Huckabee Backlash Growing

Huckabee Backlash Growing The continuing rise of Mike Huckabee — he’s now vaulted to the top of the polls in South Carolina [and now Florida!] to go along with his surge in Iowa, New Hampshire, and the national surveys — has created the inevitable backlash.

It’s the fate of frontrunners, especially unexpected ones, to see a close examination of their records and to start drawing fire from opposing camps. While the process can remind one of making sausage, this is the benefit of a long campaign. It ensures that candidates are vetted and, more importantly, we see how they react under pressure.

In Huckabee’s case, though, there’s something more going on. There’s a genuine fear of him from some unexpected quarters, mostly owing to his religiosity.

Peggy Noonan, hardly known for her anti-religious bigotry, sees his campaign as taking us down a dark road.

Mike Huckabee is in the lead due, it appears, to voter approval of the depth and sincerity of his religious beliefs as lived out in his ministry as an ordained Southern Baptist. He flashes “Christian leader” over his picture in commercials; he asserts his faith is “mainstream”; his surrogates speak of Mormonism as “strange” and “definitely a factor.” Mr. Huckabee said this summer that a candidate’s faith is “subject to question,” “part of the game.”

He tells the New York Times that he doesn’t know a lot about Mitt Romney’s faith, but isn’t it the one in which Jesus and the devil are brothers? This made me miss the old days of Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man,” in which a candidate started a whispering campaign that his opponent’s wife was a thespian.

Mr. Huckabee has of course announced that he apologizes to Mr. Romney, which allowed him to elaborate on his graciousness and keep the story alive. He should have looked abashed. Instead he betrayed the purring pleasure of “a Christian with four aces,” in Mark Twain’s words.

[…]

I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I’m just not sure he’d be pure enough to make it in this party. I’m not sure he’d be considered good enough.

The Thompson campaign is fighting back with an “apology” of their own. Mostly, it’s standard Republican primary fodder charging an opponent with being too liberal. But then there’s this:

We apologize for telling reporters that a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University doesn’t, in fact, make Huckabee more qualified to fight the war on terror than say…Fred Thompson.

While one could retort that having played a general in a couple of movies isn’t exactly qualification for leading a war, either, one has to marvel that a degree from a religious school is suddenly considered a liability in the GOP.

Charles Krauthammer has had enough of it.

This campaign is knee-deep in religion, and it’s only going to get worse. I’d thought that the limits of professed public piety had already been achieved during the Republican CNN/YouTube debate when some squirrelly looking guy held up a Bible and asked, “Do you believe every word of this book?” — and not one candidate dared reply: None of your damn business.

Instead, Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee bent a knee and tried appeasement with various interpretations of scriptural literalism. The right answer, the only answer, is that the very question is offensive.

Eugene Robinson is a proud liberal and one would expect him to be uncomfortable with any of the Republican nominees. But it’s a bit early in the process for him to spend an entire column attacking a potential GOP nominee. He seems genuinely frightened by Huckabee’s rise, though.

Is the thought of Mike Huckabee as president just vaguely scary? Or have we learned enough about the man that we should be hair-on-fire alarmed at the prospect, still pretty remote, that he could actually win?

True, none of his opponents for the Republican nomination inspires much confidence. And it’s amusing to see how thoroughly Huckabee vexes, confounds and unnerves the Republican establishment. You could even argue that the party deserves him. But the nation doesn’t.

As much as Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney frighten Robinson, he at least thinks they’re enlightened men who think about the issues.

Not so with Huckabee, who has defined himself, basically, as anti-reason.

Much is made, and rightly so, of Huckabee’s vocation as a Baptist minister and his promise that his actions as president would be in accord with his fundamentalist beliefs. “My faith is my life — it defines me. I don’t separate my faith from my personal and professional lives,” he says on his campaign Web site.

While I share some of these concerns about Huckabee, I ultimately don’t think it matters. Stuart Rothenberg is right, I believe, that Huckabee is the “None of the Above Candidate.”

The source of Huckabee’s appeal to conservative and evangelical Republicans is pretty simple. He’s not a flip-flopping Mormon or a pro-abortion-rights, pro-gay-rights, pro-gun-control adulterer. And he’s never put his name on a bill with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) or Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), or lambasted the Christian right.

