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Tilting at Windmills

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December 22, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

AIRING THE DIRTY LAUNDRY....In an interview with David Brody, Mike Huckabee talks about the private contempt that the moneycon-driven Republican Party has for evangelicals like him:

They were more than happy for us to come to the rallies and stand in lines for hours to cheer on the candidates, appreciated us putting up the yard signs, going out and putting out the cards on peoples doors and making phone calls to the phone banks and — really appreciated all of our votes. But when they got elected, behind closed doors, they would laugh at us and speak with scorn and derision that we were, as one article I think once said "the easily led." So there's been almost this sort of, it's okay if you guys get a seat on the bus, but don't ever think about telling us where the bus is going to go.

Say what you will about Huckabee, but he's got their number on this. Liberals, at least, just honestly disagree with evangelical social fervor. Republican elites, by contrast, are willing to pander endlessly for evangelical votes, evangelical money, and evangelical organizing zeal, but once the elections are won they think of them, in Peggy Noonan's recent words, as "the idiot vote." Unless evangelical interests coincide with the moneycon wing of the party (as they do with judges, for example), they get little more than a few symbolic bones tossed their way.

As you can imagine, I'm delighted to see evangelicals finally figuring this out and getting ready to turn their longstanding misgivings into out-and-out rebellion. It's about time this battle got fought in the full light of day.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

Kevin Drum 1:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (75)

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Comments

Wow. It's bracing to read a politician speaking in unmentionable common sense. It's really too bad some of his policies are so crazy, because he could do a lot of good in getting evangelicals to do something productive rather than gay-baiting and being tools to the money-cons.

Don't fly in any small planes, Huck...

Posted by: sean on December 22, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

For years, liberals have been pointing out the fact that evangelicals are being played for chumps by the GOP, and that has been used as evidence that liberals are dismissive, or even contemptuous, of those with faith. Now that Huckabee et al. see the light, will liberals be let off the hook on this smear at least?

Posted by: jimbo on December 22, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

It only took the evangelical block 40 years to figure out their republican courters were just a series of Elmer Gantry types.

Go Huckabee. Not that I would ever vote for the troglodyte.

Posted by: Chris Brown on December 22, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Huckabee has a lot of splainin' to do regarding Mr. Dumond, among other things. But damn, the man is smart. Kind of like another Arkansas politician of recent, but not current, vintage.

Posted by: redterror on December 22, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think Huckabee is just being a sore loser. So far as I can tell, the only people who support Huckabee are liberal secularists. There are many reasons real conservatives are opposed to Huckabee. I will name a few, but there are many more.
First, during his tenure in Arkansas, Huckabee raised taxes a lot and spent a lot. Conservatives are fiscally conservative and believe in low taxes and spending.
Second, Huckabee's naive foreign policy. Huckabee thinks if we are nice to the terrorists, they will be nice to us back. This is naive and makes him even worse than Hillary Clinton.
Third, Huckabee's insult of Bush by calling him arrogant. Whatever the merits of Huckabee's views, that gives him no right to launch a verbal assault on a sitting conservative President especially in a time of War. If he wants to criticize the President, he can do so in a polite manner like his fellow Republicans instead of a way which plays in to the hands of liberals and Democrats.
Fourth, lack of executive experience. Rudy was the mayor of major metropolitian city for many years. Mitt Romney was the CEO of corporations, the Olympics, and a governor. Huckabee was only a governor of a small, unimportant state. I don't think he could handle how rough it can be in Washington.
Fifth, his liberal immigration views. During his tenure as governor of Arkansas, he supported giving illegal immigrants money to go to college. Conservatives believe we should do our best to enforce immigration laws by arresting and deporting the criminals instead of paying them to stay in America.

These are a few reasons real conservatives are against Huckabee. I think they show he is not really a conservative. Although he talks a good game, he is a phoney and not the real deal like Mitt or Rudy. There's a reason why the liberal media has given him such good press even though he pretends to be a conservative.

Posted by: Al on December 22, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Are evangelicals just "figuring this out" now, or is Huckabee just saying this because he's in a hot campaign fight? What's going to happen when (I'm not optimistic enough to say "if") the Huck goes down -- is he still going to be making charges like these, or will he play the good soldier, like all the rest of the "evangelical" leadership has over the years?

