December 23, 2007
THEY TURNED US INTO NEWTS:
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