At Last, A Real Conservative

James S. Valliant's picture
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Thu, 2007-12-20 18:58

While Mike Huckabee's progress seems to have slowed a bit, his remarkable surge in the polls has put the Baptist clergyman into almost a statistical dead heat with Rudy.

Can there be a better demonstration of Republican dissatisfaction with the Pro-Choice Mayor?

Of course, Mitt can assure us that "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."

But can anyone beat Mike? "Recently, out on the campaign trail, a voter asked if my personal faith informed my decisions. My answer was simple, just as it always has been: my faith is my life - it defines me. My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them... Faith gives us strength in the face of injustice and motivates us to do our best for 'the least of us.'"

Whether there was a subtle nod to Christianity in his "Merry Christmas" video-message or not, almost every other candidate is now tripping over their own feet in order to come out with a similar ad, including all of the leading Democrats.

Perhaps more disturbingly, Huckabee has used sectarian Christianity against his Mormon rival. He even had to apologize for his crack, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

And before you dismiss Huckabee's "least of us" remark as mere window-dressing, consider the highlights from the report from the Club for Growth on the Governor's record. He appears to take his own Christianity much more seriously than even the Archbishop of Canterbury does.

On Taxes
"◦ Immediately upon taking office, Governor Huckabee signed a sales tax hike in 1996 to fund the Games and Fishing Commission and the Department of Parks and Tourism (Cato Policy Analysis No. 315, 09/03/98).
◦ He supported an internet sales tax in 2001 (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07).
◦ He publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002 (Arkansas News Bureau 08/30/02).
◦ He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline (1999), cigarettes (2003) (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07), and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001 (Arkansas New Bureau 03/01/01).
◦ He proposed another sales take hike in 2002 to fund education improvements (Arkansas News Bureau 12/05/02).
◦ He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003 (Arkansas News Bureau 11/21/03).
◦ In 2004, he allowed a 17% sales tax increase to become law (The Gurdon Times 03/02/04).

"By the end of his ten-year tenure, Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies "toward the people at the top end of the economic scale" (Washington Examiner 09/13/06), even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.

"Finally, Governor Huckabee opposed further tax cuts at a 2005 gathering of Iowa conservatives (AP 09/17/05). On January 28, 2007, Governor Huckabee refused to pledge not to raise taxes if elected President, first on Meet the Press and then at the National Review Conservative Summit. The evidence suggests that his commitment to protecting taxpayers evidenced in his early gubernatorial years may be a thing of the past."

On Spending
"Under Governor Huckabee's watch, state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07). The number of state government workers rose 20% during his tenure (Arkansas Leader 04/15/06), and the state's general obligation debt shot up by almost $1 billion, according to Americans for Tax Reform. The massive increase in government spending is due in part to the number of new programs and expansion of already existing programs initiated by Governor Huckabee, including ARKids First, a multimillion-dollar government program to provide health coverage for thousands of Arkansas' children (Arkansas News Bureau 04/13/06)."

On Entitlement Reform
"More disturbing is Governor Huckabee's support for the 2003 Republican-initiated Medicare prescription drug plan, a huge unfunded liability shouldered by taxpayers across America ( 02/28/06). The specific details of his position on Social Security reform and his positions on other entitlement programs remain unclear. We look forward to hearing his proposals on these important issues."

On Regulation
"Governor Huckabee has consistently supported and initiated measures that increase government's interference in markets, thereby impeding economic growth. He told the Washington Times he supports 'empowering people to make their own decisions,' but many of his key proposals have done just the opposite (Washington Times 03/01/05). These measures include:

" ◦ Raised the minimum wage in April 2006 from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour and encouraged Congress to take the same initiative on a national level (US Newswire 08/03/06), a proposal that President Bush and most congressional GOP members oppose.
◦ Sought to take revenue from his tax hike proposal to be used on economic development projects in 2002 (AP, 11/22/02).
◦ Threatened to investigate price-gouging after 9/11 if gasoline prices went up too high (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 09/12/01).
◦ Ordered regulatory agencies in Arkansas to investigate price-gouging in the nursing home industry (AP, 06/15/01).
◦ Signed a bill into law that would prevent companies from raising their prices a mere 10% ahead of a natural disaster. Services like roof repair and tree removal were targeted (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 03/07/97)."

