Sunday, December 16, 2007

Huckabee's Appeal Broader Than Mere Evangelical Hot Buttons

This is just a little note for you to consider. Yesterday Kevin Drum posted Huck and the Moneycons examining the fear and loathing the Republican "establishment" has for Mike Huckabee. I think he is on to why the Republican "establishment" doesn't like Huck--clearly he is not part of the ruling elite. He truly represents the NASCAR dads and church going moms out in Red State America. As a Democratic activist friend of mine said the other day, when you look at Huckabee he is really a pro-life theocratic Democrat. He is very likely to use the levers of power to help people outside of the upper one percent achieve their goals. In many ways he is a Republican version of Bill Clinton and for that reason must be opposed at all costs by the elites who are actively trying to strip America of her greatness and future in support of their "new world order."

I don't support Huckabee. His actions in the Dumond case alone disqualify him, but the Republican establishment has every reason to be scared silly of Huckabee. Steve Benen calls it the Huckabee Panic. He probably represents the future of their party, a future where they are not going to be welcome.

What both Drum and Benen both overlook is just why Huckabee's support has grown so quickly. They are quick to ascribe it to his appeal to the evangelical base. Those dumb hicks are voting for one of their own. I think both Drum and Benen, both proud members of the Democratic establishment, are just as biased as the Republican establishment guys. If Huckabee's appeal to the evangelical hot buttons was his only appeal he would have lost the argument to one of the better funded but more establishment evangelical candidates. The junior Senator from Kansas comes to mind.

Huckabee's appeal is broader than the standard evangelical hot buttons. He is attractive to Republicans living outside the beltway elite because they are just as shocked as the rest of us at the utter incompetence of the Bush administration. People who go to church on Sunday aren't stupid. They realize that the Republican establishment has presided over the decline of the American middle class. They are middle class and are wondering just what those establishment candidates offer them. The truth is Romney, Giuliani, McCain et al offer nothing of substance to people who are worried about mortgage payments, college tuition, whether they are going to have a job next year and all the rest of the things that concern Democratic members of the middle class. They might not be sure what Huckabee offers, but they know he was a governor and that he was not afraid to raise taxes to improve Arkansas schools and provide child health care.

The other day Huckabee called the Bush foreign policy arrogant and representative of a bunker mentality. Today Romney attacked him for his comments. I have a hunch Huckabee isn't going to be hurt in either Iowa or South Carolina for telling the obvious truth. Those Iowa farmers and NASCAR dads aren't nearly as dumb as the establishment types think.

I've got to go now. My son is playing the trumpet at his Baptist church and Grandma and I want to hear him play.