You may have seen the rather devastating YouTube ad featuring the mother of Carol Sue Shields, who was murdered by the serial rapist Wayne DuMond after Mike Huckabee pressed to have him released from prison. The maker of the video is Keith Emis, a 29-year-old Republican from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who says he's not affiliated with any presidential campaign. (The Wall Street Journal reports that Emis "has worked for Arkansas Republicans including former state Sen. Fay Boozman and former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson.")
In a couple of ways, Emis seems to represents a wing of the GOP that's gone one way while the Huckabee wing goes another. Here's Emis sending an anti-Paul Krugman link to Krugman-bashing blogger Donald Luskin; Huckabee, of course, has been known to mix his social conservatism with a dash of economic populism and fat-cat bashing that can occasionally sound a bit like Krugman. And here's a MySpace-style page in which Emis calls himself "Whiskey Bill" (remember that Huckabee reportedly has never tasted beer), says he's likes "see-gars," and tells us his favorite books include Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Milton Friedman's Free to Choose. (He's homeschooled, but he says on the page that he doesn't plan to homeschool his own kids.)
Well, there's your Republican crack-up -- a libertarian-leaner who likes a drop of the creature now and again versus a teetotaler who praises Jesus and has said, "The first thing we've gotta do as a Republican party is quit being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the corporations...."
The GOP is in deep trouble unless it finds a way to put this damn thing together again.
(Emis video and biographical link via Shakesville.)