A Tale of Two Governors

2009 November 30
by bc3b

Commonsense conservatism and compassionate conservative conservatism. Is there a difference?

During his tenure as Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee became known (and criticized for) clemency for convicted felons. In fact, during his years as governor, Huckabee granted clemency 703 times – more clemencies that the six states bordering Arkansas combined. As a Christian, Huckabee believed in forgiveness. Unfortunately, it appears that felons to whom Huckabee granted clemency may have been responsible for the murder of at least five people; the latest being the four police officers in the Tacoma area.

In his final day as governor of Alaska, Frnak Murkowski issued a very controversial pardon to a Bellingham, Wash.-based engineering company for a 1999 criminally negligent homicide conviction. Appalled by this, newly-elected Governor Sarah Palin pushed for a new state law that limited the Alaskan governor’s power to grant clemency. This law was unanimously passed by the state legislature.

Compassionate conservatives and commonsense conservatives. There is a HUGE difference.

Hopefully the families of the slain officers will have the same forgiveness for Mike Huckabee that he has for felons.

27 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 November 30 5:28 am
    judyt2009 permalink


    If Huckabee was leaning towards not entering the POTUS 2012 primaries.. this will push his decision to not run into high gear.

    Something else to like about Governor Palin and helps explain the difference between the “compassionate” versus the common sense conservative. Anyone want to bet the Sarah is the 96% beneficiary of a Huckabee elimination (4% negative for those who object to a female being in charge).

  2. 2009 November 30 6:26 am
    brucefdb permalink

    O/T but this should bring a smile:

    From a Daily Kos poll no less!

    QUESTION: In the 2010 Congressional elections will you definitely vote, probably vote, not likely vote, or definitely will not vote?

    The results were, to put it mildly, shocking:

    Voter Intensity: Definitely + Probably Voting/Not Likely + Not Voting

    Republican Voters: 81/14
    Independent Voters: 65/23

    Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will “definitely not vote” in 2010 than are Republicans.

    Link to Geraghty at NRO for more:


  3. 2009 November 30 6:34 am
    drdog09 permalink


    If your assessment turns out correct than 2012 is looking to be a 2 person race — Palin vs Romney. The maybes, but no chance —

    Pawlenty — Has merit, but can he gain traction outside his state? He doesn’t seem to have a lot of national level exposure.
    McCain (again) — Blew it last time, based on votes in Senate, would be hard to get the base back.
    Jindal — Has merit, but maybe he should be the follow up act after a 2 term Palin presidency. He’s still young, 2020 will not hurt him a bit.
    Petraeus — Maybe. But my view he’s more VP material.

  4. 2009 November 30 6:38 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Keep in mind that ACORN will have a problem with GOTV efforts in a 1/3rd of the States due to ongoing investigations. Their influences will be less next year.

  5. 2009 November 30 6:43 am
    brucefdb permalink

    Huck’s pardons are demonstrative of his Vanity, not his religion (imo).

  6. 2009 November 30 6:44 am

    Thune/pence nominees for 2012

  7. 2009 November 30 6:44 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Climategate, Holdren. Paging Mr. Beck, Pagin….

  8. 2009 November 30 6:45 am
    brucefdb permalink

    Yes, doctor, if we can just get to November ’10 alive.

  9. 2009 November 30 6:48 am
    bc3b permalink

    Bruce –

    Regarding voting tendencies: what a difference a year makes.

  10. 2009 November 30 6:54 am
    drdog09 permalink

    How about a climategate email network topology map? Give you an idea of spheres of influence. Looks to me like CRU is the core of most of it.

  11. 2009 November 30 7:18 am


  12. 2009 November 30 7:25 am

    It’s about time. HOORAH

  13. 2009 November 30 7:53 am
    justrand permalink

    2010 is indeed looking better right now…but that;s because the Democrats are being DEMOCRATS right now. As soon as they finish ramming HellCare down our throats the “Sheep’s Clothing” goes back on…and they will try to blend back in with the flock.

    Throught 2010 the Dems will be BLEATING about “Fiscal Responsibility!”, and “THE DEFICIT!!!”, etc…

    and the media will not spend a minute calling them out on it! THAT will be our job…and it’s gonna be tough. But if we DO manage to keep the heat on, with Tea Parties, Town Halls etc…then 2010 will be a huge WAVE year!

  14. 2009 November 30 8:14 am
    judyt2009 permalink

    (1) .. Drudge has a link to the 7 stories Obama is trying to prevent… one of which is about his big spending ways with thoughts that he will spend his 2010 SOTU address pretending to be a fiscal conservative and tell us how we must accept vast spending cuts… but to be sure the only thing he will cut will be the parts of the budget related to national security.

  15. 2009 November 30 8:19 am
    JustMary permalink

    Ahem *Mary pats herself on the back for being right about Huckleberry* Huck is a convenient Christian who uses that card when it suits him.

  16. 2009 November 30 8:24 am
    janzam permalink

    Although I don’t know all the details of Huckabee’s pardons, I did hear that the man he pardoned, who killed the 4 policemen, was sentenced when he was only 17 years old for some 90+ years. There was also some mental illness atributed to this man. Perhaps Huckabee’s pardon involved more than just forgiveness. It could have taken into account his young age when the crime was committed and a skewed mental problems.

    My point here, is that it is easy to look into the rear view mirror and make a judgment on someone else’s prio decision. Yes, this tie-in to these murders will slam the door on any presidency aspirations of Huckabee. Mind you, I have never been a Huckabee fan. However, to take him to task for this past pardon doesn’t seem like a fair call to me. After all, nobody has a crystal ball or the cushion of hindsight. Such a tragedy does not benefit from scapegoating a person for a decision made 10 years ago.

