Now that he’s almost mathematically eliminated, stories are coming out about the Arkansas Disaster that Mike Huckabee presided over. This is one of those stories. To say that Huckabee didn’t rebuild the GOP is understatement. To say that he didn’t make friends is also understatement.

Jake Files was a newly elected representative when all two dozen Arkansas House Republicans met for their first caucus in 1999. They had doubled their numbers in elections two months earlier, and were ready to join Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee in pushing for conservative government.

That was when Brenda Turner, the governor’s chief of staff, entered.

“Just walked in, shut the door and said, ‘There’s two kinds of people in the world: those who are for Mike Huckabee and those who are against Mike Huckabee. I’ll do everything I can to help the first group. I’ll do everything I can to hurt the second,'” said Mr. Files, who left the legislature after two terms.

Last night, I said that the first word I thought of when Mike Huckabee’s name came up was socialist. I’ll still stand by that but I’ll add that the second word I’ll think of now is dictator. Tyrant also fits. Like his responses to Mitt asking him if he raised taxes, Huckabee’s response to these charges is similarly evasive:

Jim Harris, a campaign spokesman who also worked for Mr. Huckabee in the governor’s office, said Mr. Huckabee was deeply involved in helping state Republicans.

“He raised a lot of money regularly; he campaigned tirelessly for GOP candidates up and down the ballot; he gave from [his political action committee] to GOP candidates,” Mr. Harris said, adding that Mr. Huckabee appointed years’ worth of Republicans to boards and commissions.

“This created a strong network of individuals who will run for office in the future under the Republican banner,” he said.

Huckabee’s GOP opponents tell a strikingly different tale:

Mr. Huckabee gave contributions as well during those years to at least three Democrats. Given that $5,000 of CLAPAC’s money came in a 2003 donation from the state Republican Party, that means some Republican money was used indirectly to aid the party’s own opponents.

“Go out and ask those ladies at bake sales or out raising money if they thought that money would end up in the hands of Democratic candidates,” Mr. Hendren said. “That’s what drove us up a wall.”

I’ve called Huckabee alot of things (socialist, tyrant are my favorites) but I wouldn’t call him a team player if my life depended on it. the more we learn about Mr. Huckabee, the less appealling he becomes. Frankly, I can’t find anything appealling about him once you get past the part that he’s pro-life.

This is the right time to remind people that the GOP going forward must strive to be a principled majority party. That doesn’t mean ideologically pure because purist parties are permanent minority parties. What it means is that we first define the most important principles that undergird our policies. Secondly, it means we direct our contributions to people who share those principles with us. That means that the RNC and the NRSC don’t get contributions until they stop supporting RINOs.

Thirdly, it’s the activists’ responsibility to tell their legislator what’s most important to them. Without that input, it’s guaranteed that they’ll lose sight of reality. If they stray too far on the most important issues, then we need to remind them that they work for We The People, not vice versa. From time to time, that means running a candidate in a primary against a straying incumbent.

Based on this information and these principles, it’s safe to say that Mike Huckabee didn’t care about staying faithful to conservative principles nor to the party that he belonged to. Furthermore, had the Arkansas GOP demanded fidelity to these principles, they never would’ve had to deal with him.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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