The Corner

Contradictions of Social Conservatism

Huckabee’s Mormon smear recalls a line of Sherlock Holmes: “It seems to me, Ryder, that there is the making of a very pretty villain in you” (The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle).

But some of those complaining now have themselves paved the way, for Mitt Romney is not the first Republican candidate to be condemned by social conservatives on dubiously relevant grounds. If you reject Giuliani because he thinks that Judith Nathan is his wife, then why shouldn’t Huckabee reject Romney because he thinks Lucifer is Jesus’ brother?

I don’t want bad living or bad theology if I can help it, but I will put up with either if I get good government in the bargain. I will put up with it more willingly if I get great leadership too.

I wish the social cons for Romney well in their Huckabee firefight. They asked for it, if they didn’t foresee it.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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