[The GOP elites] “are panicking because a) Huckabee is a wild card who could lose massively in the general election; b) Huckabee doesn’t owe any of them anything; and c) Huckabee’s rise shows how badly, perhaps irretrievably, the fusionist settlement (uniting social and economic conservatives) has broken down, leaving the GOP in a shambles,” writes Rod Dreher in a belief.net Conservative Blog post titled Why Does the Establishment fear Huck?

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, even though as Ross points out, Giuliani hasn’t exactly been deep on policy (I had to research Giuliani for our Dallas Morning News editorial board debate on which candidate to endorse, and I was genuinely startled by how vague he was on many things). 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. Pat Robertson sure did.

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? … etc.

We have no brief for Gov. Mike Huckabee. We are for whoever is opposed to Willard Milton Romney—this is our editorial position for as long as there is a Romney in the race. (To be honest, we tend to like Mayor Giuliani because we once lived under his rule and witnessed first hand how he transformed NYC.) But the more we study the figure of Gov. Mike Huckabee, the more compelling he becomes. Besides: He has all the right enemies.

Erick of Redstate.com opines:

… The other day I said all the attacks on Huckabee come across as so anti-evangelical, so anti-southern, and so anti-social conservative that the attacks are doing nothing but helping Mike Huckabee.

I expect him to go up in the polls even further as a result of the establishment New York-Washington Corridor of Mainstream IntelligentsiaTM and parts of the New York-Washington Corridor of Conservative IntelligentsiaTM attack his Christmas ad.

Jesus Christ! Seriously. Jesus Christ — that’s what people are hung up on him saying. And there’s the floating cross segment of a book shelf in the background that the truly paranoid saw immediately (I only noticed it as something extra after all the cries from people — most of whom I suspect were just upset that their candidate didn’t think of doing such an ad first) … etc.

Comment: We’re Jewish and felt no sense of threat in Gov. Huckabee’s sectarian salute. But Erick makes an interesting point: Romney and his surrogates are now on public record not simply as non-Evangelical despite Romney’s many attempts to identify himself with the Evangelical movement, but as anti-Evangelical by virtue of their vicious attacks on the character and person of Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Or: At least that is the perception.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


  1. Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly says Huckabee “destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party in shambles,” Schlafly charges, “Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a ‘compassionate conservative’ are now trying to sell us on Huckabee.”

    Richard Viguerie remarked about Huck, “But while Gov. Huckabee stands strong on some issues like abortion that are important to social conservatives, a careful examination of his record as governor reveals that he is just another wishy-washy Republican who enthusiastically promotes big government.”

    The Club for Growth, which Huckabee does not seem to get along with, had this to say about the Huckster: “Governor Huckabee’s record on pro-growth, free-market policies is a mixed bag, with pro-growth positions on trade and tort reform, mixed positions on school choice, political speech, and entitlement reform, and profoundly anti-growth positions on taxes, spending, and government regulation.

    His recent refusals to rule out raising taxes if elected President-the cornerstone of a pro-growth platform-perhaps indicate which path he would choose.”

    Ann Coulter dubbed Huckabee “the Republican Jimmy Carter,” and no sane conservative wants another Jimmy Carter in the White House.

    Anti-Illegal immigration advocates say they fear Mr. Huckabee could repeat President Bush’s track record on immigration, which they say amounted to tough talk but a failure to follow through. Mr. Huckabee’s campaign admitted that they never followed through with signing an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to secure training for state police officers. Without it, they cannot enforce federal immigration law.

    “This is a policy difference, but the facts are the facts — under Governor Huckabee’s administration, there was never even any effort to begin negotiating with Homeland Security,” said former state Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, the Republican who sponsored the 2005 law.

    Hucksters illegal-enabling attitude is apparent in a deal to establish a partially taxpayer-financed Mexican consulate office in Little Rock, a scheme involving the lease of building space to the Mexican government for $1 a year. Then there was Huck’s support of drivers’ licenses, government benefits and in-state tuition rates for illegals and his opposition to a bill requiring proof of citizenship to vote.

    Betsy Hagan, Arkansas director of the conservative Eagle Forum and a key backer of his early runs for office, was once ‘his No. 1 fan.’ She was bitterly disappointed with his record. ‘He was pro-life and pro-gun, but otherwise a liberal,’ she says. ‘Just like Bill Clinton he will charm you, but don’t be surprised if he takes a completely different turn in office.’

    Jennifer Rubin at the National Review summarized his record on taxes while serving as governor in Arkansas.

    By the end of his second term he had raised sales taxes 37 percent, fuel taxes 16 percent, and cigarettes taxes 103 percent, leading to a jump in total tax revenues from $3.9 billion to $6.8 billion. The Cato Institute gave him a failing grade of ‘F’ on its fiscal report card for 2006 and an only marginally better but still embarrassing ‘D’ for his entire term.”

    Rush Limbaugh remarked that “The Huckabee campaign is trying to dumb down conservatism in order to get it to conform with his record.”

    Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, has said it would be political suicide to nominate him.

    Conservative UCLA law professor Steve Bainbridge, libertarian Cato Institute scholar Michael Tanner, and libertarian-leaning columnist Deroy Murdock have presented some excellent reasons why anyone who cares about limiting the power of government has every reason to oppose Huckabee’s nomination.

    Pat Toomey wrote an op-ed in the National Review exposing Huckabee’s “stunning record of big-government liberalism,” protectionism and support for unions. He explains that “the average Arkansan’s tax burden increased 47 percent” and that “state spending increased by 50 percent.”

    Do Republicans and conservatives really want to elect another Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter?

    Mitt Romney is the best conservative candidate to defeat the Huckster.

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    […] dotan wrote an interesting post today on Gov. Mike Huckabee has all the right enemies, Romney first among themHere’s a quick excerptMike Huckabee. We are for whoever is opposed to Willard Milton Romney—this is our editorial position for as long as there is a Romney in the race. (To be honest, we tend to like Mayor Giuliani because we once lived under his rule and … […]

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