This is an awesome article written for Catholic.org. It may be time to check Huckabee’s pockets for five small stones:
Let Huckabee Speak, Let Huckabee Run… and check his pocketa
The likelihood of the Governor from Hope taking on the Goliath of the Republican establishment and winning the Republican nomination seems minimal.However, has anyone checked his pockets? There just might be five smooth stones in there.
LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online)- I arrived home late from Washington D.C. Thursday evening. So, I could only watch a portion of the Republican debate which was held in Florida before its winner takes all primary.
I will leave to others to summarize who said what and why the Republican candidates did not attack one another this time. After all, we have to be kind to the chattering class these days; they need to make a living and their numbers seem to be growing.
I simply want to call attention to one dimension of the event, the allotment of time given to the candidates. Perhaps someone can tell me why Mitt Romney, the newest favorite of the Republican Party establishment and elite since Giuliani made his strategic error, got 22 minutes to present his positions and Mike Huckabee, the new whipping boy of the same group, only got 11 minutes?
I suggest it may be for the same reason that Huckabee continues to be treated by so many party pundits, such as Charles Krauthammer, with condescension.
He is a threat to their long standing hold on power within that Party.
How often have we been told by one pundit after another that the former Governor from Arkansas is the “Evangelical” candidate with little chance of winning?
How many times has he been savaged by radio commentators for not being a “true conservative” because he does not carry the water of those who for so long have ruled the roost of a Party which rebuilt itself on the backs of pro-life religious voters but never really found a “place at the table” for them.
The annoying condescension directed toward Huckabee in the columns of conservatives and neo-conservatives and the inane comments from television pundits and panels are getting old.
The latest example of this condescension was Charles Krauthammer’s Jan 25th piece in the Washington Post. He came right out and told the readers that the former Governor from Arkansas was not going to win. He then offered him the written equivalent of a demeaning pat on the head and saying that he ‘meant well’:
“Mike Huckabee is not going to be president. The loss in South Carolina, one of the most highly evangelical states in the union, made that plain. With a ceiling of 14 percent among nonevangelical Republicans, Huckabee’s base is simply too narrow. But his was not a rise and then a fall.
He came from nowhere to establish himself as the voice of an important national constituency. Huckabee will continue to matter, and he might even carry enough remaining Southern states to wield considerable influence at a fractured Republican convention.”
Frankly, I am tired of hearing the same talking points from the pundits against Governor Huckabee. It is no accident that the real opposition to his candidacy has come, not from Democrats, but from Republicans.
Perhaps they are afraid of him because he presents a fresh vision and a coherent worldview which calls into question their own confused approach. Perhaps he is also perceived as a threat to their control over the future agenda of the Republican Party at a critical time in its history.
Huckabee’s manner and his message, when he is allowed to speak, strike a chord with many people from a broad spectrum of increasingly disillusioned voters. Because of that, the elites try to marginalize him through condescension, like Krauthammer did.
Or , worse yet, they unleash vitriol against him, such as what Mark Levin stooped to in his Thursday talk radio program when he made himself small by crude remarks against this good man .
The attacks against the Governor from Huckabee have followed a predictable pattern.
First, there was the way in which his “Evangelical appeal” was treated by these media personalities. I have been around for a long time, and I never accepted the idea that evangelicals Protestants were ever really welcome in the ruling ranks of the Republican Party.
As a pro-life, pro-marriage and family, pro-freedom and pro-poor Catholic, I found myself by their side many times, simply because I had to leave the Democratic Party when that once great party of the working man and women stopped up their ears to the cry of the poor in the womb.
However, I was never under any delusion that I was welcome in the Republican Party. However, I actually think that some evangelical Protestants really thought they had found, to use the rhetoric of Ralph Reed, one of the architects of the “religious right”, a “place at the table” among the party elite.
The way that Huckabee and his evangelical supporters are now being treated by the Republican establishment should expose the truth and calls this judgment into serious question. It also exposes the weakness in the garment which was hastily sewn together by combining pro-life religious people and the old blue blood fiscal conservatives of the old Republican …
The strategy against Huckabee’s candidacy emanating from what calls itself conservativism today has been an evolving one.
