“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”
- E.B. White
The New Hampshire primary is history. The net result on the Republican side of the ledger is that we have an old Phoenix who’s risen from the ashes, an aristocrat with two silvers and a gold, and a populist/preacher who just won’t seem to go away. The Republican race is still wide open.
As it has been since the beginning, experts are still dismissing Mike Huckabee’s chances. He seems too populist in his economic views for the Republican elite and he's too religious and fundamental for just about all the pundits. Mike’s response is the same as it has been since the beginning. He’s moving on to Michigan, where there are lots and lots of blue collar workers who’ve lost their jobs to someone “over there” they’ve never met before. And, then there’s South Carolina, with all those Baptists, Pentecostals, and assorted holy rollers. These are the constituencies, the Reagan Democrats and the values voters, that the Republican Party has presumed upon since 1980. It’s been a dangerous assumption, based on the flawed notion that as long as the powerful occasionally dropped a crumb or two off their table of wealth the folks wielding the assembly line tools and toting the leather-bound King James Bibles would continue to toe the Party line. Well, as Porgy once famously said, “It ain’t necessarily so.”
I’d be foolish to say how my candidate will fare when the last “trump” is sounded on election 2008, but I do feel bold enough to proclaim that the high and mighty in the G.O.P. had better wake up to a new reality. They can skewer Mike Huckabee all they want, but that won’t change things. They can dismiss his following as a bunch of Jesus freaks, tattooed assembly line workers, or “ham and eggers” till the cows come home, but the fact is – Mike has struck a chord. His message is hitting the mark.
For weeks now, the Republican elite have been parroting the nonsense that Mike Huckabee is a delusional fool. To them, he’s nothing more than a “smallstate governor who doesn’t believe in Darwin.” That’s not likely to change any time soon. In fact, the attacks on his populism, religion, guitar playing, and God knows what else are probably going to become more intense as the campaign wheels continue to roll. But, that’s alright. As Mike said to Jay Leno last week, “If a fella’ can’t stand the sight of his own blood, he shouldn’t be in politics.”
So, as a Huckabee supporter feeling his oats, I say, “Let the politickin’ begin in earnest.” My candidate has gotten to where he is right now without money or conventional political wisdom. There’s no need for him to start genuflecting to them now. Like David with his five smooth stones, he’s shed the approved Party armor and set out across the valley, armed with a powerful message. In about a month we’ll probably know whether or not David got Goliath or vice versa. But, for right now, as it has been for a couple of weeks, the stars and planets still seem rightly aligned. Mike Huckabee is alive, kickin’, pickin’, and politickin.’ And, the fact that he’s now rattling the cages of the high and mighty makes it all the sweeter. Ain’t politics grand!