James Dobson has been "just about to endorse" Huckabee for months now. Has he ever actually done it, and if not, why not? Has Pat Robertson rescinded his endorsement of the gruesome, faithless Giuliani, and swung into the Huckabee camp? Why not?

Posted by: Martin Gale on December 22, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

He also dared to say that Limbaugh is part of the DC insider axis, or something along those lines. Limbaugh was left to sputter about how he couldn't possibly be described that way, because he opposed the nomination of Harriet Miers and three or four other things in the past eight years. Hilarious.

Posted by: bob on December 22, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don’t know why Huckabee and the evangelicals bristle over the money-con republicans using the phrase “so easily led”. If ever there was a subculture of people so easily identifiable as easily led it would be the evangelicals. Think about it. What other group would so willingly allow charismatics to tell them what to think, what to do, how to go about it, and most importantly – what to do with what little money they have? Anyone who so quickly and willingly allows someone else to define their set of beliefs is properly defined as “easily led”. This characteristic belonged to the evangelicals long before the republicans gleefully used it to their own advantage. To be offended by it is just a form of denial.

Posted by: jcricket on December 22, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Onward, Christian voters!

Posted by: AJ on December 22, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -

I'm with you on the gist of this post, but you got too sloppy there at the end. Peggy Noonan did *not* refer generally to evangelicals as "the idiot vote", as your words imply. Would you really expect such a comment from her? She used that term to refer to those who might object to Romney including atheists in his "Mormon speech" of a few weeks ago. That may include many evangelicals, but my guess is not all of them. Here is the full quote:

"There was one significant mistake in the speech. I do not know why Romney did not include nonbelievers in his moving portrait of the great American family. We were founded by believing Christians, but soon enough Jeremiah Johnson, and the old proud agnostic mountain men, and the village atheist, and the Brahmin doubter, were there, and they too are part of us, part of this wonderful thing we have. Why did Mr. Romney not do the obvious thing and include them? My guess: It would have been reported, and some idiots would have seen it and been offended that this Romney character likes to laud atheists. And he would have lost the idiot vote."

Posted by: David on December 22, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

So, Al, if I believe you, all the people who have put Huckabee close to the top of Republican primary polls are not real conservatives. So, when the Republicans lose those people, it will mean there's hardly anybody left in party. Cool.

Posted by: jrw on December 22, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Huck is aiming to be kingmaker at least, or maybe VP. The implicit threat here is that, by being the only candidate with genuine fundie credentials, he's in a position to spoil a lot of plans -- or to deliver a pretty powerful endorsement.

I'll be interested to see when he starts trash-talking a particular candidate, rather than some amorphous, Washington-based bloc. That would suggest to me that advances have been rebuffed, or that allegiances are solidifying.

(Of course, I'd also LOVE to see Buchanan's Pitchfork Brigade take matters into their OWN hands, and put him over the top in, say, Iowa and SC, and then in some big Super Tuesday states. Wouldn't George Will's hair catch on fire then!)

Posted by: bleh on December 22, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

The word "moneycon" bothers me - it's too cute, and completely elides who they are. Let's call some farm implements a spade, and talk about the "ultra-rich" or the "rich elites" or the "fat cats" or the "money class" or some other thing that actually means something.

Posted by: craigie on December 22, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "These are a few reasons real conservatives are against Huckabee."

And speaking of phonies -- how's life in Manila, Al?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 22, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee potentially represents the deep fissure between the economic elites and the fundamentalists that the modern conservative bloc has papered over for a long, long time. If his ego is big enough, and if he's not willing to be bought off for some office lesser than the presidency, then he could split that crack wide open. His record indicates however that he is willing to be bought off, so I think what he's doing here is trying to bring his price up.

the Dumond debacle could potentially destroy him, and it certianly makes him unelectable in the general, but it's worth noting that he let Dumond go free because he was practically under orders form Jay cole, a fundamentalist preacher in Arkansas. That kind of loyalty won't hurt him too bad with his base.

