The beauty of this is that Bush can hardly call Huckabee’s promise unrealistic or made-up, without having to concede his own promise is also unrealistic and made-up, just less so. Bush has no grounds to argue against Huckabee here. Think about it. You walk into a caucus, you see 4 percent growth sittin’ there, there’s 6 percent growth right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
The Farrelly brothers indeed captured this well, but let us also recall the inner circle Hall of Fame blog post from Belle Waring:
I think Matthew Yglesias’ response to Josh Chafetz’ exercise in wishful thinking was about right, even if Brad DeLong’s is more nuanced. I’d like to note, though, that Chafetz is selling himself short. You see, wishes are totally free. It’s like when you can’t decide whether to daydream about being a famous Hollywood star or having amazing magical powers. Why not — be a famous Hollywood star with amazing magical powers! Along these lines, John has developed an infallible way to improve any public policy wishes. You just wish for the thing, plus, wish that everyone would have their own pony! So, in Chafetz’ case, he should not only wish that Bush would say a lot of good things about democracy-building and fighting terrorism in a speech written for him by a smart person, he should also wish that Bush should actually mean the things he says and enact policies which reflect this, and he should wish that everyone gets a pony. See?
It is for this reason that Lawrence Lessig’s proposal to resign* after signing one statute is such a tragic missed opportunity. If you can create a SUPER MANDATE by campaigning on a single statute combining several proposals, why stop at 3? Shouldn’t the Citizens Equality Act contain the three promised electoral reforms and the French health care system and a minimum of one clinic providing free abortions in every county and quadrupling of the budgets for civil rights and SEC enforcement and a repeal of Taft-Hartley and a pony for everyone who wants one? The chances of the bill passing would be exactly the same! We have a SUPER MANDATE in which Congress becomes helpless, why waste it? Huckabee knows what he’s doing here. I can’t wait for Trump to guarantee 20% annual GDP growth, funded entirely by the Mexican government.
*In fairness, while on its face the declaration that one will resign after getting one bill pass may seem to reflect a dilettantish attitude rather unattractive in someone purporting to run for president, it must be conceded that it has roots extending to the greatest of American political statesmen:
For reasons that are still debatable, Stern decided this was his moment, too. Stern announced on his radio show he was running for governor. [Howard] Stern had talked with the 600-700-member-strong New York Libertarian Party and would be running as a libertarian.
His platform: reinstating the death penalty, forcing construction workers to work at night and staggering highway tolls to alleviate traffic jams. Once those things were done, he’d resign and let his lieutenant governor — a former former state legislator named Stan Dworkin — take over.
“It doesn’t matter if you find me offensive,” Stern said in his March 22 announcement. “I’ll get out of office before I can really screw anything up.”