Which reminds me; here's Jonah the other day:
Irving Kristol has cited the fight over Utah’s statehood as a quintessential expression of how America practices theological pluralism while insisting on moral conformity.
Which, first of all, I don't quite get the point of (which is okay; neither did Jonah). We forced Utah to Constitutionally forbid polygamy, which is what the big tsmisis was about, you should pardon the expression; that would seem to attack "theological pluralism" at least as much as moral heterodoxy, not to mention the fact that the issue of Utah or Utah-esque statehood involved a lot of just plain ol' anti-Mormonism over and above their reproductive proclivities. But after giving the matter some thought, I decided holy fuck, Irving Kristol is still alive. Maybe this is some way explains the attraction for Mitt Romney: both operations are run by superannuated prophets and desicated saints.
Anyway, NatRev endorses Mitt on the eve of his destruction, potentially, in Iowa. which was supposed to kick off the Mitt the Frontrunner campaign to counterbalance his running neck-and-neck with the Fred Thompson Juggernaut nationally, despite having outspent the entire field twice over. He's got a big lead in New Hampshire, but a win there will be discounted and a late Huckamania! surge could taint it, plus there won't be weeks to bask in its glow this time. Romney has to have expected that he'd sweep the two, then make his "If you squint hard enough I'm the only Christian with a chance to win" speech, and at least hurt Rudy among the Christianists. Now he's trailing another religious whacko, and this one's not afraid to say it. If Huckamania doesn't peter out, if lack of money and organization don't do him in, Romney's toast.
(I have to give Huckabee provisional points for his response to the Jesus=Satan flap, for saying he'd try to do better next time, plus he really hadn't gotten the hang of everything he says being amplified. Of course, if he had a staff maybe he would have expected to get Connie Chung'd*, and then he had to go on to gripe about "dumpster diving", which is another way of saying "people looking into my record.")
That NatRev piece spells out the sad state of mental deterioration that comes from locking yourself in a sealed box for several decades.
But [Giuliani] and Mike Huckabee would pull apart the coalition from opposite ends: Giuliani alienating the social conservatives, and Huckabee the economic (and foreign-policy) conservatives. A Republican party that abandoned either limited government or moral standards would be much diminished in the service it could give the country.
[Ed. note: shouldn't that be "lip" service there?]
Imagine, O you Democrats, the luxury of rejecting every candidate who didn't measure up to your every notion of sound social policy or your economic (and foreign-policy) outlook! Personally, I'd be left with George McGovern, and he's not running. Now shift your focus from the peripheral and try to imagine the Infinite Fireball of Hubris that existed twenty-five years ago if the Cosmic Conservative Microwave Background Radiation (CCMBR) can still boil water. Try to imagine what the Universe would look like today if, back then, they'd applied these standards to the divorced, church-avoiding, out-of-wedlock fornicator Ronald Wilson Reagan and his professed admiration for FDR.
Giuliani's out because of abortion and homo nups? Fair enough, but let's hear the end of "Democrats censored Bob Casey" once and for all. Huckabee's too populist? Okey-dokey. This time let's see the End All Social Programs plank get backed up with some paperwork, and you people go back to being the party of permanent-minority 19th century crankiness. You have somehow managed to define the "conservative" "wing" of the party as a pose while simultaneously (and stealthily) rejecting George W. Bush for being a conservative poseur. This is how Christian theologians came to spend several centuries arguing whether Adam and Eve had innies or outies. I'd like to say it is not how we elect a President, but what the hell do I know?
* In the flap that followed his "Rape: lie back and enjoy it" remarks, Bobby Knight said that while Chung "swore like a sailor" during the interview, her bad language was edited out while his own was left in and bleeped.