natural disaster in America and during the midst of the war on terror, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s decision to discourage prayer is counterproductive and is itself a very discouraging decision.”
“Counterproductive”? What does that mean? Does Backlin mean that the lack of officially sanctioned prayer at the Air Force Academy—as distinct from the enormous amount of unofficial praying at the Colorado Springs campus—is going to make it more likely that the Academy, or the U.S. Air Force, or perhaps America itself, will suffer another natural disaster or terrorist strike?
Actually, it’s hard to believe there’s any other possible interpretation of “counterproductive.” After all, Robertson has boasted that his prayer averted a hurricane from hitting his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia. And he has asserted that America’s sins brought divine judgment in the form of 9-11. Indeed, the idea that praying is tangibly productive, in the here and now, is part of the Robertson/Christian Coalition worldview.
Of course, it’s possible that Robertson is on to something. Hurricane Katrina has taken his loose talk about assassinating Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez off the front page. So how do we know that one of Robertson’s prayers wasn’t answered?

You can picture the predictable questions: What does Governor Huckabee think of Pinkerton’s old [discarded?] idea that the pro-life position was a losing one for the GOP? Or about references to Bush and Cheney as the “neocons-in-chief”? Or officially sanctioned prayers at the service academies?


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