The Campaign Spot

Does Huckabee’s Rise Really Demonstrate a ‘Complex, Diverse’ Christian Right?

I also have to disagree with Michael Medved’s contention that “Huck’s campaign demonstrates that the so-called ‘Christian Right’ is more complex and diverse than commonly assumed.’

The case from Medved:

In fact, very few prominent Christian Conservatives have endorsed the Arkansas Traveler – Romney in particular has drawn back from more famous Evangelicals than has Huckabee, while many others support Thompson, McCain or even Guiliani – just ask Pat Robertson. In other words, contrary to the Washington Post’s infamous (and long ago) description of Christian conservatives as “poor, uneducated and easily led,” the Evangelical community is decidedly split in this campaign. In addition to its other revelations, the Huckabee campaign shows that conservative Christians represent no dangerous or monolithic cult, but a diverse, complex and politically maturing community.

Well, perhaps. But each one of Huckabee’s rivals has garnered endorsements from prominent figures in the religious right community; Huckabee has come the closest to unifying the rank-and-file of the community behind him. In other words, the leadership may be split, but the “diverse, complex and politically maturing” community seems to be lining up behind Huckabee in a way they haven’t for any other candidate.
What it is enormously frustrating to the true anti-Huck folks like Ace of Spades and Dan Riehl is that the evangelicals will vote for, as Fred Thompson put it, a “pro-life liberal.” These guys look at Huckabee and see conservatism on one area – social issues – and see not much elsewhere: populism on economics, a thin resume on foreign policy, some squishiness on crime, and an open-hearted view toward illegal immigrants that they conclude amounts to amnesty. They’re talking about backing the Democratic candidate if Huckabee’s the nominee, if for no other reason than to ensure the catastrophic results of liberal policies are associated with Democrats and not Republicans.

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