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Huckabee Wins the Palin Interview

January 18th, 2011 at 11:23 am David Frum | 134 Comments |

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David Brody makes the shrewd point that there are really only two presidential primaries in the GOP: The evangelical primary and the business primary. After Sarah Palin’s interview with Sean Hannity last night, I think we can now call Mike Huckabee the presumptive winner of the evangelical primary.

How often did Sarah Palin express in that interview some variant of the phrase, “it’s not about me?” How often did she describe herself as “respectful”? Often enough, in both cases, as to suggest that she and her handlers have finally woken up to the harm done to Palin’s public image by Palin’s previous video outing.

Unfortunately for Palin, that harm cannot be undone by softball interviews and angry protestations. Her base is melting away. It remains substantial, but less substantial with every passing month.

Suppose you are a faith & family voter: strongly socially conservative, strongly opposed to Barack Obama. By now you have thoroughly absorbed the idea that Palin is electorally radioactive. Quietly, you may also have your own reservations about Palin’s character, temperament and judgment. If you didn’t have an alternative, you might have to stick to her. But you do have an alternative: in fact it’s your own first choice from 2008. Easy call, yes?


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134 Comments so far ↓

  • buddyglass

    If I’m the hypothetical socially conservative evangelical David describes, why would I not go with John Thune, Tim Pawlenty or, if I’m a culture war cheer leader, Newt Gingrich?

    Thune has a pretty airtight voting record when it comes to social issues. Pawlenty doesn’t have the proven track record, but he says all the right things. Pawlenty also converted from Catholicism to protestant evangelicalism- that might count for something.

    I’m not exactly anti-Huckabee, but I don’t see him as the presumptive choice for socially conservative evangelicals.

  • ktward

    politicalfan.

    I wouldn’t have thought this thread required a DD, but evidently it does. I happily turn over any keys to you. ;)

    Meanwhile: higher stats of evangelicals among ‘Pubs?
    Likely true, but it’s kind of a trick question. What can be measured–what is measured–is the influence that the RR has on the GOP. Evangelical influence is not measured as closely within the Dem Party, which is not to say that it is without influence. Matriculation is just, well, different.

  • ktward

    WSUG: He had to take a whole week off from work after Super Bowl 42.

    I find a whole lot to grin at, but not much makes me laugh out loud. The entirety of your recollection brought me to belly-laugh tears that I will, if pressed, deny.

    Yeah, don’t sweat it on the FH comment. I’ll take your word for it and mentally note a tic in his general non-phobic column.

    I’m pleased you read the comment that I, earlier, too obscurely referenced: I’m not really an asshole, I just play one on blogs.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    “…I just play one on blogs.”

    Me too. A while back, some other poster was under the mistaken impression that I was some sort of uppity Seattleite foodie. Nothing could be further from the truth. I eat chinese buffet at least twice a week, and usually at least four overflowing plates.

    And yeah, poor, poor Uncle Greg. I’m pretty butt hurt about the Pats, too, though I only needed one day off to get over SB 42, and I’m functioning pretty well after this most recent debacle.

    (The Sports Guy Bill Simmons, of BS Report fame, claimed that, if the Pats ever did a repeat of the whole 18-1 thing, “he’d probably end up trying heroin.” As a diehard fan I can tell you he is NOT bullshitting.)

  • politicalfan

    ktward- lol. Confiscation of key boards perhaps? My point- considering the states that have gone red (if they stay red is another thing). Palin has a strong evangelical base (yes or no)? Has anyone told her FB followers? I am a left leaning Independent Christian gal that doesn’t prescribe. (say that 10 times)!

  • politicalfan

    WaStateUrbanGOPer –

    All do respect, your frontal and parietal lobes are functioning well (areas of the brain, that I think translate to intelligence). Snob, sarcastic, etc. Just claim intelligence it works for me. :)

  • ktward

    politicalfan.

    Red States.
    Imo, narcissa provides a reasonable rundown of the RR phenomenon relative to today’s GOP and the RR. The problem is that the RR’s uncompromising dogma is now, after decades, so woven into the GOP it’s sometimes very hard to tell the difference between the two.

    That said, I understand that Frum now desires to draw those distinctions. Being of the generation that I am, and also having read Frum’s books, my knee-jerk reaction is something akin to “FU, y’all invited this GOP implosion on yourselves.” But I’m not really one for grudges. I’d like to see the GOP figure it out, clean house, and get back to the business of fact-based governance.

    In respects most damaging to himself personally, Frum courageously takes the high road. For that reason, I remain his reader. But I’m equally aware that above and beyond any other issue, his only unconditional alliance lies with Israel. Everyone else is subject to conditions, and the movers and shakers of today’s GOP aren’t so happy with Frum’s conditionals.

  • sublime33

    “Meanwhile: higher stats of evangelicals among ‘Pubs?
    Likely true, but it’s kind of a trick question. What can be measured–what is measured–is the influence that the RR has on the GOP.”

