Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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It was right after the 2004 election thatI wrote that if the Democratic Party were a stock on Wall Street, you should buy it hand over fist because it was undervalued and due for a rebound. I wonder if the same thing is now true of Republicans?

Bill Kristol argues in his first New York Times column that Huckabee can win in November, and while he may be doing this to make Times readers heads explode (those that haven’t already gone beserk at his appointment as a columnist), I am inclined to agree. (By the way, Joe, Mark Falcoff was two doors down from me at AEI for a long time, and while his specialty is Latin America, he has extensive depth on European politics and Barone-like command of American political history, so don’t dismiss his speculations on this score on that account, though I don’t agree with his analysis either.) For one thing, Obama, if he wins the nomination in the next few weeks, faces a long campaign, during which time his essential liberalism cannot be concealed beneath his glittering generalities and appealing personality. And Huckabee does indeed represent what Ross Douthat has called the "Sam’s Club Republicans," without which the GOP can’t win.

Meanwhile, London Times columnist Tim Hames thinks much the same thing, and turns a nice phrase along the way: "If the Democrats were playing pure Hollywood - a kind of Nicole Kidman takes on Will Smith epic - then all that the Republicans were serving up to the nation was The Dukes of Hazzard versus the Osmonds." Wish I’d written that.

Discussions - 8 Comments

Steve,

Thanks for the inside info. Even if he knows ten times more about American politics than I do, I stand by my reaction to his patronizing "you'll take the crumbs we give you or else" analysis.

I have grown to dislike Krystol, though I thought the reaction to his NYtimes apptmt was over the top.
as for Huckabee, it is true that the "Sam's Club Republicans" really like and are supporting him. the bad news is that ROSS DOUTHAT, perhaps the smartest conservative blogger, does not and for good reason. Huckabee isn't prepared for the big time. he is witty and warm, but his positions are underdeveloped and his policies (fair tax) are kooky.
my true elitist opinion is that Ross Douthat's proposals for a sam's club conservatism are much better than the actual sam's club candidate.
the last two debates have also convinced me that the relatively high minded Romney is the best GOP candidate and Thompson is as good as many conservatives had hoped (but he mortally wounded his chances for the nomination by his inconceivable and very public reluctance to enter the race).

That line from Tim Hames really is one of the best I've heard in a long time. Can we send him a mug?

If you want patronizing towards Huckabee's supporters, listen to tape of RUSH today, for he's pouring scorn on them and their views. Unbelievable. Unbelievable stupidity.

Does Rush think that Evangelicals haven't observed that he rips Huckabee, but spares Romney? The base observed long ago how their warm-hearted Huckabee has been getting ripped apart, while Romney gets a pass. And they're not happy about it. THAT was part of the message of Iowa. But NR, Hewitt, Powerline and Rush REFUSE to take that rebuke. They're livid, they're still livid with the rebuke from Iowa.

Many are discussing the reaction of the Hillary campaign to the results of Iowa, to the rise of Obama, to the calls for "change," "change," holy pure, sacred, coming down from the mountain tops "CHANGE!"

But there's another political event occurring out there, which has been overlooked, and that's the reaction to Huckabee's win by POWERLINE, NR, RUSH, HEWITT, ET AL. They're bitter, venomous, frenzied, unhinged, they've been uncouth, classless, patronizing and condescending. They've been insulting to the nth degree.

They've acted like a pack of jerks to Huckabee's win. And that's a fact.

They've been insulting to the nth degree.

I don't think Rush has gone THAT far, but he is part of the establishment now - his reaction to the GOP failure and his "home team" support and all that reveal this. Rush is more of a libertarian with conservative instincts, thus he is going to tend toward the country clubers more than the social conservatives, even if he occasionally gets it right...

My guess is that Rush dislikes Huckabee for very different reasons than I do. I am sympathetic to a fiscally moderate, genuinely socially conservative candidate. the problem w/ Huck is the fair tax, maybe immigatration (hard to know for sure on this) and what I perceive as a lack of competence (reminds me of Bush). IMO Romney is the real deal sam's club republican and there is a lot of evidence that he would be competent.
Huck is scorned by the GOP elites for his ambivalence re small gov't/tax cuts. I kinda like that he is more concerned with 30K - 50K a year middle class, etc.
However, I will defend Rush insofar as though is a clearly a part of the GOP establishment, he is not an "inside the beltway" conservative. He was outfront against harriet meirs, comprehensve immigration reform, etc

RUSH dodged the immigration battle. He was more interested chirping about global warming, while Hannity, Ingraham, Hewitt and especially Levin were hammering away on the immigration battle. During the second round fight, right before the vote, during those last two torturous, hard fought weeks, Levin and Hannity canceled their vacation plans so they could be at their post, continuing the fight.

But where was Rush, during the most crucial two weeks of that entire fight, where was Limbaugh?

I'll tell ya' where. He was AWOL. On vacation.

NO. Limbaugh was NOT reliable during that battle. He showed up afterwards, after the shock of battle had subsided, then he said that he was all along against the reform bill.

But when the battle was waging, instead of discussing immigration, instead of waging political battle, instead of rallying the opposition, instead of bearing down on that lost administration, he preferred to chirp and chirp and chirp about global warming, about Al Gore.

The dog that didn't bark proved most revealing for Sherlock Holmes. And likewise Limbaugh's silence during the entirety of that battle "speaks" to us as well. The White House got to him, and he purchased some song and dance about the administration attempting to wreck "structural damage to the Democrat party." Pure bull! But Limbaugh still prattles on about it occasionally to this day. But you can tell his heart isn't it. You can sense that he's repeating the talking points, when he knows they're the talking points, when he knows he's repeating lies and deceptions.

And I don't recall him being much assistance during the Meirs battle. And I surely didn't recall him showing up during the whifty Dubai Ports deal. If anything, he supported VDH types, who supported that deal.

When it comes to ripping and tearing into this lost administration, Limbaugh simply doesn't have the stomach for it. Which is a damn shame, for few men alive are as capable of getting in the face of this administration and delivering the dressing down they so richly deserve. And which is so necessary for the party.

And he's provided too much opportunity for Cheney to get himself out there, get treated like royalty on his show, not answer any real probing questions, but try to soothe the ruffled feathers of hawks like me in the party, {fiscal hawks, war hawks}. All the outraged hawks of America are supposed to be amenable to the words of our supposed kindred spirit, the great Dick Cheney.

I'm not happy right now with Cheney, who has remained silent through one disaster after another. And I'm not happy with Limbaugh. Not happy at all.

The GOP still has a long way to fall. I've been a life-long Republican and will be abandoning the party if Huck or McCain win the primary. My vote has been taken for granted too long, and my vote is the only thing I have to show the GOP I am sick of the direction the party has gone. What choice does a conservative have? I will not be victim to the "well Democrats are worse argument, please vote for us". Enough is enough, it looks like the GOP will have to lose a few battles in the upcoming years to be reminded that conservatives want to win the "small government, get out of our lives war".

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