Here are two pieces speculating on Mike Huckabee’s post-08 future. Does he want to be a erious contender in ’12, or someone with whom all the serious contenders must deal? By staying in the game so long, he’s been able to introduce himself to voters who otherwise wouldn’t have paid much attention, especially in Texas.
Note also David Kuo’s argument that, with the passing of the old religious conservative guard, the successors are less likely to focus relatively narrowly on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. They’ll still be important, but the portfolio will be more extensive...and also more likely to depart from fiscal conservative orthodoxy.
As I’ve said before, there are ways of talking about these matters that don’t require "big government" solutions, but Republicans do have to indicate that they "care" about them. Otherwise, Amy Sullivan’s analysis of the ways in which Democrats have been hostile to the concerns of religious folks will find a mirror image in someone’s analysis of Republicans. Nothing is to be gained from having a tin ear...except permanent back-bencher status.