Monday, November 17, 2008


I don't know why it's widely assumed that Mike Huckabee has a big future as a leader of the Republican Party; I don't know why so many people assume he could take enough votes from Sarah Palin in 2012 to deny her the GOP presidential nomination.

I shouldn't say "I don't know" -- it's obvious: he's an evangelical Christian, and secular observers assume that therefore he has unquestioned appeal to a big chunk of the GOP base.

But he has so many conservatively incorrect positions that he's alienated the majority of the litmus-test base. Sure, he did surprisingly well in the 2008 primaries, but that's because no first-tier candidate truly appealed to evangelical voters; in 2012, if Palin runs (or possibly if the right-wing Catholic Bobby Jindal runs), Huckabee will be up against a competitor or competitors who talk about God the way he does and pass GOP-base litmus tests he doesn't.

And now he's handicapped himself even more by settling some scores in a forthcoming book:

Mitt Romney, Huckabee's principal rival in Iowa, receives the roughest treatment. Huckabee writes that the former Massachusetts governor's record was "anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president."

... Many conservative Christian leaders -- who never backed Huckabee, despite their holding similar stances on social issues -- are spared neither the rod nor the lash. Huckabee writes of Gary Bauer, the conservative Christian leader and former presidential candidate, as having an "ever-changing reason to deny me his support." Of one private meeting with Bauer, Huckabee says, "It was like playing Whac-a-Mole at the arcade -- whatever issue I addressed, another one surfaced as a 'problem' that made my candidacy unacceptable." He also accuses Bauer of putting national security before bedrock social issues like the sanctity of life and traditional marriage.

... He calls out Pat Robertson, the Virginia-based televangelist, and Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University in South Carolina, for endorsing Rudy Giuliani and Romney, respectively. He also has words for the Texas-based Rev. John Hagee, who endorsed the more moderate John McCain in the primaries, as someone who was drawn to the eventual Republican nominee because of the lure of power....

In a chapter titled "Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism," Huckabee identifies what he calls the "real threat" to the Republican Party: "libertarianism masked as conservatism." He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul's Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal-conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people's problems....

That last bit is one of the biggest reasons he's doomed in 2012: the true religion of the GOP base is hatred of government, along with the magical thinking that leads to a faith in the power of endless tax cuts. Another litmus test is unstinting support for Republican wars; with that remark about Bauer, Huckabee reminds the base that he fails that test as well.

Don't believe me? Let's wander over to

I don't care about the self serving Huckster one bit.The last thing the Republicans need is a big government conservative who believes in class warfare.The GOP needs to get on the same page as far as trying to re-brand itself,instead we have all these renegades trying to move the party more left.


What does Huckabee know about conservatism? He ain't a conservative. He's a populist with a LOT of lib tendencies. I'm going to hold a grudge against him for.ever. He's the reason we were saddled with McCain.


Bauer has more common sense than Huckabee. Without national security nothing else matters. I thought of him as a spoiler and prevented us from having a winnable candidate like Mitt Romney. He comes off as a silly petty man.

They're not too fond of him over at Free Republic, either:

Ex Preacher Huckabee should revisit the 11th commandment.


Hucksterbee's major contribution to this campaign was as a Judas Goat who ensured McCain would be the nominee by forcing out any serious alternatives (Fred, Romney).


What a poltroon. National Security is THE fundamental responsibility of government. If the government isn't doing that, there's no reason for it to exist... and it won't do so for very long.


I still think he is Jim Nabors in drag.

I predict Huckabee's going to flame out very, very quickly in 2012.

No comments: