I know that this is not a political blog, and I am not intending to make it such, but the results of Saturday's primary in South Carolina are definitely worthy of comment in any case, so comment I will.
First, I will state that I am now and have been since day one of this campaign a Mike Huckabee supporter. I am not fanatical about it, and I understand and admit that there are certain positions that he has taken, both now and in the past, that I am not exactly in agreement with. In other words, he is not "perfect" in my eyes. However, unlike some other (influential) conservatives, I am not ignorant enough to let that get in the way of my appreciating that he is the best, most well-rounded, most electable candidate in the field - in either party.
It is that ignorance, that myopic intrasigence, in deadly combination with selective memory and misinterpretation, that has made this fight for the nomination so absurd, and so frustrating. There are many in the media (most notably Rush Limbaugh), in concert with many "conservatives" who have made it their mission in life to aggressively try to discredit and disparage any candidate who does not fit into their contorted concept of what a conservative is. The logic goes like this: Ronald Reagan snd his conservatism made this party and this country great - that is the "Reagan Legacy". ANY candidate who tries to claim the leadership of this party and is not 100% in the "Reagan mold" is not a "true conservative" and will lead therefore lead the party to ruin. Huckabee (and Romney and McCain for that matter) are not "true conservatives" and therefore will bring the party to ruin. Therefore they must be destroyed at all costs. At ALL costs. These people would much rather see another eight years of Clintonia than see Huckabee in the White House.
The main problem in that lies in the premise. The iconic image of Ronald Reagan is a dominating force in conservative politics. In a sense that is a good thing. It helps to remember how yougot where you are. The problem is the Reagan the remember is one who never existed. Yes, he was for smaller government, less taxes, and a dtrong defense - but so are Huckabee and McCain. BUT Reagan was also for a government that works. A government that is on the side of the people - not business interests. The deregulation that was driven through by Reagan was not intended to enrich corporate america, it was meant to (and DID bya and large) enrich the average Joe - The Working Man.
The Working Man has become the forgotten man NOT because of Reagan and his efforts, but because the results of those efforts were co-opted by the spawn of the old Country Club Republicans. The old stuffy pipe-smoking Republican has been replaced by the BlackBerry wielding MBA republican. Fully convinced of his manifest destiny to control and define conservatism - and AMericanism for that matter. The rest of us in the party are looked upon as useful idiots who didn't go to the right schools and dont' "network" with the right people.
How have so many seemingly intelligent people forgotten the one phrase that brought Ronald Reagan to power in 1980:
"Just ask yourself: Are you better off than you were four years ago?"