Evangelical conservatives, it sucks to be you.
I’m really quite astounded at the extent to which the Republican establishment loathes Huckabee. And I’m even more surprised by the fact that his incessant, crass Bible-thumping is part of the reason (Huckabee would have you think that Jesus died on the cross to give him a bump in the exit polls).
Yes, I’ve known for a while that not all Republicans embrace the religious right, the culture wars, the incessant gay-bashing and all the other “social” issues. But they certainly tolerated and enabled these folks for decades (that’s why some of us left the party a long time ago). I suspected and hoped that there’d come a time when the Republicans would finally have enough of the holy-rollers in their midst, but I never thought the revolt would come on little cat feet. Almost without notice, something changed, and establishment Republicans are now turning on Huckabee and the “values voters” that he represents, big time.
After the jump, the days of trying to regulate your orgasm are over…
An illustrative example: some of the top right-wing blogs. We don’t usually quote right-wing blogs on AMERICAblog, partly because I’m not convinced of their relevance to the political debate. I think conservative blogs reflect mainstream conservatism (which is different from mainstream Republicanism by being much farther to the right) and are thus a useful barometer of what the right-wing of the GOP is thinking, but I don’t believe that the conservative blogosphere actually influences politics and policy (something the left-wing blogosphere does with abandon). But, they are the canary in the coal mine of conservative thought, so it’s interesting sometimes to see what they’re saying. And they don’t heart Huckabee. The Guardian summarizes three of the top GOP blogs and their reaction to Huckabee’s victory last night in Iowa:
Michelle Malkin says: “Obama gave the peppiest speech of the night – and his supporters registered the loudest on the applause-o-meter.” She also gives Paul Mirengoff at Power Line a nod, quoting his reference to Huckabee as a “big spending governor who doesn’t know much about foreign policy but did stay at a Holiday Inn Express”. Who’s side is she on, again?
Bloggers at the NRO’s the Corner seem to be saying anyone but Huckabee…”
They can’t stand the guy. And what I’m hearing from my sources is that a big part of the reason is his ties to, and proselytizing for, the religious right.
Republicans never liked or embraced the religious right. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the men at the Concerned Women for America were convenient tools, foils, for the GOP to get out the vote of the speaking-in-tongues wing of the Republican party. But when it came to the substance of the religious right’s message – an overwhelming desire to federally regulate your orgasm – most Republicans politely coughed and looked the other way. Well it seems the days of polite indifference to political extremism are finally over. Hallelujah.