by Max Brantley
Here's the ABC transcript of George Stephanopoulos and Mike Huckabee. His logic-straining rhetoric was in evidence early:
Huckabee: It means that I take sides of issues that I think people don't expect Republicans necessarily to join up with.
For example, one of my real passions is music and art in the curriculum of students. And when I talk about that and talk about it with the kind of passion that I do, people say, "Are you a Republican?" as if Republicans don't like music.
There's such a value in developing both the left and right sides of the brain. And yet there's this perception that Republicans sort of stay away from the arts.
Well, I want to prove them to be wrong.
Who's been saying Republicans don't like music? Huckabee said he likes Mellencamp, by the way. Wonder what Mellencamp thinks of Huckabee?
He's still, there's no other way to put, not telling the truth about taxes. He did not pass the "first broad-based tax cut in history." And he is misstating the specifics of the public highway vote, which was a bond vote, not a tax vote. But the big issue remains the war. He's still trying to have it both ways, supporting the president, but ever so cautiously. UPDATE: Brummett is far more generous. Thought he did great, a potential vice presidential candidate emerging. One of Arkansas's conservative blogs, on the other hand, thinks Huck sucks. (I'm not ready to say this blog's comments -- and those from a number of readers -- constitute anything like a scientific sample, but I've noted before a distinct lack of enthusiasm about the Huckabee candidacy among a number of Republicans I know. Some Hutchinson Republicans, some just plain old Republicans.)
UPDATE II: Huckabee announced support today from an old-line South Carolina Republican family.
On another reader subject: Sorry, there's no roll call on the legislative website for the Thomas Paine bill. CORRECTION: Though I couldn't find it, Steve Harrelson supplied it. The usual suspects, minus a few.