Monday, January 14, 2008

Knives Out / New Opportunities / Redefinition

Yeah I had a hard time coming up with a name for this post; it's about Huckabee.

Specifically it's about Star Parker writing about Huckabee and what her party and the conservative movement is doing to him.
But from a gamut of well-known conservative and Republican personalities, no one is being excoriated like Huckabee.

There may be dissatisfaction with the other candidates, but Huckabee is the only one publicly being charged with John Edwards-like populism, anti-capitalism, of not being a conservative and, from some, being outright called a liberal.

I even heard one talk show journalist say the other day that there are Republicans that have their "knives" out for Huckabee.
Parker asks, quite reasonably, why so much hatred for a Republican. Well part of it is that his campaign seems to have picked a fight with Rush Limbaugh, and if there's one thing Limbaugh believes in, it's Limbaugh. So that didn't help.

But the other half of the equation is that there are two sides to the Republican Party - there's the side that's business led, provides the finances and most of the conservative spokespeople. And then there's the side that's more religious, more into preserving an American culture. While these two sides agree on a lot, they also disagree, particularly when it comes to the weight you give each particular issue.

What is more important, keeping taxes low or securing our borders? Protecting marriage or ending regulation of businesses? Well the business side might have one answer, the religious side another.

For a long time the dominant strain of American Republicanism has been the business side, with the religious conservatives as secondary players. Huckabee could change that; the party has made it clear that they don't like him. The conservative leaders have made it clear that they don't like him. If the religious right elects Huckabee over their protests (not an easy task I admit) than it could lead to a realignment in the party.

Star Parker makes it plain that she thinks her party should recognize this and get out in front of it.
Inside-the-beltway Republicans have also lost touch with the increasing seriousness with which grass roots conservatives relate to the traditional values agenda. More and more folks are feeling personally assaulted by the meaninglessness that is gripping our culture and do not see our moral health as separate and apart from our economic health.

Rather than attacking Huckabee, folks would be better served to take a more careful and less dismissive look at why he's garnering such broad support.
She might be right; this might be looked at as a mistake down the road. Or it could be a glitch that is papered over if Huckabee gets the nomination. What seems clear is that if Huckabee does get the nomination over Limbaugh and other's criticisms, the party is going to have to change.

It goes without saying that Star Parker, as an early adopter, will be well set to take advantage of this shift.

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