They conclude:
"While the Governor has made a concerted effort to defend his record, calling oneself an economic conservative does not make one so. His recent refusals to rule out raising taxes if elected President-the cornerstone of a pro-growth platform-perhaps indicate which path he would choose."

This is the guy who's got the other Republicans worried.

Me, too.

( categories: )

Sounds Like Rudy's Out

James S. Valliant's picture

Rudy has conceded Florida in a speech that came just shy of announcing that he's out of the whole race. "We ran a good race... sometimes you just don't win..." It had no "goin' all the way" stuff -- just the reverse.

Rudy fought hard in Florida, the 4th biggest state, and came in a distant third.

Word on the street is that he will endorse McCain -- and all who voted (or will vote) for Rudy should know that their delegates will probably be voting for McCain!

So, he was your only option, Linz -- what now?


James S. Valliant's picture

A "no brainer"?!

Are you MAD?!

Hill's hallow platitudes that manage to say almost nothing versus the frighteningly clear pronouncements of Mr. Sacrifice-for-Something-Greater-than-Self? Do you trust McCain more on issues like military conscription (at this moment in history), or abortion (when the High Court is at the tipping point), or free speech (given his willingness to work with the Dems to silence political speech), or even just TAXES (given his opposition to Bush's modest reductions)?!

Fascist A versus Fascist B?

If you honestly think that their approaches to the war will be significantly different -- if HIll does make it into the White House -- you really are mad. In contrast to her Dem opponents, she stresses that we must leave Iraq "the right way" -- and after the nomination process watch the nominee (whoever that may be) get even tougher.

Here is McCain reassuring both Christian conservatives and the Global Warming crowd (he's an aggressive "believer" in both) -- at the same time and in the same respect:

"A very large portion of the evangelical community is becoming more and more concerned about climate change because of our biblical obligation to be good stewards of our planet... That clearly is an issue that I’m in complete sync with the evangelical community on."

This is the exact parallel to Huckabee's use of Christianity to justify more socialism.

Here is McCain reassuring us that America is specifically a Christian nation -- and how he might undergo full immersion baptism.

McCain isn't the new Goldwater, he's not even just a warmed over Nixon -- he's an idealistic Bismarckian collectivist. His next book could be titled, "It Takes a Regiment."


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Hillary resurgent in NH! Aaaargh!!!!!!!! I blame you James. I blame you for everything of course. Smiling

McCain heading the Reps. Galt, I hope Rudy knows what he's doing.

Still, Hillary/McCain would be a no-brainer.

Putting Huckabee's religious

Mark Hubbard's picture

Putting Huckabee's religious issues aside, his 'radical' tax policy, while not the end point I would wish to ultimately be, is one hell of a start - oh that we had a mainstream NZ politician suggesting this:

"For the most part, he's a pretty conventional conservative Republican.

But on economics, he has one big, out-of-left-field-or maybe make that out-of-right-field-idea. It's called the "Fair Tax," which is spin-ease for a national retail sales tax.


How would the "Fair Tax" change the tax code?

It would scrap it almost entirely. You wouldn't pay income tax, Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, the alternative minimum tax, a capital gains tax or estate tax. No more complex tax returns to fill out, either.

Instead, everyone would pay a flat sales tax on almost everything they buy: Food, clothes, new cars, diapers, even health care and financial services."

He is actually talking about abolishing the IRS.

This 'fair tax' is then set way too high, but I think the essential paradigm change politicians at some stage have to front up to on our way to free societies is to stop taxing income because that is the most regressive aspect of all Western tax systems, and killer of growth and free markets.


James S. Valliant's picture

Just noticing some common ground, that's all.


Landon Erp's picture

I can imagine. My new project deals with a lot of the ideas behind that so I've had a lot of discussions about this lately. But I totally understand.

And if it comes down to the four current leaders I might just look at the ballot and go "Who could do the most damage with the power they want...THAT'S MY CANIDATE!!!"


The price of liberty is eternal VIGILANCE.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Well, let me ask you this:
If Huckabee becomes the Republican nominee, will you still advocating voting Republican? And, will his philosophy have something to do with your objections?

