Guess what? I can now add Mike Huckabee to my discard pile of Republican Presidential candidates who've placed themselves beyond the pale, along with "Manchurian" candidate John McCain.
According to a post on the Alaska Libertarian Party MySpace blog, Mike Huckabee wants to implement a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places. That's right - NATIONWIDE. Until now, smoking bans have been local and regional. Here's the original post from the MySpace blog:
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the health obsessed former Arkansas governor, is proposing a nationwide ban on smoking tobacco in all public places. If Huckabee has his way, this would leave two remaining places for smokers to light up: the vehicle and the home.
Imagine Americans at work being arrested by BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agents for lighting up outside during a smoking break. Huckabee's proposal would effectively ban all hookah bars, all cigar bars, and many smoke shops and bars would go out of business as well. This would also spell the end for the American tobacco farm.
Never mind that a Federal ban on smoking in public is unconstitutional. The Tenth Amendment, which is found in the American Bill of Rights, places the authority to regulate tobacco (and most other laws) with the States and the People. In other words, the Federal government has no authority to partially or completely ban tobacco smoking.
The anti-smoking crowd apparently is not willing to end their crusade by requiring smokers to step outdoors when they smoke. Instead, their goal is becoming painfully obvious: a near or a complete ban on the consumption of tobacco.
Read more about Health Nut Huckabee's statements in this Newsmax story.
And indeed, Newsmax does report on a candidate forum sponsored by cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong taking place on August 28th, 2007 in Cedar Rapids, IA, where only Huckabee and Sam Brownback appeared, although all Republican candidates were invited (too bad Ron Paul didn't show - he would have put both those health nuts in their place). The two candidates discussed a wide range of issues, but it was when they discussed health issues that Huckabee said that if he were president, he would sign a bill to outlaw smoking nationwide in public places, and said he would go further to say "no smoking in any indoor area where people have to work".
Huckabee also stated that he would significantly increase federal spending on cancer research, but also believes in prevention. Apparently he believes that restricting smoking would prevent us from throwing good money after bad. However, there's no hint on Huckabee's campaign website that he wants to propose such a drastic measure, so this is obviously something new.
You can also watch this appearance on Breitbart TV.
While Mike Huckabee has been a fairly successful governor, his stewardship has not been without controversy. His use of official state aircraft as well as "donated" private aircraft earned him critical media scrutiny during his last administration, as reported on the Arkansas Times website in June 2006 (the fourth largest newspaper in the state). However, this did not stop Congressman Don Young from endorsing Huckabee in February. At the time, Huckabee was not an "official" candidate yet, although the National Journal rankings showed him fifth. Current National Journal rankings show him seventh and sliding. Perhaps Congressman Young's decision may have been influenced in part by the fact that Arkansans gave $113,826 to his campaign, about one third of the $391,204 the Alaska congressman raised through March  and nearly five times the $24,350 in contributions Young received from his home state. There is, of course, no suggestion of illegality here.
Commentary: By proposing such a drastic solution, Huckabee has exposed himself as a fanatic who cannot be trusted with the Presidency. Has he learned absolutely nothing from alcohol prohibition? Prohibition turned the Mafia into a Fortune 500 conglomerate.
And it also shows the true agenda of the anti-smoking lobby. They will never stop - they'll just whittle away at our freedoms more and more, just like Assembly Members Dick Traini and Dan Coffey did here in Anchorage. The anti-smoking lobby scares people into submitting to their totalitarian agenda by cynically playing the health card.
Maybe it's time for me to dump Mitt Romney and go for the biscuits - Ron Paul. Only Paul seems to understand the proper role of government. Government should limit itself to those functions that people cannot do for themselves efficiently and effectively. As Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said during her State of the State Address, it's not government's responsibility to make you happy, healthy, or wise, but to ensure the tools are available for YOU to do it YOURSELF.