Posted by: urk on December 22, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee's Christian supporters are a minority in the Republican party. The American secular religion is actually the worship of the dollar. So wealth is associated with virtue, i.e. the richest candidate is normally assumed to be the most virtuous. So I'm betting that Romney will ultimately get the nomination. Also, I noticed the Iowa electronic election marketplace now puts Romney as the leader as well.

Posted by: Bruce rosner on December 22, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Well, given how Huckabee's fundraising is going, I doubt that 'evangelical money' is a significant factor, but the rest is quite so.

OTOH, compare and contrast this situation with the relationship of liberal doves to Democratic elites. Well, mostly compare, since it'd be tough to find a contrast with it.

Posted by: Bo on December 22, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee's Christian supporters are a minority in the Republican party.

But a large minority that the Repub party needs in order to win elections. And a minority to which the party has been making empty promises for a long time. Hence, an angry minority that figures it's about time it gets what it's been paying for.

This is indeed fun to watch. Just so long as we don't somehow end up with a president Huck.

Posted by: bob on December 22, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

This discussion reminds me of the Thomas Frank book, "What's the Matter with Kansas". Could it be that evangelicals and other red state types are finally waking up to the fact they have been used?

Posted by: RWH on December 22, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with David, though much of the rest of the blog post was justifiable, the bit about Noonan and "the idiot" vote invalidly implied that she equated "the idiot" vote with evangelicals in general.

Posted by: TK on December 22, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

The real question now is whether the evangelicals will come out to vote for a money-conservative next Fall. Will they vote for Romney or McCain in the General election, or just sit it out?

There will be some kind of effort among the Republican leaders, both MoneyCon and Evangelical, to reunify the national Republican Party before next November, and none of the followers will vote for the Democrat under any conditions anyway. Can the leaders make reunification work among the followers if Huckabee feels dissed by the MoneyCons and continues to say so?

I doubt it. The only thing that will pull them together is a broad feeling that there is a reasonable chance for the Republican candidate to win the Presidency. That feeling doesn't exist right now, and with 10 months left to go and a Recession getting deeper, it is unlikely to change.

Also, Ron Paul WILL run as a Libertarian next November. Count on it. He's been running in the Republican Primary to get his message out. He's done that, and he has surprisingly gotten more money than he ever thought of having when he previously ran for President in 1988. He'll take a lot of the disaffected Republican MoneyCons with him.

Without a reasonable possibility of the Republican candidate to win the Presidency, there is no reason for the various factions of the Republican Party to make nice with each other.

Posted by: Rick B on December 22, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

If these voters weren't such foolish patsies the left wouldn't be laughing at them to their face and the right wouldn't be laughing at them behind their back. Some people earn the scorn that is heaped upon them.

When blatant Elmer Gantry types con you, you really have to ask yourself if you set yourself up to be conned.

Posted by: freelunch on December 22, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, judges don't always manage to fit nicely into both sides as Judge Jones of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District fame has proven. When it comes to science, I doubt that any of the Wall Street conservatives want to see the anti-science religious zealots get control of public education in this country.

Posted by: freelunch on December 22, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes Huckabee: "They were more than happy for us to come to the rallies ... But when they got elected, behind closed doors, they would laugh at us ..."

Let's put a couple of names on "they": Karl Rove and George W. Bush.

Karl Rove certainly didn't originate, but arguably he perfected, the Republican "bamboozle the white Southern evangelical Christian rubes with bullshit" strategy, in the form of the carefully and cynically crafted, completely fake and phony "born again Christianity" of George W. Bush. The rubes cut Bush a lot of slack on their actual issues because they believe that he's "one of them".

However, Huckabee may be outdoing them both. As far as I can tell he's just as much a fake, phony, pandering bamboozler as they are.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 22, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

What Huckabee is saying is correct ... but I think you could also take Kevin's quote:

"Unless evangelical interests coincide with the moneycon wing of the party (as they do with judges, for example), they get little more than a few symbolic bones tossed their way."

and say:

Unless liberal interests coincide with the moneycon wing of the Democratic party (as they do with auto emissions, for example), they get little more than a few symbolic bones tossed their way.

Evangelicals are taken for granted by the GOP the way Dems take liberals for granted.

