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December 20, 2007

Huckabee The Victim

Rod Dreher, "crunchy con," dutifully picks up the liberal meme of the horrid anti-Christian treatment of Huckabee by the GOP:

It's funny, but when it looked like Rudy Giuliani, a social liberal, was going to be the nominee, we didn't see many, if any, establishment Republican opinion leaders freaking out over what kind of danger to the future of the party and the nation he represented….I think it's fair to say that it was assumed that Giuliani would be a sound representative of the Republican Party, and that the social and religious conservatives would do like they always do and get in line…

Fuck you, bub. This is risible. No one demanded they "get in line." A certain once-pro-Giuliani blogger I could name frequently worried he would divide the coalition by stubbornly and stupidly refusing to move further to the right to appease this bloc.

And if no one was worried that Giuliani, say, would fail to outlaw abortion: Newsflash, Rod. Abortion isn't getting outlawed under Giuliani, or Mike Huckabee, or Ron Paul, or Pat Robertson. The most that can possibly happen in the the next decade is that five justices decide (correctly) that Roe should be overturned and recommit that question to the states, where it belongs.

The biggest danger Giuliani posed here was that, being pro-choice at heart, he would flinch at nominating the fifth, crucial anti-Roe judge... but that's not much of a danger, because the Senate would never confirm the fifth, crucial anti-Roe judge anyway. The Gang of 14 agreed to not filibuster judges except in cases of "extraordinary circumstances," and by "extraordinary circumstances," they meant the fifth, crucial anti-Roe vote.

Now that Democrats actually control the Senate -- and in addition have perhaps a dozen pro-choice or squish Republicans backing them on this issue -- the entire question is even more hypothetical now.

On the other hand, Huckabee is a confirmed liberal in all the areas where he could, as President, make difference.

But lo, it turns out that the candidate who's caught fire comes straight out of the religious/social conservative wing of the coalition, and he is unsound on issues most important to the fiscal wing. It's not supposed to work that way. Nobody at the elite level seems to expect the economic conservatives to suck it up for the sake of party unity. What does that say about the place of social conservatives in the party all these years?

This is a good point. It does seem unfair that the born-again candidate George W. Bush (Governor of Texas, if you remember him) was thoroughly demonized by the GOP establishment to the point where he lost the nomination to economic conservative President Steve Forbes.

I'll give Dreher that.

I don't want to overdo this. I think it's perfectly fine to be worried about Huckabee's vagueness, and his unpreparedness. I'm worried about these things too, which is a big reason why I can't say I'd vote for him (though honestly, any Republican who finds himself worked up over Huckabee's lack of knowledge about foreign affairs, say, should ask himself if he felt the same way about Gov. Bush in 1999 and 2000, and if not, why not).

Why didn't we ask this about the born-again Christian George W. Bush? Dreher isn't even making sense, as he attempts to prove that very religious candidates are being treated more harshly but then injects Bush as an example of a non-religious candidate treated more leniently. But, see, Rod: Bush is rather religious. Just ask him.

As to why we're more concerned about foreign policy now in 2007 than we were in 1999 or 2000: Gee, Rod, I can't think of a single incident, certainly not one occurring in the second week of September 2001, that would tend to make foreign policy more important now than it seemed at the end of the Clinton Administration. I mean, it's not like we're involved in a Global War against Terror or something now.

So I guess you got me again. Well played, sir.

Still, it's hard to shake the belief that the real problem with Mike Huckabee, as far as the establishment is concerned, is that he's not clubbable.

Again, fuck you, pal. It's hard for you to shake because you've always been a liberal squish and you dutifully repeat the memes now flying around among your leftwing buddies' dinner parties. You are attempting to spin an antipathy towards Huckabee's liberal politics into some sort of hatred of a huge group of people, fanning the flames of tribal divisions by claiming that the only reason political conservatives reject Huckabee is that we consider him, as well as all those loathesome Christians, as Not Quite Our Class, Dear.

For the rest of us it's rather simple: We liked Bush (I was an enthusiastic supporter, despite not being religious) because he was a conservative candidate. Huckabee is not a conservative candidate.

See the difference there, Rod? It's really not that complicated I assure you.

George Bush: a born-again Christian and a political conservative.

Mike Huckabee: an evangelical Christian and... umm... lost a lot of weight.

Rod Dreher is wrong six ways to Sunday. He insists the east-coast swells of the GOP establishment are anti-Christian despite the fact that they enthusiastically supported the Christian candidate Bush in 2000. He further insists that the mere fact that a candidate is Christian should, somehow, be the only qualification necessary to lead a political party, and that the GOP establishment is somehow being inconsistent in asking that its leader actually share its politics.

Furthermore he's playing -- as Huckabee is -- a rather shabby game of identity politics, demanding that the "GOP establishment" endorse Huckabee despite not sharing many of its political convictions simply because he's the right religion.

I wonder if Dreher would agree that, if the Democratic Party rejects Hillary, it hates women, or if they reject Obama, they hate blacks. Somehow I rather doubt Mr. Crunchy Con would agree with those propositions. It's only the GOP, strangely enough, which is to be judged to be discriminatory, and, even more strangely, discriminatory against Christians, of all people.

A Vast Right Wing Conspiracy? That's essentially what Dreher is saying here. That, just as with Bill Clinton, a vast right wing conspiracy is conspiring against Huckabee.

I guess he's right on that score: There are in fact tens of millions of conservative Republicans who don't want a rapist and murderer pardoning, tax-and-spending, nanny-stating, illegal-immigrant-coddling, Why Do They Hate Us? asking liberal as the leader of the conservative party, and I guess that counts as both "vast" and "right wing."

I'm not sure why we are somehow obliged to vote for a liberal just because he really, really, really believes in Jesus (much more than any other candidate, who are, let's face it, not really Christians at all, are they?). But apparently Rod Dreher thinks we are so obliged, and it's pretty plain he also thinks Christian conservatives should quit the party if Mike Huckabee is not nominated.

Thanks to Gabe for noting the "vast right wing conspiracy" angle.

Unnamed Huckabee Supporter: Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Like Huckabee Because He Doesn't "Think For Himself," Secretly Wants Hillary To Win To Make More Money: Alas, Limbaugh won't take this personally.

I wish he would but he won't.

Still it's rather breathtaking how Huckabee and his allies claim that everyone who doesn't like Huckabee does so out of some deep character flaw.

I guess that's a better story to sell than "They don't like him because he's liberal."

Thanks to Cuffy Meigs.

Rush Update From Cuffy: Cuffy says Limbaugh did notice that comment, and wasn't pleased:

Rush was just talking about the Huck comment. Basically said "I hope Huck really doesn't have advisors like that in his camp. I REALLY hope that. Because if he does...(forboding unnamed retaliation)"

Oh, and he just wrapped up the hour by calling them IDIOTS.

Maybe Limbaugh hates Christians, too.

Ann Coulter too.

Anyone insufficiently impressed with the liberal Mike Huckabee hates Christianity itself and is most likely a part of a "GOP Establishment"/Satanic cabal.


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posted by Ace at 01:09 PM

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