The EFM Feature

Every conservative evangelical in South Carolina should read Arkansas writer David Sanders’ Wall Street Journal piece on Governor Huckabee. He writes — with ample proof — that “no one has articulated the message of the religious left more effectively than Mr. Huckabee.” And Sanders knows what he’s talking about — he used to work for Governor Huckabee.
More from the piece:

The core of Mr. Huckabee’s support, of course, comes from evangelical voters. Couching his policy positions in the language of faith and morality, Mr. Huckabee portrays himself as the dream candidate of the religious right. In October, he boasted to a gathering of conservative Christian activists: “I don’t come to you, I come from you.” The “language of Zion,” he said, was “his mother tongue and not a recently acquired second language.” Echoing the Gospels, he told the Des Moines Register editorial board that the essence of what made him tick was: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” He admitted that his faith shapes his policy, but “if [voters] understand in what way, I think that they will say ‘good, that’s the kind of policy we would like.’ ”
But one wonders whether his newfound supporters would really say that if they took a close look at his policies. With increasing frequency, Mr. Huckabee invokes his faith when advocating greater government involvement in just about every aspect of American life. In doing so, Mr. Huckabee has actually answered the prayers of the religious left.

Please, please, please — read the whole thing. It’s one thing for conservative evangelicals to vote for a conservative evangelical rather than a conservative Mormon. But it’s another thing entirely to spurn a Mormon who shares our values for a liberal evangelical, and that’s what Governor Huckabee is.
There’s much more to being a conservative than social issues. Take it from one of his former aides: Governor Huckabee ain’t got it. And combining him with the liberal Democrats and spend-happy Republicans who run Congress will not produce good results — no matter how much we may like where he goes to church.
P.S.: Anytime anybody calls Governor Huckabee out for being the liberal he is, he and his backers claim that only the “DC/Manhattan axis” or “Wall Street” or the “elites” question his conservative bona fides. The excellent writing of David Sanders — who writes from Little Rock and used to work for Governor Huckabee — shows otherwise.
Simply put, the religious left’s new spokesman has no business being the nominee of the Republican Party, and it’s sad that the Huckabee camp’s counterargument revolves around fomenting class-based resentment (“Our opponents are rich and are trying to buy the election!”) and some sort of silly geographic rivalry.
Then again, Governor Huckabee’s habit of drawing from the left’s bag of tricks — class warfare and identity politics — does underline David Sanders’ whole point.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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