Mitt, Mosques, Mormons, Obama’s Religion, Also-Ran’s and More…

This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing.  It is a good thing when they bring something to the campaign that might otherwise not be picked up. That’s probably why a Rick Santorum run continues to become a higher probability.   Santorum will never get elected, but a credible run on his part will keep social issues somewhere in the mix in an election where they could be off the table altogether.  With the economy in the state it is in, they certainly should not be front and center, but they are important.

The presence of Haley Barbour in the mix may be good or bad.  He is a formidable fund raiser and his presence in the race, at least for a time, can increase that ability – which can certainly aid other more viable candidates.  He also, as Santorum, can serve as a target for some of the more cartoonish attacks from the left leaving the serious players a more open playing field.  However, problems can arise if in his desire to use his fund raising prowess to serve as “kingmaker” he ends up being more self-serving rather than party-serving. (Lowell interjects:  Barbour is a former RNC Chairman who has a history as a party man.  So I like to think – hope? – he would not be self-serving.)

Need an example of the whole self-serving model?  Look no further than our old “friend” Mike Huckabee.  He is polling well in Iowa, but that is about as surprising as ice in Antarctica.  We will not review here (we’ve done it already) how Huckabee, by hanging around like he did without an iceberg’s chance, mucked up ’08.  Huckabee is currently billing himself as “a preacher who accepts all, a politician that never plays politics and a host unlike any other.”  Do I think he’ll run?  At this point, yeah – I do.  Which means the serious players will have to make Iowa unimportant which will neutralize him for the rest of the campaign.  Huckabee will be aided by a press that desperately wants Iowa to matter – which will be fine for Huckabee since media is really what he is after.  But we cannot let him serve the party another mediocre candidate.

Inside Evangelical Politics…

Last week we pointed out that it seems like it is always the left that gets truly rhetorically nasty.  That rule seems to hold true inside Evangelicalism as well as out of it.  Last week Jim Wallis did an interview and he turned absolutely uncharitable on Marvin Olasky.   At the Corner, Jay Richards said:

What to say at this point? At the very least, Wallis has abandoned even the pretense of civil discourse here. Olasky has evidence of Soros grants to Sojourners, so the most that Wallis would be justified in saying is that Olasky is mistaken and that the evidence is misleading or fraudulent (which seems unlikely). Instead, he says that Olasky is lying for a living.

Hugh Hewitt said:

So Marvin Olasky was slandered by Jim Wallis, as was Glenn Beck.  Wouldn’t a man seeking to represent Christians be quick to apologize to both?  If Wallis has done so, I haven’t seen it.

Wallis has corrected his incorrect factual assertions, but his tone and demeanor have remained unchanged.  Is it any wonder people do not like us so much?

And while we are on the subject – R.R. Reno had some interesting thoughts on civility.

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