Posted by: TB on December 22, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

It's a more general problem. For example labor unions are similarly used by the Donks, and once in office the free-traders sign treaties to out-source their jobs.

More and more US-style democracy means: We let you vote, now be a good citizen. Go sit down and let the adults run things and we'll let you vote again in the next "election".

The netroots are going to cure this problem, right? Which means they'll neuter the netroots too, I guess.

Posted by: Don Bacon on December 22, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK
He'll take a lot of the disaffected Republican MoneyCons with him.

Without a reasonable possibility of the Republican candidate to win the Presidency, there is no reason for the various factions of the Republican Party to make nice with each other.

Posted by: Rick B on December 22, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Which "disaffected" moneycons are those? They've gotten everything they wanted from Bush's presidency, and all the leading Reps in this cycle, with the semi-exception of Huckabee, are promising them even more. There's nothing to make them "disaffected"; in fact, this is the best time to be superrich in America since the Roaring 20s. And as for the idea that the Reps have no chance this time around, we must be looking at different polls. With the media situation the way it is, and the electoral layout the way it is, the Republicans always have a chance. They start with more than 180 electoral votes in the bag (that's not counting FL in the Rep column), which means they need to pick up less than 90 more to win. It just isn't that hard, especially when you can count on having your opponents' character demonized by the media. I'm simply stunned, over and over again, by the number of liberals who think this election is won already.

Posted by: Martin Gale on December 22, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

A casual survey of how the Democrats in Congress have behaved, ( eg. condemning MoveOn, honoring Republican holds while dissing Dodd's, etc. ) suggests that Evangelicals are not the only "useful idiots" that politicians hold in contempt.

The time has come for grassroots liberals to explore possible bases for alliance with Huckabee types. That would mean subordinating social agendas for economic ones.

Now, is that too much to ask for?

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on December 22, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

"...
but once the elections are won they think of them, in Peggy Noonan's recent words, as "the idiot vote."
"

In other words in this one respect the monied GOP have a very accurate view of the world?

Posted by: Maynard Handley on December 22, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

That crack about the "idiot vote" is one of the few half-way sensible things Peggy Noonan has said in any recent decade.

But it's also clear that Noonan doesn't seem to have any idea that her guys can't get elected without the idiot vote.

Posted by: nemo on December 22, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
careful what you wish for. I, for one, really don't want a corporate approved (tainted) Democratic candidate running against a grass-roots populist. Yes, it will make many in the Republican party uncomfortable, but what happens if he actually won? Because of all the incompetence and spinelessness of the current Democratic congress, he would inherit a huge amount of power from Bush. And if these guys are afraid to challenge the most unpopular president in history, imagine how fast they would roll over for someone who would be able to mix religion and politics seamlessly.

Posted by: spiny on December 22, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"As you can imagine, I'm delighted to see evangelicals finally figuring this out and getting ready to turn their longstanding misgivings into out-and-out rebellion."
_____________________

Because they'll be so welcome here.

Posted by: trashhauler on December 22, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Huck is aiming to be kingmaker at least...- bleh

Aha, He's our version of Moqtada al-Sadr! Now if Huckabee would make a trip to the Middle East and talk with Moqtada that would definitely be popcorn time. Then he could alienate the AIPAC/AEI crowd and he better make damn sure he stays out of small airplanes then...

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 22, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Gov. Huckabee isn't wrong to think that the corporate wing of the GOP regards evanelical conservatives as "easily led." But the corporate wing of the party isn't wrong either.

My observation has been that Americans whose Christian faith is an important factor in their politics tend in general to be easily led and somewhat gullible -- reflexively supportive of politicians they regard as speaking "their" language and as reflexively hostile to those who don't. It isn't just political conservatives; black Protestants, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic, as notorious for giving blank checks to politicians who show up to give campaign speeches in church, tell a couple of stories about some civil rights march 40 years ago, and sway to some gospel music. What do they get out of that? Not a lot. But part of the reason for that is that they don't ask for a lot.

Conservative evangelicals haven't either. In fairness, Republican politicians haven't taken their votes and ignored them after election day just because politicians are naturally devious. The truth is that some of the strongest beliefs of conservative evangelicals -- a Constitutional ban on abortion, for example, or a return of prayer to public schools -- represent things that only evangelicals favor strongly enough to do anything about. Evangelicals have tended to resent politicians who hint at that even more than politicians who disagree with them on abortion.

