McCain and Huckabee: Walking Oxymorons

Six names appear on the ballot for tomorrow’s Republican presidential primary in Virginia: Ron Paul, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson. Of these six, only the first three are still running.

Of these three remaining candidates, two are unfit to serve as president or as mantle-bearers for republicanism. John McCain and Mike Huckabee so fundamentally misunderstand republican government that it’s a travesty that they have succeeded so well in the race.

John McCain is responsible for the most unConstitutional piece of legislation in the 21st century. By trampling on the First Amendment, McCain-Feingold undermines the freedom of speech on which government by the people depends. But that’s only the most egregious example of Sen. McCain’s contempt for the people’s rights. Take, for instance, his record on the Bush tax cuts. Having voted against them originally, the Senator now claims that he believes they should be made permanent. Now, if this turn-around were the result of careful study of economics and of the proper limits to government, I’d applaud Sen. McCain for his ability and willingness to learn (though I’d still consider him too much a republican neophyte to serve as President). But it isn’t. Sen. McCain’s stated rationale for the apparent flip-flop is that letting the tax cuts expire would be tantamount to a tax increase. Well, yes, that’s correct. But it isn’t enough. Sen. McCain has never acknowledged his error in voting against the tax cuts in the first place, never acknowledged that he was wrong to stand in the way of the President’s efforts to let Americans keep a little more of their own money for themselves and their families, never acknowlded that the federal goverment simply should have been helping itself to so much of Americans’ hard-earned money, never given any indication that he recognizes the principle that there’s a limit to government’s proper reach.

Mike Huckabee, for his part, confuses the role of the government with the role of the individual Christian. Take, for example, his appalling record on pardons and paroles. As Governor of Arkansas, Mr. Huckabee consistently favored releasing violent felons; his justification for this is “the concept of Christian forgiveness”. Perhaps if he really had a theology degree, Gov. Huckabee would understand that the sphere of the government and the sphere of the individual are different, and that government has not been instituted as some kind of middleman between the Christian and his individual duties.

There’s only one remaining candidate on tomorrow’s ballot who truly understands the limited sphere of the federal government: Ron Paul.

Sen. McCain and Gov. Huckabee are merely walking oxymorons: big-government Republicans.

Virginia Republicans, please vote for republicanism. Please vote for Ron Paul.

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