Thursday, January 10, 2008


Daniel Casse from Commentary:
It was a remarkable thing to see how Mike Huckabee worked his way out of a clever question about whether he really believes women should submit graciously to their husbands, as has been widely reported. He made jokes, clarified the context, but then explicated the Biblical verse from Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians without ever sounding defensive. There has never been a politician in America who knows how to mix religion and politics, Scripture and personal belief the way Huckabee
does, and in doing so, he shows how awkward and foolish Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Ralph Reed were. There is so much politically to dislike about Huckabee, but he is formidable.

His "The gates of hell with the terrorists" was a good example of this.

Why can't we nominate Huck to a debate season with Christopher Hitchens?


E said...

Democrats listened in horror as Huckabee told the Iranian boat pilots to take a good look at the Navy boats because the next thing they would see was the gates of hell, and Thompson echoed that if they came another inch closer they would see if their 72 virgins showed up. Predictably, the men in Luntz's focus group loved the tougher Fred and some of the women were bothered by his aggressiveness. He went after Huckabee in a big way. Huckabee played the front runner. I felt bad for Ron Paul - all the other candidates make fun of him, and the crowd laughs every time he starts talking. I did like how he refused to let Chris Wallace push him to the kooky fringe with his first "will you denounce your kooky supporters" question. I thought they all did well and Fred ran away with it. That was the Fred I've been wanting to see and I hope he gets a lift.

E said...

I don't think you can cast the war in religious terms and get very far in America in 2008. He will regret it.

Dude said...

I was surprised that the focus group thought Fred won. Most of what I hear from Thompson are criticisms of what the other candidates say. He had more original content than usual but I'm still not sold on him.

I thought Huckabee hit it out of the park on that religious question. His response could have been no better had it been written by Hollywood scriptwriters. That was a great moment how he turned the intent of the question against the questioner by elucidating the flaw in the context and then turning it into a missive of how his religion should be background to his politics. That was a big moment for Huck. He outright told the electorate to hear the message without getting mired in the prejudice that goes with his former job as pastor. He sold me - I'm moving him up my depth chart.

I felt bad for Paul too. You don't want to see a guy get laughed at onstage. Although it should not be long before he packs his bags as the skeletons are beginning to tumble out of the closet. He embarrassed himself a bit with his ranting but he also made some laudable points.

Marci pointed out that the Fox coverage seemed to be attempting to steer the candidates into realigning the party with the Reagan philosophy. This is the first GOP debate she's watched - I guess since I've been interested in the Dems, she is returning the favor. I've admitted that I like Obama and I think he would make a fine president if it comes to that. He's just too liberal for me to vote for.

E said...

I think I heard "Reagan" about 15 times in the first 15 minutes. Enough already, none of you is Reagan and none of you were connected to Reagan. Definitely Fox was trying to influence the party line. I listened to Obama's Iowa speech the morning after Iowa and found myself rooting for him. I thought, "I can see why people like this guy," and then I felt kind of dirty. I told a friend and he said he watched it, identified, and thought the same thing. So even though the smart money is on the Clinton machine, I now understand why Obama is so popular. Our culture, like most, is easily enamored with an attractive, well-spoken, charismatic leader.

Dude said...

Actually, Giuliani was appointed by Reagan way back when. It never hurts to mention Reagan just as it never hurts Dems to mention Kennedy. They were each the last best example of their party. The problem with Dems is that the Kennedy they remember was the dancing with movie stars and making girls swoon - their politics are more aligned with LBJ than JFK.

I followed the race in '92 and came to despise the Clintons. When he was elected, it put me in a funk for awhile until I realized that no one man can screw up our great nation beyond repair. I'm trying to avoid the funk this time around by finding a Dem I can live with and then rooting for him. Hillary will put me in the funk but Obama will just make me look forward to taking back Congress in 2010: The Year We Make Contact with Reagan.

Tom said...

Paul's campaign could have been about real ideas but he instead boosted his numbers by playing to the anti-war element which is not only a finite group within the party, but it gives the average voter the idea that libertarian philosophy is even kookier than they first thought.

Did he quote Ludwig von Mises last night? If he had stuck to economics, it could have pushed the other candidates to focus on money and taxes, but he's not going to effect foreign policy with his 1930s world view.

The best part of last night is how many legitimate candidates the Republicans have. I just hope they select the right one.

E said...

Good point Dude, I remember reading something Abe Lincoln said about term limits and checks and balances meaning that no single president can screw up the country too bad. Small comfort right now, though.

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