But this is a big part of what politics is all about -- you have to know what you want, and you have to know what you can get. Black Christians and white evangelicals have often wanted things that most other Americans don't want, or don't care about. They get lip service from the politicians they support so fervently, and a certain amount of patronage -- the Bush administration, actually, has pushed patronage pretty hard -- but eventually frustration builds, and we see Presidential candidacies like Huckabee's, or Jesse Jackson's in the 1980s.

Posted by: Zathras on December 22, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Weird Al:

So far as I can tell, the only people who support Huckabee are liberal secularists.

One of Yglesias' resident trolls posted nearly the exact same sentence, only he made the mistake of correctly attributing it to a recent Ann Coulter column.

(I ordinarily wouldn't link to her, but the column is a gold mine of wingnut stupidity, alleging that Huckabee is "pro-gay" because he doesn't object to the SCOTUS ruling in Lawrence v Texas, and claiming that the theory of evolution is a massive hoax.)

As I pointed out there: to believe that only secular liberals support Huckabee, you have to believe in a multi-lateral conspiracy among the major polling firms to inflate Huckabee's popularity, both in Iowa and among Republicans nationally. In other words, you have to be dumb enough to be a follower of Ann Coulter.

Posted by: kth on December 22, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Mmmm. Dirty Laundry.

Posted by: anonymous on December 22, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Its so much easier skipping over AL's comments now that we know hes un-American.

Posted by: Ya Know... on December 22, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

For years, liberals have been pointing out the fact that evangelicals are being played for chumps by the GOP

Not just evangelicals. I've got guys at work who are basically blue-collar, and casual Christians at best, but spout Republican talking points verbatim about those durn libruls and public education, healthcare, taxes, etc. The chump net is cast widely.

Posted by: Del Capslock on December 22, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Don,

More and more US-style democracy means: We let you vote, now be a good citizen. Go sit down and let the adults run things and we'll let you vote again in the next "election".
It's long been known in political science that 'democracy' is most often a practice of giving the population an opportunity to 'vote', thus making them believe that they have a stake in the society as it is presently run.

The end result is stability, with no change in who benefits from the present power structure. The illusion created by voting thus creates a passive population. I'd say that is where America is at present.

Posted by: Rick B on December 22, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

You can see the same thing happening on the libertarian side, w/ Paul. This is shaping up as a perfect storm for the republican crime syndicate -- there's a real possibility that they might split into three pieces in the next 12 months. (The only one who can reunite them, alas, is Hillary).

Posted by: marx on December 22, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Aha, He's our version of Moqtada al-Sadr!

Maybe Huckabee will withdraw from the world and finish study for his advanced theology credential....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on December 22, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Martin, (4:01 PM)

There are two groups that Ron Paul is talking to in the Republican Party. Those are the Libertarian, totally free market no regulation of business small government Republicans (think Grover Norquist and the Club for Growth), and the anti-war Republicans.

Dr. Paul will get some of the pure free marketers, literally all of the Republican Libertarians, and the anti-war Republicans literally have no other place to go. The latter group has already indicated they will ignore Dr. Paul's wacky positions because of his anti-war position.

The money that Dr. Paul has been raising is more than he has every had before to run for President, so that will be used to strip away a few more Republicans. Think a right-wing Ralph Nader with decent money behind him.

Am I saying the Democratic candidate won't have to work for the election? Lord, no. It'll still be fought hard, and it could still be stolen. All I'm saying is that their is a lot going on to counterbalance the automatic opposition to democrats that the Press (especially TV) will bring to the party. A Tom Eagleton incident could still let the Republicans win, but it wouldn't be a blowout like 1972.

Posted by: Rick B on December 22, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

The Establishment doesn't like "outsiders", not at all. The DLC doesn't like Obama and the RNC the same with Huckabee.

What would either party do if one of these guys became president? According to the Iron Law of Institutions (one's place in the institution is more important than the institution) the winner would have to be politically destroyed. At least that's what happened to the populist Jimmy Carter thirty years ago.

