Friday, January 11, 2008

Time for a Metamucil Moment

“Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.”
- Ronald Reagan

I got the following comment on yesterday:

“Please write a post with the title “Why Mike Huckabee Should Be President.” I know you are fond of him, but I don't get why I should be. Sell me. Pitch me. Hit me with your best shot.”

The comment came from Minnesota, land of the erudite and phlegmatic, land of Eugene McCarthy, Garrison Keillor, Jesse “the Body” Ventura, Warren Burger, J. Paul Getty, Winona Ryder, Charles Schultz, Bob Dylan and Walter Mondale.

I can’t tell whether or not the commenter really wanted my best shot, but then, Minnesotans are a hard lot to figure out. Aren’t they the folks who elected Jesse Ventura governor? And wasn’t it Jesse who spent a good part of his adult life festooned with feather boas, prancing around a wrestling ring in leotards? What possible pitch could I make on behalf of Mike Huckabee that would top that?

What is it about Mike that makes him so appealing, anyway? What’s the logic behind his improbable rise?

One of the assumptions that seems to be built into the questions about him is that he’s all personality and no substance. It’s a false assumption. For those who care to, Governor Huckabee has outlined his positions, listed here, on a myriad of issues, including international affairs, sanctity of life, education, taxes, immigration, etc. - nineteen in all. Fred Thompson, by comparison, has only outlined eleven, Rudy Giuliani fifteen, John McCain eleven, and Ron Paul a one size fits all - hide in the closet isolationism.

But, there’s more to Mike Huckabee’s appeal than position papers.

Why do I like Mike so much? For the same reason I prefer Shane over Sergio Leone’s “spaghetti westerns?” For the same reason I prefer “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Christmas time over “Bad Santa.” For the same reason I prefer Michelangelo and Vermeer over Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. For the same reason I prefer Dublin over Paris or Prague over Amsterdam. For the same reason I prefer baseball over football. For the same reason I prefer Pentecostalism over my Episcopal roots. For the same reason I prefer the politics of uplift and inspiration to the politics of axe grinding and sterility.

That may not make much sense to the esteemed and learned in the Republican Party, but I don’t think it needs to. I like Mike! I like his vertical politics. I like Mike! As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

This morning on MSNBC, Governor Huckabee was asked to comment on Fred Thompson’s attacks in last night’s Republican debate. “I think Fred Thompson needs to take some Metamucil,” Mike responded. You gotta’ love a man like that.

Hopefully, Fred will take the advice. He needs a good “constitutional.” Come to think of it, it might not be bad advice for some of Mike Huckabee’s detractors in Minnesota. A dose or two or ten of Metamucil might help loosen the strangle holds their leotards and feather boas have on them.


billy r said...

Huckabee, I really dislike and am ashamed of your Metamucil comment just showed me a bit of immaturity. That's not what I want in a president. Sorry Huck you just lost my vote.

Douglas said...

I only moved to Minnesota in 1999, after Jesse Ventura was elected Governor.

So the policy wonkery is not what gets you excited, but the unashamed Christian witness Huckabee displays. That's what I get from reading your post. Fair enough.

On the other hand, to a lot of Christians, Jimmy Carter as president seemed like a good idea at the time, but there's just no getting around the fact that he did a poor job president, and a worse job as an ex-president. Huckabee has reminded a lot of pundits and bloggers of Jimmy Carter, as in here, here and here.

I can't really argue with your enthusiasm, but I can ask you to say how Mike Huckabee will be a better president than Jimmy Carter.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Douglas, Jimmy Carter may have been a Christian but the policies he promoted were not. He was a very strong promoter of the gay agenda. I guess Carter forgot that homosexuality is against Christianity. Huckabee actually stands with the Bible, and not against it. He is no Carter.