"(Former Arkansas Governor Mike) Huckabee is campaigning as a conservative," writes Bob Novak in yesterday's Washington Post, "but serious Republicans know that he is a high-tax, protectionist advocate of big government and a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans." When Bob Novak talks, I listen, but that doesn't mean I agree, especially when his case here is so sparse. Here's all of it, from paragraph 4: his fellow Republicans all regarded him as a tax-and-spender, he raised the Arkansas tax burden by "47 percent," and he "press(ed)" his "new lifestyle" on people when he lost all that weight. Mr. Novak spends more time talking about how mean Mr. Huckabee putatively is in real life versus how he comes off on TV -- an interesting subject, surely, but not proof that he's a "false conservative." In any case, "serious Republicans" know that state politics differ dramatically from national politics, and a few of those (like Fred Thompson) suggest that's how it's supposed to be. Serious Republicans also remember that Mr. Bush ran as one of these "compassionate conservatives" too, and once in office was anything but. Indeed, serious Republicans may even be counting on that. Still, Mr. Novak's fear of the "new Republican acolytes" is well-founded -- especially since they don't act quite so Republican all the time.
Were you thinking that the economy is kind of like a big shell game? Wall Street analyst Fadel Gheith suggests you may be right. He discusses the factors causing a $30 spike in oil barrel prices over the last three months, and these factors essentially boil down to fear, fear, and fear -- as in the finance industry playing up current events to drive up the price of oil. And not "growing demand from India and China," not really, which, he concludes, would drive up the price of oil but not this much. Don't expect the "liberal" media to tell you anything about this, of course.
UPDATE. Er, the calendar says it's 2007. Post title changed to correct that. I'm in no hurry to get to 2008, either.