Of course, there has been a lot of discussion of the potential field for 2016, but this week has witnessed a boomlet. The dictionary defines “boomlet”:
: a sudden and usually brief increase in business activity : a small boom
But it is important to note the exemplary sentence with that definition:
A few years ago, the town enjoyed a nice boomlet, but since then times have been tough.
One of the definitional characteristics of a boomlet is that they die. The 2012 Republican primary was a series of boomlets – from Perry to Gingrich to Cain and back to Gingrich and then to Santorum. These 2012 boomlets served the same role that the Huckabee candidacy did in 2008 – SPOILER. They represent a significant subset of Republicans that are grossly dissatisfied with what they view as “business as usual” and they flail around like a chicken minus its head looking for an alternative.
Needless to say, Democrats and the MSM love this group because they are just large enough to prevent a strong Republican cadre from coalescing, thus greatly increasing Democratic chances. That’s what a spoiler does. This bunch lack sufficient mass to win, but they have just enough to make sure the Republican they don’t like can’t. We cannot forget where they were born – Iowa 2007. They were born in direct reaction to Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.
Go back and read the archive of this blog in November and December of 2007. It was practically open religious warfare. The religion buzz was everywhere. So much so that Romney had to whip out his speech on religion months before he wanted to. It was working too. Then Huckabee rang the religion bell in a NYTimes interview and well, the rest is as they say, history.
Most fascinating about this is that every step of the way this spoiler group has only generated destruction of their agenda. If not directly, although much has been done directly, then because they gave the media sufficient fodder to portray and divided and disorganized Republican party – weakening it and paving a path for Obama.
And now this latest boomlet simply repeats that pattern.
They are back where they started – Mike Huckabee. Townahll – Hot Air – The Fix – Jim Gerahty are all talking the Huckster. Geraghty proclaims it “a highly coordinated rollout.” But start with Townhall and the video that is generating a good bit of the furor. Huckabee keeps talking about all the support he is getting from places like Iowa and South Carolina. The Fix does a fine bit of political analysis as to why this is a pipe dream. Regardless, there are a couple of comments to be made.
I am the last person to talk about anybody’s body weight. I used to be the size of a small city, gravitational field and everything. Fortunately that is no longer the case – a heavenly blessing. Mike Huckabee on the other hand has yo-yo weight. He has been up down and every size in between. Most extraordinary to me is that the man is master at manipulating the press photographing him. When I went looking for pictures to illustrate my point, recent full body shots are hard to come by. Based on his face, I would say his weight is currently coming down, but it is hard to judge that way.
When it comes to weight, there is a far more credible possible with the same issue – Chris Christie. I have not talked about this issue with him because he seems to be doing it right – he’s just losing the weight, none of this yo-yo stuff we have seen in the Huckster over the years. Weight of itself is not a disqualifier for the office. We have had more than one president of extraordinary girth. But the modern campaign is an exceptional physical task. Too much weight – as I am uniquely positioned to know – can simply make it impossible to keep pace.
All this is to say that if the Huckster is slimming we’ll know he is serious. But I have far more concerns about him than I do Christie. Given that the Huckster ballooned like a child’s toy as soon as he was out in 2008 – the yo-yo thing – it shows that the entire episode was “a show” for him and not a serious endeavor to help himself and the nation. Because Christie has not done the yo-yo thing, he still gets the benefit of the doubt.
But the far more important comment is about this spoiler group. Romney’s nomination in 2012 shows that they are smaller and less effective than they were in 2008, but his 2012 loss in the general contained strong indicators that this bunch stayed home, or left their presidential ballot blank, and that they could have spelled the difference. And so this bunch may very well have put the nation in the deep pickle it finds itself in today. Scandal upon scandal. Somebody this past week, and I am sorry I cannot remember who, proclaimed Obamacare “the most disastrous piece of social engineering since Prohibition.” We are on the brink of war on the China Sea. There were Americans killed in Benghazi more and more apparently to influence an electoral outcome. It is seriously questionable if we remain the leader of the world.
And all this because a relatively limited group of people did not like the cut of Mitt Romney’s religious jib. Oh sure, by 2012 nobody was talking religion directly, but come on, same people, same places – give me a break.
I don’t know Mike Huckabee – but the fact that he would once again seek to capitalize on this bunch. That he would give them air and hope and support, regardless of his personal conviction, is destructive. Not merely of the Republican party, but as the last 5 years have shown – of the nation. That alone disqualifies him in my book.
Huckabee is not going anywhere – but how much damage will he wreak in the meantime?