Thursday, December 27, 2007

Caricatures and conservatives

AC Kleinheider links to the Tennessee Guerrilla Women's pulling of one quote from Ann Colter's most recent article titled "LIBERALS SING 'HUCKELUJAH'" regarding Mike Huckabee.

“Liberals adore Huckabee because he fits their image of what an evangelical should be: stupid and easily led. . . I guess Huckabee is one of those pro-sodomy, pro-gay marriage, pro-evolution evangelical Christians.”
Two things. I find it very funny that the TN Guerilla Women don't embrace their fellow Guerilla Woman. They don't, I suspect, because she's on the opposite side of the political spectrum. But they're both cut from the same cloth. I don't read either guerrilla sites so thanks to AC for making the connection.

Second, there is a lot of 'guerrilla' in Ann's post but her comment about Huckabee fitting the liberal image of what an evangelical Christian is she has right. Huckabee does fit the image that many vocal liberals have of Christians. Christians (and homeschoolers) don't fit in that box very easily and those liberals know that, but the caricature is handy. A lot like using Ann Coulter as the voice of 'compassionate conservatism". It's unfortunate that both sides use this tactic.

To demonstrate the diversity in both the Christian homeschooling and conservative communities here is a link to a former Home School Legal Defense employee, Ned Ryun a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and son of sitting U.S. Congressman Jim Ryun, who takes issue with the HSLDA PAC's early endorsement of a presidential candidate. Huck, he says, isn't really pro-homeschooler and even questions his conservative credentials.
As has been clearly documented by Spunky Homeschool, HSLDA has condemned Huckabee’s anti-homeschool legislation in the past, and yet now endorses him because . . . I think HSLDA members need to ask, Is the defense of homeschooling still the priority for HSLDA, or are there other things that are priority? And really, what are membership dues being used for?
He even brings up Ned Lamont as an example of what could very well happen to Huckabee:
Candidates driven by a highly motivated, small base can win primaries, but they can’t win generals. I make this point because Huckabee’s rise in the polls is driven by a highly motivated, but small percentage of the Republican base. I have a hard time believing that he can actually pull in enough of the independent voters, moderate GOPers, etc. I honestly think that in a general, if it’s Obama vs. the Huckster, Obama peels off the moderate GOP vote and independents.
A great deal of Huckabee's 'small percentage of the Republican base' is comprised of homeschoolers that are closely affiliated with HSLDA. But HSLDA membership is not as encompassing as it used to be. As homeschooling matures and homeschoolers become more personally involved in protecting their right to homeschool they have less and less need for an advocacy group in far off Washington DC that has fallen victim to mission creep in order to stay alive. The problem is just as Ned outlines it. This group can be highly effective in specific battles but it takes a wider base to win this war. The trick is to recognize that a win in Ohio or New Hampshire isn't THE tipping point. There's a lot more nation beyond those two states. Hopefully, some of these good men will be able to hang on long enough to demonstrate that.

And don't ever forget that there are tens of thousands of homeschoolers that aren't Christians and will be voting for Democratic candidates all the while frustrated by their absolute allegiance to the NEA that adamantly maintains that the education choice of these voters, homeschooling, is a substandard education--another caricature to be sure.


Ned Williams said...

I felt compelled to comment on this post just so that there would be three different "Neds" referenced in a single webpage . . . surely an historic first.

But I also take issue with the slam by some that Huckabee's record in Arkansas was bad on homeschooling. It was more a case of 3 steps forward, one step back and is tempered, in my humble opinion, by the reality that Huckabee was governor in an otherwise Democratic Party-controlled state.

Kay Brooks said...

Well, I'm glad you didn't let the NED triumvirate pass without notice. :-)

So that makes Huckabee the Sundquist of Arkansas? Did Sundquist ever get an NEA endorsement, I wonder?

JJ Ross said...

Hi Kay, just gave you a shout out for this post:
"The Story of Homeschool Truth: Time We Learned Our Lesson?"