No and yes respectively and resoundingly. But I wouldn't move from there to voting Dem-scum across the board. Any more than you will!

I say we should be rootin' for Rudy while he's there. If he doesn't make it, whole new ball game.


James S. Valliant's picture

"This election is going to be a train wreck and there will be no winners. And I almost just want to see one party get enough rope to hang itself I just don't know which or if I want to deal with the collateral damage thereof."

For two decades, my friends and I have referred to this strategy as "accelerating the Zeitgeist."

I'm often tempted, but just can't bring myself to do it, either. Smiling


James S. Valliant's picture

Well, let me ask you this:

If Huckabee becomes the Republican nominee, will you still advocating voting Republican? And, will his philosophy have something to do with your objections?

In addition to his profoundly religious orientation, he loves government "compassion," just like the Dems, and, just like the Dems, he doesn't like Bush's "bunker mentality" about the world.

Would you draw the line there, at least?

I'm to the point

Landon Erp's picture

Of hoping John Edwards gets the nomination or Ron Paul runs third party (NOT Libertarian). Otherwise it's Huckabee, McCain, Mitt, Obama or Hillary.

I want socialized medicine much less than most people but I'm to the point of where I'm legitimately looking at the possibility of voting Hillary.

This election is going to be a train wreck and there will be no winners. And I almost just want to see one party get enough rope to hang itself I just don't know which or if I want to deal with the collateral damage thereof.


The price of liberty is eternal VIGILANCE.

Man oh man!

Matty Orchard's picture

I was glued to my television last night watching coverage of the Iowa results. I wish I hadn't been working all day so I could have seen it all unfold in real time. I've been reading about it all day as well. So many twists, everything has been flipped. McCains gone from a total burnout to the (somewhat) likely nominee and 'she's a lock' Clinton got stung by a devastating third place. The Republican race is fascinating. I won't even begin to blather on in to details but really it is one hell of a race. What the democratic primaries lacked in complexity they made up for in sheer drama last night.

When American elections roll around I can't help but put all my personal convictions aside and just enjoy the game. And oh boy is it one hell of a game!

Here's to New Hampshire!

Oh, I know!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Nutters everywhere! Welcome to America, Linz!

Yeah, I got that already. Still no reason to vote for Hillary or Dem-scum or write Rudy off. Nice to see Hillary go down, btw. Now she'll get really dirty, and hopefully destroy all Dem-scum in the process.

Just Everywhere!

James S. Valliant's picture

Then, there's New Hampshire, where tax-and-censor McCain will compete with Romney. And, let's face it, if the former governor of Mass. is beaten by the Arizona senator in New England, that won't look good, especially after Iowa, will it? (Another towel thrown in by Rudy there, too?) Let's see if it's Rudy or Huck who comes in third place there.

Then, there's Michigan, where Romney's dad was governor -- and, of course, South Carolina, where Thompson or Huck might battle for the very soul of the cultural Right...

Nutters everywhere!

Welcome to America, Linz!

Scared yet?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

THIS IS JUST IOWA -- of course -- and New Hampshire is a different place, but, Linz, Ron Paul beat Rudy.

Well, Rudy wasn't playing, was he?

Iowa is clearly full of nutters.

No reason not to root for him or to vote Dem-scum.

His moment will come.

No one

No one does consistently. I think we are seeing the decay of principles on the Republican side. Unless one of the candidates steps up with some traditional Jeffersonian principles (Rudy or Thompson who gave a nice speech on federalism a while back) then I think the next president will be leading us double time to socialism no matter what letter is next to the name.



James S. Valliant's picture

The caucus process is worthy of critique, but the goodies don't explain Huck's results by a long shot.

Upfront Would Be Nice

James S. Valliant's picture

William, who represents the "Goldwater tradition" in this debate, then?

The Iowa Scam-

Liz's picture

Mr. Hitchens has an interesting take on these caucuses and I must confess I was ignorant of the process. Wow...

