Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Heart Huckabee

But apparently few others in his party do. I for one would love to see him nominated. The ensuing contest would be essentially an execution and for once the evangelical base would be responsible for the humiliation of the Republican Party rather than being its lifeblood. Those in the right wing blogging community know this and their tone is beginning to resemble northern liberal secularists. To my mind the most entertaining was Lisa Schiffen's at the National Review:

You're not in Little Rock anymore. It's hard Huck, when your decisions matter.

Like back home, you were just trying to be nice to that castrated guy who had raped a few women. He had served some time. Why couldn't they forgive him? You could. You have a good heart. Lots of Christian love. So you pardoned him. And what did he do then, Huck?

What if you make a call like that on Iran, Huck? Or Iraq? Or Osama? Or some guy from China who is very civil and polite at the State dinner, and has a little plan for dominating Asia? Everything that happens, Huck, all those reporters are going to want you to say something, everywhere you go, 24/7. And lots of people will act based on what you say. And not all of them have lots of love in their heart, Huck.

and the priceless round up conclusion:

That bait shop on the lake — it's looking good. You'll be surrounded by nice neighbors, real Christians, and you can be the smartest guy in the room. You can go out running every morning. Remember Huck — Jesus wouldn't be dumb enough to go into politics.You were right on that one. Maybe it's not what he wants from you either.

Oh, that's fun to read. This was the post that Ross Douthat said may as well have been titled "Go back to dogpatch you stupid hillbilly!" John Cole has a compilation of similar reactions to Huckabee, and Kevin Drum's reaction gives a pretty good outsider's perspective:

There are a variety of ostensible reasons for this: lack of foreign policy bona fides, too compassionate for their taste, too willing to consider spending money, etc. But I think the real reason is simpler: as with blogosphere conservatives, mainstream conservatives are mostly urban sophisticates with a libertarian bent, not rural evangelicals with a social conservative bent. They're happy to talk up NASCAR and pickup trucks in public, but in real life they mostly couldn't care less about either. Ditto for opposing abortion and the odd bit of gay bashing via proxy. But when it comes to Ten Commandments monuments and end times eschatology, they shiver inside just like any mainstream liberal. The only difference is that usually they keep their shivering to themselves because they want to keep everyone in the big tent happy.

But then along comes Huckabee, and guess what? He's the real deal. Not a guy like George Bush or Ronald Reagan, who talks a soothing game to the snake handlers but then turns around and spends his actual political capital on tax cuts, foreign wars, and deregulating big corporations. Huckabee, it turns out, isn't just giving lip service to evangelicals, he actually believes all that stuff. Among other things, he believes in creationism (really believes), once proposed that AIDS patients should be quarantined, appears to share the traditional evangelical view that Mormonism is a cult, and says (in public!) that homosexuality is sinful. And that's without seeing the text of any of his old sermons, which he (probably wisely) refuses to let the press lay eyes on.

I think this brand of yahooism puts off mainstream urban conservatives every bit as much as it does mainstream urban liberals. They're afraid that this time, it's not just a line of patter to keep the yokels in line.

I love it. A Huckabee nomination would be the realization without the unfortunate consequences of my long held fantasy of turning the country over to the religious right simply to let them discredit themselves so we could all move on. Thankfully if Huckabee gets nominated it will accomplish this but since he will never be elected the evangelicals will be responsible for making the Republicans unelectable, and the religious right will be humiliated and abandoned by the party. This has always been the problem with the evangelical base. Their agenda appeals to almost no one outside the megachurches. Exactly how can you motivate the Charles Krauthammer's of the world to vote Republican with anti-gay hysteria, a religious persecution complex, and a spending record worse than LBJ's? Huckabee has all these things and he's going to humiliate all parts of the party. Good. Roll with pigs and you'll get covered in shit. All this and we don't have to watch what happens when a President uses the Book of Revelation as a guide to foreign policy. Grand.

Not convinced he's unelectable? Browse this post and the assorted links.

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