In what may be George Will’s best column in years (which is a very high standard), Will absolutely eviscerates this year’s two faux populists. Here is the RealClearPolitics version, although the Post’s headline (“Iowa’s Histrionic Hucksters”) is better.
As a fierce Madisonian myself (I personally conceived of the bill creating an official commission to commemorate Madison’s 250th birthday, for which Will kindly gave me credit back in 2001), I particularly appreciate Will noting that Huckabee “aggressively repudiates the Madisonians” (who are “limited-government, market-oriented, capitalism-defending conservatives”). Exactly. Will correctly identifies Huckabee with John Edwards in many ways. First, in brilliant language, he says both “flaunt” their “histrionic humility” and both are “encouraging self-pity and economic hypochondria.”
Will also perceptively calls Huckabee “a compound of Uriah Heep, Elmer Gantry and Richard Nixon.” Ouch.
I must note here that way back on the day of Huck’s announcement for the presidency, when my wife and I saw Huck live and in person, my wife said then that he reminded her of Nixon. And for weeks now, listening to his economic hypochondria and class warfare tactics, my wife has said Huck sounds just like Edwards — and Edwards, in her words, “puts ants on me.” (I.e., gives her the willies.) So what Will has done here is to exhibit the same wisdom as my wife, which is high praise indeed.
But back to quoting Will. He writes that both Edwards and Huckabee “aggravate” the “toxicity” of Washington’s culture because “each overflows with and wallows in the pugnacity of the self-righteous who discern contemptible motives behind all disagreements with them….”
And so on. Will is brilliantly on target, and if words were rapiers Huckabee would be entirely disemboweled right now.
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