In short, handle Huckabee with care. Oppose him, if you wish, but do so in a way that preserves both his dignity and those of the people for whom he speaks so eloquently. Otherwise sooner or later they will find another home, and it will not be in the Republican Party.So said Lee Harris, former Southern Baptist parishioner and now a contributor at Tech Central Station. Would Huck go there if pushed? He just might. The question is, would anyone follow?
Harris's idea that mainstream conservatives are being a little too hard on the Huckster has been floating around here and there, albeit without the indy threat. It's not a stretch to think he maintains more loyalty to the Lord than to the Grand Ole Party since we've already learned that he gave up the ministry and entered politics more to save souls than to lower taxes or cut the size of government. His record speaks of that.
Whether his current followers would follow him to a third (or should we say 'fourth party' since Ron Paul will surely run) is more of a wildcard, though. If the Huck surge is coming mostly off the carcasses of Fred and Rudy then maybe not. Perhaps those voters are simply looking for a genuine-sounding person they can get behind. Huck is good at giving that feeling. As Allah says, he's also apparently a master at surprising people as well. For proof just compare his effectiveness with the candidacy of another minister, Pat Robertson.
By the way, if Paul and Huckabee DO go independent shall we expect to hear a general hoorah from the left? After all, they're usually the ones leading the bash chorus about our broken two-party system even though none of their candidates are likely to venture that direction.
At any rate, Mr. Harris makes a good point about Huck-bashing. The level of intensity within the party is really quite fascinating and can only be explained by an uncomfortableness with God and especially the "J word". I share some of his roots (the Bible thing rang true) and can understand where he's coming from without calling him a fundie nutcake.
At the same time his suggestion that such anti-religious venom will lead to a mass mutiny sounds a little like his criticism of the secular Republicans for stereotyping evangelicals/Christians as sheep marching in flockstep to heir Dobson. Southern Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists can think for themselves, and good Lord willing they'll understand that splitting the party is likely to produce eight more years of the dreaded Clintoons.