The Iowa Scam
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Dec. 31, 2007, at 12:02 PM ET

Huckabee takes a morning run in Des Moines, Iowa

It is quite astonishing to see with what deadpan and neutral a tone our press and television report the open corruption—and the flagrantly anti-democratic character—of the Iowa caucuses. It's not enough that we have to read of inducements openly offered to potential supporters—I almost said "voters"—even if these mini-bribes only take the form of "platters of sandwiches" and "novelty items" (I am quoting from Sunday's New York Times). It's also that campaign aides are showing up at Iowan homes "with DVD's that [explain] how the caucuses work." Nobody needs a DVD to understand one-person-one-vote, a level playing field, and a secret ballot. The DVD and the other gifts and goodies (Sen. Barack Obama is promising free baby-sitting on Thursday) are required precisely because none of those conditions applies in Iowa. In a genuine democratic process, these Tammany tactics would long ago have been declared illegal. But this is not a democratic process, and besides, as my old friend Michael Kinsley used to say about Washington, the scandal is never about what's illegal. It's about what's legal.

Every now and then, in the avalanche of tripe coverage that is provided by a mass media that (never forget) is the direct beneficiary of the huge outlays of money the candidates make, a sentence of ordinary truth shines through. Thus the following, from the bended-knee profile of Mike Huckabee, by Zev Chafets in the New York Times Magazine, describing events in the last week in October, when:

[T]he Hawkeye Poll of the University of Iowa was published. Huckabee had 13 percent, in a virtual tie with Rudy Giuliani for second place, behind Mitt Romney with 36. At that point, the Huckabee bandwagon didn't seem all that amazing to Iowa veterans. "Actually, it is pretty straightforward," said Prof. David Redlawsk, director of the University of Iowa's Hawkeye Poll. "About 45 percent of 85,000 or so Republican caucus voters are evangelical Christians. Roughly half of them automatically vote for the most socially conservative candidate in the race, and it looks like they have decided that's Huckabee. The other half can be won over, too—if they think he's electable."

So, once you subtract the breathless rhetoric about "surge" and "momentum" and (oh, Lord) "electability," it's finally admitted that the rest of the United States is a passive spectator while about half of 45 percent of 85,000 or so Republican caucus voters promote a provincial ignoramus and anti-Darwinian to the coveted status of "front-runner" or at least "contender."

Now, something as absurd and counterdemocratic as this can be so only if the media say it is so, and every four years for as long as I can remember, the profession has been promising to swear off the bottle and stop treating the Iowa caucuses as if they were a primary, let alone an election. Credit Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post for being the first writer this year to try to hold his fellow journalists to that pledge:

Without that massive media boost, prevailing in Iowa would be seen for what it is: an important first victory that amounts to scoring a run in the top of the first inning.
"It stinks," says veteran political reporter Jack Germond. "The voters ought to have time to make a considered decision, and the press ought to be a little less poll-driven, and we're not." Between the coverage and the hyper-compressed campaign calendar, he says, "the whole system this year is absolutely a disgrace."

The term of choice for the more thoughtful reporters, in describing the Iowa rules, is "arcane." Kurtz used it, as did his colleague Dan Balz, in briefly telling the truth about the even more scandalous situation on the Democratic side:

With its arcane caucus rules, Iowa remains a small battlefield. Only 124,000 Democrats voted last time, less than a quarter of those eligible. So if Barack Obama, say, edges Hillary Clinton by 2,000 votes, he'll be hailed in headlines as a giant-killer despite the tiny margin.

That's true enough, but how can an establishment media critic be so absolutely sure that all his colleagues will, in fact, behave this badly? Can it be, as I hinted above, that the other "arcane" process (the arduous and dubious "money primary") is mainly determined by the imperative need to buy advertising spots in the same media that knowingly cover a phony process as if it were a real one?

It's only when you read an honest reporter like Dan Balz that you appreciate the depth and extent of the fraud that is being practiced on us all. "In a primary," as he put it, "voters quietly fill out their ballots and leave. In the caucuses, they are required to come and stay for several hours, and there are no secret ballots. In the presence of friends, neighbors and occasionally strangers, Iowa Democrats vote with their feet, by raising their hands and moving to different parts of the room to signify their support for one candidate or another. … [F]or Democrats, it is not a one-person, one-vote system. … Inducements are allowed; bribes are not." One has to love that last sentence.

