At Huckabee’s side today was a man named Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, who was on hand to endorse Huckabee. ~Noam Scheiber
I can’t express to you all how little sense this makes. It’s baffling, like so much else associated with Mike Huckabee lately. The only thing more bizarre would have been if Gilchrist had endorsed McCain. How does the founder of the Minutemen endorse Huckabee? What parallel universe have we fallen into that this is happening? I mean, Gilchrist essentially has to ignore everything that the man said or did regarding immigration for the last decade. Apparently the take-away lesson is that shameless pandering works. Before much longer maybe Huckabee will land Tancredo’s endorsement.
Ryan Lizza’s article on the GOP and immigration has this telling section:
Huckabee is the latest victim of the Republican shift on the immigration issue. We talked on what should have been a happy day for Huckabee. According to at least one poll, he had taken the lead from Romney in Iowa, and was enjoying a sustained burst of positive media coverage. “Oh, man, it’s been unbelievable,” he said in his winning, Gomer Pyle-like voice. “We’re up in New Hampshire and I’ve got more press coming to the events than I’ve got people. I’m not kidding. It’s unbelievable. We have so many people coming we can’t fit them in the places.” But Huckabee’s excitement was tempered by Romney’s persistent attacks on his immigration record as governor of Arkansas, and he seemed to be grappling with the intensity of the question among Republicans. “It does appear to be the issue out here wherever we are,” he told me. “Nobody’s asked about Iraq—doesn’t ever come up. The first question out of the box, everywhere I go—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, it doesn’t matter—is immigration. It’s just red hot, and I don’t fully understand it [bold mine-DL].”
Of course he doesn’t fully understand it. He has spent his entire political career as a governor demonising and denouncing opponents of illegal immigration. He employed every heavy-handed smear available to oppose the policies that he now clasps tightly to his bosom. He was the Lindsey Graham of governors, and yet all he has to do is propose the kind of policy he would have never supported as governor and suddenly all is forgiven and forgotten (if it was ever known). At least Romney had the decency to alter his position on this early in the campaign. Huckabee may be even less scrupulous in this respect than the fraud.
As I wrote in the 9/24 TAC (sorry, not online), commenting on Huckabee’s “evolving” ideas on immigration and his second-place showing at Ames:
Yet only two years ago, as governor, he denounced a bill in the Arkansas legislature that would have prohibited state benefits for illegal immigrants as “un-Christian” and “un-American.”
If Huckabee believed that then, he is bowing to political necessity and sacrificing his principles–something he said shouldn’t be done when he spoke at the “values” voters summit–and he is doing so in the most transparently opportunistic way possible.
P.S. Michelle Malkin shares my stunned disbelief.