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Huck’s a Divider, Not a Uniter

So accuses KLo on the NRO page, and I guess that’s true enough. But might it also be the case that the dividing is also caused by the extreme overreaction to his surging by the mainstream conservative media. The chance of Huck getting the nomination is still very small, and the intensity of the attack his candidacy will surely damage the party in November.

At this point, I agree with the experts, the price of a Giuliani nomination (which is still quite possible) will be a fractured party, and so I think the turn to Romney has lot of reason behind it. (That’s not to say I’m endorsing anyone.) Let’s not also have the price of a Romney nomination be a fractured party.

It’s also true that Mormon-evangelical animosity is surfacing in various places, and that can’t be good for November or even for truthfully recalling how much the two very serious and admirable groups of believers share in common morally and politically. Although I’m not at all defending Huck’s remark in the NYTM article about Mormon theolgy (Mormons rightly see it as a coded cheap shot in their direction), it’s ridiculous to attribute the success of his candidacy to some kind of anti-Mormon bigotry. His positions on the issues really are significantly different from Mitt’s, and his character and campaign have been, in ways we need to remember, intrinsically attractive. (I know a good number of liberals who say that Huck is the only Republican they can stand. And to some Catholics he’s attractive as something like a European Christian Democrat.)

Extreme and often unfair attacks of Huck’s campaign, combined with unflagging efforts to parce every word he’s said his whole life for redneck intolerance, will have the main effect of bolstering evangelical victimology--the belief that real believers are constantly under attack in all directions (even conservative ones) by the politically correct thought police. For the most part, Huckabee’s campaign, in truth, has been upbeat and inclusive and even admirable in its genuine (if sometimes misguided in terms of policy) concern for less fortunate Americans.

Finally, I do think Huck is too evangelical (which is different from too progressivist) to be elected, just as I think that Rudy is too indifferent to the genuine concerns of the evangelicals to be elected. McCain might still be looking better all the time.

Discussions - 11 Comments

Amen, Brother Lawler!

Assuming you're right, Peter, that the Huck nomination is just the fancy of the moment (I tend in that direction, but I'm not convinced) then let's look at what remains. If the price of either a Giuliani or a Romney nomination is a fractured party, then it appears that the fracture is likely inevitable and even, perhaps, already an established fact. That said, the only remaining question is which of the two men is most likely to be able to set and mend the break well enough to hold for November. The good news is that the Dems will have to be taken on a similar trip to the orthopedic surgeon when their primaries are concluded. I grow weary of considering which candidate can best appeal to the largest number of conservatives or Republicans. What I really want to know is which candidate will appeal to the largest number of Americans and will, with that appeal, subsequently become the best President in the bunch.

Hmm...see what I mean about 1 person? In seriousness, I would be quite satisfied with McCain getting the nomination; he's my second favorite. Anyone besides him and Huckabee, I'll only vote not campaign a lick because they will have no shot. Romney, Giulian, and Thompson cannot win the general. I think McCain has replaced Giuliani as the moderate alternative, and G. is finished. McCain will win NH if Huckabee wins IA. This is extremely likely. While the spat with Huck has in some ways lifted Romney because of the elites adoration of him, he is too flawed to win. If he loses IA and NH, his early state strategy is finished and so is he-thank God! McCain will have trouble bringing back on board all the conservatives that he made mad over the past 8 years, so I think his resurgency will thrive only in oddball GOP states like NH and MI. Huck is in the best position to win.

McCain would be a great candidate and President, it's too bad the power brokers of the party tossed him out for flip-flop Mitt and liberal Rudy. Now it will be too little too late for the old veteran. Go Huck!!

What is the worst sin a commander can commit? It's to form a picture of the enemy, of his forces, his disposition, his intent.

Peter has concluded Huckabee "will fade." And he said as much before. But new information is now available about his campaign, about how his numbers aren't falling, but rising, and rising in states other than Iowa.

Peter has formed a picture, and isn't allowing new evidence to further clarify and inform that picture. Thus he's committing a blunder.

I too thought Huckabee "a fad." And said as much about a month ago, when we thought he was beginning to experience a little "boomlet." But Huckabee has moved beyond a "boomlet," and he's beyond a "surge" as well.

Huckabee cannot be described as anything other than a SERIOUS contender for the nomination. Any other conclusion is self-delusion.

If he prevails in Iowa, as it seems he will, I think he'll have an Inside Straight on the nomination. And he will have thoroughly blown up Romney's strategy for gaining the nomination by winning Iowa and New Hampshire.

But might it also be the case that the dividing is also caused by the extreme overreaction to his surging by the mainstream conservative media.



Amen.



Extreme and often unfair attacks of Huck’s campaign, combined with unflagging efforts to parce every word he’s said his whole life for redneck intolerance, will have the main effect of bolstering evangelical victimology--the belief that real believers are constantly under attack in all directions (even conservative ones) by the politically correct thought police.



This belief is entirely supported by this whole sorry affair. Evangelicals are under attack, as are non-cosmopolitan Southerners.

Clint,

A lot of us would argue that McCain jumped rather than being tossed by the party. Nobody on the right forced him into the abominations of campaign finance or immigration reform. Nobody on the right made him start the Gang of 14. He did all that on his own.

I am actually drawing closer to supporting McCain everyday...

I've been taking a hard look at McCain as well. He might be best positioned to reach moderate voters than others in the field and is strongest on the security issue (while still distinguishing himself from Bush on this score). His main problem seems to be with Republicans who are uncomfortable with his progressivism and don't really trust him (and on many points for good reason). One of McCains most salient virtues (lots of experience vs. the political adolescents on the other side of the aisle) might be a vice within his party: he a known entity and there's not much he can say to convince Republicans to revise their view of him.

Well stated, Peter!

Or you could always forget all those people and support Thompson instead, who is about the only conservative running.

McCain will have trouble bringing back on board all the conservatives that he made mad over the past 8 years

I can see that you're not a conservative.

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