What the Huck?

Mark R. Levin:

Huckabee continues to use his faith as a weapon against those who question not his faith, but his political populism — much of which he shares with secular progressives. And he is clearly hoping to stir up resentment among Evangelical Christians against the other elements of the conservative movement and Republican Party as a way of encouraging them to vote in the caucuses and primaries. This is a tactic right out of Saul Alinsky’s playbook. Of course he wants us to believe the Reagan coalition is dead because he cannot win with it intact. But he cannot win either the nomination or presidency with the narrow focus of his appeal. This is why I find Mike Huckabee’s tactics and candidacy so deplorable.

I’ve re-read this about six times and it strikes me merely as a series of non-sequiturs. Here’s the “logic”:

  • Huckabee is using his faith as a weapon to deflect conservative criticism of his populism: Check.
  • He wants GOP voters to believe the Reagan coalition is dead because if it is not, he cannot “win”
  • He cannot win with such a narrow focus
  • “This” is deplorable.

This is just such utter gobbledygook I don’t know what to do with it. The first point, actually, is interesting. But the second point — wha? The “Reagan coalition” consisted of conservative voters plus blue-collar, mainly unionized voters who tended to vote Democrat but who were moved by appeals to anti-abortion policies and strong foreign policy, and it mainly held for two elections. It was not the coalition between evangelicals and secular and Catholic conservatives. What does this have to do with what Levin is saying in the first point — or with Huckabee at all?

Then his last two points: He will lose, because he is reading someone — is it non-evangelical GOP voters? blue collar Democrats? free-love libertarians? — out of his electoral base… and “this” is what is deplorable.

It’s deplorable that he is going to lose — not even get the nomination, you say? If he loses, that’s good, because you don’t like him, right Mark? Isn’t it good if a political tactic you don’t like will lose? Or, it’s deplorable because it’s dishonest — how, again?

It sounds actually pretty honest: I am a real evangelical, says Huckabee, not a fake one, which frankly Ronald Reagan (an immensely greater man than Huckabee will ever be, but no evangelical) was; and if evangelicals want to try to control the party, I’m the man to do it. Sounds very honest.

It’s dishonest, maybe, because he is cloaking populism in the mantle of religious belief? Well, what is your source, Mark, for the proposition that populism is not consistent with being evangelical? From here — I’m not an evangelical, obviously — but it seems as if it is very consistent. He is daring the evangelicals to try to take control of the GOP. He’ll likely fail, but is there something “deplorable” about running on an actual discernible political platform just because it’s a platform neither Mark Levin nor Ron Coleman is likely to vote for?

I guess I understand why there are no comments on The Corner.

Cross-posted at Likelihood of Success.

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