George Will on Huntsman

Will writes:  “Jon Huntsman inexplicably chose to debut as the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans, but his program is the most conservative.”

The thing is, I don’t think it is correct that Huntsman “chose to debut at the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans” but rather was welcomed with dislike by the Republican base from the get-go and for reasons I noted in this post.  To quote myself:  “That Huntsman ever had a chance is pundit-based fantasy, especially amongst conservatives who want an intellectually respectable candidate to support.”

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    There is nothing conservative about supporting open borders and unlimited immigration. Of course, there is also nothing green about supporting open borders and unlimited immigration but Huntsman claims to be an environmentalist.

    Will is correct in that most of the people who claim that they like Huntsman would never vote for any Republican. The only reason they like Huntsman is that if Huntsman was elected, the Democrats would still get everything they want.

  2. Please provide substantiation for your claim that Hunstman supports “open borders and unlimited immigration.” (Citations to World Net Daily or anything affiliated with Andrew Brietbart or Alex Jones are not acceptable)

  3. Gustopher says:

    As far as I can tell, Huntsman is the only Republican candidate who is both genuine (sorry Willard, sorry Newt), and has any tendencies towards actually wanting to govern. The rest spew talking points, unrealistic plans, and faux-tough-guy talk.

    I disagree with a lot of his positions, but he’s the only one of the bunch who I actually think would be a good president.

  4. matt b says:

    To understand Huntsman’s problem, one need look no further than the fact that that Eric F, the poster here who most openly pines for a “real conservative” candidate has gone on record, multiple times, as stating that Huntsman isn’t a conservative (while stating that Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, and Cain all are).

    That said, I’m not sure if he’s ever laid out an argument as to why that is beyond the fact that Huntsman was an ambassador under Obama and took a fact based, moderate position (in other words conservative in the truest sense of the phrase) on the issue of climate change.

  5. superdestroyer says:

    First,

    Huntsman supports amnesty which means that any illegal alien in the U.S. gets to stay and gets to do what they want, http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/rep_bios.php?rep_id=46881101&category=views&id=20110816184455

    Second, Huntsman wants more immigration. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/huntsman-thinks-more-immigrants-will-revive-the-housing-market-could-it/2011/09/08/gIQA5nFGDK_blog.html

    Hunstman is also against the idea of a fence but is supporting it during the Republican primary but drop his support after the election. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2011/06/26/20110626huntsman-mccain-immigration-nowicki.html

  6. Herb says:

    “Please provide substantiation for your claim that Hunstman supports “open borders and unlimited immigration.” ”

    Well, Huntsman did side with Perry on the “instate tuition for children of immigrants” thing, which means that he’s –by default– supportive of open borders and unlimited immigration. In some circles, the only good immigration policy is a punitive one.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @Herb:

    For Huntsman, the question is what resistriction on immigration would he support. He does not want to deport any illegal aliens. He is OK with illegal immigration using stolen identities. Huntsman want to increase the legal number of immigration.

    I guess Huntsman’s solution for illegal immigration is unlimited legal immigration.

    Huntsman is just another cheap labor Republcan who will do whatever the big money Republicans want him to do.

  8. Herb says:

    @superdestroyer: Sorry, but your first source doesn’t count. Not sure where you found it, but the first line says: “Governor Huntsman supports amnesty for illegal aliens and opposes efforts to remove benefits for illegal aliens or enforce US laws.”

    I would not consider that a credible, factual source.

    As to “Huntsman wants more immigration”….so? Wanting more immigration doesn’t require also wanting open borders and unlimited immigration. It might even include more limits and even stricter borders. (Not that Huntsman supports that….just saying that this doesn’t prove what you think it proves.)

    Re: the fence. Here’s the deal with the fence. Again, not supporting the fence doesn’t mean that you’re pro-open borders/unlimited immigration. It might just mean you’re averse to wasting money or wish to hold out for a solution that will actually work.

    All you’ve done here is play the old game wherein you observe that Huntsman doesn’t support your specific policy proposals, so you conclude he supports the exact opposite. Nice try.

    Now try again.

  9. Herb says:

    “He does not want to deport any illegal aliens. He is OK with illegal immigration using stolen identities. Huntsman want to increase the legal number of immigration.”

    Again…..sources?