I was in Des Moines and Ames in the early fall, and I must say that, as small and landlocked and white and rural as Iowa is, I would be happy to give an opening bid in our electoral process to its warm and generous and serious people. But this is not what the caucus racket actually does. What it does is give the whip hand to the moneyed political professionals, to the full-time party hacks and manipulators, to the shady pollsters and the cynical media boosters, and to the supporters of fringe and crackpot candidates. It is impossible that the Republican Party could be saddled with a clown like Huckabee if there were a serious primary in Iowa, let alone if the process were kicked off in Chicago or Los Angeles or Atlanta. (Remember that not Iowa but its "caucuses" put Pat Robertson ahead of George H.W. Bush in the race for the GOP nomination in 1988.) The process might be a good way for Iowa to pick its party convention delegates, though I frankly doubt even that. It is an absolutely terrible way in which to select candidates for the presidency, and it makes the United States look and feel like a banana republic both at home and overseas.

Compassion vs. Justice

You are seeing an upfront debate in the party of the 'compassionate' big-government conservatives like Bush and the Huckster and the true small government Goldwater tradition. Rush made a great point the other day that Huckabee is playing identity politics, which is something much more often played by the left. Folks are voting for him because he is Christian, not because he stands for conservative principles.



James S. Valliant's picture

Let's see how Huck and Rudy do in South Carolina and Florida, then...

And that still doesn't account for the shake out among those who did contest it.

You did notice that little doubling of the share of evangelical vote among Republicans -- now bringing them to a comfy majority with Iowa Repubs?

Rudy didn't contest it...

Jameson's picture

He's playing the late game.

Scared Yet?

James S. Valliant's picture

Well, the data are in from the Iowa Caucus.

Some of the entrance polls were quite disturbing.

Like this one:

"Roughly 60 percent of Republican caucus-goers were evangelicals, approximately double the evangelical turnout in the 2004 general election."

And this one:

"Eight in 10 Huckabee supporters said they are born again or evangelical Christians, according to an entrance poll for The Associated Press and television networks. Another six in 10 said it was very important to share their candidate's religious beliefs. In both categories, none of the former Arkansas governor's opponents came close to that kind of support.

"In addition, six in 10 Huckabee supporters — more than his rivals — said it was most important that their candidate shared their values. Only 4 percent of his backers said they wanted a contender with experience, and 2 percent said they were looking for a Republican who can win the White House in November.
"With New Hampshire's primaries next Tuesday, the campaign's next stop is a state where only about one in five GOP voters are born again or evangelical Christians — about one-third the number who claimed that status among Iowa Republicans."

And this one:

"In Iowa, entrance polls of caucus-goers showed that 3 out of every 5 Republicans were self-described born again or evangelical Christians. Huckabee beat Romney by better than 2-to-1 in this voting bloc."

THIS IS JUST IOWA -- of course -- and New Hampshire is a different place, but, Linz, Ron Paul beat Rudy.


atlascott's picture

This observation is very, very correct. Past a certain point, nothing we do in foreign policy is significant if we do not have our own house in order.

Scott DeSalvo

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!


atlascott's picture

"the most decent Republican candidate in the field"

Whatever do you mean, decent? Unless it is a descriptive phrase regarding his opposition to our real enemies in the war on terror. Rudy is a borderline totalitarian domestically.

Scott DeSalvo

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!

It's not just the American right...

Casey's picture

But also the British left -- Tony Blair just converted to Catholicism!


James S. Valliant's picture

Having read too many of those conservative justices' opinions, I'm not so thrilled at the prospect of more like Scalia.

But what's the alternative?


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Don't you see what this whole process is showing about the party to which its candidate will be beholden? For example, Rudy has already promised the Right his judicial nominees...

No, he's said he'll be guided by his advisory committee. And some on the Religious Right are saying they don't trust him (good!). After all, he told them already if they don't like him not to vote for him.

I quite like what he said to the Federalist Society last month, as reported here:


"We believe in the rule of law, not the rule of judges," Giuliani said. "Our constitutional principles instruct us to recognize limitations on power as a way of protecting liberties ... for many, many years law schools have been confusing constitutional law with sociology, and there's a big difference."

