by Max Brantley
Readers mentioned this yesterday. Here's a link to NPR's "Political Junkie," a 30-minute discussion of the Mike Huckabee candidacy including participation by John Brummett. The Club for Growth is touting it for Brummett's purported agreement that Huckabee is no economic conservative.
Here, a Weekly Standard writer notes the Huckabee surge but also writes of the problem that remains from the big-money backbone of the Republican Party.
While the national parties don't exactly have Star Chambers complete with powerful insiders wearing monk's hoods and pulling party strings from a candlelit secret chamber under either the AFL-CIO or Halliburton (depending on the side in question), there is a leadership elite within each party. It is mostly felt on the finance side with big fundraisers and bundling lobbyists buzzing among themselves. These people are mostly pragmatists and many are in DC's professional influence business.
The talk now will be about Huckabee and it won't be good. Most Republican mega-donors don't like Christian candidates. Such candidates have a bad tendency when nominated to bring both general election wipe-outs and problems with big donors' wives, who tend to be pro-choice and socially closer to the local country club than the neighborhood fundamentalist church. Huckabee, with his purist's stand on social issues and a half-baked tax plan with little appeal outside GOP primaries, doesn't look like a winner in a general election, especially at a time when the Republican party is beset with terrific image problems. This is a tough-minded crowd that would rather shoot a slow horse than ride one out of the convention.
While these forces cannot for certain stop Huckabee if he is able to catch fire beyond Iowa, they can make his task much harder.