    Because I think you’re building a straw man of Huntsman’s actual beliefs and then beating the stuffing out of it.

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @Herb:

    Huntsman supported the ID of giving illegal aliens drivers licenses with no documentation. Utah had to change the law when underage drinkers figured out they could get a fake but official government ID.

    What would be the purpose of having a government ID if the name, address, or age are meaningless.

    Huntsman also supports in-state tuition for illegal aliens and for making them eligible for quotas and set-asides.

  11. superdestroyer says:

    The real question for the liberal “supporters” of Huntsman who would actually never vote for him. Please provide references to show that he has any conservative positions. Liberal websites or publications do not count.

  12. @superdestroyer: Of course, a lot of that is in the definition of “liberal”–there are, I suspect, any number of disaffected Reps who currently will not vote for a lot of the GOP who might be persuaded to vote for Huntsman.

  13. sam says:

    Shoter Supe:

    Gak. This guy’s for more brown people.

  14. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: Does George Will count (and I, personally, can understand why you would say no, but do want to hear you say it)?

  15. Herb says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Look, I know you’re just cranking on, but even taking you at your word……how do you go from supporting “drivers licenses for illegals” and “in-state tuition for the children of illegals” to supporting “unlimited immigration” and “open borders?”

    There is only one answer. “Because I don’t know what else to do with all this straw except make a man out of it…..”

  16. Herb says:

    @superdestroyer: “Liberal websites or publications do not count.”

    I think I started this “does not count” stuff and I’d like to apologize, or at least clarify. The reason your initial source “does not count,” SD, is because of the language. Like I said, the first line says:

    “Governor Huntsman supports amnesty for illegal aliens and opposes efforts to remove benefits for illegal aliens or enforce US laws.”

    This is not a factual description of Huntsman’s stated views. It’s an analysis, and a particularly slanted one.

    In other words, this source isn’t saying “This is what he said.” It’s saying, “This is what he meant.” Which is fine….but the whole point about sources is that I don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. I don’t have to rely on the interpretation, I can just look at the facts and make my own interpretation.

    Which brings us back to the sentence:

    ““Governor Huntsman supports amnesty for illegal aliens and opposes efforts to remove benefits for illegal aliens or enforce US laws.”

    Some minor editing renders this sentence thusly:

    “Governor Huntsman opposes efforts to enforce US laws.”

    Does that pass the smell test to you? Even a little bit?

  17. superdestroyer says:

    @Herb:

    Huntsman also supports more immigration, no physical barrier along the border, no employer enforcement, and no deportation.

    Unless you can say who Huntsman would keep outside of the U.S., then you should admit that Huntsman supports open borders.

    Of course, it is understandable when you come from a POV of cheap labor, then open borders makes sense. When you got rich from selling items to McDonald’s, it makes sense that Huntsman would want more people who eat mainly at cheap, fast food establishments.

    The real question is why do progressives had a good opinion of a cheap labor Republican who would never make a personal sacrifice to help the environment.

  18. G.A.Phillips says:

    especially amongst conservatives who want an intellectually respectable candidate to support.”

    lol, I did not know he was an atheist and Half to three quarters liberal…

  19. @superdestroyer:

    Second, Huntsman wants more immigration.

    I love it when nativists get excited and mommentarily forget to keep up their “It’s only illegal immigration we’re opposed to” lie.

  20. Herb says:

    @superdestroyer: Why does one even bother?

    The real question is why do progressives had a good opinion of a cheap labor Republican who would never make a personal sacrifice to help the environment.

    First, immigrants are not just “cheap labor.” They are people, with hopes, dreams, fears, and foibles just like the rest of us. Arguing about them as if they’re dehumanized cogs in the US’s big economic machine is missing the point…and missing it badly.

    Second, I can’t say that I trust your assessment of Huntsman’s immigration policy, nor do I think you have a true grasp of the debate. You seem to elevate the things that don’t really matter (borders) and totally ignore the things that do (the people). No surprise that approach is less than convincing.

  21. Gustopher says:

    The more superdestroyer says about Huntsman, the better he sounds.

    Hey, superdestroyer, how is Huntsman on homeland security?

    If the Republicans somehow managed to nominate someone who actually came down on the side of liberty rather than security, and who wasn’t a wild-eyed lunatic, I’d hold my nose and vote for them, despite all their other views.

