This afternoon’s Rush Limbaugh Show, hosted by Mark Belling, featured a semi-restrained rant by the host against Mike Huckabee. I listened to one segment of the show, as time allowed. According to Belling, other than the two issues of gay marriage and abortion, reading the words of Mike Huckabee is virtually indistinguishable from reading the words of John Edwards.
Belling needed only to include Mike’s pro-Second Amendment stance, and he would have scored the Howard Dean Trifecta:
I am tired of coming to the South and fighting elections on guns, God and gays.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m picking on Belling. Rudy Guiliani said much the same thing with his statement on social issues a few months back:
“Our party has to get beyond issues like that.”
Jeffery Lord in the American Spectator tried a similar tack in a blistering piece today, assailing Huckabee for “attacking Reaganomics.”
So while it does not surprise that there are class warrior Democrats attacking the idea of economic opportunity as “greed” and promising all manner of ways to pit one group against another, it is startling indeed to hear the following from a Republican presidential front runner — former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Lord makes no specific references to Huckabee’s policy positions, but instead relies on statements by The Club for Growth as the arbiter of true conservatism. Any serious observer of the Republican Primary season understands that the The Club for Growth has been anything but an honest broker with regards to Huckabee specifically, and generally, any Republican who fails to meet the small-tent definition of conservatism they espouse.
The idea troubles that the nominee of the conservative party could be someone who fails to understand that his apparent scorn for “Wall Street” could resonate negatively with the almost 50 percent of the American population who are now shareholders — because of Ronald Reagan. Does Huckabee really believe that all these millions of people are therefore “greedy”? That economic growth as exemplified by Reaganomics is nothing more than a show-stopping parade of excess by out of control Middle Americans? If in fact in his heart- of-hearts he has some sort of contempt for the Reagan agenda — and the Reagan economic accomplishments that restored America to its place as the shining city on a hill — Governor Huckabee will soon find himself doing his best to balance on a stool that is missing a leg.
Do Mr. Lord, Mr. Belling, and others actually believe that the Club for Growth represents the 50 percent of Americans who own a small piece of Wall Street in their 401(k)’s?
The Club for Growth represents The Club for Growth. Their crusade for ideological purity is largely responsible for the loss of the Senate in 2006. If the Club for Growth is such a serious and respected group policy wonks, as Lord suggests, then why haven’t they successfully answered the leftist mantra of “Tax Cuts for the Rich?” Answer that and you take the whole “Greed” issue off the table.
There is only one reason that the left trots out that line: It works.
If the smartest guys in the room at The Club for Growth can’t answer that, then maybe they’re not so smart after all. And, maybe their personal crusade against Mike Huckabee has cost them in credibility in ways that they cannot yet fathom. And maybe, just maybe the middle class, gun-toting, Bible believing, wife-loving, foot soldiers of the Reagan coalition just don’t believe the Club for Growth anymore, and couldn’t care less about what the American Spectator says, and are just as likely to tell NRO and WSJ to go jump in the lake as not.
Try this experiment: Go back just a couple of years and find any Mitt Romney speech concerning the social issues, right to life, defense of marriage, and the right to keep and bear arms. Any of them, it doesn’t matter. Now, close you eyes as you listen and you just might think you’re listening to ….. John Kerry.
Filed under: conservatism, Election 2008, Huckabee | Tagged: club for growth, conservatism, Election 2008, Huckabee, romney | 2 Comments »