This is not my favorite post to write, as I find myself in disagreement with a number of bloggers that I respect and enjoy reading, but it seems the Republican primary is taking an ugly turn with the aid of many on my side of the political aisle. (I’m not voting for the Democrat, so I don’t really care how Obama and Hillary go at it.)
Mike Huckabee has surged to the top tier, even into a semi-front runner status. His acendency has brought out the long knives from many conservatives. The latest attack is one that goes against Huckabee’s history as a Baptist pastor and vilifies him for holding a Baptist doctrine. What makes the attack worse is that conservatives have stooped to getting “dirt” from The Daily Kos and using arguments proposed by radical feminist against Christianity and Huckabee.
I’m not a huge Mike Huckabee supporter. He’s one of several flawed candidates that I am considering voting for in the GOP primary and would vote for in the general election. Having said that, much of the recent attacks (and they have been attacks) are complete gutter politics and we, conservatives, should be better than that.
Other candidates should go after Huckabee (please do) on his stances on immigration, size and scope of the federal government, spending, taxes, etc. The more I know about the issues through candidates comparing and contrasting their beliefs the better of I am come election time.
However, much of the recent Huckabee “news” has been below the belt leaks and insinuations by rival campaigns, I believe it to be fairly clear which campaign. We have reached the bottom of the barrel when we are scrapping up demagogary from Markos “Screw ’em” Moulitsas, which is the original blog discussing Huckabee’s signing of an ad that supported the Southern Baptist position on marriage.
In the comments at Hot Air, you can find some comparing this to Islamic rule and denigration of the women. Bryan, an evangelical blogger at Hot Air, clears up the scriptural backing for the position and the real meaning of the Southern Baptist statement, but the insinuation is already out there.
While Allahpundit at Hot Air is posting that. Ace is peddling rumors that Huckabee’s weight loss is from surgery. The linked blogged has no real knowledge of anything, but basically has tons of tons of second-hand information, graphs and photos which conclude that Huckabee looks like he had gastric bypass surgery. And THE source for news on the internet, Matt Drudge, has made it his job to post every new piece of negative information on Huckabee he can get, including the contents of a 10-year-old sermon, which isn’t really that controversial, especially in context.
As I said earlier it seems clear from which campaign the attacks are coming. Follow the motives (and the money). The person who has been hurt by Huckabee’s ascendancy in the polls, especially in Iowa, is Mitt Romney. The Massachusetts governor has banked everything on winning early and getting momentum for latter states.
He has recently released the first “attack” ad in the campaign. It’s fairly tame and more about issues, but it shows that the Romney camp is shifting a bit into desperation mode. It seems clear that his staff is working behind the scenes to get out negative stories on Huckabee, especially when you consider that one of his top staffers has a great friendship with Drudge and can work that connection. I’m starting to feel less and less inclined to vote for Romney because of these dirty tricks.
But Huckabee, for whatever reason, seems to want to get down there with Romney and doesn’t seem as slick about it. Romney has his surrogates leak things to Drudge or conservative blogs, but Huckabee doesn’t have any support in the upper echelon of conservative media and bloggers. Maybe he can’t get any of his negative information out, except he do it himself, but regardless this is just stupid. Even in context, it sounds bad and unacceptable for him to be wondering aloud to a reporter about Mormon beliefs in that manner. (Here’s his explanation.)
After all of this, it leaves me in a poor situation. Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter have no real shot. Ron Paul has too many freaky supporters and basically is, well, a loon. Rudy has no real conservative principles, other than “national security.” McCain is looking better every day, but he has is own flaws, especially immigration and campaign finance reform. The Mitt and Mike Religion Show is becoming tiresome and boorish to me and I’m going to get my Masters of Divinity next year. At this point, I’d be in Fred’s camp if he cared enough to campaign, but right now I have to think he just likes being on stage and called a presidential candidate.
Politically speaking, this is depressing.