  22. Eric Florack says:

    Please provide substantiation for your claim that Hunstman supports “open borders and unlimited immigration.” (Citations to World Net Daily or anything affiliated with Andrew Brietbart or Alex Jones are not acceptable)

    Pardon me, Doug, but your bias is beginning to leak out. Actually it began quite a while ago but this one is beyond the pale. I can’t stand Jones myself and WND has some problems… (then again, they’ve crakced stories the mainstream media hasn’t bothered with, given their own biases…) But Andy Brietbart? Sorry.

    Still, since in your zeal to defend your favorite candidate, … a non conservative, you’ve limited in the source material, perhaps you’d be interested in these others to make the point? I tend to doubt it.

    National Review

    Perhaps the Arizona press would interest you? perhaps the headline on that one would also interest you, given that the headline suggest that he’s taking his cues from McCain. We remember how that worked out.

    or perhaps you’d be interested in his own words on the matter of immigration. They seem to back Superdestroyers point rather well.

  23. Eric Florack says:

    frankly, George will’s credibility has always been somewhat questionable. Let’s remember he wasn’t too enthralled with Ronald Reagan, back in the days of Carter.

    Of course that changed somewhat after Reagan managed to get himself elected despite Will’s disapproval, and the disapproval of the establishment GOP.

    Let’s also remember that the choice of George Bush as VP by Reagan was an attempt by the Reagan camp to mollify the GOP establishment.

    Such as, Will.

  24. Eric Florack says:

    “Governor Huntsman opposes efforts to enforce US laws.”

    Does that pass the smell test to you? Even a little bit?

    Yes.

  25. @Eric Florack:

    Let’s remember he wasn’t too enthralled with Ronald Reagan, back in the days of Carter.

    Just so you are clear: we are talking about the George Will who helped prepare Reagan in his debates against Carter.

    Perhaps you are thinking of another George Will.

  26. @Eric Florack:

    Let’s also remember that the choice of George Bush as VP by Reagan was an attempt by the Reagan camp to mollify the GOP establishment.

    Bush was picked because he was a) from Texas (granted, not originally) and b) performed well in the 1980s primaries and was seen as a strategic choice.

    Details and all, dontcha know.

  27. Eric Florack says:

    Just so you are clear: we are talking about the George Will who helped prepare Reagan in his debates against Carter.

    You speak as one who didn’t actually read his columns through the period.

    Bush was picked because he was a) from Texas (granted, not originally) and b) performed well in the 1980s primaries and was seen as a strategic choice.

    Quite correct. But those were secondary, not primary motivations.

  28. Eric Florack says:

    You seem to elevate the things that don’t really matter (borders) and totally ignore the things that do (the people). No surprise that approach is less than convincing.

    Borders don’t matter?

  29. @Eric Florack:

    You speak as one who didn’t actually read his columns through the period.

    I must confess, being that I was in elementary school during the Carter administration, that I was not a regular consumer of said columns.

    However, I must confess as to not trusting your recollection of said documents, assuming you read them at the time, given that you think that the link you provided above about Huntsman prove that he wanted open borders and unlimited immigration.

  30. Linton says:

    His immigration views aside, whatever they are, that is not the only issue that determines whether a person is conservative. Has anyone read Huntsman’s economic plan? I have. A very bold and conservative plan.I question whether the conservatives accusing him of being a liberal, or the liberals going out of their way to praise him, have ever read anything he’s actually proposed.

  31. @Linton: I think what the immigration discussion illustrates is that to some segments of the “conservative” base (well represented by people like superdestroyer and EF) there are some key litmus tests of note (being exceedingly hardcore on immigration being one of them) that seem to guide that segment’s rather narrow definition of “conservative.”

    Also, the fact that Huntsman appears potentially open-minded on things like climate change and evolution are seen as non-starters, despite his rather conservative policy positions on taxes or social policy. It is a curious and disturbing, at least in my opinion, situation.

  32. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The “conservatives” who support open borders and unlimited immigration face a huge problem is demonstrating that they are conservatives.

    Those “conservatives” either have to admit that open borders and unlimited immigration will lower the standard of living for many Americans and they just do not care. The “conservatives” also have to admit that they support higher taxes, higher insurance bills, more crime, more sprawl, and either poorer schools or higher private school tuition.