In a sense, Huckabee is the second coming of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who now seems about as relevant as a typewriter at a bloggers’ convention.

[…]

When the real Thompson seemed less energetic and appealing than the imagined Thompson, Republicans fell out of love with him. They were still looking for someone not named Giuliani, Romney or McCain when they found Huckabee, a quirky (diet- conscious former pastor) Southerner who talks in a conversational style, emphasizes conservatism and common sense, and seems to lack the flaws other Republicans have.

My guess is that Huckabee’s appeal will fade once Republican voters start to really pay attention.

Huckabee has zero experience and credibility on foreign policy and national security — the top issue to many Republicans since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and the one issue that the Republican nominee may be able to use to hold onto the White House.

With wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia looking like the old Soviet Union, the president of Venezuela sounding like a crackpot and terrorist forces still looking to inflict pain on the United States and its allies, defense and national security issues are certain to be important in next year’s election.

Given the importance of these issues, does anyone think Huckabee has the gravitas, experience and credentials to carry an argument to Democrats on foreign policy? It’s hard to see how he could make Sen. Barack Obama’s (Ill.) inexperience in foreign affairs an issue or challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (N.Y.) credentials to lead the war against terror.

And if electability truly is an important issue for the GOP, Huckabee could be a disaster. While some have argued that he could hold conservatives on abortion and civil unions and appeal to swing voters and even Democrats on immigration, spending and domestic priorities, it is more likely that he would lose conservatives on taxes, spending and immigration and alienate moderates and Democrats on social issues.

That will almost certainly happen in the primaries, though, not the general election.

My former Troy colleague Steven Taylor concurs:

I continue to wonder if this is mainly the result of unhappiness with the rest of the field, therefore moving Huckabee largely by default and how much of it is genuine enthusiasm for Huckabee. There is also the question of whether he can maintain the positioning after several weeks of scrutiny in the press. Such scrutiny could increase his positioning if it confirms the reasons voters think they like him, or it could result in him being tossed on the scrap heap along with the previous front-runners if it ends up he isn’t what people hoped he might be.

NRO’s Jim Geraghty, though, wonders if any of that even matters in this case.

I think that the folks shifting to Huckabee are establishing a gut-level connection, “he’s my guy. He gets my values.” And I don’t know whether Wayne Dumond, or the number of pardons, or in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, or the Cuba embargo or even increasing tax burdens — or any of the stuff in Fred’s “apology” — will break that gut-level connection.

If so, Noonan and Robinson are right.

UPDATE: NRO’s Rich Lowry piles on.

After many false prophecies, Dean circa 2008 has finally arrived. He is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Not because he will inevitably blow himself up in Iowa. But because, like Dean, his nomination would represent an act of suicide by his party.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2008, Religion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. jukeboxgrad says:

    This whole thing is really amusing. The GOP has made pandering to fundies into an art form (“An Overdose of Public Piety” is a perfect way to describe what they’ve been doing, for years). It was perfectly fine when Bush did it. But Huckabee is even better at it (and he’s not the anointed candidate), so suddenly it’s wrong. What a joke. Talk about pot-kettle-black syndrome.

  2. floyd says:

    “Gravitas, experience and credentials”

    If these were qualifications for the job of President of the United States, then we have no legitimate candidate.
    [with the possible exception of Alan Keyes]
    However, even a poor student of history knows better. This time around we will just have to settle for a candidate that qualifies only on a constitutional basis, Being 35 years of age, a natural born citizen, and a resident for 14 years.
    Any further requirements would cull the field significantly!

  3. SDM says:

    Chickens coming home to roost.

    Who’d have thought that the party that empowered Pat Robertson, campaigned on gay-marriage paranoia, pushed resolutions to the floor declaring Jesus and Christmas officially awesome, sent direct mail claiming that Democrats would ban Bibles, interceded in the Schaivo case, nominated a man who said his favorite political philosopher was Jesus – a party that continues to build its electoral strength on a sense of embattlement about secularism – the party of Santorum and Blackwell and John Hostettler – who would have thought that this party would be susceptible to religious demagoguery?

