Meanwhile, Huckabee supports local political jurisdictions passing laws that punish undocumented immigrants, and he asserts those laws "protect the economic well-being, physical safety, and quality of life" for citizens in those communities. By using "physical safety" Huckabee frames this issue in the context that immigrants are criminals out to harm people. But the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) (Rumbaut, et al., 2007) reports that "Foreign-born Mexicans" had an incarceration rate" of 0.7% in 2000, "more than 8 times lower than the 5.9% of native-born males of Mexican descent." And while the "undocumented population has doubled to 12 million since 1994," violent crime in the U.S. has declined 34.2%, the IPC reports.
Moreover, according to the American Immigration Law Foundation (Esbenshade, 2007) local ordinances such as the ones Huckabee believes in (that make it illegal to rent to undocumented immigrants, for example) - if they conflict with federal immigration law - are unconstitutional. Why? Because in many cases these local laws "deny due process rights to renters and landlords."
HUCKABEE on RELIGION and FAITH.
The article in scholarly journal the American Conservative points out that conservative radio talk show host and media star Rush Limbaugh has told his "20 million listeners that a Huckabee nomination would be a disaster." That attack didn't halt the Huckabee train in the least. He has stuck to his rhetoric and convinced his supporters, author Dougherty continues, "That the Religious Right has too long endured second-class citizenship in the conservative movement."
As a rhetorician, Huckabee is as good as anyone in politics today," Dougherty insists. "He can stir an audience like Barack Obama, but he adds a deft sense of humor and pop culture" that helps him stay on an even keel with media stars like "Stephen Colbert or Jay Leno," according to Dougherty. Those rhetorical qualities - the central theme of this paper - help him get the attention of the Religious Right, the author explains.
But that said, the turning point in the Huckabee campaign, Dougherty claims, came at the "Values Voters Summit" last October. All the GOP candidates were there, each trying to sound more relevant to conservative Christians than the other. The "keynote" speech was given to Mitt Romney, but it was Huckabee who blew them away with this sharply carved rhetoric: "I come today as one not who comes to you, but as one who comes from you," Huckabee began. "I think it's important that people sing from their hearts and don't merely lip-synch the lyrics to our songs," he added, and wound up winning the "straw vote" from the delegates in attendance.
In CONCLUSION, Mike Huckabee has arranged his rhetoric to appeal to the most pertinent instincts of voters - notably voters who are conservative Christians and on the right wing of the conservative movement and GOP. The way in which Huckabee frames his attacks on immigrants seems to be blaming a lot of American ills on this group, but if that gets votes, then it's working. And moreover, even if he doesn't get the nomination - and it's a fairly sure bet that he won't surpass McCain in delegates - he is probably at the top of McCain's list as a potential vice presidential candidate. Even that position would be far, far more than any political pundit would have predicted a year ago.
Dougherty, Michael Brendan. "The Audacity of Huck: The Religious Right roils the Establishment by backing one of its own." The American Conservative 7.2 (2008): 6-8.
Esbenshade, Jill. "Division and Dislocation: Regulating Immigration through Local Housing
Ordinances." American Immigration Law Foundation. Retrieved 7 February 2008, at http://www.ailf.org/ipc/special_report/sr_sept07.shtml.
Guidelines for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis. "The Guidelines." Retrieved 6 February, 2008 from http://core.ecu.edu/engl/snyderh/1100/raguide.html