Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Huckabee Divide

Not being a Huckabee/ster fan, I found this column by George Neumayr to be fascinating--mostly because it's true.

Against an immutable standard of conservatism, Mike Huckabee is hardly impeccable. I find some of what he says silly and unpersuasive (for example, his support for Global Warming theory). But the explosion of snide remarks directed at him from many in the conservative movement strikes me as churlish and baldly hypocritical. How is it that the bar of conservative entry for a presidential nominee lowers for the Romneys and McCains, then rises for the Huckabees?

...I suspect that the essential problem for some in the conservative movement (as it was for establishment conservatives pitted against Pat Buchanan in his race with Bob Dole in 1996) isn't that Huckabee takes this or that heterodox position on issues of economics/trade/foreign policy; it is that he's a transparent Christian conservative. That they just can't abide, even as some of these pundits tell conservatives to ignore religion with respect to Mormonism.

Romney attended Planned Parenthood events, used to support state financing of abortion and elements of the homosexual agenda; McCain has derided in the past the Religious Right and taken any number of fashionable liberal stances. But all of this can be quickly excused. Woe to the Christian Republican, however, who talks about the culture war, or -- brace yourself -- rejects Darwinism.


Whatever one thinks of that highly technical debate, that the Wall Street Journal and GOP consultants like Mike Murphy set up adherence to Darwinism as a litmus test for an "acceptable" Republican nominee exposes the degree to which political correctness has crept into the conservative movement. I don't blame rank-and-file conservatives for increasingly ignoring the snobbish sniffings of the George Wills

The alliteration only makes it more delicious. is not at all clear why rank-and-file conservatives are supposed to nod vigorously whenever a McCain or Romney supporter calls Huckabee an "economic liberal." At least he talks about eliminating income taxes and capital gains taxes. Do they? Romney's support for semi-socialized health care in Massachusetts (which is almost indistinguishable from Obama's scheme for the entire nation) is scarier to me than anything Huckabee uncorked in Arkansas. And then there is John McCain's opposition to Bush's tax cuts. Does that make him an unacceptable economic liberal?

But now Neumayr discloses the REAL issue with Huckabee:

But Huckabee doesn't talk about Wall Street enough, some warn. Good; Wall Street already sups at the government trough. If he cuts off corporate welfare, I would be happy. It is about time somebody talks about getting the ravenous, regulatory Leviathan state off the backs of small businessmen, gun owners, and homeschooling families, rather than waste time on Wall Street talking to fat cats who vote for the Dems anyways

It's been clear from early on that many of the Learned Commentators of the Rightist persuasion have been thinly disguised worshippers of Capital. Odd, that--because while Capital has its place, Capital is brother to no one on this planet--and is not a deity except for those who have no real Deity in practice. It is, in fact, the Randians who have infiltrated the Republican Party (or, perhaps, have crawled out from beneath the rockpile that Bill Buckley and Ron Reagan put over them.)

But won't Huckabee shatter the conservative coalition? That would be a little more persuasive if those saying this hadn't shattered it themselves. The relative success of Ron Paul and Huckabee is not a cause of the coalition's collapse but a reflection of it. An excessively Wilsonian foreign policy has divided defense conservatives; years of big spending has divided economic conservatives; and a tepid, stalling social conservatism has alienated moral ones.

Neumayr rightly implies that the only establishments left unscathed in the last 8 years have been those of Wall Street and the gobs (mobs?) of lawyers, bureaucrats, CPA's, and other fungus which feed on ordinary folks.

No, I'm not voting for Huckabee. But Randians, beware: Conservatives worthy of the name are not buying the snake-oil of Wall Street or its pipsqueak baseball-junky apologist.

HT: AmSpec Blog

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

I am not in the Huckabee camp either, but the article makes some good points.

I find it odd that there is so much talk among Republicans that Romney's Mormonism doesn't matter, yet they seem to think the Huckabee being a Baptist preacher does.