    Noonan, Krauthammer et al. are shocked, shocked at what the GOP hath wrought. I shed a tiny tear and play a tiny violin for them.

  4. Brett says:

    Exactly what are the foreign policy credentials for Obama and Hillary?

    Why is anyone surprised that social liberals like Romney and Rudy aren’t loved by the majority of the Republican party?

    The anti-christian bigotry toward Huckabee is grotesque.

    Huckabee is going to surprise a lot of people because he has thought about many of the important issues that the politicos have not.

    He is going to be accused of being a religious nut-job (because, of course, those in the beltway believe that anyone who is religiously devout is a nut-job), but he is going to stand and deliver sane answers in a kind way that the normal people who make this country great are going to love.

    He is going to be fair to those who do not believe in God and gracious to even those who hate him.

    Thank goodness the founding fathers had the wisdom to put our nation’s fate in the hands of the unwashed masses.

  5. jukeboxgrad says:

    SDM, thanks. You said it much better than I did.

    This might also be a good moment to pay attention to a list of examples put together by a smart commenter here:

    “It is not the Democrats who have people like

    1) Ann Coulter writing “Godless” about what secular demons the Democrats are
    2) George Bush and his evangelical hordes and their “wonder working” power and “faith based initiatives”
    3) Bill O’Reilly talking for the last eight years about the “War on Christmas” led — of course — by the secular humanist Democrats
    4) a folk hero in Judge Roy Moore trying to put the 10 Commandments in a court house
    5) right wing blogs screaming about Keith Ellison taking his oath of office on a Koran
    6) Candidates bowing down to racists like Bob Jones and nutcases like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson

    I could go on and on at attempts by the right to interject religion into politics in the last eight years.”

    I once did an analysis of the words Bush used pre-9/11. This is how many times he used the following words:

    faith-based 535
    religious 366
    faith 339
    church 206
    pray 197
    christ 133
    religion 77
    pope 73
    salvation army 62
    worship 39
    jesus 11

    Yes, this is a case of chickens coming home to roost.

  6. floyd says:

    Jukeboxgrad;
    I have no doubt that you could go “on and on” and I’m sure it’s an admirable talent. But if is your hope to stop people from taking their firmly held beliefs with them into the voting booths, or to stop politicians from pandering to RELIGION [whether secular or spiritual] then you are in for a long period of disappointment.
    Also, I would advise against overestimating the ability of the media or the politicians to gull the “man in the street” into changing his core beliefs over a sound bite.

  7. jukeboxgrad says:

    floyd: “I have no doubt that you could go ‘on and on’ ”

    That was a quote from someone else. Work on your reading comprehension.

    “or to stop politicians from pandering to RELIGION [whether secular or spiritual]”

    Secular “RELIGION?” Excellent oxymoron.

    “I would advise against overestimating the ability of the media or the politicians to gull the ‘man in the street’ into changing his core beliefs over a sound bite”

    Nice platitude, but I don’t see anyone doing that kind of “overestimating.” Here’s where the “overstimating” is: the corporatists who run the GOP are overestimating the willingness of fundie knuckledraggers to be led around endlessly like sheep. Especially now that it’s obvious that the leaders aren’t really committed to the red-meat issues they use to lure these voters.

    Huck is the perfect candidate, because he’s a real knuckledragger, not a pretender like Mitt or Rudy.

  8. Tano says:

    “You could even argue that the party deserves him.”

    Amen.

    Feeling slightly intoxicated with schadenfreude, I will say no more.

  9. floyd says:

    jukeboxgrad;
    I beg your pardon for missing that second quotation mark, A mistake,not of what was said, but rather of who said it.
    However, to aid in your comprehension I include this quote from the MS Encarta Dictionary:”religion / a set of strongly held personal beliefs or values.
    Not being a “Fundie Knuckledragger” I can see the corporate influence on both sides of the aisle. Although even a person with limited reading comprehension skills could see the religious bigotry in the term. That’s why I referred to “the man in the street” instead.

  10. Bot says:

    The Huckster was the keynote speaker at an anti-Mormon conference in Salt Lake City. And he knows nothing about Mormons? And the “Christian Leader” doesn’t want to release his sermons?

