Readers of this blog will know that it has taken a rather dyspeptic view of Mike Huckabee’s incarnation as Republican Party shill. When Alaska Rep. Don (“Bridge to Nowhere”)Young is one of your designated faves, you’ve got a lot to answer for, in my book. Equally, there’s been nothing on Huckabee’s blog to indicate any interest in promoting the mildly progressive, anti-Club For Growth point of view that distinguished his presidential candidacy last Fall.
Now comes an interview with Sojourners’ Jim Wallis in which Huck talks the progressive talk again, including a straight-up smackdown of the GOP’s anti-tax, anti-government wing–which he terms “libertarian.” As in:
One of the things I’m frustrated about is that Republicans have been infiltrated by hardcore libertarians. Traditional Republicans don’t hate all forms of government. They just want it to be efficient and effective. They recognize that it has a place and a role.
Growing numbers of people in the Republican Party are just short of anarchists in the sense that they basically say, “Just cut government and cut taxes.” They don’t understand that if you do that, there are certain consequences that do not help problems. It exacerbates them…
One of the most refreshing things beginning to happen is that there’s movement within the evangelical world, that people are accepting social responsibility as a vital part of the gospel presentation. I find that delightful! The old days of “get saved, go to church, go to Heaven, and that’s it” have become eclipsed by “get your hands dirty, this is a world of hurt, you’ve got to help it.” That’s a much healthier assessment of the gospel and how it relates to us.
So far as I can see, however, there’s no evidence that Huck is interested in, as the social scientists say, operationalizing these sentiments. If, in choosing candidates to support, he’s done anything to separate HuckPac wheat from libertarian tares, I don’t see it. And rather than lend his at least tacit support to Rick Warren’s August 16 confab with Mssrs. McCain and Obama, he’s joining hands with such unreconstructed religious right characters as Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to remind McCain and Obama of the abortion-and-gay-marriage straight and narrow. So much for broadening the evangelical agenda.
Presumably setting his sights on 2012, Huck just seems to want to have it both ways.