    What people should be questioning is why was this felon released back into the public domain after he continued to demonstrate a criminal patternfollowing his pardon. Obviously, given a second chance, after years of being behind bars, didn’t work!

  17. 2009 November 30 8:30 am
    JustMary permalink

    I see what you are saying Jan, but to me, this is a major lack of judgement on Huck’s part because it has happened more than once. Lack of judgement, amnesty fan, frequent player of the conveniently timed Christian card. Meh

  18. 2009 November 30 8:39 am
    judyt2009 permalink

    (2) Bias disclosure: I am not a big fan of Romney, and certainly after my experiences in South Carolina in Jan 2008 I am definitely not a fan or Romney, Huck, or McCain… campaign staffs and volunteers. That said, in response to DRDog in #3 — in a match-up between Palin and Romney… I give Palin odds of 6 to 4 over Romney 5 to 5. (I pulled those numbers out of the air). My reasoning is that at first impression Romney is missing what Palin has in excess… the “everyman” quality. Remember Romney was the plastic Ken doll with the magic underwear. Romney comes from a family of political privilege. I am not distracting in any way that Romney has sufficient and admirable accomplishments but he cannot claim the mantle of being just an average American who wants to make a difference. Remember that 2010 and possibly 2012 will be the election about the political elites and insiders destroying our country and the everyday average American wanting to take our country back from these DC power brokers. [Caution: So much can happen during the next 25 months (11 months until Nov. 2010, and 25 months until Iowa). If America is still limping along with double digit unemployment and stagnant economic growth then Obama does not break 40%. Any more terrorist attacks on US soil like Hasan’s and Obama does not break 42%. A loss in Afghanistan, and Obama does not break 45%. My mind isn’t working completely yet this morning… but here is an old adage that x number of things can happen and most are bad. Obama is in this position now.

  19. 2009 November 30 8:45 am
    janzam permalink

    Again JM, I have never really liked or been a part of the wave of love that ever encompassed Huckabee. But, I also look at incidents such as this one as a bit of “overkill” on going after someone like Huckabee and seemingly blaming him for these officers deaths.

    After all this cop-killer has been in and out of trouble since his pardon, as an adult, and this is where he absolutely should have been reined in, put in a psychiatric hospital or prison — which ever one suited his circumstances best.

    I am not big on absolutes. We all make judgment calls in our life. If they work out then we are slapped on the back and complimented. This same guy who Huckabee pardoned, after his release, could have gone out into the world doing good works for humanity. Then this pardon would have been applauded. Instead, he threw his chance away, either because of messed up brain chemistry or messed up morals, and this is where we are today.

  20. 2009 November 30 8:55 am
    janzam permalink

    Interesting analysis Judy. You could be right. I know Palin’s strong pull is her authenticity and ability to relate to people. It is refreshing to have a political figure who we feel comfortable enough to pull up a chair next to or invite them over for dinner. Palin fits this billing.

    But, as we have found out with Obama, there is much more to leading than just having a good personality. I actually think Romney has a better portfolio of skills than Palin for the problems this country now faces — mainly his financial savvy. The economy and job creation are at the top of our “to-do” list today, and he has had the experience to run a large business, coordinate major functions, etc. But, like you said, he is viewed by many people as “plastic,” has that Mormon background, and doesn’t ooze the charisma that would make people view him in a neighborly fashion.

    I kindna think we still haven’t “found” the right 2012 candidate yet.

  21. 2009 November 30 9:00 am
    justrand permalink

    janzam, Huckabee rolled the dice and DOZENS of people had been harmed BEFORE this maniac killed these 4 cops. No Governor has the right to play with the lives of decent citizens on the off chance that the rabid dog they are turning loose will miraculously be cured of its disease.

    The demise of Huckabee’s career should serve as a warning…and may be the ONLY good thing to come of all this. Criminals need to be PUNISHED. Period.

  22. 2009 November 30 9:00 am
    bc3b permalink

    Jan zam –

    Huckabee granted Clemmons clemonsy (and oparole) over the objection of prosecutors.


  23. 2009 November 30 9:47 am
    beej permalink

    I agree with Jan and Knightowl (knight from an earlier thread) that lots of time has passed since this guy had his sentence commuted, and others besides Huck ought to be held responsible for not keeping him behind bars.

    That being said, Huck had the ball first; the prosecutors in the case were able to prove the man should have been behind bars for 60 (not 90) years for a reason, and huck should have left it alone, or let the legislature work out maximum/minimum laws. I imagine if there were research done on the nearly 800 others that Huck let out, it would be found that there are hundreds who have been re-incarcerated for something or another.

    It isn’t necessarily THIS case that shows Huck’s lack of judgement, it is the over 700 included in the mix. The whole shebang. This one just happens to be extraordinarily tragic.

  24. 2009 November 30 9:49 am
    beej permalink

    shb knighthawk, btw. 🙁 not knight owl.

  25. 2009 November 30 3:28 pm

    “Petraeus — Maybe. But my view he’s more VP material.”

    The guy has said as recent as a week or two ago he 100% has no plans and zero interest in running for president. At what point are people going to take him at his word?

  26. 2009 November 30 3:31 pm

    10 – That was cool thanks.

  27. 2009 November 30 3:38 pm

    24 – It’s all good I knew who you meant… Colorado Knightowl didn’t post so no confusion. 🙂

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