    The moniker “Huckster” is well-earned.

  11. Muwatallis says:

    Secularist liberals snickering about the “fundie knuckledragger” should be more careful about driving their Reagan Democrat and minority support to Huckabee. After all, virtually none of them are secularists. And all of them seethe at the contempt for Christianity that pervades media and academia cultural elite types. And this thread.

    A Huckabee led social conservative and economically populist party would perfectly represent the cultural values and socioeconomic class interests of working class and lower middle class voters of all colors. It would be the best of both worlds. The economic populism of the Democrats but without secularist lifestyle liberals. The social conservatism of the Republicans but without the cheap labor Social Darwinism of free trade libertarians. It would become the new majority party.

    After all, people who are Christian Right now were the children and grandchildren of New Deal Democrats and the great grandchildren of William Jennings Bryan Populists. They never stopped being economic populists. But they stopped being Democrats when the counterculture types drove them out. A political alliance between the Southern evangelical, the Northern blue collar Catholic Reagan Democrat, and indeed Black and Hispanic minority voters on their shared cultural values and economic interests would remake American politics.

  12. Tano says:

    Muwatallis,

    First off, I wonder if you understand what secularism is. It is not a euphemism for athiest or agnostic. It means someone who, irrespective of their relgion, wants the government to stay out of religion – and that often means staying out of the morality games.

    There is a lot more of such people in the working class than you seem to imagine.

    Secondly, you need to realize that the Reagan coalition consisted of Southern evangelicals, Northern Reagan democrats AND the traditional Republican moneyed interests. Huckabee might possibly unite those first two, as you seem to fantasize, but he would drive out the third group – big time. Just listen to their paniced screams as he rises in the polls.

    Before abortion, gay marraige, border fences, gun rights – before any of these things, the protection and advancement of the interests of the wealthy is, at the core, what the Republican party is all about. You don’t protect their interests, you ain’t got no party.

    You can sucker the working class into Republicanism over social issues, but you will never be able to use the party to advance a populist agenda.

  13. Muwatallis says:

    Tano naively said…

    First off, I wonder if you understand what secularism is. It is not a euphemism for athiest or agnostic. It means someone who, irrespective of their relgion, wants the government to stay out of religion – and that often means staying out of the morality games.

    Every people on this planet expect their laws to reflect their cultural values and at the core of culture is religion. Every people on this planet demands that those who would rule them respect their cultural values (“fundie knuckledraggers” ?). Secularists don’t want government to stay out of religion. They want the cultural values of the American people to stay out of the laws they enact. They want law to embody their own “if it feels good, do it” values.

    There is a lot more of such people in the working class than you seem to imagine.

    Working class parents live too close to the threat of street culture and drugs and gangs to be able to afford to leave a moral vacuum in their children. Unlike the comfortable latte liberal secularist, they do NOT live in a safe world. They are security driven, comfort driven, not risk driven.

    Secondly, you need to realize that the Reagan coalition consisted of Southern evangelicals, Northern Reagan democrats AND the traditional Republican moneyed interests. Huckabee might possibly unite those first two, as you seem to fantasize, but he would drive out the third group – big time. Just listen to their paniced screams as he rises in the polls.

    The traditional Republican money interests, like the secularists in the Democrats, need working class voters a whole lot more than working class voters need them. An October WSJ poll showed that 60% of the GOP believes that free trade is bad for America. For independents and Democrats it is even worse. So the GOP moneyed interests are actually trying to walk the GOP over a cliff by committing it to an economic policy for which what little support there was (if the American people ever really supported free trade it would have been a whole lot easier to get CAFTA and NAFTA passed and Bush and Clinton would have kept Congress in the next election) by the public has collapsed. On the two big domestic issues, trade and health care, there is no support for “free market” libertarian policies. A paradigm shift has occurred among the American people and within the GOP. When the primary security fears of the American people are socioeconomic, the political center shifts to the left. This isn’t the Reagan era anymore. Frankly, only an economic populist GOP has any hope of winning in 2008. Huckabee is taking the GOP where the American people are right now.