    It really depends on the region of the country. Like kt, I am also in Illinois and I have explained to conservative transplants why the neo-conservatives and religious right have relatively low influence in the Illinois Republican party. What is different here is that Illinois Republicans historically have been supporters of the public school system, as many were refugees of the disasterous Chicago public school system. They also see a strong community school as a way to protect their property value, as schools in better districts have better real estate values. When Evangelicals talk about defunding public schools, suburbanites don’t want any part of it.

    Gun control is the other big disagreement. Suburbanites tend to be in favor regardless of party affiliation.

  • politicalfan

    ktward-

    “In respects most damaging to himself personally, Frum courageously takes the high road. For that reason, I remain his reader. But I’m equally aware that above and beyond any other issue, his only unconditional alliance lies with Israel. Everyone else is subject to conditions, and the movers and shakers of today’s GOP aren’t so happy with Frum’s conditionals.”

    The high road is absolutely best in my view. I find it intriguing when Republicans stay in unison with their votes and messages. They definitely show discipline (for me a bit too much). Who is your front runner for 2012?

    sublime33-
    Education is on the tops for me. I agree that your state (yields) needs.

  • ktward

    politicalfan.

    Personally? My 2012 frontrunner is Obama.
    I don’t really give a s**t who the GOP nominates, they have no one who is even remotely competitive on any level.

    Nevertheless, the GOP’s painful 2012 POTUS machinations are as informative as they are entertaining. (Does that make me just another sick f**k? I don’t think so. But maybe.)

  • politicalfan

    I voted for the President, so I would agree ktward. I haven’t seen anyone that I think can compete. Palin has amused me much and then everyone following along.

  • ktward

    sublime33.

    As a fellow IL constituent, I’m curious- what’s your take on Roskam? Aside from his obvious ultra-Red, ‘Billy Graham’ bona fides.

  • anniemargret

    ktward: Hi back atcha ! Had a little vino myself tonight.

    “Just so long as we’re both equally humiliated, we can talk…: (funny)

    Which brought to my mind that if you’ve been a blogger here enough, sooner or later you get humiliated. Which is a natural thing of course when one is a liberal like myself on a conservative blog.

    ;-)

    To yours and _will_’s and others comments about Huckabee: Good Grief! My bad. I just didn’t know.

    OK…You’ve changed my mind. I think he’s a decent man at the core, but saying the Constitution should be amended to God’s plan, etc… that’s downright scary. We can ask him then, what God, whose God? The Catholic one, the Methodist one, the Baptist one, the Jewish one?…

    geez… what is wrong with these people? This is why O’Donnell went down in flames. To toy with the Constitution and then try to interject their own private religious dogma into it, is anathema.

    I think Barry Goldwater summed it best: (with all due apologies to those that have already read this):

    “I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
    And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” (Barry Goldwater, US Senate, 1981)

  • anniemargret

    polticalfan: ‘I am a left leaning Independent Christian gal that doesn’t prescribe.”

    Good for you! We can all be anything we want to be. I am a left-leaning one-time Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat-non-church-going- Christian-in-my-heart gal.

    Sigh….It really gets complicated these days putting ourselves in these tight little boxes.

    I left my Independent status when the Republicans just get too weird for my world, and the way they keep going I am never going to be voting Republican again in my lifetime. Take that, You Palin Pitbull, you!

    ;-)

  • politicalfan

    annie- lol. I understand fully. Palin has me leaning more left. (wink-wave).

  • sublime33

    kt – I don’t like a lot of Roskam’s positions, especially concealed weapons. He is a little more conservative than Kirk, but he isn’t as out there as Manzullo or worse, Joe Walsh, where I am redlined about 100 yards from his district. And he doesn’t demonize his opponents. So if I was given a choice of a Republican gets to represent this district, but I get to choose the Republican, Roskam would not be a bad choice. Walsh and Manzullo are.

  • ktward

    sublime33.

    Okay, so after I overcame my knee-jerk eye-pop over the name ‘Joe Walsh’ (please tell me you’re not too young to remember), I get it.

    I live in Biggert’s 13th. I’m close to Chicago proper so, perhaps consequently, the 13th’s rep is about as blue as it can get for a GOP rep. Nevertheless, we’d like to see Judy gone. For a host of reasons.

    But I’m personally connected to Roskam’s district. Via church and other sundry Wheaton-related reasons. It’s my opinion that we’re typically excusing our GOP reps as ‘not the worst’. Sure, it’s pretty hard to find a GOP rep worse than, say, Shimkus. (Yes, he’s way south of us.) But I’m tiring of this metric.

    Can’t we do better?

  • politicalfan

    annie- 20/20 special is on tonight!!! Congress woman Giffords.

  • sublime33

    “Okay, so after I overcame my knee-jerk eye-pop over the name ‘Joe Walsh’ (please tell me you’re not too young to remember), I get it”

    I owned a James Gang 8-Track tape, so gives away my age to some degree.

  • ktward

    I owned a James Gang 8-Track tape, so gives away my age to some degree.

    Yes it does. Happy to see it. Okay then.

  • rockstar

    So, again, more to the point. How can we get the Democratic party to shred itself in half before 2012?

  • kevin47

    “Easy call, yes?”

    Yep. Anyone but those two.

  • pnumi2

    pf

    “The high road is absolutely best in my view.”

