Recap: Huck, Mitt & Fred

Looks like I spoke too soon about the potency of Mike Huckabee’s campaign—his standing has improved pretty dramatically in recent weeks. I still can’t see him winning the nomination, but I can see him further dividing the cultural Right, thereby helping Giuliani’s chances.

Of course, once people take notice of you, the warts get noticed too—and Huck’s got warts in spades.
This Hot Air post links to a lot of the details, and there’s even reason to question his credibility on his main/only selling point, social conservatism. Most recently, Huck’s been taking flak for his foreign policy vision, which is peppered with complaints to the effect of “George Bush has been too mean,” both to the international community and to Iran (yes, that Iran).

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has picked up a couple major endorsements: National Review
makes a compelling argument that not only is he the best man for the job, but his nomination is necessary to keeping the Republican coalition together; and Judge Robert Bork trusts Romney to shape the Supreme Court as President. Mitt’s much-speculated-about “Faith in America” speech (transcript here, video here) was outstanding, as well. From religion’s actual role in our nation’s past to its proper role in her present, he brought these truths to the public eye with eloquence and passion.

It hasn’t all been clear skies for Mitt, though. Romney’s recent Meet the Press appearance
highlighted his past willingness to consider a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, as well the fact that he stands by his support for an assault weapons ban and the Brady Bill.

On immigration, I’d be lying if I said Romney’s changes of opinion don’t give me pause, and I don’t begrudge anyone for mistrusting him. But again, there are also reasons to be wary of his opponents (check the Hot Air link above for the dirt on Huck, and my archives for Fred Thompson). Speaking of immigration, though, Romney’s not the only one who’s seen the light—here’s the “consistent conservative”
arguing for a path to citizenship, every bit as recently as Mitt, if not more so.

As for guns, Romney is wrong. But every member of the Republican field is lacking in some way. It’s our job, then, to take a hard look at our priorities as conservatives. If gun rights are your number-one issue, then by all means, vote for Fred. I’m a full-spectrum conservative who understands and values the right to bear arms as well as the next guy. But I consider one million abortions annually a greater injustice than assault weapon bans, so the right to life takes precedence—and
there (as well as marriage), Thompson is lacking. Further, as I’ve argued before, the fact that Mitt is sticking to his guns (no pun intended) seems to run counter to the idea that he’s a phony who abandons his opinions for expediency.
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