Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thank You, Mike Huckabee

Huckabee brings class warfare to the GOP:
The first thing we've gotta do as a Republican party is quit being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the corporations that have done exactly what Steve talked about, and that is allow workers at the bottom to make money for their companies and then allow a CEO to get a pension, get a wonderful bonus, take a trip to the Riviera and Steve takes a trip to the poorhouse....

It's based not on capitalism--that's a good thing--but this is sheer unadulterated greed, and that's not what makes a strong economy. And it's gonna ruin not just this country, but it's gonna collapse the Republican party if we don't start standing up and saying you can't have that kind of economy where CEOs make 500 times that of their workers, and call that perfectly acceptible. It's not acceptible.
Snarky response: hey, good luck with that, Mike.

More serious response: Huckabee may be a hater, but he is the only candidate on the Republican side who cares at all about anyone but the top 1%. More to the point, he's the only one who even tries to look like he cares. Given that the nominee is likely to be America's Wall Street's Mayor (or possibly K Street Fred or Millionaire Mitt), this is a potentially devastating critique.

As Ahab observes, Huckabee's response to the steelworker isn't particularly substantive. What matters in this case isn't the substance but the optics of the thing. This isn't your garden variety BDS-crazed DFH posting obscenity-ridden screeds at an evil hate site like Daily Kos1; this is a Republican presidential candidate with a small but non-trivial following in the authoritarian evangelical community, and he's calling the Republican party "a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street". That's a line we can expect to resonate with at least some of the increasingly disaffected authoritarian evangelicals, who vote Republican for 'moral' reasons--not because they want to further line the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.

I don't think we can reasonably expect to win any of those votes. I think we can at least hope they stay home...or better still, vote for a third-party candidate like (maybe) Huckabee himself. The division is there for us to exploit, Huckabee gave us the sound bite, and we have to repeat it over and over every day, from the time they choose whichever plutocrat they want to oversee the giveaway until Election Day.

Update: missing footnote has been added.

1This is snark.

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