    Before abortion, gay marraige, border fences, gun rights – before any of these things, the protection and advancement of the interests of the wealthy is, at the core, what the Republican party is all about. You don’t protect their interests, you ain’t got no party.

    In other words, before the social conservatives entered the GOP, it was the minority country club party of the Eisenhower era. That is what makes me laugh about Giuliani and other Republicans who think that social conservatives can be marginalized. Take away the social conservatives and the majority party of Reagan becomes the minority party of Gerald Ford.

    Huckabee is taking the GOP in a direction in which the cultural AND economic policies reflect the real interests of the majority of its members, not a monied elite. And if history has anything to teach us, it is that a handful of motivated people can shake the world. Huckabee brings a level of motivation and passion to this campaign that none of the other GOP candidates do. One that can and will cut huge swaths into Reagan Democrat and minority voters disgusted with lifestyle liberalism.

  14. capital L says:

    “It would be the best of both worlds. The economic populism of the Democrats… [and] The social conservatism of the Republicans.”

    Calm down, Pangloss– that doesn’t sound like the best of any possible world to me.

  15. jukeboxgrad says:

    muw: “be more careful about driving their Reagan Democrat and minority support to Huckabee”

    I don’t care about “driving … support” to Huck. He’s doing fine now without my help, but he also has no chance in the generals.

    “contempt for Christianity”

    If you think all Christians are Christianists, then it’s fair to characterize my remarks as “contempt for Christianity.”

    “but without the cheap labor Social Darwinism of free trade libertarians”

    You have a point. You’re doing a good job of explaining why the GOP corporate elites are afraid of Huck. But this is fun to watch because he is the natural result of their cynical policies. They’ve been working overtime to inject religion into politics. And not because they’re particularly religious.

    “Working class parents live too close to the threat of street culture and drugs and gangs to be able to afford to leave a moral vacuum in their children.”

    I don’t see “working class parents” generally excited about the federal government being in the business of addressing “a moral vacuum in their children” (that’s what family, community and church are for). However, I do see fundie knuckledraggers excited about that.

    “The traditional Republican money interests, like the secularists in the Democrats, need working class voters a whole lot more than working class voters need them.”

    You have a point. But on the other hand, there are some very strong anti-democratic forces: campaign finances and mass media are very much concentrated in the hands of “money interests.” Rove and people like him have become very skilled at using those tools to convert dollars into votes.

    “only an economic populist GOP has any hope of winning in 2008”

    I agree, which is why the GOP has no hope. “Economic populist GOP” is almost a pure oxymoron.

    “before the social conservatives entered the GOP, it was the minority country club party of the Eisenhower era … Take away the social conservatives and the majority party of Reagan becomes the minority party of Gerald Ford”

    I agree. Also keep in mind that this fragile coalition (now imploding in a dramatic and entertaining fashion) was just barely enough to put GWB over the top in 2000 and 2004.

    “Huckabee brings a level of motivation and passion to this campaign that none of the other GOP candidates do.”

    True.

    “One that can and will cut huge swaths into Reagan Democrat and minority voters disgusted with lifestyle liberalism.”

    I don’t know about “huge swaths.” You would have more of a point if Obama was an icon of “lifestyle liberalism.” But he’s not. Neither is Hillary (notwithstanding many years of efforts to paint her as Satan). In this race, the icon of disgusting “lifestyle liberalism” is Rudy.

    I think for every D voter embracing Huck because they are “disgusted with lifestyle liberalism,” there will be two or more R voters deserting Huck because they’re not happy about the idea of putting an anti-science Bible literalist in the White House (aside from lots of other anti-Huck motivations).

    By the way, in my opinion people who whine about “lifestyle liberalism” have no credibility unless they favor making divorce illegal.

    Reminds me of a bumper sticker I like: “4 out of 4 Baptist Divorcees want gays to stop undermining the sanctity of marriage.”

  16. Muwatallis says:

    If you think all Christians are Christianists,

    Christianist – noun. A term of abuse by secularists towards Christians who actually live according to their faith instead of treating it like a hobby.

    I don’t see “working class parents” generally excited about the federal government being in the business of addressing “a moral vacuum in their children” (that’s what family, community and church are for).