Second, he was attacked for being a “populist”, as if that is a bad thing. Frankly, I found his concern for real people, in their real struggles, a refreshing wind in a party filled with hot air and empty promises.
In addition, his genuine concern for the poor and his plans to help expand opportunity and make sure that the market economy was at the service of the person and the family and not the other way around, seems to this Catholic to be an example of good Catholic social teaching, even if it comes from a former Southern Baptist minister.
Finally, he was accused of being a “progressive”. Once again, as if “progressive” is a bad word. I would welcome a debate on just what really constitutes progress with those on the left, and particularly with those within the lunatic nihilist fringe who have usurped the word “progressive” using it as a banner under which to parade their increasingly bizarre social and cultural vision.
I for one believe that true progress passes through the two parent marriage bound family, the first vital cell of any healthy society. Marriage and family are not an antiquated institution. They frame the path to the future. Also, true progress will only occur when we recognize in law the inherent dignity of every human person, at every age and every stage, from conception to natural death. There is nothing progressive about killing children in the womb and failing to care for the disabled and the elderly.
I think a real debate on just what constitutes real and true progress is just what is needed in the arena of public policy.
Now, Huckabee is aging being parodied, painted as some kind of ignorant “fundamentalist” Christian who will force all Americans to believe like he does. This is one more despicable effort to disparage this intelligent and good man by playing on old bigoted stereotypes.
How many times must he be wrongly been accused of wanting to amend the Constitution so as to somehow force “the Bible” on people as if he were a theocrat? It happened once again this morning when he made the rounds of the morning talk shows. Again, he handled it with dignity and exposed the lie.
When you read or hear what he actually says about both his support for a human life amendment to the US Constitution and his support of an amendment to protect authentic marriage against encroaching counterfeits seeking a legal equivalency, he is in line with most Americans. I am one of them. And, I am not an Evangelical Protestant. I am a Catholic.
When this new former Governor from Hope, Arkansas is allowed to speak, the words that come out of his mouth make sense, reveal an intelligent set of political ideas, inspire and continue to win the support of many more people than Charles Krauthammer thinks. In fact, Mr. Krauthammer has paid little attention to the growing appeal of this candidate across socio-economic, racial, religious and even party lines.
I have written about the Governors candidacy at length. He has been kind enough to give me two excellent interviews for Catholic Online. Frankly, I found him to be the most clearly pro-life, pro-family and pro-poor candidate in the current Republican field.
There is no doubt that he does not fit the mold of either the Limbaugh “conservative” wing of the Republican party, or the “neo-conservative” wing of the Republican party. Though, to his credit, Bill Kristol has recently begun to speak well of Huckabee. Finally, he worries the establishment wing of the Republican Party.
I, for one, find all of this quite exciting not disturbing. Perhaps it is time for just such a shake up in a party that has stumbled a lot lately.
I have one request of the media for the rest of this short primary season. Let Huckabee speak. Then, let the American people decide.
Friday morning when he made the circuit of talk shows I once again found myself glued to the screen at his articulate responses. As usual, they revealed him to be a kind, affable man who makes good sense. One of the commentators noted that she had been told that the Governor was training for the Boston marathon.
In response, Governor Huckabee smiled and confirmed that what she had heard was true. He noted that the training was hard, particularly given the schedule he must keep campaigning. Finally, he acknowledged that he did not know how well he would do, but told the interviewer that he knew that he just wanted to finish.
I could not help but think of the current Presidential campaign. I, for one, want to see him continue in this race to the finish. Who knows how it will all turn out? This been a race which no-one could have even predicted two months ago.
This week, our Old Testament readings at the daily Catholic Liturgy have followed the exploits of David, from his unlikely selection through his anointing and, on Wednesday, we heard of his heroism and triumph against the giant Goliath.
It is all recorded in the Biblical book of Samuel. Wednesday’s reading told of David’s preparations to take on the giant Goliath. The scriptures record that he selected five smooth stones from the Wadi which he placed in his pouch. He would later slay Goliath with those stones and a small slingshot.
The likelihood of the Governor from Hope taking on the Goliath of the Republican establishment and winning the Republican nomination seems minimal.
However, has anyone checked his pockets?
There just might be five smooth stones in there.