It runs about 12 minutes. Lars didn't pound Gilchrist into the dirt the way he did with a certain other figure who came off the wrong way on immigration. But he did ask tough questions, and make it clear he is in disagreement. He wasn't very apologetic.
I e-mailed the following to Lars, and he wrote back in agreement:
Gilchrist came off as a serious Kool Aid drinker.
First, he kept saying again and again the choice is Giuliani or Huckabee. Um… isn’t there also a guy named Thompson in this race, and hasn’t he been polling about as well as Huckabee nationally?
Second, he kept talking about how “only” Huckabee has a written plan. Um… didn’t Thompson lead the way by being the FIRST of the GOP candidates to put a comprehensive immigration plan on the web? You can read it here:
I’ve compared this to Huckabee’s plan, and it is far stronger. Notice that “NO AMNESTY” is PLANK NUMBER ONE of the platform! Huckabee’s plan sounds good, but if you read the details he talks about things like “fast tracks” to help people more quickly become legal immigrants – doesn’t that sound just like the “path to citizenship” for illegals? You know… what Bush and McCain want? Would President Huckabee “fast track” legal status for, say, illegal immigrant children who want to go to college in the U.S. with taxpayer scholarships?
Third, he seemed so impressed by the whole “well, he may have a bad record, but he says he will do better now” idea. Well, by that logic, he should be jumping for joy over Bush and McCain, since they both say “hey, we hear ya, and we know amnesty is a problem.” Problem is, neither one has actually DONE anything to show they practice what they preach. Actions speak far louder than words. Duncan Hunter has fought tooth and nail to get a border fence built. I believe him when he says he will finish the job Bush hasn’t. I don’t need to see a written “plan” on a website to believe him. In contrast, Huckabee has acted in complete contempt for the interests of national sovereignty and our citizens and legitimate legal immigrants. Why should I believe he will do ANYTHING he has up on his website?
Finally, he dissed Tancredo and Hunter because they have small support. Um… Well, until a few weeks ago, Huckabee was right down there at the bottom with them. You know what happened? He got some important endorsements that motivated a very important bloc – the evangelical Christians. Now he is a top candidate. Couldn’t endorsements from important people who lead other movements among the conservative voters, people like Gilchrist, have given a boost to Hunter or Tancredo, elevating one of them?
You know, I almost never find it appropriate to quote Dennis Kucinich, but he said one thing back in 2004 that really sparkled for me. When asked why he was still in the race, despite having no chance at winning, he said “I can win if you support me!” And so I believe we SHOULD support the candidates we LIKE rather than the candidates we “think” can win. That’s how winning IDEAS build up steam.
If Gilchrist had supported Thompson, Hunter, or Tancredo, maybe he wouldn’t be backing the “winning” candidate. But he would be backing the winning IDEA, and would be in a position to continue pushing that idea. Now, he isn’t backing ideas so much as “winners.” Well, if Huckabee wins, and ends up with an actual immigration plan consistent with his past, consistent with Bush and McCain, then that BAD idea has been legitimized, because people will remember “hey, this is the guy that Minuteman fellow supported, so this must be what real immigration reform looks like.”
I think a good idea just lost out to a slick candidate. If elected President, Mike Huckabee might very be just like the Republican Bill Clinton: he panders to the base in order to win their favor, but then when push comes to shove, he forgets who took him to the prom. Think about how angry gays are with “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Um… wasn’t that a CLINTON policy? That’s what happens you tie your special interest to the “popular” candidate instead of the ones whose principles actually match your own.
I don’t think Gilchrist gave a satisfactory explanation AT ALL. He has seriously discredited his own cause by backing someone whose record is so suspect.
Callers to the show sounded pretty disappointed in Gilchrist. All I can say is: I hope those 30 pieces of silver work out for you...