Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday's open line. Plus, scales fall from eyes on Mike Huckabee

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Here's the open line and today's video roundup. Also:

* IF YOU KNEW THE HUCKSTER LIKE WE KNEW THE HUCKSTER: I always thought Mike Huckabee got an easy ride from national media in his 2008 race for president. Happy warrior? Not the thin-skinned, graspy, vindictive politician we'd come to know so well. It would appear that some national media are questioning that image a bit now, too, the latest in this article in Salon. They are giving more attention to to the bodacious pronouncement he's so prone to make and less likely to write them off as brush arbor preacher foolishness.

The truth is a little more complicated. Huckabee’s campaign would’ve been just as nasty in his attack ads against Mitt Romney if his campaign had been able to afford attack ads against Mitt Romney. And those “nice” Evangelical social conservatives who dominate the Iowa Republican base also tended to be kinda-sorta… Let’s just say that, while trailing in campaign funds, the ordained Baptist pastor had a certain built-in advantage over the Mormon.

But there was a mean streak to him then — a “thin-skinned” quality, as Arkansas political observers noted at the time. His career ever since that run has been a gradual unearthing of that trait to the point where it’s overwhelmed whatever “charm” there ever was. Much like his fellow conservatives, that meanness has been encouraged by the presidency of President Barack Obama, about whom Huckabee has had much to say from his various lucrative media platforms.

It’s not just about Obama. Huckabee’s nastiness, twinned with that other latent-but-not-anymore quirk of his, weird vulgarity, is on full display in his new book, Guns, God, Grits and Gravy. (God, depending on how humble He’s being at any given time, would only approve of one of those things.) Early excerpts suggest that Guns, God, Grits and Gravy will be a masterpiece of The Insane, or at least a “non-traditional” pre-presidential campaign book.

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