The Dem establishment, led by Byrd, O'Neill, Jackson, and later Kennedy, absolutely demolished Carter's presidency and then, to rub it in, embraced Reagan.

Posted by: Don Bacon on December 22, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on December 22, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Don,

I'll agree that the Democratic establishment took Carter apart (beyond what the recovering Republicans did), but they had a lot of help from Carter himself.

Jimmy disdained the party and did nothing to build it. He had three years to gain control of the party mechanism and to build it to be more effective, and he didn't do it. Then when he needed it, it wasn't there. (I won't interpret his reasons) He paid a high price in 1980.

Posted by: Rick B on December 22, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I don't take delight in the intimations of an impending GOP meltdown, but I must say that the thought of two leading candidates, Huckabee and the Illinois Senator, both making overt and serious appeals on the basis of their religosity, and not just paying lip service to the people who are moved by such campaigns, does not bring me much joy.

Posted by: gregor on December 22, 2007 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

they get little more than a few symbolic bones tossed their way.

Good

Posted by: Horatio Parker on December 22, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

The Telegraph gives an analysis of the major candidate's Christmas campaign ads

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 22, 2007 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

For more background on Mike Huckabee the dangerous extremist and radical reactionary, see:

- "Top 10 Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism."

- "10 More Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism."

Posted by: Furious on December 22, 2007 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

This goes beyond evangelicals. My right-wing conservative Catholic father-in-law, who detested the entire GOP field up to now, told me tonight that he's backing Huckabee. Culture wars matter more to him than economic issues (though foreign policy is important too). Huckabee is the only one who seems like a real person to him, and not a contrived persona like the others. I think Huckabee's support is real, and is gaining everywhere. BTW, my father-in-law is an old school authoritarian counter-reformationist and has nothing but scorn for Baptists who "think they're their own Pope." But in politics, those differences don't matter as much to him.

Posted by: Elrod on December 23, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

The Repub establishment is going nuts with Huckabee. Here's Larry Kudlow (CNBC) via Hugh Hewitt:

"[W]hen I had Governor Huckabee on, what was it, last week or the week before, I had a bout with him. I went at it. He wants to, if need be, have government regulate salaries. I think he’s crazy. I don’t think he understands the free market business system. He’s not good on taxing, he’s not good on spending, he’s not good on free trade. In other words, all the prosperity factors seem to be Mr. Huckabee’s weakness. I don’t think he understands it. He’s just out of tune with all measures of free market, supply side economics. You know, it isn’t his religion, and I admire his religion. I personally am a man of faith. I regard myself as an Evangelical, the fact is. But it’s not his religion, it’s his positions. Condi Rice came out of the State Department. Hell, I haven’t seen her in about a month or two. She came out and attacked him because of his navet on dealing in international affairs with Iran and others. He doesn’t seem to understand power politics, and that we are in a jihadist global war."

Posted by: Don Bacon on December 23, 2007 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, David and TK are right about "idiot vote". I followed your link to The Magic Dolphin Lady with heart pounding. Imagine my disappointment.

Posted by: SqueakyRat on December 23, 2007 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

Dream on. There is a reason they were called "easily led". They are hateful busybodies. They could never stand that an election was decided without their participation, and they will NEVER vote Democrat. They and the NASCAR dads and golf cart jockeys will get worked up against the Democrats by Rupert and Rush over some little triffle just in time for the election. When you go to Austin next year, drive 10 miles in any direction and see what Red States of America is really about.

Posted by: jussumbody on December 23, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

"That would mean subordinating social agendas for economic ones. Now, is that too much to ask for?"

Yes, Duncan, it is. Especially because what it really means is subordinating social groups - women, gays, "nonbelievers", anyone who treasures science and discovery/good literature/Harry Potter, people who don't fit strict gender roles, any guys who like living in a world where they can be co-equal partners and proud fathers of young women, not ruling patriarchal heads of family and guardians of their girl-children's precious virginity until handing them over to an appropriate husband, etc., etc - yes, it is too fucking much to ask for. (And on the other side, since most of what we treasure most highly is to the theocons an equally horrifying and deeply disordered - indeed, literally damned - nightmare, it's kinda too much to ask of them, too.