    Not if you’re in a hurry to get to Scotland. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

  • Carney

    WaState, words matter. Words mean things. Sloppy language leads to sloppy thinking.

    No question but that the current Iranian state was founded to implement Khomeini-style Shi’ism. And that its ultimate authority is in its supreme religious leader, and that a cleric-dominated council has substantial power. Whether in fact the Shi’ite clergy, as such, constitute the government, and whether the government = the Shi’ite clergy, is perhaps debatable, but probably not worth delving too deeply into. Hence “probably”.

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    ktward, don’t bother taking notes as I am relatively sure you are older than 25. You see, your moral upbringing and intellectual customs are pretty much set and only events of grace can change them at this point.

  • sublime33

    “I am relatively sure you are older than 25. You see, your moral upbringing and intellectual customs are pretty much set and only events of grace can change them at this point.”

    I would not restrict this to acts of grace. I became an avowed capitalist in my 20′s when I saw how well intended socialism had unintended negative effects on European workers first hand. But I also saw first hand how personal greed trumped capitalism and patriotism through leveraged buyouts when I was in my 40′s. And these so called free market capitalists had no qualms about letting the government by the insurer of last resort if it all failed. That was just as life changing.

  • anniemargret

    Fairyhardcastle: Life is not static. Life changes you, us. Always. What one thinks they know now, they will realize they know nothing 20 years from now. Grace follows us always, it is never a matter of age.

    As a person who once was a ‘conservative’ in the old model of conservatism, I am now placidly a center left Democrat. Life changed me after my divorce and I lived as a single woman for almost 10 years with three kids, working two jobs and going back to graduate school before marrying again. Trust me, that will change you and the way you look at life.

    And I’ve met young people in my life with ‘old’ and precocious minds. They are born with it. We all evolve at different rates and times. Some faster, some more slowly. Grace can happen to any of us at any time in our life when we least expect it..

  • politicalfan

    sublime33-

    “I became an avowed capitalist in my 20’s when I saw how well intended socialism had unintended negative effects on European workers first hand.”

    You must deem medicare as socialism perhaps and I can think of other examples but will defer? lol.

    p2- clever

  • sublime33

    “You must deem medicare as socialism perhaps and I can think of other examples but will defer? lol.”

    No, guaranteed access to medical care was one of the big positives of Europe. But laws intended to protect workers such as limiting how often and what percentage of a layoff could occur (10% per quarter was common), permissive usage of medical disability, etc. incentivized countries to either limit business or pull out of the most restrictive countries such as Belgium and Holland.

  • politicalfan

    “But laws intended to protect workers such as limiting how often and what percentage of a layoff could occur (10% per quarter was common)”

    Are you not explaining your country partly here? What should be different- if I am understanding your point incorrectly? Where is the breakdown in how this impacts the capitalist theory (free- corporate etc.)?

  • sublime33

    “What should be different- if I am understanding your point incorrectly? Where is the breakdown in how this impacts the capitalist theory (free- corporate etc.)?”

    I am not a pure capitalist, because a pure capitalist would ignore the problems of business monopolies as well as environmental issues. But my point all along was that when a government installs laws and regulations that specifically intend to protect the workforce, the unintended consequence is that it often discourages job hiring. And I am not referring to the bogus argument of marginal tax rates. It is similar to large American cities who regulate that a grocery store must use union labor, and the result is that the supermarkets just don’t build in the city. And the result is higher food prices in the city and an even lower standard of living.

  • politicalfan

    sublime33-

    You better be a business owner and not an employee. I get your point but this tosses an entire dynamic into the equation. There are many factors here.

    “And the result is higher food prices in the city and an even lower standard of living.”

    Who benefits from the higher food prices? The business owner or the consumer?

  • drdredel

    sublime33 and politicalfan,

    I think it’s safe to say that you both see that no formula is perfect. It’s only when demagogues get into the mix and declare that some approach is wholly and unfailingly the “right” one, that communication breaks down.

    Bringing this discussion back to the matter of Palin, (I didn’t see the interview, but I did watch John Stewart’s brilliant deconstruction of it, last night) , I can’t help but agree with his analysis whereby Palin’s stated impression (I have no idea what she actually believes, so, only going by what she said), is that the “liberals” are not sensible, intelligent, patriotic, loving, human beings who have a different opinion about the best way to make as many people as possible happy (locally, nationally, and globally), but rather, a mildly insane, totally destructive, malignant force that can’t be conversed with, and therefore must be put down like a rabid dog.
    Ironically, she instantly makes herself into EXACTLY that thing! A fanatic, endowed by the almighty with righteousness. Mike H. who is also very convinced of himself, at least acknowledges that people with different opinions have good intentions… which is absolutely fundamental to any conversation! Without that starting point, your only option is warfare.

  • Daar

    What you’re missing is that Gov. Huckabee also wins the Business Primary by virtue of his ardent and leading-edge advocacy of the FairTax (income tax REPLACEMENT plan). View http://snipr.com/fthuckabeeonirs and also, view its appeal across the political spectrum at http://snipr.com/gravelpart2 (script at http://snipr.com/gravelpart2script )