Saturday, January 5, 2008

On Huckabee

From Peggy Noonan at the Journal:
Mr. Huckabee likes to head-fake people into thinking he's Gomer Pyle, but he's more like the barefoot boy of the green room. He's more James Carville than Jim Nabors.

What we have learned about Mr. Huckabee the past few months is that he's an ace entertainer with a warm, witty and compelling persona. He won with no money and little formal organization, with an evangelical network, with a folksy manner, and with the best guileless pose in modern politics.

From the mail I have received the past month after criticizing him in this space, I would say his great power, the thing really pushing his supporters, is that they believe that what ails America and threatens its continued existence is not economic collapse or jihad, it is our culture.
Very true to a point. Our culture has been/is under attack from within. Christians feel more attack, right now, from within our government's walls that from the external Islamic extremists. Though, tell Christians living in or near Islam dominated lands what is more important: their lives or their identity.
They have been bruised and offended by the rigid, almost militant secularism and multiculturalism of the public schools; they reject those schools' squalor, in all senses of the word. They believe in God and family and America.

They believe that Mr. Huckabee, the minister who speaks their language, shares, down to the bone, their anxieties, concerns and beliefs. They fear that the other Republican candidates are caught up in a million smaller issues--taxing, spending, the global economy, Sunnis and Shia--and missing the central issue: again, our culture. They are populists who vote Republican, and as I have read their letters, I have felt nothing but respect.
Again. True. But what about this feeling that Huckabee can make these changes to our culture? Peggy continues...
But there are two problems. One is that while the presidency, as an office, can actually make real changes in the areas of economic and foreign policy, the federal government has a limited ability to change the culture of America. That is something conservatives used to know. Second, I'm sorry to say it is my sense that Mr. Huckabee is not so much leading a movement as riding a wave. One senses he brilliantly discerned and pursued an underserved part of the voting demographic, and went for it. Clever fellow. To me, the tipoff was "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
I ask, Are his supporters really republican? they for sure are not conservative, esp those that call Huckabee a conservative. It is painfully obvious that he is far from being a conservative. I think he is being undercut by fake republicans who.. as Peggy calls.. are populists.

There is no way a true conservative, or even a good republican, can put their support behind Huckabee. Even if it is for pro-christian beliefs, they can't believe that voting in this guy will lead to changes just by having him in the office.

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