A Defense of Huckabee
By Erick Posted in Elections — Comments (92) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
My friend Josh Trevino continues to make one of the best cases for Mike Huckabee. In light of National Review's pile on, and others, it's refreshing to see a conservative case made for Huckabee by someone not affiliated with the campaign.
with the NR Editors’ denunciation of Huckabee on foreign policy thoroughly picked-apart — what remains is the question of why. Why does Mike Huckabee come in for this bizarre and weirdly strident treatment, not just from NR, but from so many establishment organs and figures within the Republican coalition? Mitt Romney plays pro-lifers and cultural conservatives for suckers, and gets a pass. Rudy Giuliani runs to the left of Hillary Clinton on cultural issues, and gets a pass. Mike Huckabee doesn’t kowtow to the keepers of fiscal orthodoxy within the movement — and we’re told that he’ll cripple America at home and abroad, that his partisans are “idiots,” and that he may destroy the Republican coalition. Now, should he perform that kowtow? Yes. So too should Giuliani move to the mainstream on life and marriage; and so too should Romney be honest on his actual views. The idea that Huckabee’s particular apostasy — which is, let’s be honest, vastly more about style than substance — is uniquely destructive is absurd. But the line gets pushed, and expanded, nonetheless, and the receivers of the conferred wisdom swallow it whole. The intent is to make support for Mike Huckabee akin to support for Ron Paul: a mark of absurdism, extremism, or both. But unlike the motley collection of armchair theorists, fervent undergraduates and alienated nostalgists who make up the Paul base, the men and women propelling Huckabee to front-runner status aren’t a cranky fringe. They’re the churchgoers, parents, local activists, and cultural conservatives who have kept the Republican party nationally competitive for the past thirty years. They’re us and ours. They’re the base.
It really does feel like a elite pile on against Huckabee. Some of it is, I think, deserved. But the level of it -- the hostility in the tone against Huckabee -- is not deserved.