    Of course, those same “conservatives” who support open borders and unlimited immigration also keep supporting 8a minority set asides, quotas, goals, and other affirmative action. Those same “conservatives” also seem to support the idea that illegal immigrants do not even have to bother to learn English but people born in the U.S should learn English to accommodate the illegal aliens.

  33. superdestroyer says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Unlimited legal immigraiton is exactly the same as unlimited illegal immigration. It leads to the same problems and harms native Americans in the same way. Taking the third world poor and giving them a green card does not keep them from joining gangs, driving wages down, or driving around without insurance.

  34. Herb says:

    @Eric Florack: “Borders don’t matter? ”

    Oh, they matter….to state bureaucracies. To how life is actually lived on this planet….not so much.

  35. Hey Norm says:

    @ SLT…

    “… that segment’s rather narrow definition of “conservative.”…”

    Which is to say liitle or nothing to do with conservatism.
    What was on display on that debate last night and in this entire primary campaign is a radicalism that has no roots in traditional conservatism…and is in fact less conservative than the man they blindly despise, Obama. They are not posing reality-based reforms for our real problems…they are simply spewing dogma…like the comments above, frothing over with cultural resentment and xenophobic panic. Or tax policy…no tax increases ever because it will kill jobs. Why do we have high UE after a decade historically low taxes? No answer…other than to lower taxes even further. Hell…why not just end them all together? Or on health care…in a country where we won’t just let people die on the street this is a very real problem. Yet have you heard a single practical proposal to help the uninsured after Obamacare is repealed? To help seniors in a way that will not leave them destitute and beffudled in the grips of private insurers? Nope. On climate change where Huntsman is the lone stand-out…all you hear from the others is gluttony-driven energy policy that doesn’t even consider real conservation and renewable energy in favor of aggressive fossil fuel production…like the radicals of the 60’s: “if it feels good, do it.”
    Conservatism is about clear-headed and unbiased analysis of fact, and an adherence to a series of values that have stood the test of time…humility, reverence, responsibility, stewardship,,,morals stemming from, but not exclusive to, christianity. Tell me what is christian about deporting millions of people, or the greed of the 1%, or eliminating decades old social programs for our sick and poor and elderly, or devouring resources and polluting the planet simply because we can?
    What we see today is not conservatism…it’s nothing but emotions stirred up by rigid political dogma.

  36. James in LA says:

    “Borders don’t matter?”

    Increasingly so. The tighter the fist is squeezed, the more people slip through the fingers. The tunnels between Mexico and the U.S. get fancier by the year, funded by the drug war.

    Eric Florak, Superdestroyer, et al, approach a grave in which they are going to get everything they absolutely do not want, and they full well know “their country is already lost.” The grumpiness is to be expected.

  37. @Eric Florack:

    Funny. I read all those links and nowhere does Huntsman say he supports “open borders” or “unlimited immigration.” In fact, there are plenty of references to securing the border. Isn’t that what conservatives supposedly want?

    Or is it just that Huntsman doesn’t hate brown people enough?

  38. Linton says:

    Huntsman’s mastery of hyperbole is lacking. That seems to be what makes people think he’s not a conservative. He has yet to reference Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonialist views” and so forth.

  39. mattb says:

    @superdestroyer

    The “conservatives” who support open borders and unlimited immigration face a huge problem is demonstrating that they are conservatives.

    The issue of course — for you and those of your ilk — is the immediately conflation of acknowledging a need for regulated immigration (Huntsman’s policy position) with open borders and unlimited immigration. This is a tendency you’ve displayed over and over again.

    Ironically, you seem to have a hard time understanding how the rest of us might, conflate you constant beating of a drum about the dangers of brown (and occasionally yellow and less fashionable white) people with xenophobia at best and racism at worst.

    But getting beyond all that, can you remind me, SD, which horse you are currently backing in this race. Or are you willing to take an oath right now to stay home next November because a vote for any of these candidates is a vote against a lily white America with giant electrified fences?

  40. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor

    However, I must confess as to not trusting [Eric F’s] recollection of [George Will’s attacks on Regan], assuming you read them at the time, given that you think that the link you provided above about Huntsman prove that he wanted open borders and unlimited immigration.

    Actually the archive suggests that Eric is at least partially right.

