Huckabee’s ethics

No, he’s not a hater. But he is a gonif.

For now, I’m sticking with my view that Mike Huckabee isn’t a hater. (See below.) And compared to other Republicans, he seems genuinely concerned about the well-being of poor people.

But I wasn’t fully aware of how ethically challenged Huckabee turns out to be. He seems to follow the principles of Boston politics:

1. All I want is what’s mine.

2. It’s mine if I can take it.

3. I can take whatever isn’t nailed down.

4. If I can pry it up, it isn’t nailed down anymore.

The “wedding registry” ought to do the trick as far as communicating with the voters goes.

The Wayne Dumond story, Huckabee’s version of Willy Horton, is even uglier than I had recalled. It seems to me that a letter from a Governor to a convicted rapist shouldn’t start out “Dear Wayne.”

All this comes as a considerable relief to me; I thought that Huckabee was the Republican most likely to win in November (except for John McCain, who probably can’t be nominated), but it looks as if he would self-destruct almost as spectacularly as Rudy has. I’m also told that the money-cons hate him for more than his occasional lapses from anti-tax orthodoxy; he’s also an economic nationalist. Perhaps that means that Huckabee can’t be nominated either. But in the meantime he’s sucked all the Christian Right oxygen out of the room, leaving Fred Thompson to suffocate.

That seems to leave Romney. Somehow I doubt that the voters will go for the Stepford Husband. But I’ve been wrong before.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: