David Corn takes down Mike Huckabee | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

David Corn takes down Mike Huckabee

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 6:23 AM

Another devastating review of Mike Huckabee's simple-minded "Simple Government," his latest bookette that's mostly a demagoguic attack on elites. David Corn does the honors.

There are Huckabee's whoppers. Obama has no Cabinet members with business experience. Corn lists many of them, including, uh, governors.

There's the whole "simple" theme. Corn lists Huckabee's own repeat ethical shortcomings as governor, along with his grabbiness for loot. Not so simple to be straight, apparently.

There's his whopper about taxes.

One simple bromide Huckabee serves up in his book is predictable: "Raising Taxes Is Not the Answer." Unless you're Huckabee. During the 2008 campaign, Huckabee often declared that he had cut taxes "almost 94 times" while governor of Arkansas. Factcheck.org found that was misleading, noting that Huckabee "leaves out the 21 taxes raised during his tenure. In the end, he presided over a net tax increase." He did so to close large gaps in the state budget so Arkansas, as Huckabee at the time declared in a speech to the state legislature, could continue to "provide an adequate level of service" to its citizens. State government spending also increased by 50 percent while he was governor. And guess what? The state, under Huckabee, moved from a $200 million shortfall to a $884 million surplus.

So tax hikes can work. What a simple idea.

Does David Corn matter? I wish. But if the book reviews keep piling up in this fashion, it could drive a story line that even story-teller Mike Huckabee can't outmaneuver.

And speaking of Mike Huckabee: John Brummett still leans toward the view that all this is just about making money, not running for president.

Mike Huckabee continues to behave more as a man who wants to make money and revel in his own celebrity and glibness than as a serious candidate for president.

He purposely barreled into political headlines over the last few days, but all we can say for sure about his motivation is that he has yet another book out and was trying to sell copies.

He remains for now a media performer first, a politician second and a preacher last.

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