This morning, I posted an essay on the relationship between principles and pragmatism in politics. It was a response to Shane Vander Hart’s article criticizing Mike Huckabee for his support of the House’s actions approving a budget that (at the time) was said to be a true reduction of $38 billion.
I am afraid that by going into such detail about the differences between the two approaches, the application of the philosophy to the case at hand was missed. I did not think the vote was a matter of principle, no matter whether you disagree with Huckabee on the wisdom of his position. Challenge his viewpoint, if you will, but I think it is off base to question his character, principles or integrity on this issue.
I did list two exceptions:
1. If the candidate you support or the congressman has promised to only vote for a budget that reduces the deficit by “X” amount. (The principle would be “don’t vote different than you promised”).
2. They would never ever vote for a budget that did not totally defund Planned Parenthood (The principle is that the organization must be defunded now, and they won’t budge on anything else until that happens.).
I offer the challenge for any potential president candidate to say they would veto any budget proposal that did not defund Planned Parenthood.
If none come forward (or their representatives) I will assume that no one believed that this vote was a matter of principle, and therefore all talk that Huckabee has lost the moral highground is unfounded.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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