Horrors! Huckabee & Edwards

By Will, George F. | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 6, 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Horrors! Huckabee & Edwards


Will, George F., Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


WASHINGTON

Like Job after losing his camels and acquiring boils, the conservative movement is in distress. Mike Huckabee shreds the compact that has held the movement's two tendencies in sometimes uneasy equipoise.

Social conservatives, many of whom share Huckabee's desire to "take back this nation for Christ," have collaborated with limited- government, market-oriented, capitalism-defending conservatives who want to take back the nation for James Madison. Under the doctrine that conservatives call "fusion," each faction has respected the other's agenda. Huckabee aggressively repudiates the Madisonians.

He and John Edwards, flaunting their histrionic humility in order to promote their curdled populism, hawked strikingly similar messages in Iowa, encouraging self-pity and economic hypochondria. Edwards and Huckabee lament a shrinking middle class. Well.

Economist Stephen Rose, defining the middle class as households with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000, says a smaller percentage of Americans are in that category than in 1979 -- because the percentage of Americans earning more than $100,000 has doubled from 12 to 24, while the percentage earning less than $30,000 is unchanged.

"So," Rose says, "the entire 'decline' of the middle class came from people moving up the income ladder." Even as housing values declined in 2007, the net worth of households increased.

Huckabee told heavily subsidized Iowa -- Washington's ethanol enthusiasm has farm values and incomes soaring -- that Americans striving to rise are "pushed down every time they try by their own government."

Edwards, synthetic candidate of theatrical bitterness on behalf of America's crushed, groaning majority, says the rich have an "iron- fisted grip" on democracy and a "stranglehold" on the economy.

Strangely, these fists have imposed a tax code that makes the top 1 percent of earners pay 39 percent of all income tax revenues, the top 5 percent pay 60 percent, and the bottom 50 percent pay only 3 percent.

According to Edwards, the North Carolina of his youth resembled Chechnya today -- "I had to fight to survive. I mean really. Literally."

Huckabee -- a compound of Uriah Heep, Elmer Gantry and Richard Nixon -- preens about his humble background: "In my family, 'summer' was never a verb." Nixon, who maundered about his parents' privations and wife's cloth coat, followed Lyndon Johnson, another miscast president whose festering resentments and status anxieties colored his conduct of office.

Here we go again?

Huckabee fancies himself persecuted by the Republican "establishment," a creature already negligible by 1964, when it failed to stop Barry Goldwater's nomination.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Horrors! Huckabee & Edwards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?