By Sam Foster
The other day, Mike Huckabee accused Rove of being an elitist, limo-Republican and then asserted that he an O'Donnell were really two peas in a pod when it comes to elitist scorn. Today at Powerline, Paul Mirengoff made a foolish defense for Karl Rove over Huckabee's claim:
"O'Donnell. Huckabee says that he too was the victim of the such elitism when he ran for president. In Huckabee's view, both he and O'Donnell suffer because they "didn't go to the right school and [attend] the proper cocktail parties on the D.C. social circuit."
This expression of self-pity is beyond stupid. Karl Rove and other mainstays of the "Republican establishment" are unreservedly supporting candidates all over the country who haven't attended any D.C. cocktail parties. What schools they went to, I cannot say and neither, I'm sure, can Rove…
.. But Huckabee's attack on Rove shouldn't be understood as a serious argument. Like most of what Huckabee says, it is better understood as a means of advancing his interests - in this case, his interest in currying favor with the Tea Party movement in advance of a possible (and I would think probable) run for the presidency."
Dan Riehl points out:
h/t Instapundit. While I'm no fan of Huckabee, he's closer to the truth here, than is Powerline's resident lobbyist Mirengoff - who continues to dump on O'Donnell, more than Huckabee, in the post. But Powerline's real problem is that the only two serious ads on site, that cost serious dollars, are a full banner and large box ad with the same disclaimer: "Paid for by American Crossroads." While legitimate and I'm a big fan of blog advertising, in this case, that may be the most instructive bit of information here. Fairly, or not, they undermine Mirengoff's screed in defense of Rove. And neither Rove, nor Powerline, were truly there as more conservative elements of the Right began to surface and succeed. And that's a fair point to make given Mirengoff's flacking for Rove, while echoing him on O'Donnell and, in effect, being paid to do it.
Dan, if you don't mind, I'd like to take your valid criticisms of Mirengoff and go a bit further with it, because he's actually wrong about both Rove and Huckabee.
First of all, Karl Rove is NOT Jim DeMint. Mirengoff incorrectly states that Rove is "unreservedly supporting candidates all across the country," but this so called unreservedness seems not to extend to "all," as evidenced by O'Donnell, who Rove lambasted after she was already declared the primary winner. The reason, Mirengoff states, is that he and supposedly Rove, support the "electable" candidates.
The paradox escapes Mirengoff, so I'll point it out for him; a majority of DE Republicans think that O'Donnell is electable, which is why she is the Republican candidate for Senate in September and not Mike Castle. So the question that seems to escape Mirengoff is: who are these Republicans outside of DE who are busy calling their choice candidate unelectable and why? The answer is Mirengoff and Karl Rove, but the answer that is more important is, why? Why should we listen to Rove, or Mirengoff, and what makes their opinions more valid than the majority of voters of DE? Why Mirengoff, do you think you know better than the DE voters and please take a second thought about what elitism means?
Second, Mike Huckabee is a big spending, bleeding heart, philosopher-king-like Obama wannabe. However, he's no political fool either. He is wise to step up early into role of anti-Republican, because if the Republican's take the house in 2010, the 2012 battle will be about the congressional soul of the Republican Party. With Democrats left to lick their wounds, all that Tea Party energy is going to be on a new mission and that mission will be cleaning the clock of the Republican leadership.
It might sound ridiculous that anyone would embrace Huckabee as a Republican reformer, but still, it's hard to believe that being first to the party isn't going to pay some dividends and besides, Huckabee is so low in the minds of true blood conservatives, his stock can only go up from here. Huckabee's conservative populism may sound like a strategy of desperation, but that's all he has left and it's the best shot he's got.