Vantage point

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Republican Civil War Starts!

In an episode of 30Rock, Alec Baldwin's character asks Dennis Duffy, the sleazy ex-boyfriend of Tina Fey's character, what his politics are. He replies without batting an eyelid "social conservative, fiscal liberal". This is supposed to be funny, because a lot of "independents" (such as me) describe themselves as "social liberal, fiscal conservative", but the reverse seems almost absurd.

Meet Mike Huckabee. In what is surely the first salvo in the struggle for the Republican's Party leadership, Huckabee has written a tell-all book in which he attacks anyone and everyone, apart from Chuck Norris. Romney is attacked, as is Thompson and even the evangelicals aren't spared. He also has some unkind words to say about libertarians. He considers them worse than liberals and the biggest threat to the Republican Party TIME reports -

In a chapter titled "Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism," Huckabee identifies what he calls the "real threat" to the Republican Party: "libertarianism masked as conservatism." He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul's Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal-conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people's problems. "I don't take issue with what they believe, but the smugness with which they believe it," writes Huckabee, who raised some taxes as governor and cut deals with his state's Democratic legislature. "Faux-Cons aren't interested in spirited or thoughtful debate, because such an endeavor requires accountability for the logical conclusion of their argument." Among his targets is the Club for Growth, a group that tarred Huckabee as insufficiently conservative in the primaries and ran television ads with funding from one of Huckabee's longtime Arkansas political foes, Jackson T. Stephens Jr.

This is amusing. Forget the concerns that the Republican party might move further to the social right as a result of their resounding loss. If Huckabee has his way, he will move them to the social right and fiscal left! He is also one of three guys who proudly raised his hand when asked at a Republican debate "who does not believe in evolution?". And if that does not make his resume impressive enough, he has also recently started hosting a show on Fox. What a man!

Maybe 30Rock should consider a story arc in which Dennis Duffy becomes a Republican politician.