I was going to write out a whole reverse Dayenu-style litany - If just x, it would be too much to ask, if just y, it would be - etc., but there are presents to wrap. But seriously - assuming you're a male heterosexual with 'appropriate' gender presentation and perhaps even, at least nominally, a Christian (and not realizing that in their eyes, not really) - try and think through what exactly it is you're asking for , that you imagine wouldn't be "too much".

Posted by: Dan S. on December 23, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Like a lot of bad things in the GOP, this can all be traced back to Nixon. He was the first GOP president to explicitly tie himself to religious leaders (Billy Graham), and encouraged the mindset that there were Good Americans who went to church, supported the government, and cut their hair; and there were Bad Americans who didn't believe in god or the government or the war and didn't bathe much, either.

Posted by: Speed on December 23, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

"I regard myself as an Evangelical.." says Larry Kudlow, the money-grubbing coke user.

Posted by: Monty on December 23, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I could tolerate these evangelicals if they would just stay the hell away from me and stop trying to legislate their religion onto the rest of us.

Posted by: Merg on December 23, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Here in Arkansas, where fundamentalist "evangelicals" make a whole lot of noise, but lose most of the elections, Huckabee had a different kind of surprise for his pious brethren.

Once installed as Gov by Kenneth Starr, he fed the fundies with pieties, but governed from the center, where the votes are. If he differed markedly from Arkansas Democratic governors from Dale Bumpers (1970-74) onward, it wasn't in anything important. He even figured out what Repubs from Bumpers onward couldn't. If you run a Mississippi-style racially-coded campaign in Arkansas, you lose. Every time.

So he improved roads, spent heavily on education, made racial conciliation a theme, and got himself elected, then re-elected.

Huckabee's kind of a self-centered, sticky-fingered jerk sometimes, but a shrewd one. He left Arkansas Republicans splintered, and in far worse shape than he found them. But he moved on. The thought of him as president is laughable, but not as laughable as GW Bush.

Posted by: Jethro on December 23, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Just sayin'

Huckabee's Christmas campaign video appeared to pander to the evangelical vote, with the obvious highlighted cross effect from the bookshelf...
and I think it is worth reiterating what journalist Joe Conason asked regarding Huckabee:

"Does he actually believe in creationist dogma that insists the planet is less than 10,000 years old, and that humans once walked with dinosaurs? How would that loony idea influence his science policies as president? Is he a believer in "end times" eschatology, which holds that American foreign policy should be shaped by the coming Armageddon in the Middle East? Would he apply the harsh punishments of the Old Testament to biblical sins such as homosexuality and adultery...?"


Posted by: cwa on December 23, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on December 23, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I was going to write out a whole reverse Dayenu-style litany - If just x, it would be too much to ask, if just y, it would be - etc., but there are presents to wrap. But seriously - assuming you're a male heterosexual with 'appropriate' gender presentation and perhaps even, at least nominally, a Christian (and not realizing that in their eyes, not really) - try and think through what exactly it is you're asking for , that you imagine wouldn't be "too much".

So, Dan, you have established that you can use profanity and that you hate other people. Beyond that, you have said nothing.

What's your plan actually to accomplish economic reforms. Here, now, given political realities?

Or do you propose more Harry Reid / Nancy Pelosi type stuff?

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on December 23, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, this is good to be coming out and talked about. Supporters of the plutocracy can never be elected in a democracy unless they use trickery, hence the fronting up of the religious right. What bothers me now, is that the Democratic Party is too cozy with the plutocracy as well.

Posted by: Neil B. on December 23, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Larry Kudlow, a man of faith? What does he put his faith in? Money? Cocaine? Rule by the rich? Pin-striped suits that make him look like an old-time gangster?

Posted by: nemo on December 23, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sore loser? No, a smart cookie. And you guys dismiss him at your peril. There is a deep hunger in America today for someone who has the same story yesterday, today and tomorrow. You may not like the story but Huckabee rings authentic against a background of r's who don't.