    You mean the institutions that secularists have done their best to undermine ? The institutions for which anti-Christian cultural elites have nothing but utter contempt ?

    “The traditional Republican money interests, like the secularists in the Democrats, need working class voters a whole lot more than working class voters need them.”

    You have a point. But on the other hand, there are some very strong anti-democratic forces: campaign finances and mass media are very much concentrated in the hands of “money interests.” Rove and people like him have become very skilled at using those tools to convert dollars into votes.

    You mean the forces that were behind comprehensive immigration reform and got the tar beat out of them ? Twice ? And that isn’t counting the defeat of the DREAM Act. In a very real way this was a precursor of the Huckabee movement. Much as elite media prattle about “xenophobia” and “nativism” and “racism”, it was about working people of all colors seeing the threat of a glutted labor market reducing them to permanent peonage and fighting back. It was working class people of all colors seeing the threat of the social services they depend on collapsing under the weight of becoming, in effect, Mexico’s social services as well. It was working class people of all colors fighting back against the treat of their communities disintegrating under gangs, flophouses, and crime. It was working class people of all colors refusing to pay the price of latte liberals “compassionately” importing a new underclass voting base at the direct expense of working class Americans. Then as now the corporate elites and cultural elites forged an alliance against working class Americans whom they despise. Well, we beat you twice. And we’ll beat you a third time.

    Bear in mind that Huckabee has abandoned his earlier support for “comprehensive immigration reform”. Obama and Hillary have not. That will hurt them with working class voters. Badly. Hillary’s current travails began when she could not reconcile multiculturalist “compassion” with the socioeconomic survival interests of working class and lower middle class Americans.

    “Economic populist GOP” is almost a pure oxymoron.

    Before the working class base beat the monied elites and the libertarians on comprehensive immigration reform (and Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security failed because working class social conservatives did not support it), that would have been true. But what is true is that “Open Borders Economic Populist” is definitely a pure oxymoron.

    I think for every D voter embracing Huck because they are “disgusted with lifestyle liberalism,” there will be two or more R voters deserting Huck because they’re not happy about the idea of putting an anti-science Bible literalist in the White House (aside from lots of other anti-Huck motivations).

    If you believe that then you haven’t a clue what red state Republicans are like. People of your ilk genuinely believed that Huckabees’s statement that homosexuality was sinful would hurt him. It did nothing whatsoever of the sort. For every secularist libertarian “free trade at all costs” type we lose, we will gain four Rust Belt working class social conservative Democrats. Huckabee and only Huckabee can carry Ohio for the GOP.

    I am not denying that this means a realignment in the GOP. But that realignment already began with the battle over comprehensive immigration reform. The conversion of the GOP into a populist right party.

  17. Michael says:

    When the real Thompson seemed less energetic and appealing than the imagined Thompson, Republicans fell out of love with him. They were still looking for someone not named Giuliani, Romney or McCain when they found Huckabee

    Well if that doesn’t whip the Ron Paul supporters into a tizzy, I don’t know what will.

  18. Muwatallis says:

    You would have more of a point if Obama was an icon of “lifestyle liberalism.” But he’s not. Neither is Hillary (notwithstanding many years of efforts to paint her as Satan).

    As we have seen on this thread and we see on every political forum, the cultural elite secularists who run the Democratic Party find the Christian faith offensive. To them, Huckabee having been a Baptist minister and his being a Bible believing Christian are campaign issues. To the overwhelming majority of Americans they are nothing of the sort and the very fact that the Democratic Party is run by people who do think that way will reflect badly on it.

    The attacks upon “Christianists” and “theocrat, fundagelical, Christofascists” that will rain upon Huckabee from cultural elite Democrats will anger and alienate working class and minority Democratic voters. Already over the McClurkin thing we saw Obama having to choose between homosexuals and Black fundamentalists. It will get worse.

  19. jukeboxgrad says:

    “Christianist … Christians who actually live according to their faith”

    That’s one definition. Here’s another one.

    “You mean the institutions that secularists have done their best to undermine?”

