December 23, 2007


Vox Huckabee: The Republican as class warrior (Terry Eastland, 12/31/2007, Weekly Standard)

As he has throughout the year, Huckabee grounds his pro-life position in the Declaration's recognition of the inalienable right to life. But now, in the heat of the
campaign, with the Iowa caucuses just days away, he also uses the Declaration to argue that, in light of its recognition that all men are created equal, any man (or woman) can become president. Even someone like him, the son of working class parents in Hope, Arkansas, the first in his "entire male lineage" to graduate from high school, much less go to college. He put himself through college in just "two years and three months," since four years would have cost too much.

Now, as it happens, there are some who don't recognize that any American can become president. One "Republican muckety-muck," as Huckabee called the unfortunate former Bush aide Dan Bartlett, "made the comment that nobody would ever elect a guy with the last name 'Huckabee.' It was a name that sounded too much like a hick." Bartlett didn't quite say that--he actually praised Huckabee as "the most visionary" candidate while noting that he had the "negativity of something he can't change like his given last name." Huckabee says he doesn't care about what Bartlett said. But plainly he does.

"To me," he tells the rally in Marshalltown, "'Huckabee' sounds like an old-fashioned, hard-working family that believes that if you work real hard in this country you can get somewhere. If that doesn't mean anything anymore, then the Founding Fathers were wrong. But I don't believe that. I believe they were right. I think you are worth as much as anyone else."

As the case of Bartlett shows, Huckabee is not shy about criticizing members of his own party. He couldn't care less, it seems, whether he wins many votes (at least in Iowa and the early primaries) from the Republican "establishment" (his term) or from the Republican rich (often one and the same). And he makes humorous reference to his name to distinguish himself from those Republicans.

The Establishment hasn't been able to dictate the nomination since Rockefeller lost to Goldwater. You'd think by now they'd be over the fact that the party is led by guys named Newt, not Newton.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2007 12:08 PM

The Establishment has always dictated the Republican nomination. Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Dole, Bush II.

OJ's prognostication on this is going to be about as accurate at Rep's 6-40 senate majority in 2006, and Bush 50-0 sweep in 2004.

Posted by: sam at December 23, 2007 12:56 PM

It'll get better.

Posted by: ghostcat at December 23, 2007 2:26 PM

The Establishment hated Reagan and W. They're religious whackos.

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2007 5:24 PM

The Establishment (whoever that is) showed a strange way of hating W, by giving him $49m in his first quarter of fund-raising, and pushing his polls to 70% when he started campaigning in the summer of 1999. Every Republican worth his salt was making the pilgrimage to Austin even before W got started. If that is hate, I am sure every candidate would love it.

The comment above is OJ's rewrite of history.

Posted by: sam at December 23, 2007 7:44 PM

The Establishment--the inside the Beltway guys and the New York-Washington axis--wanted McCain.

W raised his money from the base, which far outnumbers the Establishment. Pre-CFR the Easternern money mattered. It doesn't any more.

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2007 8:36 PM

Anybody who thinks W was not an Establishment candidate is delusional (and therefore spouts off things like "60-40" and "50-0"). Now I know where OJ's prognostications come from.

"Pre-CFR the Easternern money mattered. It doesn't any more." That's why none of the Rep's can raise any money this cycle?

Posted by: sam at December 23, 2007 11:48 PM

Bingo! With the rise of the guys like McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson and the fall of the Establishment picks--Giuliani & Romney--even you'll have realized that money doesn't matter.

Posted by: oj at December 24, 2007 8:05 AM

sam, Wall Street, the unions, the media, academia, most Christian, Jewish & Black religious leaders, the professional downtrodden community, feminists, environmentalists, global warming nutcases, Soros & his Billionaires Club, anti-war and anti-Americans cultists, the remnants of the CPUSA like A.N.S.W.E.R. and the permanently ingrained State Department bureaucracy are all victims of BDS, so which "Establishment" did you have in mind?

The miracle is that Bush has accomplished the impossible and unfortunately it doesn't look like any of the candidates can fill his shoes.

Posted by: erp at December 24, 2007 10:05 AM