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Why Does Rudy Heart Huck?

The various media outlets have reported that Giuliani really likes Huckabee, saying that he’s the only candidate who makes me laugh. Ross may explain why. Without Huck in the race, Romney would be poised to win the "hat trick" of early contests--Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan. And it’s not so clear Giuliani could survive all that momentum. But with Huck surging, Iowa, at least, is no longer a sure thing for Mitt, and at least the new man from Hope is likely to reduce the big national bump he would get from a solid victory. So Ross calls Huck Rudy’s "secret weapon." (Have you noticed that the "social conservatives" are trying to run Giuliani out of the party, while the "economic conservatives" are doing the same to Huckabee? Both efforts are quite misguided.)

Discussions - 5 Comments

Misguided perhaps, if you adore the incoherence at the heart of the contemporary Repubican party. But it does win elections, and that's what matters in the end. I think.

I understand that Patrick Deneen is a brilliant political theorist. I have no doubt that he is smarter than me by several orders of magnitude. But this is an obnoxious comment. Are the Democrats any more coherent? Is it even possible to have a viable, coherent political party in a winner-takes-all electoral system? Yes, yes, it's pick your poison and that's unfortunate. But when has it ever been any different? When will it be different?

(I might even go so far to suggest that incoherence in political parties is good, because it tends to temper the hubris that comes with power. The multiple hubristic parts cancel each other out. You know, Federalist 10 and all that.)

I assumed it would be self-evident to readers of these pages that the Democrats are incoherent. Does it really need to be said?

There can be no doubt at all that American party politics creates strange bedfellows. Madison also knew that these alliances would be shifting, impermanent. Some matches make sense, if only for a time. It would seem that the particular incoherence of the Republican party is becoming unsustainable: it's obvious to increasing numbers of people that the coalition is not just in tension, but contains a contradiction. The coalition was kept together largely by dint of the Cold War. It's not clear it can stay together, though it's not clear what takes its place. My several magnitudes of brilliance give me no guidance.

The definition of "economic conservative" has shifted a good deal over time. Reagan would hardly be considered to be an economic conservative as the Club For Growth scores it. Neither would Hayek.

Reagans response to the anti-free-trade practices of the Japanese was to hit them with tariffs. Anyone who suggests that we do the same to the Chinese is said to be anti-free-trade.

As for Hayek -

"Probably nothing has done so much harm to the liberal cause as the wooden insistence of some liberals on certain rough rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez-faire." The Road to Serfdom.

"Far from advocating a "minimal state", we find it unquestionable that in an advanced society government ought to use its power of raising funds by taxation to provide a number of services which for various reasons cannot be provided or cannot be provided adequately by the market." Law, Legislation, and Liberty.

What calls itself "economic conservatism" today is a new beast, quite different from the economic conservatism of the past.

Peter: Why put "social conservatives" in quotes? And why is the effort (WRT Rudy) misguided? (Pace', Dan.)

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