huckabeebass.jpgBeating up on Mike Huckabee for his tax and spending ways, conservative columnist Robert Novak says what God-o-Meter has been thinking for some time: Huckabee is emblematic of a new evangelical politics that doesn’t square with the Republican orthodoxy as well as it used to.
Here’s the key graph:

The rise of evangelical Christians as the motive force that blasted the GOP out of minority status during the past generation always contained an inherent danger if these new Republican acolytes supported not merely a conventional conservative but one of their own. That has happened now with Huckabee, a former Baptist minister educated at Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

God-o-Meter would like to point out that conservative evangelicals were never libertarian in their support for government regulation of abortion and marriage. But what appears to be growing evangelical support for government involvement in health care, education, and the environment–cornerstones of Huckabee’s populist platform–means that the movement’s pro-government ways are creating opportunities for Democratic-evangelical partnerships–and causing small government Republicans like Novak plenty of heartburn.


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