    You’re claiming that “secularists” are trying to undermine “family, community and church.” The surprising part is the way red states are packed with secularists:

    In red states in 2001, there were 572,000 divorces … Blue states recorded 340,000 … In the same year, 11 red states had higher rates of divorce than any blue state … In each of the red states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico, 46.3 percent of all births were to unwed mothers … In blue states, on average, that percentage was 31.7 … Delaware has the highest rate of births to teenage mothers among all blue states, yet 17 red states have a higher rate … Of those red states, 15 have at least twice the rate as that of Massachusetts … There were more than 100 teen pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 in 5 red states in 2002 … None of the blue states had rates that high … The rate of teen births declined in 46 states from 1988 to 2000 … It climbed in 3 red states and saw no change in another … The per capita rate of violent crime in red states is 421 per 100,000 … In blue states, it’s 372 per 100,000 … The per capita rate of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in Louisiana is 13 per 100,000 … In Maine, it’s 1.2 per 100,000 … As of 2000, 37 states had statewide policies or procedures to address domestic violence … All 13 that didn’t were red states … The 5 states with the highest rates of alcohol dependence or abuse are red states … The 5 states with the highest rates of alcohol dependence or abuse among 12- to 17-year-olds are also red states … The per capita rate of methamphetamine-lab seizures in California is 2 per 100,000 … In Arkansas, it’s 20 per 100,000 … The number of meth-lab seizures in red states increased by 38 percent from 1999 to 2003 … In the same time frame, it decreased by 38 percent in blue states … Residents of the all-red Mountain States are the most likely to have had 3 or more sexual partners in the previous year … Residents of all-blue New England are the least likely to have had more than 1 partner in that span … Residents of the mid-Atlantic region of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey were the most likely to be sexually abstinent … Residents of the all-red West South Central region (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana) were the least likely … Five red states reported more than 400 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 residents in 2002 … No blue state had a rate that high … The per capita rate of gonorrhea in red states was 140 per 100,000 … In blue states, it was 99 per 100,000.

    More on teen pregnancy here.

    “You mean the forces that were behind comprehensive immigration reform and got the tar beat out of them ? Twice ?”

    Yes, the corporate elite was behind that, and they lost, but they’ll be back. That battle is not over.

    “Much as elite media prattle about ‘xenophobia’ and ‘nativism’ and ‘racism’, it was about working people of all colors seeing the threat of a glutted labor market reducing them to permanent peonage and fighting back.”

    It was about all of the above. It’s an interesting and complicated issue.

    “the corporate elites and cultural elites forged an alliance”

    Since Reagan, the main alliance forged by “the corporate elites” has been with fundie knuckledraggers.

    “Huckabee has abandoned his earlier support for ‘comprehensive immigration reform’. Obama and Hillary have not. That will hurt them with working class voters.”

    It will hurt them mostly with the xenophobes, nativists and racists. But those are GOP voters to begin with, so it’s OK.

    “the socioeconomic survival interests of working class and lower middle class Americans”

    You seem to be claiming that the GOP has some potential to successfully rebrand itself as the party of “working class and lower middle class Americans.” Sorry, but I just can’t take that seriously.

    “Huckabee and only Huckabee can carry Ohio for the GOP.”

    To coin a phrase: “bring them on.”

    “I am not denying that this means a realignment in the GOP … The conversion of the GOP into a populist right party”

    I think “realignment” is an understatement. What you’re talking about is a radical and nearly unimaginable metamorphosis. Driving the GOP is a corporate elite that is anything but “populist.” Good luck booting them out of your party. I think you might as well start a new party and call it the Jesus Party.

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    muw: “the cultural elite secularists who run the Democratic Party find the Christian faith offensive”

    Nope, only the Christians who make claims like this:

    America is a Christian nation

    That’s from the official platform of the Texas GOP.

    “To them, Huckabee having been a Baptist minister and his being a Bible believing Christian are campaign issues.”

    It was Huck’s idea to make those things “campaign issues.” And he got the idea from the way the GOP has been operating since Reagan: constant “overdose[s] of public piety,” to use Kraut’s term.

    “The attacks upon ‘Christianists’ and ‘theocrat, fundagelical, Christofascists’ that will rain upon Huckabee from cultural elite Democrats”

    Are you paying attention? At this point, it is mostly the GOP corporate elite, not “cultural elite Democrats,” that is slamming Huck for his “public piety.”

