Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The biggest threat all along was Jon Huntsman. Thankfully, Republicans were too stupid to nominate him.

By Michael J.W. Stickings

After decades of trying, the Manchus finally crossed the Great Wall in 1644, taking Beijing and establishing the Qing Dynasty. They had an easier time of it than Huntsman in the Republican Party.

The WSJ's Washington Wire is reporting that early on the Obama campaign was worried about one really appealing Republican in particular: 

Jon Huntsman is the former Utah governor who took a moderate stance in a GOP field that leaned to the right. He didn't get very far in the Republican nomination fight, but team Obama viewed him as a serious candidate who could pose real problems in a general election. 

"We were honest about our concerns about Huntsman," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said at a Politico breakfast event Tuesday. "I think Huntsman would have been a very tough candidate."

As for the president, he liked Mr. Huntsman enough to appoint him ambassador to China in 2009. Mr. Messina, who was working in the White House at the time, said he helped Mr. Huntsman win Senate confirmation.

"As someone who helped manage his confirmation for Chinese ambassador, he's a good guy," Mr. Messina said. "We looked at his profile in a general election and thought he would have been" a formidable candidate.

Absolutely. In fact, I wrote a post way back in June 2011 called "Huntsman the Formidable."

Don't get me wrong, I never thought it was going to be him. The Republican Party is just too extreme right now, too ideologically absolutist, to go with someone like Huntsman.

This is the party, after all, that tossed aside conservative-but-not-conservative-enough Dick Lugar in Indiana, who would have been a shoe-in for re-election, and ended up with Dick "pregnancies from rape are a gift from God" Mourdock, who lost badly in what this year was a solidly red state, a race that was his to lose. A party that was so uncomfortable with Mitt Romney that it flirted seriously with the embarrassing likes of Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum before finally settling, reluctantly, on the guy who would end up losing. It was not going to get behind a guy, however conservative, who refused to kowtow to the far right, who exposed Republican ignorance, who was just too sane and civil for the current Republican zeitgeist.

Not in 2012. Absolutely not. He just had way too many strikes against him, as I noted here:

Not that Republicans will ever nominate him, mind you. They're too stupid to know what's good for them, and Huntsman just isn't the right sort of Republican for 2012, what with the party getting ever more extreme, particularly with the rise of the Tea Party, and old-school establishment figures, not to mention moderates, or those who just aren't conservative enough for the extremists, even those with a single questionable mark on their record, being purged from its ranks by the right-wing Bolsheviks who run the show.

I wrote a post way back in January 2011 called "If I were Obama, I'd be worried about Huntsman." In retrospect, I was wrong. Obama had nothing to be worried about. Huntsman was never really a threat.

I was actually talking up the Huntsman thing even earlier, with a post in May 2009 called "Huntsman 2012?" What did I say then? "Huntsman may make us all a little queasy, but, thankfully, Republicans are just too stupid to know what's good for them."

He was undeniably formidable, as I wrote in June 2011:

[T]here's no denying he's an awfully impressive man. I might even go so far as to say he could very well be Reagan 2.0, or if not that, given how transformative Reagan was for movement conservatism, at least a leading Republican in the Reagan mold. He just seems to have it all, even the somewhat more tolerant and even liberal positions on some social issues that show him to be a man of the times, not a man against the times, a conservative who is open to progress and change while remaining committed to his fundamental beliefs. Perhaps he could be zeitgeist conservative, the forward-looking proponent of conservatism at a time of massive global change.


But not likely, not in today's Republican Party, which would likely rather expel him that have him as its leader.

Yes, Republicans really are too stupid to know what's good for them. Which is good for us, but not good for Huntsman, who will have to wait until 2016, or forever, to make his mark in a party that has abandoned him and all those like him.
Do you get what I'm saying?
Republicans. Stupid. Huntsman. Never.

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  • Not only did we dodge a missile with the rejection of Mitt/Ryan...we really dodged a big one with Huntsman...He is more like a stealth Romney...only more to the right and LIKABLE...the worry here without a "religious" test is the Mormon push to continue their mission of theocratic them...a link of surprising value...
    There is much more, but this is a good start at educating the rest of the country of the danger the Mormons pose to the USofA...

    By Blogger Buford, at 11:11 AM  

  • Huntsman is really out there trying to distance himself from the craziness, or at least apparently. Wonder if he really thinks he would have a shot next time?

    By Blogger Richard K. Barry, at 12:07 AM  

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