Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mike Huckabee -- The Anti-Corporatist

Some of our friends on the left seem convinced that Mike Huckabee is the genuine anti-establishment, anti-corporatist Republican candidate. Glenn Greenwald wrote a long (well, it's Greenwald) bit -- with five updates! -- about the anti-establishment candidates -- Ron Paul, John Edwards, and Mike Huckabee. Now, it's pretty ridiculous to call Edwards and Huckabee anti-Establishment -- Edwards is a trial lawyer with standard liberal "populist" views, and Huckabee is the ideological heir to George W. Bush. But it's interesting that he quotes, apparently approvingly, Huckabee's claim that he's not part of the "Wall Street-to-Washington axis, this corridor of power." Likewise, Jon Ponder claims that the members of the "corporatist Republican establishment" won't cede power to a Yahoo like Huckabee. Dave Neiwert has similar observations.

Guys, I'm sorry to tell you, but you have it exactly backwards. First of all, Huckabee is the direct ideological heir to George W. Bush. If you hate Bush, you should loathe Huckabee. He's even more of a religious fruitcake than Bush, and, in terms of policies, he seems not to differ from Bush a whit on, well, much of anything.

Sure, Huckabee talks like a populist anti-corporatist. But will that matter a whit in the end? Huckabee is the sort of big government Republican who will undoubtedly embrace all sorts of government programs, rules, regulations, and giveaways. As I noted in this post, corporatism isn't the result of bad people in office -- or not just the result of bad people. It's the result of structures and incentives. And I assure you that Mike Huckabee is not going to fundamentally alter the incentive structures that create corporatism. Nor will Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards, or Barack Obama, or anybody else with a plausible chance of winning.

The bigger the government we have the more corporatism we will have. And from the sound of things, Mike Huckabee wants a very big government indeed.