    Will’s support prior to Reagan winning the nomination was far Howard Baker first and the George Bush. In an essay published in November of 1980, he offers a mea culpa:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=xAdHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZOkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4991,1154718&dq=george-will+howard-baker&hl=en
    (H/T to Dan Reihl for this)

    As to Will not being “too enthralled” with Reagan, a quick scan of columns from Jan 1st 1979 to April 30th, 1980 (a week or so before Reagan locked the nomination) didn’t turn up much criticism of Reagan (the harshest stuff I could find was that Will notes he had not stood for or won an election in a while). I realize that’s pretty unforgivable stuff for Eric, but for the rest of us… probably not so much…
    https://www.google.com/search?q=george-will+ronald-reagan&tbs=nws:1,ar:1&source=newspapers#hl=en&safe=off&tbs=cdr:1%2Ccd_min%3A1%2F1%2F1979%2Ccd_max%3A4%2F30%2F1980&tbm=nws&sclient=psy-ab&q=george-will+ronald-reagan&oq=george-will+ronald-reagan&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=4196l5072l6l5409l2l2l0l0l0l0l293l402l0.1.1l2l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=b9a3bb636b872320&biw=1366&bih=620

  41. @mattb: Thank for the info.

    Of course, and as you elude, the degree to which this fits EF’s narrative of Reagan the Outsider versus the Establishment is dubious (especially as a proxy for the current status of the GOP).

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @mattb:

    Huntsman does not support controlled immigration. He supports uncontrolled immigration where every immigrant that makes it across the border will eventually be given amnesty and put on the road to citizenship. Huntsman had demonstrated no ability to think about the long term consequences of unlimited immigration. The economic, environmental, and cultural downside is huge but Huntsman does not care as long as the cheap labor Republicans get what they want.

  43. To converge the Reagan and immigration rantings on this thread, I would point out that by SD and EF’s definition, Reagan was no conservative.

    (And let’s now talk about taxes).

  44. mattb says:

    @superdestroyer

    Huntsman does not support controlled immigration. He supports uncontrolled immigration where every immigrant that makes it across the border will eventually be given amnesty and put on the road to citizenship.

    Citation please… Or does any discussion of Amnesty immediately mean this? Because if it does, then thank you for proving my point above.

    The economic, environmental, and cultural downside is huge but Huntsman does not care as long as the cheap labor Republicans get what they want.

    Ahh “cultural” … that’s always it isn’t it with your type of “conservative.” It always comes down to “culture” doesn’t it. BTW, could you please point out which *period* of American culture that you’d like to preserve? Oh, and could you also indicate which *region* of culture you’d like to preserve as well? What is the America that you’d like to enclose in lucite and protect for yourself and future generations? An how can we make sure we eliminate the effects of previous generations of immigrants on that culture (we’d have to be sure to get rid of Rock and Roll, the Blues, Country Music, and Jazz to start…)

    BTW, you seems to have failed to address my question as to which horse is yours in this game?

  45. superdestroyer says:

    @mattb:

    I used cultural in the terms of Putnam that having a diverse culture just means a low-trust, low-compliance culture that will require a very authoritarian government to force compliance. Just look at the low level of tax compliance in diverse places like California.

    If progressives want a high tax, high benefit, consensus-base country, they have to give up on the idea of diversity. However, since progressives support the idea of open borders and unlimited immigration, then obviously progressives do not really want a high benefit based government or a country where most people bother to pay their taxes.

  46. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Reagan is the reason that California has been lost to Republicans and that eventually the existence of any conservative party will be impossible in the U.S.

    Reagan and his advisors were short term thinkers who gaves the cheap labor Republicans what they wanted (amnesty and no border enforcement) and now the Republican Party in California is irrelevant and conservatives have little influence on policy.

  47. Linton says:

    @superdestroyer: mattb asked if you had a candidate you support. Do you have one? I’m curious too.

  48. superdestroyer says:

    @Linton:

    As I have pointed out many times, I believe that the Republican primaries are irrelevant. No one is doing to beat Obama this year. And as the demographic trends continue in the U.S., there will soon be no Republican or conservative party.

    To me, the only relevant questions in politics is how soon will the Democrats regain control of the U.S. House and who will come after President Obama. The next relevant primary will be in January 2016 when Democratic caucus participants in Iowa and the Democratic Party voters in New Hampshire residents decide who will be the next president.