Leader Blues

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

EDITORIALS>>Huck flip flops

It is hard to say whether Mike Huckabee is betrayed more often by his memory or his principles. Running for president, at any rate, is hectic and may just stretch our former governor’s capacity.

Huckabee has told many untruths about his record and his past stands during the course of the long campaign for the Republican presidential nomination but one of the strangest occurred in Iowa the other day. A big part of his campaign in that state where evangelical conservatives predominate in the Republican Party has been his staunch and unrelenting opposition to abortion. While most of his Republican opponents have shifted around on the issue over the years, he has been steadfast always. He is running new ads in Iowa this week driving home that point.

A week earlier, he had attacked Fred Thompson, the former senator who once did a little lobbying for a pro-choice outfit, for espousing the idea that a national constitutional amendment outlawing all abortions was wrong. Thompson said it was an issue that ought to be left up to the individual states, a traditionally conservative stance on any issue going back to John C. Calhoun.

Huckabee said it was preposterous to say that such a deep moral issue should be left up to the states. If abortion is immoral in one state it is immoral in all of them, he said. He was “shocked” at Thompson’s stance. He claimed that he had always believed in a federal ban on abortions.

But a short time earlier Huckabee had sat down with the conservative essayist John Hawkins for a long conversation about the issues. He was asked about abortion. Huckabee said the legality of abortion should not be settled at the national level but should be left up to the states. This is the direct quote from the transcript, which until recently you could access on the Huckabee presidential campaign website:

“I’ve never felt that it was a legitimate manner in which to address this and, first of all, it should be left to the states, the 10th Amendment. . .” The 10th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution is the states-rights doctrine.

If many of these mispronouncements get circulated around Iowa it could hurt Huckabee in the caucuses Jan. 3. His secret is safe with us. We do not circulate in the Hawkeye state.