alien & sedition.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
  The Huckabee Menace

Ben Weyl at the Iowa Independent has an excellent post on the not-quite-forgotten Mike Huckabee. As I've written before at this blog, and discussed recently at The Right's Field, Huckabee has enormous talents and is probably the conservative candidate best poised to thrive in a liberal era (to thrive as a conservative, not as a Schwarzenegger-style centrist).

Ben compares Huckabee's own rhetoric to the "Party of Sam's Club" ideas advocated by Ross Douthat and Reiham Salam, and puts them in the context of this analysis by liberal pollster Stanley Greenberg:
Huge majorities want the government to be more involved in a range of issues including national security, health care, energy, and the environment. To tackle global warming, two-thirds of Americans support stronger regulation of business. When it comes to health care, the results are dramatic. By a two-to-one margin, people opt for a universal health care system rather than separate reforms dealing with problems one at a time.
The Republican field in this cycle's presidential election has been pretty void of ideas so far. But it looks like there's a pretty natural match between what Huckabee is saying and what the conservative movement's smartest intellectuals are saying. Of course, they have the albatross of "big-government conservatism" around their necks, which may sink them, but I remain convinced that this kind of synchronicity is why Huckabee, should he somehow overcome his terrible fundraising and lousy poll numbers, would be a very dangerous candidate for Democrats -- someone who, as Ben says, could "steal much of their message and cut deeply into their natural constituency of working Americans."

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I've long thought that Mike Huckabee would be the Republican's best shot of keeping the White House.

I disagree with pretty much everything he says, but I can't help but like him somehow.
I saw an interview with Huckabee on CNN - and was impressed: That is the man for the Conservatives! If I were a Conservative, I'd rally for him!

I wonder why the Conservatives don't do it - why neither money nor energy goes to him.

What could be the reasons?

Are the Conservatives just too stupid to figure and recognize real talent?

Good for us, though.

But who knows, he may come from behind ...

It's the War, Stupid.

IF he changed his tune, he might have a chance. As it is, he sounds like a slightly milder Bush. I think the country feels like it was cheated, 2x. He hasn't got a prayer. I am still very curious as to his fundraising numbers, because I consider him to be the most credible threat from the second-tier candidates to Ron Paul.
I don't think it is the pro-war position of Huckabee that makes him fail. I tend to follow here Paul Curtis' explanation: It's the GOP elite's ideology. I quote him:

"Like most Americans, he holds to a more expansionist understanding of what government can do than does Grover Norquist; at the same time, he has been working to expand the appeal of his evangelical politics by talking about issues like health, the environment, and energy independence. Such oncerns, combined with his tax record, undoubtedly strike many conservative elites as just another iteration of the hated “big-government conservatism” of the Bush administration. Those elites have managed to define the most electable social conservative candidate as “unelectable.”"

But I wonder whether that explanation is sufficient. (That is why I asked for the reasons of Huckabees weak showing up to now.)

Do the GOP elites really have such an influence over the GOP voters that they can starve Huckabee of money and votes?

I know, the big money for campains comes from Big Money, and good media for candidates comes from Corporate Media.

But is it really possible that Big Money still is indulging in a hope for success of their old policy - seeing Bush fail completely and seeing the Democrats surge?

I can hardly believe that they can be so blind.

Do they hold a Joker in their sleeves?
yes. 10x for thread :)
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Critical analysis of the American conservative movement from a progressive perspective. Also some stuff about the Mets.

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