I just don't know where to start. So how about I try to start with the beginning. Mike Huckabee wants to move the the "mushy middle" out of the Republican Party.
Some argue that Republicans have lost Congress and the White House because they've turned the party over to social and religious conservatives, driving away moderates and independents. Huckabee made precisely the opposite argument.Huckabee is right when he says conservatism is popular. But is it social conservatism that is the winner? Or economic conservatism. Well big spender social conservative Huckabee (who was rightly questioned about his conservative creds) has come down on the side of economic conservatism. Yip e. Nice try Mike. But how can we actually trust you when you didn't walk the walk?
"It's when they move to the mushy middle and get squishy that they get beat," he said.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, argued that the U.S. is a conservative country receptive to Republican ideals.
"Historically, the way we've found our way back to winning, having clear convictions that are conservative and then when elected, act like it," he said. "In every election, when Republicans have had clarity of convictions and those convictions were conservative, they win."
He warned that many Republicans have gone astray by buying into President Barack Obama's big-spending effort to stimulate the economy, a move he called "a big, colossal, utterly disastrous mistake.
"Our Republicans have culpability in that," Huckabee said. "There were some people who questioned whether I was really conservative. I don't want to hear, ever, people ever again talk about how conservative they are if they supported that."
One good thing I can say about Mike. When he puts his finger to the wind he can read its direction accurately.
When it comes to Sarah Palin I must say that her team doesn't even know if there is a wind. Kathleen Parker says the Palin team is inept in handling her scheduling. That may be so but it is not the worst thing they are doing to her. Sarah is being positioned wrong. Her libertarian governance rather than her social conservative personal life should be her image. Why is that? Well let us look at Party Politics and see if a conclusion is possible. Don't worry. I've made up my mind on this a long time ago. And to get what is wrong with the Party we must look at how the electorate is changing.
The Wall Street Journal has a look at what is going on with the electorate.
Independents hold the balance of power in the Obama era. That's the conclusion of a recent, 165-page Pew Research Center survey that shows independent voters climbed to 39% from 30% of the electorate in the five months following the 2008 election. During that same time, Democratic identification fell to 33% from 39%, while Republicans fell four points to 22% -- their lowest since post-Watergate.The Republican Party is obviously in free fall. I also covered this in Playing To An Ever Shrinking Base. The electorate is going independent, libertarian. Fiscally conservative, socially moderate. Which is how Sarah governs. So what are the geniuses of her team doing? Amping up her socon creds. At least Mike Huckabee is smart enough to shift with the wind and go against his past. And Sarah? Going in the other direction and also trying to hide her past. That is nuts.
This is evidence that President Obama's election does not represent a liberal ideological mandate, as House Democrats have claimed. It also shows continued rejection of the Republican brand.
On virtually every policy issue, independents are situated between increasingly polarized Democrats and Republicans. They more accurately reflect centrist national attitudes than the 11% of Americans who describe themselves as liberal Democrats or the 15% who call themselves conservative Republicans.
Independents are nonideological problem-solvers, but they do not have a split-the-difference approach to politics. They are fiscally conservative but socially progressive, with a strong libertarian streak. It's on fiscal issues that independents are putting the Obama administration on notice.
Bailout backlash is reflected in independents' attitude about the expanding social safety net. Just 43% believe that we "should help more needy people, even if it means going deeper into debt" -- down 14 points over two years. Independents' belief that "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person" has declined 23% since 2003. They are closer to the Republican view that government is usually wasteful and inefficient.
Independents are now the youngest voting block overall: 44% of Americans born after 1977 identify as independent. Republicans are the oldest voter cohort, with just 19% of those born since '77 identifying with the GOP. Demographics are destiny.
And why do I think this is happening the way it is? I think Sara is going after base money and Huckabee is going after national votes.
OK enough of candidates. What does the Republican Party have to do? Get right with God. Start living up to their economic conservative principles. Religiously. What ever happened to the small government Party? Small government is another principle the Republican Party should stick to. Religiously.
Cross Posted at Classical Values