Posted by: elr on December 23, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

As a lifelong Liberal Democrat who has become disgusted with what passes for the Democratic party these days, I have decided that the best way to spend my Primary vote this election is on Huckabee. I would have voted for Kucinich or Dodd because they are the only Dems I can trust at this point but remembering how the Rethugs fucked us by voting in Holy Joe Lieberman in CT I think it is time to return the favor. If the Democratic nominee can't beat a rabid Theocon like Huckabutt then we deserve the four years of hell on earth his election will bring.

I say that everyone in a state that allows you to vote in either primary should vote for Huckabee. Our party betters are going to annoint Hillary or Obama anyhow so why waste your vote on a foregone conclusion? It's payback time for the Lieberman debacle!

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on December 24, 2007 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

They were despised, rejected.

Posted by: Luther on December 24, 2007 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Larry Kudlow, a man of faith?

Is not his worship of Mammon, a great demonstration of his faith.

Posted by: Don Quijote on December 24, 2007 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK

Strange huh, how Republican Party voters want to clean up their own party, and how most the conservative voters were terrified by Bushism, as much as liberals were terrified by all the criminal conduct too.

Broder was dead wrong, most conservative voters don't like Bush, and didn't even when he said it - only Murdock and his media, the Weekly Standard, NRO and Meet the Press pretend that Bushism is relevent.

Posted by: me-again on December 24, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

The time has come for grassroots liberals to explore possible bases for alliance with Huckabee types. That would mean subordinating social agendas for economic ones.

Now, is that too much to ask for?

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on December 22, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Yes, Duncan, it is. Especially because what it really means is subordinating social groups - women, gays, "nonbelievers", anyone who treasures science and discovery/good literature/Harry Potter, people who don't fit strict gender roles, any guys who like living in a world where they can be co-equal partners and proud fathers of young women, not ruling patriarchal heads of family and guardians of their girl-children's precious virginity until handing them over to an appropriate husband, etc., etc - yes, it is too fucking much to ask for. (And on the other side, since most of what we treasure most highly is to the theocons an equally horrifying and deeply disordered - indeed, literally damned - nightmare, it's kinda too much to ask of them, too.

Posted by: Dan S. on December 23, 2007 at 9:54 AM

Wall Street and the Ivy League power elite, which is just as much conservative as it is "liberal," are meanwhile (discreetly) laughing their heads off. Such discord among the rest of us -- and overemphasis on social issues, ignoring economic matters, which is what really counts in America -- is how they control the agenda, keep the money and stay in power.

Posted by: Vincent on December 24, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Eric Paulsen: You remember that Dodd supported Lieberman in that '06 primary just like Clinton and Obama did, right? As for his voting record in past years, there are a number of areas where it falls short of the purity standards you seem to be holding the others to. Yes on NAFTA, Yes on GATT, Yes on DOMA, Yes on PNTR with China, Yes on the Iraq War, Yes on John Roberts to the Supreme Court, he was DNC chair in '95, defending Clinton during the height of the "triangulation" era, etc.

He's done a lot of great stuff too, like being the chief sponsor of the Family and Medical Leave Act for many years, and showed courage voting against the welfare reform bill in '96, and the bankruptcy bill in '01 and '05, even though there were a lot of banking industry people in Connecticut who were strongly in favor of anti-consumer bankruptcy legislation. But he's not in the same class as Kucinich just because kos voted for him in a straw poll and he's taken up Glenn Greenwald's pet issue on telecom immunity a month before the Iowa caucus. He's got a mixed record, just like Clinton, Obama, and Edwards do.

Posted by: Chris on December 25, 2007 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Devils Game" by Robert Dreyfuss has received Top Ten non fiction book of the year recommendations.
It is a tale of the most conservative reigning powers in the Middle East , including monarchies, fiefdoms, the USA and even Israel using fundamental Islam to disrupt and assassinate liberals, nationalists, socialist, Russian leaning and secular leaning governments.
Fundamental Islam morphed in Hydra fashion to overcome and overrun by vote or bomb its founding manipulative sponsors and change the face of the Middle East.
The perils now facing the GOP as a result of organizing and empowering the religious vote may be amazingly similar.
Listen for the squeals from the America's GOP corporate cabal when Christian fundamentalists approach a dominant voice on social programs and earth stewardship.
"Hey guys, let's talk about tithing for the common good." "Say what?"

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