Mike Devine, who posts under the name "Gamecock" sent me an article that's critical of Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and just about everybody other than Fred Thompson. It centers on the South Carolina primary, and you can see it by clicking on: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200801/POL20080109d.html
The article may tell you more about SC politics than you want to know, but you won't find anything better between now and the Palmetto State primary. I expect Larry Perrault and SJ Reidhead can't wait to respond it -- especially SJ (Cindy), who hails from SC.
I think all the article's criticisms, including those of Mike Huckabee, are somewhere between petty and totally unfair. For Huck fans, the accusations are mostly "inside baseball" stuff about the conservative wing of the So. Baptist Church and the VERY conservative wing. In the mind of some Baptists, Mike chose the "wrong" side in a denominational struggle. Talk about arcana.
I like Mike Devine (Gamecock) a lot, but his support of Thompson, like the Fred Campaign itself, is embarrassing. Fred is the laziest of candidates, and he's the worst when it comes to raising money.
After 9/11, Fred said, "Now is not the time to leave [the Senate]." Shortly thereafter, he left -- to join the cast of a television show (Richard Wolf's "Law and Order") that missed few opportunities to bash the military and the GWB segment of the country. Frankly, Fred should be ashamed of himself.
"Yes, we have no bananas," when bananas is an analogue to perfect candidates.
I criticize Mike Huckabee myself, but anyone with sense will see that he, like several other candidates, is a good one and a man with some remarkable political achievements.
As for John McCain, yes, he is a "maverick," that is, someone who thinks for himself -- wow, how exotic. He has been pro-life and pro-military for his entire life. He is a Christian, which is a term that does not and should not have a narrow meaning. Of great significance, he's an American hero who underwent torture for many years.
Of great note, he has tackled issues (including immigration and campaign finance) where others have relied on pandering to an increasingly clueless "base." That's a group which believes the answer to real, pressinging problems is to "just say NO."
On campaign finance: it has turned into a vehicle for re-electing incumbents (Pelosi, Murtha, Obey, Waxman, Rangel) unto perpetuity. McCain's approach may have had its flaws, but anybody who doesn't see that the current system is a nightmare for representative democracy has not been paying attention.
For Huck supporters, they need to see that -- in many ways -- McCain is a lot like Mike Huckabee, although without the Southern accent. Mike and John both get criticized at least as much for their virtues as their faults. At times it appears the only people who like them are voters (and not just in states like Iowa and New Hampshire).
My point is that we need to recognize that candidates who disagree with us on one or more issues are not therefore beyond the pale. Heck, even in my case, I'm not always right.
May the best man win.