Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rudy and the Huckster

Pat Buchanan isn't buying into republican Rudy:

A Giuliani presidency would represent the return and final triumph of the Republicanism that conservatives went into politics to purge from power. A Giuliani presidency would represent repudiation by the party of the moral, social and cultural content that, with anti-communism, once separated it from liberal Democrats and defined it as an institution.

Rudy offers the right the ultimate Faustian bargain: retention of power at the price of one's soul.

I like and respect Mr. Buchanan, who might be called, with some justice, the last conservative. It's good to see he's unwilling to sell his soul. But I'm still waiting to see who he backs in the race. My hat has already been thrown in for Ron Paul, but Buchanan will probably wait until closer in the election before he decides who to support.

It's becoming increasingly clear that not only can Rudy not beat Hillary, but he's unlikely to prove a strong enough candidate even to pose a challenge to her ascendancy. I don't think the republicans are necessarily interested in winning, but it's imperative to make it look close when you throw an election.

Huckabee has been getting some press, but it's unclear whether he's going to be given the VP slot to appease the religious right, or whether he's going to be given a shot at the presidency. And while he gives the appearance of being to the right of Giuliani, McCain and Romney, and probably Thompson, the Huckster has a bit of a nasty reputation:

Phyllis Schlafly, president of the national Eagle Forum, is even more blunt. "He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles," she says. "Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee."

Mr. Huckabee's reluctance to surround himself with conservatives was evident as governor, when he kept many agency heads appointed by Bill Clinton. Zac Wright, a spokesman for incoming Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, was asked this year why 15 Huckabee agency heads had been retained. Most of them were "Clinton people," he replied, not "Huckabee people." Mr. Huckabee told me many of his agency heads had "apolitical" responsibilities.

I suggest that it might not behoove the republicans to appoint someone who is in anyway positively connected to Bill Clinton since the reason we're supposed to vote republican is so that we can defeat his wife. Still, he's polling at twelve percent, which tells me that the religious right hasn't ruled out the possibility of being duped again into supporting a faux-conservative.

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