16 December 2007

Jurassic park

The cat is out of the bag, the chickens are coming home to roost, Frankenstein's monster has awakened to terrorize his master, et cetera cliché ad nauseam.*

The sphere is alight with the heads of Bidness Wingers popping like bottles of sparkling wine over the emergence of Mike Huckabee. The rank-and-file foot soldiers of the Big Jeebus empire have suddenly discovered they don't need the puppet strings of the Bidness elite, and their former puppeteers are in a huff something awful. Brad R. of Sadly, No! has been following the coalition crackup this week. He writes:

The GOP has, generally speaking, done close to nothing for its Values Voters, much like the Democrats have done little for union voters in recent years. The reason that unions and the Christian Right keep voting for Democrats and Republicans, respectively, isn’t because those parties support their political interests. Rather, it has to do with voting against the other party, which they see as actively hostile to their interests. Despite being more liberal socially, the cash-rules-everything-around-me, C.R.E.A.M., get-tha’-money dolla-dolla-bill-y’all wing of the GOP has been willing to tolerate the social cons’ views on abortion, gay marriage and Hollywood as long as they don’t interfere with the tax cuts, which are more important than anything else. And besides, it’s not as if the GOP leadership ever planned to enact any of the social cons’ agenda in the first place.
John Cole, an ex-moderate Republican, also has some fine excerpts from The Meltdown.

Having a functioning aristocracy in a democracy means, by necessity, convincing people outside of the aristocracy to support it by promising them some scraps from the table while you continue to take their money. It works, so long as the proles don't realize they can get what they want without the aristocracy's approval. Then along comes Huckabee, fouling up the pool. You can buy off some of the media figureheads of Big Jeebus with their own places in the aristocracy, but the hard-working, salt-of-the-earth inhabitants of Jesusland were promised their thirty shekels, and they're coming to collect the bill.

What's curious, though, is that Huckabee isn't much of the sort of economic populist that really puts the fear in the hearts of the Bidness Wingers. Hell, he even supports the national sales tax pipedream that's long been the golden cow of the hardcore anti-tax crusaders. As I see it, they have two main problems with Mike "Chuckles" Huckabee:

1) He seems to think the first three words of the U.S. Constitution aren't "Fuck the Poor."

2) He's not fully on board the neocon Bombs'n'Torture gravy train.

Their problem, then, rests not so much in Huckabee himself. It's that Huckabee could represent a transitional fossil**, the kind of figure who could separate the loyal rubes of Jesusland from their aristocratic masters. Huckabee himself has only the faintest flickering of real populism***, but he may make the world dangerously safe for Jimmy Carter, and from Carter it's a short road to the ambulatory corpse of William Jennings Bryan terrorizing the heartland, and that's the real Hell they fear.****

*Mixin' languages...

**Yes, a Huckabee-evolution joke. Sadly, I was beaten to the punch, but I couldn't resist anyway.

***Which is why I think Huckabee isn't much of a threat to win the general election. I think he will poll better than he is now (he doesn't have much name recognition yet), but he won't be able to expand much of his populist base outside of conservative Christians, and that won't be enough to carry him. The current Big Bidness Media fascination with him is a curious anomaly, but it will dissipate quickly.

****Bryan wouldn't approve of my blasphemy, of course.