On average, a president has the opportunity to appoint about 200 judges in a four-year term, Giuliani said. The leading Democratic presidential candidates are all likely to select activist judges inclined to legislate from the bench, he warned. By contrast, he would work with an advisory committee to select judges who will interpret law, rather than write it.


You may think that other issues are more pressing, but can't you at least acknowledge something profoundly rotten in state of the American Right?

Oh yes, of course. And in the state of the American Left. Your own case on another thread is that religion, and not just Christianity, is coming at us from all directions. I see it as part of the Cult of the Airhead, the marshmallow mobocracy (which of course is ripe for takeover by a totalitarian tyranny but it's not clear to me which variant is in the ascendant).

Bottom line remains, confronted with Rudy vs Hillary, I'd vote Rudy. Bet you will too. But the True Hsiekovians will be voting for Hillary and every other Dem-scum on offer. Dat's da part dat don't make no sense.


James S. Valliant's picture

Don't you see what this whole process is showing about the party to which its candidate will be beholden? For example, Rudy has already promised the Right his judicial nominees...

You may think that other issues are more pressing, but can't you at least acknowledge something profoundly rotten in state of the American Right?


James S. Valliant's picture

I don't make political predictions of that kind.

Mormons, Christians, Christians, Christians, Christians

William Scott Scherk's picture

James, you are in California. What are your predictions for California 2008 on these contests? --

Obama v. Huckabee
Obama v. Giuliani
Obama v. Romney

Clinton v. Huckabee
Clinton v. Giuliani
Clinton v. Romney

As a Canadian, I watch American politics closely. I am often astounded at the gulf in avowed religiosity in our two countries, and at the gulf in pandering to religious constituencies.

I read a fair bit about religion in our two histories, but I still don't understand how we escaped the front-and-centre fixation on religion in our political contests. For the most part, religion is a non-topic in our federal elections; if anything, anybody who tries to trade on religion to get elected faces a strange fact: most Canadians don't give a shit about what a person's religion is . . . we have had Jewish, Fundamentalist, Catholic, Sikh and atheist (provincial) premiers and the only time it has been remarked is when the leader has been a born-again . . .


More a case of ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

.... madness, madness, everywhere madness. Religion included.

The Cult of the Airhead. Paris Hilton worshipped for ... um ....

Headbanging caterwauling worshipped as music.

Scientology, Saddamy, anti-Americanism and Islam all the rage among the Hollywood set and the media.

The Hollywood set all the rage among the mob.

Osama Obama possibly set to topple Ho Chi Hillary as Queen of the Dem-scum.

Hick Huckabee possibly set to topple the most decent Republican candidate in the field.

Peikoff saying even if that candidate wins the nomination, vote for the Dem-scum nominee.

Much of a muchness, really. Lunacy every which-way you turn.

I agree with Leonard about placing Atlas in caves.


Religion, Religion -- Everywhere Religion!

James S. Valliant's picture

Despite a war being waged out there, this election cycle seems unusually focused on religion, even by American standards.

Senator Obama's rhetoric has been called no less than "messianic" . He began one recent speech: "I give all praise and honor to God. Look at the day the Lord has made."

According to the article, "Obama's wife, Michelle, opened the rally with a description of her husband that could, at moments, have been a description of Jesus Christ."

She said: "We need a leader who's going to touch our souls. Who's going to make us feel differently about one another. Who's going to remind us that we are one another’s keepers. That we are only as strong as the weakest among us..."

Apparently, Oprah Winfrey "also touched on Christian themes that had not been highlighted in Iowa." She said, "It's amazing grace that brought me here," adding that she was "stepping out of my pew" - television – to engage in politics.

Then, there's former Nebraska Senator, Bob Kerrey: "It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim... There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."

Of course, this required an apology.

Camille Paglia, though opposed to "cultural secularism," has had enough of this "endless political distraction."

Someone should tell her that it is anything but a mere "distraction."

Maybe we should call this new type of political pitch "sect appeal."

The only person who wouldn't be surprised by all of this is, of course, Leonard Peikoff.

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