Friday, February 8, 2008

Choosing up sides

On the heels of Mitt Romney's announcement of his suspension of his Presidential campaign, various conservative leaders are, quite naturally, beginning to announce their endorsements of their choice of the remaining candidates.

Dr. Dobson of Focus On The Family, as reported by CitizenLink, has now endorsed Governor Huckabee. Here is the text of the February 7 email sent out by CitizenLink announcing Dr. Dobson's endorsement (no link):

Dr. James Dobson issues the following statement tonight, speaking as a private citizen.

I am endorsing Gov. Mike Huckabee for President of the United States today. My decision comes in the wake of my statement on Super Tuesday that I could not vote for Sen. John McCain, even if he goes on to win the Republican nomination. His record on the institution of the family and other conservative issues makes his candidacy a matter of conscience and concern for me.

That left two pro-family candidates whom I could support, but I was reluctant to choose between them. However, the decision by Gov. Mitt Romney to put his campaign "on hold" changes the political landscape. The remaining candidate for whom I could vote is Gov. Huckabee. His unwavering positions on the social issues, notably the institution of marriage, the importance of faith and the sanctity of human life, resonate deeply with me and with many others. That is why I will support Gov. Huckabee through the remaining primaries, and will vote for him in the general election if he should get the nomination. Obviously, the governor faces an uphill struggle, given the delegates already committed to Sen. McCain. Nevertheless, I believe he is our best remaining choice for President of the United States.

(NOTE: Dr. Dobson made these statements as a private citizen. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a reflection of the opinions of Focus on the Family or Focus on the Family Action.)

Dr. Dobson is a man, and a Christian leader whom I highly respect. His unbending committment to and advocacy of strong family values including protecting the institution of marriage, the rights of the unborn, and other conservative values, has reserved to him a special place in my heart which he and he alone, through an abandonment of these values and the advocacy thereof, could possibly destroy. And generally speaking, when Dr. Dobson speaks my ears perk up. In other words, you'd be hard pressed to get me to say anything bad about Dr. Dobson, or to have any ill feelings toward him.

That said, I respectfully disagree with him on his endorsement of Mike Huckabee who himself, in a Fox News interview Tuesday night, proceeded to tell the viewing audience what a wonderful human being and strong conservative qualified leader John McCain is, and how much he respects and admires him for these qualities. This personal view of John McCain, I've concluded, must proceed from the same impulse that informs him of how great and wonderful and assimilable are the Mexican and other immigrants who are invading our land.

This isn't the first time I've disagreed with Dr. Dobson on an issue, and I'm sure it is far from the last time I'll disagree with him. But one wonders whether Dr. Dobson saw the Huckabee interview of which I speak, or if he simply chooses to ignore it. It's one thing to identify laudable qualities in an opponent, or to refrain from engaging oneself in the nasty business of character assassination. This is understandable, and a person of real character avoids doing so, or of giving the appearance of doing so insofar as it is humanly possible. But this is not what Huckabee was doing in the interview. He was, as I've implied, effectively announcing his own endorsement of Senator McCain, at least of Senator McCains impeccable qualifications to serve as President, even as he assured his supporters that he would remain in the race as McCain's real and actual conservative rival.

Is it just me, or is anyone else seeing a problem here?

For my part, Dr. Dobson's endorsement of Governor Huckabee is unfortunate and disappointing for the reasons I've mentioned and more. Not that I'm in the habit of prophesying, nor that I particularly care to do so in this case, but I have to say that I have a sneaky suspicion, given Huckabee's statements in the aforementioned interview from Tuesday night, that Governor Huckabee will himself get out of the race shortly under the auspices of doing what's best for the country. And he may truly believe that clearing the path for John McCain as the only choice left Republicans is the best thing he can do for the country, I don't know and I don't presume to know. But on this basis do I think it unfortunate that Dr. Dobson, among other influential Christian leaders, has cast his lot with Mike Huckabee.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I was a student at Liberty and for our 06 commencement, Senator McCain spoke. Obviously this was a HUGE deal because it signified to us that this was a man whom was highly regarded among conservatives and that we needed to be on the lookout for his political gains. Obviously, when it was announced that he was running for the office, I assumed that meant that Falwell would endorse McCain seeing that he was given a platform at the university. However, two months later Huckabee shows up at school and is publically endorsed by the Falwell clan. Students at LU were in an uproar because they feel as if this endorsement is seen as a cloud over all students and that it displays a "if he's a pastor, he's got to be a good leader" mentality. We all know that McCain has the experience in politics and Huckabee has the experience behind the pulpit. But just because you can lead a congregation, does not mean you have the skills and strength to lead a nation.

As soon as Huckabee's convocation at LU was over, there was an immediate push by students to get Ron Paul to speak. I'm happy to say that Ron Paul will be speaking at Liberty's convocation today! Ron Paul to speak at Friday's convocation