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Ah, yes. In his maiden New York Times column, Bill Kristol is making the case for Huckabee. This should be taken as recognition by the “foreign policy” wing of the GOP coalition, aka the neocon wing, that they can live with Huck. And why not? He’s as close to orthodox on America abroad as they could want. He, like George W., brings ignorance to the table. So what’s the problem? The problem, of course, lies with the Club for Growth types in the “economic” wing of the party–those political geniuses who mostly like to find places where they can prove that they matter. They’ll find a way to come around too.
The point here is that Kristol, whose experience with the real GOP deal is deep, understands that social conservativism has, since 1980, been the engine driving Republican electoral success. And none of the other GOP candidates can deliver it in a way that will impel “values voters”–evangelicals–to the polls. For true political insiders, electoral success always matters most; it’s got to. Huckabee bids fair to be the compassionate conservative that W. only talked about being. Faced with the prospect of Democratic control of both houses and the presidency, the GOP establishment will, sooner rather than later, grit its teeth and put their money down on Huck. The question is: How many time can they go to the same well?