January 7, 2008

Rod Dreher: Huckabee Striking a Chord

Rod Dreher had some positive things to say about Huckabee on his blog, Crunchy Cons:

Andrew Sullivan says this disingenuous bit from a Wall Street Journal editorial that criticizes Mike Huckabee shows why "fundamentalism" is destroying conservatism. Here's the bit from the Journal:

"Mr. Huckabee is also only now being discovered by most Republican voters. His innocence (or ignorance) on foreign policy, penchant for borrowing liberal economic attack lines, and even his rejection of Darwin's theory of evolution deserve to be understood by voters before they make him their standard bearer."

Why is that passage disingenuous? Because -- and I think Andrew would agree on this -- everything the Journal's editors find objectionable about Huckabee is also present in their favorite son, George W. Bush...except the quasi-populist economic views. George W. Bush is skeptical of evolution, and we knew that when he ran in 2000. G.W. Bush was famously ignorant of foreign policy when he ran in 2000. Did the Journal's editorial page object?

If Mike Huckabee held Mitt Romney's economic views, the Journal's editors would be falling all over themselves to praise him as the only thing that could save the country from a Democratic presidency.

I don't get why Andrew calls Huckabee's rise a sign of "the perils of fundamentalist politics." For one, Huckabee is not a fundamentalist. He's more of a Rick Warren Evangelical, which is not exactly an Andrew Sullivan Catholic, to be sure, but it's not the same thing as a fundamentalist. For another, as more and more people are catching on to, Huckabee's rise is not because of some zombie Jesus cult. He's scoring with folks for much the same reason Obama is: because he's an exceptionally good orator whose style is in tune with the mood of the country right now. Plus, his Joe Lunchbucket economic populism is striking a resonant chord with many Republican voters.
Read the whole thing...

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