    “will anger and alienate working class and minority Democratic voters”

    No, it will mostly just anger knuckledragging fundies. The people Noonan described as “idiots“. Needless to say, Noonan is not one of the “cultural elite Democrats.”

  21. floyd says:

    One more “relevant” statistic …..
    I read once where 78% of all murderers in the U.S. had consumed potatoes less than 24 hours before committing their crime!
    Remember this next time someone says…. “you want fries with that?”
    {most of those potatoes are grown in RED STATES!!}

  22. floyd says:

    And now for something totally different…..

    http://www.purplestates.org/

  23. Muwatallis says:

    Yes, the corporate elite was behind that, and they lost, but they’ll be back. That battle is not over.

    From the fact that comprehensive immigration reform has disappeared from the Republican platform and all the “Grand Compromise” Republican senators are trying to out-Tancredo Tancredo, yes it most definitely is over within the GOP. Within the GOP the populists have won and the cheap labor libertarians have lost. Within the Democratic Party, on the other hand, given that Clinton, Edwards, and Obama are committed to amnesty, forces hostile to working class and lower middle class Americans are very much in charge. It is not possible to say that you are an economic populist while you are supporting a Wall Street Journal editorial page agenda of flooding the American labor market to drive down wages and benefits.

    Are you paying attention? At this point, it is mostly the GOP corporate elite, not “cultural elite Democrats,” that is slamming Huck for his “public piety.”

    You mean the cheap labor libertarians who are culturally secularist Democrats ? Who are frankly, so much political deadweight because on immigration, health care, and trade this country flatly does not want libertarian policies ?

    “will anger and alienate working class and minority Democratic voters”

    No, it will mostly just anger knuckledragging fundies. The people Noonan described as “idiots”. Needless to say, Noonan is not one of the “cultural elite Democrats.”

    Knuckledragging fundies. Hmmm. Do you mean Black and Hispanic fundamentalist Christians ? Yes, you most assuredly do. And frankly it is hard to reason with a mentality like yours that believes that it can insult core Democratic constituencies with total impunity. And refuses to comprehend how disgusting they find your ilk.

    “Huckabee has abandoned his earlier support for ‘comprehensive immigration reform’. Obama and Hillary have not. That will hurt them with working class voters.”

    It will hurt them mostly with the xenophobes, nativists and racists. But those are GOP voters to begin with, so it’s OK.

    Really ? Tell that to Eliot Spitzer, governor of the bluest of blue states whose support has collapsed because of his “licenses for illegals” scheme. Tell that to Hillary Clinton who saw her victory march to the nomination get tripped up on that same question. And who was booed by a Democratic audience when she promised amnesty for illegals within the first 100 days. Tell that to working class Blacks who see themselves being run out of the job market by illegals and who see Hispanic gains occurring directly at their expense. Are you aware that Black attitudes on immigration are pure Lou Dobbs ? Like a secularist latte liberal you have a relentless contempt for working class people and are totally willing to expend their lives and livelihoods in order to feel good about your “righteousness” and “compassion”. Your dismissal of working class and lower middle class resistance to illegal immigration as “racism” and “nativism” and “xenophobia” is every bit as limousine liberal oblivious, as infuriatingly condescending, as politically suicidal as the 70’s and 80’s liberals who preached that people afraid of violent crime were “racists”.

    And that is the practical parallel here. The Democratic Party is handling illegal immigration every bit as stupidly as it handled violent crime thirty years ago. It tried then and is trying now to dismiss people’s valid security concerns with lectures on “compassion” and “political correctness”. It is aligning itself with anarchy against order. That is a one way ticket to the political wilderness. A Huckabee populist right GOP that would combine a law and order (always a strength for Republicans) approach to illegal immigration with economic populism and cultural conservatism would easily rout a Democratic party that is trying to import the lawlessness and poverty of Mexico in order to create a new “victim” constituency.

  24. jukeboxgrad says:

    You’re responding to what you think I’m thinking, instead of what I actually said. So please continue, and have fun, but you don’t need my help.